The LA Times Editorial Board has endorsed former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer for City Attorney. Fully 75% of the endorsement was devoted to attacking incumbent Carmen Trutanich for his laundry list of failures.
If anything is certain about the Times endorsement, it is that Trutanich's political career is over. His negatives denied him a place in the run off for DA, and they will continue to do so in the upcoming primary election for City Attorney.
As the Dragnet previously predicted, Trutanich is unelectable, a fact confirmed by the Times who slammed him for pursuing 'headline-grabbing cases — vowing to eliminate ticket scalping, for instance, and battling with the owners of Staples Center over the cost of the Michael Jackson funeral — that are marginal to the lives of most of those he represents. He's been a halfhearted advocate of openness in city business — the city today provides far less public access to police records and disciplinary hearings than just a few years ago — and he has struggled to guide the government toward a coherent policy on billboards and marijuana clinics. His representation of city agencies and officials has disappointed many of his clients, who complain about the quality of his advice and his slowness to act.'
While Feuer must be delighted to have secured the endorsement, it was not only predictable given the Times Editorial Board's liberal bent, but it is also no guarantee of electoral success. Although not mentioned in their opinion, this is not the first time that the Times endorsed Feuer for City Attorney. In 2001 they endorsed Mike Feuer; he lost.
What the Times endorsement has done is clarify the race for City Attorney. With Trutanich now out of the running, hobbled by his reputation, slammed by the Times, and unable to raise money, the race now becomes one that leaves Greg Smith as the only viable candidate to challenge Feuer.
Smith's campaign has been dominating TV with his highly effective ads this week, but there has been nothing from Feuer or Trutanich. While Feuer is expected to launch his TV ads next week, Trutanich is understood to have failed to raise enough money to produce an ad, let alone buy any airtime. Trutanich has sunk what little funds he has on a campaign mailer that crams all of Trutanich's implausible claims on a sheet of paper that looks more like the Unabomber's Manifesto than an effective campaign communication.
The early ground that Smith has gained by being first on TV, coupled with the Times rejection of Trutanich, makes it inevitable that when the votes are counted on March 5, 2013, Smith and Feuer will face each other in the run off.