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Councilman Zine criticizes candidate's negative campaign for D.A.

February 13, 2012 |  3:53 pm

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine announced Monday that he had pulled his endorsement of county prosecutor Alan Jackson in this year’s election for district attorney and faulted Jackson for running what he described as a campaign aimed at “tearing someone else down.”

Zine, who endorsed Jackson more than a year ago, said he decided to instead support City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, in part, because he had grown disenchanted with the Jackson campaign’s attacks on Trutanich.

“It just rubbed me the wrong way,” Zine said. “People are fed up with negative politics. I think they want to see the good that you’re going to do.”

Jackson’s campaign has blasted Trutanich for entering the race after he issued a pledge to voters during his successful 2009 city attorney election not to seek higher office if he won the post. Trutanich’s pledge was a challenge to his opponent, former Councilman Jack Weiss, and called on the election winner to donate $100,000 to an after-school program and to take out full-page newspaper ads declaring "I AM A LIAR" if he violated the terms.

Within minutes of Trutanich formally declaring last week that he is running for district attorney, Jackson’s campaign distributed a mock newspaper ad that included a photo of Trutanich under the words, "I am a liar." The Jackson campaign has also created a website, thetrufacts.com, accusing Trutanich of breaking his promise and posted a Web video attacking Trutanich’s record as city attorney.

Jackson’s political strategist, John Thomas, said the bulk of the campaign has focused on Jackson’s qualifications and endorsements, and he defended the campaign’s criticism of the city attorney.

“Alan Jackson has spent his entire career holding people accountable and seeking truth,” said Thomas, who worked for Trutanich in the 2009 race. “We’re very proud of the campaign we’ve run thus far, and we intend to continue to hold Mr. Trutanich accountable.”

In defending the decision to run for district attorney, Trutanich’s campaign  has said the pledge is a “dead issue” because Weiss never agreed to sign it. Also, Trutanich has said that he did not know at the time of the pledge that Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley would retire this year and leave the post up for grabs.

--Jack Leonard