Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Huizar campaign consultant fired for vowing to "put a political bullet" in opponent's forehead [Updated]

A campaign consultant for Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was fired Sunday after he told supporters in an e-mail that the campaign was planning to “put a political bullet” in the forehead of Huizar’s opponent in the March 8 election.

Huizar campaign spokesman Michael Trujillo sent an e-mail Friday to roughly two dozen Huizar employees and campaign workers boasting that the campaign would “unleash the dogs of Satan” on Huizar’s opponent,  businessman Rudy Martinez, by publicizing news that he improperly possessed a badge belonging to an Los Angeles police officer killed in the line of duty.

The e-mail went out shortly after Huizar’s campaign gave The Times a heavily-redacted copy of a 2005 report from the LAPD, which investigated how Martinez had come to be in possession of the badge. The Times subsequently wrote a story on the matter and noted that it was the latest salvo in what is shaping up to be one of the most brutally negative City Council races in recent memory.

In the e-mail, Trujillo told supporters to be prepared for a news conference about the allegations on Monday, and gloated about the effect the allegations would have on Martinez’s campaign. 

“I treated him like I was a cat playing with a trapped mouse,” wrote Trujillo. “Well, now he is going to be the dead rat he really is....We are about to put a political bullet in between Rudy Martinez's forehead and make him pee in his pants too.”

The e-mail comes one month after the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, an incident that prompted advocacy groups to call for an end to violent rhetoric in political campaigns.

Trujillo described his e-mail as “tongue in cheek” and said it should not be associated in any way with violent acts.

But Huizar campaign consultant Parke Skelton said Trujillo’s words were indeed inappropriate and would have been even if the Giffords shooting had never happened. Still, Skelton said there was no “evil intent” behind the e-mail. “It was an attempt to buck up the campaign and let them know that things were going good,” he said.

The firing was the latest twist in an increasingly bizarre campaign. Martinez and Huizar are one-time friends who now attack each other on a near daily basis. Martinez’s mother worked for Huizar until last summer. Huizar, in turn, relied on Martinez in recent years to refinance his Boyle Heights home and select tenants for his rental house in El Sereno.

Martinez also has a sushi bar in Eagle Rock with a sushi roll named after Huizar, although he recently changed the menu item’s name to the more neutral CD 14 roll, a reference to the council district both men now seek to represent.

In recent weeks, Martinez and two former Huizar staffers have said the councilman is under investigation by the FBI. Huizar, in turn, has hammered Martinez on the badge issue and highlighted Martinez’s four misdemeanor convictions, which were racked up between 1985 and 1992 for crimes such as battery and reckless driving.

Meanwhile, L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley has opened separate inquiries that deal with both men, one into Huizar’s past consulting work for a union organization and another into $6,000 in campaign contributions given to Martinez.

Martinez campaign spokesman George Gonzalez said Huizar himself should apologize for Trujillo’s e-mail. He pointed out that Martinez’s brother, Mario Martinez, was shot in the head and killed in Hollywood in 1987 by an attacker who was never arrested. The campaign described the crime as a “gay bashing.”

In addition to his work for Huizar, Trujillo works for the re-election campaign of school board member Richard Vladovic and is a consultant with California Strategies. Trujillo would not identify his clients.

[Updated at 7:20 p.m.A previous version of this post incorrectly said that U-Haul, Scan Health Plan and the National Football League were clients of Trujillo's firm. They are not.]

Trujillo was one of the anonymous bloggers who wrote for the Mayor Sam political blog during the 2005 election, criticizing various politicians while writing anonymously under the name “Chief Parker.”

Last week, Trujillo resurrected “Chief Parker,” signing the e-mail with that moniker. The e-mail also contained the statement that Martinez was “a disgusting human being that needs to be sent back from the vile bag of tripe he emanated from.”

He vowed in the e-mail that Martinez would “wish he never heard the words Team Huizar.”


Big money rolling into Los Angeles City Council race

Badge of dead police officer becomes issue in L.A. council race

D.A. looking into campaign money laundering allegations involving donations to Huizar opponent

--David Zahniser

Comments () | Archives (15)

Huizar did the right thing. Bad situation, but the right thing to do.

Sarah Palin made him do it. It's not his fault.

This type of campaigns tatics and more is pretty much what AV and Huizar have used in Boyle Heights. Many business have been warned about putting Martinez lawn sings. Some of the business that had Martinez lawn signs up, where stolen about the end of January and those same business have Huizars lawn signs now. Some people are afraid to say no to Huizar, maybe there should be an investigation with the voters. This was done during Nicks campaign, and both of Senior Centers and Neighborhood watch meetings have forbidden to talk about the campaigns. What happen to our freedom of speech in Boyle Heights. Is it only in Boyle Heights that people intimidated to the point they are afraid to say who they will vote. We need the city Attorney to look into this. Huizar has some ex-gang members working for him to intimidate people.

Boy, these gentlemen are real specimens. Is this what Los Angeles city politics is really like?


This is why it's so hard to attract viable candidates for public office. It's gets real dirty, real quick. Even between friends and business partners. They're so busy slinging mud for votes that none of the issues facing CD 14 gets addressed or discussed. How in the world are the voters supposed to choose a representative under these circumstances? It's not who's the best person for the job, it's all about who not to vote for. What a choice!

If you want to see a copy of the e-mail that Michael Trujillo sent to Team Huizar, please look here (in this blog piece, there is a link to the actual e-mail):


So I guess we should fire all U.S. Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officers for leading and inspriring their troops.

Trujillo was also the guy who smeared Mayor Hahn in the media in a pay to play scandal that resulted in the election of Mayor Villaraigosa. Mayor Hahn was cleared but lost the election. Trujillo is a scumbag of a campaign consultant. Maybe neither men should be elected to council. Do they have any opponents?

And these two specimens are the only choices the voters have for CD14, right?

Wow, this is some Crazy Heavy Drama stuff...

what is Huizar thinking??!

Why are people so enthralled and defend him when his sounds like a Dirty Rat?!?!!

It is truly unfortunate that the campaign has taken a turn for the worst.  Huizar's consultants (Skelton, Barkan, Trujillo, and until recently Hacopian was there, too.) have a history of being ruthless and don't care who gets hurt along the way to victory....they have a "win at all cost" mentality.  

But the recipients of the email don't.  In the past I have spoken with Jessica, Tara, Dan, Liberty, Edel, Ulisses, Paul, David and Wendy and they all seem like very considerate people.  

I am sure within minutes of receiving the email one of them called Jose and/or Parke to complain about the vile tone/verbage.  Jose and Parke sat on this email until they got confronted by the press and only then they fired Mike.   

That shows their character and the campaign will only get uglier from the Huizar campaign.  "A win is a win" will run through their heads justifying the rampage of their campaign tactics.  

From here to election day the Huizar mailers are going to be brutal because they need to stop the bleeding.  Sad days for CD14.  :(

I know that many people or business will say not to Huizar. But they are intimidate or they believe they will lose the "friendship" they have with our Coulcil Office. Be strong and believe on change. Our Boyle Heights will be a different place if you just believe on you. I have people from Huizar Campain calling me. Too bad I am busy to responde. My vote and my neighbors will made a diferential. Happy to know that Trujillo is gone, people like him are not welcome.

I don't know much about Rudy Martinez but I'll take him over Huizar.

I'll take anybody over Huizar, All that money he makes($176,000.00) as a City Council member and he barely shows up for work, He has missed more than 2000 votes because he does not show up to work. He use to do the samething when he was on the School board. Not show up to work.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: