Thursday, March 7, 2013
Feuer, Trutanich Camps Come Out Swinging in City Attorney Runoff
Smith Spokesman Says Third-Place Finisher Unsure of Endorsement
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Attorney
Spokespersons for the runoff candidates for Los Angeles city attorney yesterday presaged what is likely to be a nasty fight for the support of voters going into the May 21 general election.
The third-place candidate, meanwhile, has not made a decision about which, if either, of his two former opponents he will endorse, his campaign strategist said.
Former Assemblyman Mike Feuer, making his second bid for the office, led the field with 44 percent of the vote in final, but unofficial, tallies. Incumbent Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich was second with 30 percent, and private attorney Greg Smith was third with 17 percent.
Noel Weiss, by far the least visible candidate in the race, trailed with nine percent.
The 14-point spread between the front-running challenger and the trailing incumbent was “unprecedented,” Feuer spokesman Dave Jacobson said. The result signals “that voters are ready for a change of leadership in the City Attorney’s Office,” he added.
But the incumbent isn’t going quietly, spokesman John Schwada told the MetNews.
“Carmen Trutanich has not yet begun to fight,” he said in an allusion to Revolutionary naval hero John Paul Jones’ legendary retort to the British call for surrender in a 1779 engagement in British waters.
The challenge, he said, will be to get voters to focus on the records of the candidates and look past what he called “political mistakes” that have dogged the city attorney since last year’s campaign for district attorney, when Trutanich finished third in a contest that many expected him to win.
“Nuch has an incomparable record,” and deserves much of the credit for the reduction in crime and gun violence in the city, his spokesman said. He called Trutanich “a real prosecutor...not a Sacramento politician posing as an attorney,” promising that Feuer’s “false claims of legal expertise and savvy” will be held to scrutiny in the 11 weeks leading up to the runoff.
Jacobson responded that Feuer’s legal acumen has been attested to by the prominent lawyers who have endorsed him, including Los Angeles County Bar Association President Richard Burdge; State Bar President Pat Kelly, a former LACBA president; and 13 other former presidents of the County Bar.
Smith, meanwhile, issued the following statement:
“For many of our most vulnerable, Los Angeles is simply not working. I stand up every day for victims of willful discrimination, corruption, and egregious retaliation taking place right here in our City departments. I am proud that my candidacy for City Attorney has people talking about these important issues, and I hope the citizens of Los Angeles will demand action from our public officials. I look forward to continuing my fight to make our city a better, safer and more fair place to live, work and raise a family.”
John Thomas, who guided Smith’s campaign, said his candidate “added a level to the discourse” and offered ideas that will “hopefully...change ...the way the City Attorney’s Office is run in the future.” He added that “I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Greg Smith.”
The candidates are expected to meet in a series of debates between now and the election, including one before the Italian American Lawyers Association March 20, an event co-sponsored by the MetNews.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company