Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's bigger - Trutanich's illegal billboard, or the lie that he doesn't know who paid for it?

The LA Times did a great job breaking the story about Carmen Trutanich's illegal billboard, currently violating Los Angeles Municipal Code Section alongside the southbound I-5 at the Glendale Blvd. exit, but they didn't do such a great job in showing just how big the billboard actually is.

It is huge, probably 40 feet long and 6 feet tall.

So what is bigger, the billboard or the lie that Trutanich does not know who produced it and paid for it? Well the billboard is big, but the 'I know nothing' lie is bigger.

Given the lack of a disclaimer statement required by LAMC, we have no ideal who paid for it, and why. What's in it for whoever paid to put this eyesore alongside the freeway? The public has the right to know, and that's why LAMC was enacted.

The requirement for a disclaimer on campaign communications applies to independent expenditures
according to Los Angeles City Charter Section 470(l)
According to LAMC Section 11.00(m), a violation of any section of the LAMC is punishable by the City Attorney as a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1,000 and a maximum sentence of six months in jail, per occurrence. Trutanich has historically interpreted this to mean a new violation can be alleged for every day the violation continues. That would be $7,000 in fines and three and a half years in jail for every week that the billboard violates the disclaimer requirement.

Of course whoever placed this billboard in violation of LAMC is not losing sleep at the thought of Trutanich putting him in jail on $1M bail, or even prosecuting him at all. Trutanich is not likely to prosecute one of his supporters, and there is little doubt that this blot on the landscape is the handy work of one of his supporters who probably could not wait to brag about his 'independent expenditure.'

Another question that remains to be answered is who provided the artwork, particularly the graphics, used in the billboard? Although it is possible to 'grab' graphics from Trutanich's website, they would be unlikely to be large enough to be reproduced on such a large billboard.

This graphic, 'grabbed' from Trutanich's website, is not large enough to be reproduced on the billboard
The globe-shaped logo appearing on Trutanich's website clearly lacks the resolution to be enlarged to the size seen on the billboard, so where did it come from? In order to qualify as an independent expenditure, Trutanich cannot supply the graphic, nor assist in providing it.

Trutanich should come clean and not only reveal the identity of his secret benefactor and explain how the graphics were provided, but also refer the matter to the District Attorney's Office or the Attorney General's Office for prosecution as he clearly has a conflict of interest. However, given everything the public has come to know of all things Trutanich, the last thing they can expect is for him to come clean; it's not in his DNA.



Anonymous said...

He can't figure out election rules and he can't keep his supporters from breaking the law. . . . tell me again why this guy needs to be City ATTORNEY?????

Sometimes I can't figure out if Trutanich is a real person or a character on a Saturday Night Live parody skit

Anonymous said...

Trutanich must be really desperate to pull a stunt like this. He's got no money and he sucks in the polls. The CA's union voted not to endorse him and he's totally in Downfall mode. Epic fail.

Anonymous said...

@5:12pm. Not desperate, just doomed. Last week the PPL who dumped $750k into Nuch's 2009 campaign declined to endorse him, he did not get a single vote. The board was split between Feuer and Smith. Today, same thing with firefighters. Nobody loves a loser.