Thursday, April 11, 2013

Double Trouble hits Trutanich Campaign

Failed incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's reelection campaign remains solidly on course for the iceberg field that sunk his almost namesake. Two stories in Wednesday's LA Times will do little to raise the hopes of the few remaining supporters of the man known to LA Times readers as "Carmen 'I am a Liar' Trutanich."

One article shows that leading City Attorney candidate Mike Feuer has raised $650k for his campaign in the 30 days since he trounced Trutanich in the March 5 primary. Tellingly, Trutanich declined to reveal any information about how little money he has been able to raise, but told the Times that he will release his report by the close of business Thursday - the deadline for filing his campaign finance report with the City Ethics Commission.

In all likelihood, Trutanich declined to reveal poor figures until Thursday evening in the hope that it will escape the attention of readers on Friday - a day politicians typically chose to release bad news. With Trutanich lagging far behind Feuer in the polls, and his reputation damaged by loses in the last two elections, fundraising is understood to have been difficult for Trutanich.

The second article outlines a further accusation of ethical misconduct by Trutanich. This time the alleged misconduct centers on the employment by Trutanich of Dan Raskov, who through his Santa Monica based company, Intelligent Content Inc., receives $4,175.00 a month of taxpayer funds for his part-time job working at the City Attorney's office 'to write newsletters, apply for grants and perform community outreach and other duties for the city attorney’s office and Trutanich.' The Times said.

But the Feuer campaign asserts that Trutanich's part time employee is actually a political campaign worker, and 'produced what it called evidence that Raskov has also been involved in campaign duties, including email showing his involvement in setting up candidates' debates in the primary for the city attorney's race and in Trutanich’s failed race for Los Angeles County district attorney last year. It also provided a photo of Raskov attending a candidates' forum earlier this month.'

'“This is hypocrisy at its worst,” Feuer campaign spokesman Dave Jacobson said in a statement released by the campaign. He said Feuer has filed Public Records Act requests with the city attorney’s and controller’s offices seeking details about Raskov’s work, including invoices and other information about what services he performed under the contract.'

The Times reported that 'Raskov could not be reached for comment but Sandy Cooney, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office, said Raskov is a “part-time, contracted city vendor and is not permitted to engage in campaign-related activity while on city time.”'

'“Should he be engaged in activity associated with campaign-related events, he is doing so on his own time and not on the city’s,” Cooney said. He added that the city attorney’s office is “in the process of determining if there are documents responsive to” Feuer’s public records request and would provide any such documents “within the time frame required by law."'

The Trutanich campaign told the Times that 'Raskov has a right to volunteer with the campaign on his own time. “We trust he is doing the right thing and have no reason to believe he has done anything other than what is proper, campaign spokesman John Schwada said. Schwada added that Raskov “is so much a volunteer that the regular campaign staff does not — I repeat — does not direct or manage his activities” in the campaign.'

Regular readers of the Dragnet will recall that last year the Dragnet exclusively revealed that Raskov was listed as 'Campaign Manager' in Trutanich's District Attorney candidate questionnaire, submitted to the Association of Deputy District Attorneys.
Raskov, who earns $4,175 a month for a part-time job at the City Attorney's office
is listed as 'Campaign Manager' in this questionnaire.
The Dragnet also published a photograph of Raskov attending a Candidates' Debate taking notes for Trutanich, who did not attend the debate.

Trutanich's tax-payer paid campaign manager takes notes for Trutanich
at the District Attorney candidates' forum
Because Raskov receives his pay under a special contract, he is exempt from the 15% pay cut that other City Attorney employees are forced to take. Trutanich has also exempted himself from the pay cut, claiming that his wife and four adult children 'live on my salary.'

Trutanich's attempt to explain Raskov's blatent campaign duties as 'volunteering his time' really fails to pass the straight-face test. It remains to be seen if Trutanich will respond to the request to produce evidence of what Raskov has actually done for the City Attorney's office when he is not 'volunteering his time' for campaign duties. So far, the only evidence appears to be a newsletter on the City Attorney website. However, that newsletter is dated June/July 2012 and does not credit Raskov as writing any portion of it.

Throughout Trutanich's Hindenburg-like DA campaign, he was plagued with accusations of untruthfulness and misleading claims. It seems that the City Attorney campaign will follow the same course.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice work Dragnet. I would think the CEC investigators will be interviewing all the 8th floor staff to see how often Raskov is actually in his office. Then they'll start looking at some of Nuch's other 'contract' employees. Should be real interesting to see what they find. People used to be scared of Nuch, but not so much these days. A lot of people want to talk, just have to ask the right questions.