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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Trutanich slamed in City Attorney debate

PBS's SoCal Insider taped a spirited debate between the candidates vying to be elected as Los Angeles City Attorney the March 5, 2013 primary. The televised debate is due to air on KCOE midday, Thursday, February 7, 2013.

SoCal Insider presenter Rick Reiff, pictured here with City Attorney candidates Greg Smith (center)
and Noel Weiss (right). Carmen Trutanich and Mike Feuer refused permission to be photographed.
Whether by design or by coincidence, City Attorney candidates Greg Smith and Noel Weiss were seated together to the left of SoCal Insider host Rick Reiff, while Carmen Trutanich and Mike Feuer were seated to his right. Both Trutanich and Feuer gave specific instructions to the studio floor to prevent their photographs being taken during the debate.

Trutanich and Feuer again traded barbs, with Feuer attacking Trutanich over his failure to pass an effective law to limit the growth of medical marijuana dispensaries, and Trutanich attacking Feuer over his support for AB109 - the so called 'prison realignment' that has dumped over ten thousand convicted felons on the streets of Los Angeles with little or no supervision. Feuer tried to justify realignment, and highlighting his lack of courtroom experience where a fast and ready grasp of the facts in vital, missed the opportunity to remind viewers that it was Trutanich who most publicly supported realignment, perhaps as part of an agreement to secure Gov. Jerry Brown's endorsement for his failed District Attorney campaign.

As Feuer and Trutanich tried to dominate the debate, it was Greg Smith who successfully interrupted their mutual mud-slinging, and restored order to the debate. That garnered the respect of Reiff, who turned the debate over to Smith. When asked about his assessment of the problems facing the City Attorney's Office, Smith had no hesitation in blaming Trutanich for spending most of his time campaigning for political office, rather than running the office.

Smith has certainly rattled the cages of Feuer and Trutanich, the perceived 'insiders.' He continues to garner law enforcement support for his campaign, and has succeeded in having a week of exclusive TV ads, while Feuer has not yet started his TV campaign, and Trutanich looks unlikely to be able to afford to be on television at all.

The effectiveness of Smith's campaign clearly has the 'insiders' worried. Both had assumed they would be in the runoff, but both are now justifiably concerned that one of their political careers will end on March 5, 2013. Trutanich looks like the most likely to fail (again), with fundraising growing increasingly hard, and his reputation for reneging on his promises being the only thing voters will remember when they cast their votes.

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