Steve Lopez: Trutanich delivers cash; what about ‘I’m a liar’ ad?
Remember L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's pledge to raise $100,000 for L.A.'s Best After School Enrichment Program, and the wormy way he tried to wriggle out of the commitment?
I do, and just when I was about to take batting practice on him again, it seems he's come up with the money, or at least some of it.
Actually, Trutanich has delivered $30,000 so far and hopes to make good on the rest of it in the next 30 days or so, said spokesman John Schwada. Schwada said the names of at least some of the donors will be released over that same time span, though some may wish to remain anonymous.
It'll be worth watching to see who the Good Samaritans are and whether a contribution on behalf of the city attorney is kosher.
Trutanich got himself into a mess way back when he was running for his current position against Jack Weiss. Trutanich challenged Weiss to agree to a pledge that if either of them won and then decided to leave office early to run for a higher post, they would have to donate $100,000 to L.A.'s Best and take out an ad confessing to being a big fat liar.
And then, of course, Trutanich ran for higher office before completing his first term -– getting trounced, if not humiliated, in a run for district attorney.
When I tried to hold Trutanich to his promise earlier this year, he claimed the deal was off because Weiss never took him up on the pledge. Under the pressure of public embarrassment, Trutanich told me he'd "raise" the money, rather than donate his own as he originally said, and get it done by his birthday in August.
"Being able to help a program like LA's Best is very gratifying and proves the point that it is better to give than receive," Trutanich said in a news release.
Yeah, but it's even better to give without first having your feet put to the fire.
As for the "I'm a liar" ad, I'm still offering to put Trutanich in touch with our advertising department.
-- Steve Lopez
Photo: City Atty. Carmen Trutanich Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times