Friday, April 6, 2012
Trutanich’s Lawyers Spew Poppycock
Most misleading of all ballot designations this year is that of Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, running for Los Angeles County district attorney. He terms himself “Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor.”
A writ petition was brought by Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, Trutanich’s chief rival for the post, seeking to bar the ballot designation. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will hear arguments on the petition on Wednesday.
In the written opposition, Trutanich’s lawyers argue:
“Trutanich’s ballot designation is not misleading. Trutanich has presented substantial documented evidence showing that he is, in fact, the chief prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles, and that the plain meaning of the words used by Trutanich support his proposed designation.”
True. He is the chief prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles. However, he is in a race for a County of Los Angeles post. A natural assumption of a reasonable voter would be that Trutanich is chief prosecutor for the county—that is, that he is the incumbent.
By using a description of what he does, as opposed to his office title, Trutanich is limited to three words. However, names of geographical entities count as one word. He could emphasize his prosecutorial role—without misleading—by calling himself “City of Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor.”
It is to be hoped that the court will see the sophistry in Trutanich’s opposition for what it is.
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company