Thursday, May 21, 2009
Trutanich Pledges Reform and Integrity as City Attorney
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Attorney-elect Carmen Trutanich yesterday pledged that he will reform the office and bring honesty, integrity and transparency to City Hall.
“It’s a new day and I see a brighter tomorrow,” he said in a statement, vowing to “work with every fiber of my being to be the people’s lawyer.”
Although he does not formally take office until July 1, he declared “my work for the people begins today.”
Trutanich secured just over 55 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s election, garnering 131,777 votes to opponent Jack Weiss’s 104,622.
John Shallman, Trutanich’s campaign consultant, opined that what clinched the election for his client was “first and foremost that we had an extraordinarily great attorney as a candidate…who brought both prosecutorial experience and was a great trial attorney versus a politician.”
He suggested the fact that Weiss, a Los Angeles councilman, ran as “a status quo, sort of an establishment politician” who “had all the money” and “the mayor’s political machine behind him,” had not resonated with voters who were “really looking for change and reform.”
The Weiss campaign could not be reached for comment.
Early in the race, Weiss had been favored by many as the likely successor to City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who was barred by term limits from running again. He amassed a $1.8 million war chest before the March primary election, in which he finished first out of a field of five with 36.4 percent of the vote. Trutanich finished with 26.9 percent.
Shallman claimed that the turning point for Trutanich came in the last two weeks of the primary race, when voters began “to see that there was an option” to choose a candidate other than Weiss.
“For so many months Jack Weiss ran as if this was to be a coronation,” Shallman said. “He had all the endorsements and all the money and we were really the little David versus Goliath.”
But during the run-off, Shallman suggested, “when people had an opportunity to look at two candidates rather than the group of them, the distinctions were so clear and so profound in terms of the direction that they wanted to take the city, the voters overwhelmingly chose change and reform.”
The run-off campaign quickly took on a bitter tone with the candidates accusing each other of falsehoods and misconduct. Shallman acknowledged, “it was tough,” but he maintained “that’s just politics,” and in hindsight declared “I can’t imagine we would have changed anything.”
Even with the frequent sniping between Trutanich and Weiss at debates and through their campaigns, Shallman insisted that Trutanich has “a big, wide open door for anybody with ideas that can help change L.A. in a positive way, whether it’s his opponent or his supporters,” and that “no one will be shut out of his administration.”
Trutanich is taking this week to talk to “some of the best and brightest” minds in the legal field to put a transition team together so that his proposals outlined in his “Agenda for Change” campaign materials can be implemented, Shallman said.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company