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L.A. city attorney candidates hold spirited debate

City attorney candidate Jack Weiss accused rival Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich of representing a "moral sinkhole" of private clients in a debate Wednesday night, while the San Pedro attorney questioned what he called Weiss' "failed record," and whether he had the legal experience for the job.

The debate, which included topics such as the city's billboard regulations and morale in the city attorney's office, was the second in less than two weeks for the candidates, who face a runoff election May 19.

The Times has more on the debate by the city attorney candidates.

-- Maeve Reston

Related coverage:

City attorney candidates face off in combative debate

What they would do as L.A. city attorney

Comments () | Archives (7)

Sounds like Trutanich is inherently unsuited to run for City Attorney since he's falling back on attorney-client privilege to hide what he's done the last 20 years and acting condescending about it to try to deflect the public's right to know what they guy who wants to represent them has done most of his career.

No wonder Trutanich runs on the brief early period out of law school when the city and law enforcement were in a hugely different era. I really don't care that Trutanich prosecuted some gang banger back in 86 while he won't disclose what he's done the last 23 years because he KNOWS is sounds unpalatable.

Sure there are lawyers who make big bucks defending high-profile rapists, beaters of women and thugs of all kinds, who are the "go to" firms for these people as well as corporate polluters who dump toxic waste and violate environmental law as calculated "business risks," first even having been tutored in how to do it by Trutanich who literally wrote a book on it, on how to evade environmental laws. (No wonder every respected environmentalist has endorsed Weiss while Trutanich lies and calls himself an "environmental attorney.")

But what disgusts me about Trutanich is that he won't admit what he does and who he represents now -- in fact, he lies and says he turned a guy who shot at baby seals for fun into "a born again animal activist" just because the guy had to do community service caring for wounded marine animals as part of his court-ordered restitution!

What also disgusts me is Trutanich never having lifted a finger or shown the slightest interest in DNA rape evidence kits or the female victims, instead lining his pockets defending the more affluent rapists, but he is lying about Weiss's open record on his work on the issue since 02.

Blaiming Weiss for the whole issue not being miraculously resolved at once in L A and LAPD is both cynically opportunistic and stupid and shows Trutanich's total lack of understanding of how the city runs: There are 15 Councilmembers, there was a different mayor until 05, the LAPD has been an institution extremely slow to change over the decades, and while it's made remarkable improvements across the board under Chief Bratton and Antonio, rapes have been handled by case detectives who were often slow to embrace DNA testing in general ACROSS THE COUNTRY. Since Weiss has been banging the drums LAPD and LA has committed to becoming a national leader, along with NYC.

Trutanich has never served in public service, not even on a commission. No wonder former police commission head Rick Caruso endorses Weiss, as done recent State Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Since there are endorsements he lost, Trutanich continues to lie about Weiss and tries to turn sour grapes into another baseless smear on his honorable record. (When Trutanich gets into siding with Weiss critics on the Westside over traffic issues it's just sickeningly opportunistic and pandering, from a guy who just moved to San Pedro from Long Beach to run, and has admitted on record that he wants to undercut the westside in favor of the South Bay.)

Heading a small law firm where two partners dictate is NO basis for understanding the intricacies of having to get things done in a huge city. As a business owner myself I know all about the hardships of making payroll and and overhead but I also have the choice of unilateral action. When I had even 3 partners the dynamics were totally different. There's no correlation between Trutanich's experience and the city, however much he cleverly claims.

Trutanich has even sunk to badmouthing by name rape victim Jerry Ulster in his phone campaign for endorsing Weiss and telling the truth about her involvement with Weiss. His campaign calls her a liar to strangers in his nasty, blatant effort to intimidate future endorsements. His campaign has tried the same with Sarah Brady, going after her and her son personally. Trutanich has never done anything about billboards either (his campaign planned to use them in a big way til shamed out of it), but now claims "I know better."

Is it any wonder that this man is hiding his own record and lying about Weiss's, which is out there transparently?

Stop running on the general anti-incumbent sentiment among some people while you've done nothing in public service, Trutanich, lining your pockets against the public interest. Stop harping on "what's wrong with Jack and how I could have done better IF I'd lifted a finger which I didn't because I wanted money more" and tell us EXACTLY HOW YOU'VE LINED YOUR POCKETS and FOR WHOM, not plans based on hot air but what you've DONE in the last 23 years in the public interest.

Trutanich's firm is known as "the go to" for rapists, thugs, environmental violators, the NRA and anyone convicted of illegal ownership and use of firearms. So stop lying about it! That's how you've lined your pockets, and against the public.

Lawyers who have spent their lives defending the public interest as prosecutors (or as public defenders, taking on criminal cases because it's the right thing to do not for their own amoral profit) are also sick of your demagoguery and boasts about making money while hiding for whom and how.

WOW! you had time to write all that

This article is incredibly bias and unbalanced.

The reason Jack Weiss is stuck in a runoff is because he sold out the residents of the 5th councill district to real estate developers. Despite having overwhelmingly more name recognition and financial backing, he lost the vote in the one area people know him best by a ridiculously large margin. If you check out his financial disclosure forms you'll find real estate developers are his major source of campaign financing who are paying him back for all the profits he let them generate.

Wow. Now you guys censor anti-Weiss comments on blogs!

You forget that Ace Smith has all the time in the world. He's fighting for Weiss' political life...but losing.

I watched a video of this debate, and it appears that Weiss has been "Ace-a-fide." Weiss keeps attacking on one issue, but its a complete farce. And Weiss was so inexperienced a lawyer that he didn't even realize it. He walked right into a buzz saw.

Weiss is TRUly caught in a catch 22. Without debating, he'll lose the campaign. But if he keeps debating, he'll keep losing debates.

Trutanich is campaigning with ugly, illegal, off-site signs in parked on city streets. (See photo at http://tourthevalley.blogspot.com/2009/04/why-i-wont-vote-for-trutanich.html) I admit I don't know anything about the political differences between the candidates. But I do know that we don't need any more public officials with such obvious disrespect for our neighborhoods and our quality of life.

Trutanich hasn't been entirely "shamed out of" using billboards. His illegal off site signs are providing more visual pollution for the valley. Here's a picture I took a few days ago in my neighborhood: http://tourthevalley.blogspot.com/2009/04/why-i-wont-vote-for-trutanich.html

The last thing we need is another public official who had such blatant disrespect for our neighborhoods and our quality of life.


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