Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Complaint Filed Over Trutanich Campaign Signs
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Community activists complained yesterday that the campaign of city attorney candidate Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich has been posting illegal campaign signs across the city.
At a very sparsely attended press conference yesterday, Jeffrey Jacobberger, who identified himself as chair of the Transportation Committee for the Mid City West Neighborhood Council, made the allegation and called for an investigation of the candidate’s campaign finances.
After the conference, Jacobberger delivered letters of complaint to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, copies of which were provided to the MetNews, requesting that the Trutanich campaign be fined for each campaign sign placed on public property.
Joined by two founders of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight— a non-profit organization which bills itself as committed to defending the urban landscape of Los Angeles against billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising— Jacobberger claimed that concentrations of signs along Sepulveda Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevards, Topanga Canyon, and various streets in Eagle Rock “distract drivers, constitute a visual blight, create trash and…are against the law.”
Jacobberger also provided a copy of his complaint to the city Ethics Commission calling for an investigation into the purchase of a billboard advertisement in Trutanich’s native San Pedro, located off the Harbor Freeway on Gaffey Street, advocating the election of Trutanich.
Although campaign finance reports filed with the Ethics Commission state that the billboard was purchased by a San Francisco resident named John Stricklin as an independent expenditure, Jacobberger asserted that it appears to use images of Trutanich that are not available to the public.
His letter calls for an investigation into how Stricklin was able to obtain the images, and he told theMetNews that the billboard’s use of apparently non-public materials “calls into question how independent those contributions were.”
Jacobberger insisted that the “sign issue is just one aspect” of his concern with how Trutanich is “not disclosing information, period,” in reference to Trutanich’s refusal to disclose his client list in response to his opponent, Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss’ repeated requests.
“If you’re running for city attorney…it seems to be you’d be searching for ways to be as forthcoming as possible,” Jacobberger said, adding that there is “no absolute bar” to disclosing a client’s identity.
Trutanich’s campaign consultant John Shallman previously said that Trutanich believed he was prohibited by state law and State Bar ethics rules from releasing the names of clients who were not currently in the public domain, such as minors and the victims of crimes.
“He is simply not allowed to, nor would he ever, put them out to a political campaign,” Shallman said, calling it “shameful” that Weiss would demand their names as “a political stunt.”
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company