Monday, May 11, 2009
Report: Trutanich Maintains Financial Edge Over Rival
By a MetNews Staff Writer
With the city attorney election just over a week away, Los Angeles city attorney candidate Jack Weiss has failed to regain the financial advantage he once had over his opponent, Long Beach attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich.
Weiss reported raising nearly double the amount of money as Trutanich before the March 3 primary election, although one month later, Trutanich reported that his campaign coffers had surpassed those of his runoff opponent.
Trutanich has maintained that lead, according to a report filed Thursday with the City Ethics Commission, in which Trutanich reported cash contributions of $699,489 and matching funds of $359,078, leaving him with over $337,000 in cash on hand.
But Trutanich’s campaign reported outstanding debts of $43,205, which if paid, would lower his campaign coffers to amount to a little under $300,000.
Weiss managed to raise more money than Trutanich in the past month—a reported $754,060—but even with no reported outstanding debts, having rejected matching funds, Weiss’s campaign coffers reportedly contain a mere $192,363.
Trutanich’s campaign consultant John Shallman told the MetNews that Weiss was “obviously having a very difficult time keeping up financially at this point.”
He also noted that Weiss “has not returned a single penny” from an April 27 fundraiser, as promised.
An invitation to the event, held in Beverly Hills, listed Kelly Candaele, then a member of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System Board of Directors, as one of six hosts, but Shallman explained that city commissioners and board appointees are barred from appearing on fundraising invitations. He said the event was “basically a conspiracy to commit a crime.”
Candaele resigned from his position on April 28, and the Weiss campaign later issued a statement which claimed roughly $20,000 raised by the event would be returned. Shallman said “we had an expectation we would see a whole bunch of refunds,” but none were included in the most recent report, which covered the period from April 4 until May 2.
Weiss’ campaign manager Ace Smith could not be reached for comment.
According to the reports, most of Trutanich’s donors were individuals and businesses in and around the South Bay and Trutanich’s native San Pedro, as well as several attorneys from his firm Trutanich Michel.
Among his donors were over 160 local law firms and attorneys, including State Bar Board of Governors candidate Patrick M. Kelly, who gave $500, and former State Bar Court Judge Michael D. Marcus, who gave the maximum contribution of $1,000.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Mark S. Arnold, Alan B. Honeycutt, Andrew C. Kaufmann, Ruth Kwan, Stephen A. Marcus and Sandra A. Thompson each contributed $100, while Judge Arthur M. Lew gave $500.
Other supporters included the head of an oil company, a casino owner, and some real estate investors and developers.
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine also gave the maximum contribution of $1000 to Trutanich, rather than his fellow councilmember, Weiss.
Weiss’ supporters included some real estate groups, investment companies, hoteliers, over 90 local attorneys and law firms, and several individuals and small businesses from Weiss’ district, which includes parts of west Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.
The next round of campaign finance statements will be due Friday, and the election is May 19.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company