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Villaraigosa endorses Feuer in race against City Atty. Trutanich

January 10, 2013 | 12:28 pm

Then-state Assemblyman Mike Feuer

Highlighting that they've known and worked with each other for almost 20 years, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday endorsed former state Assemblyman Mike Feuer for city attorney.

"I know [Feuer] as a tireless advocate, as a ferocious fighter for public safety and for kids," the mayor said, standing outside of the Variety Boys and Girls Club in Boyle Heights. "I couldn't be happier to endorse his candidacy."

The endorsement comes just one day after the L.A. County Democratic Party also announced it is backing Feuer, who is attempting to unseat incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.

Asked if the endorsement for the challenger was because of dissatisfaction with Trutanich's performance, Villaraigosa stressed that it was because of his confidence in Feuer. "This is about Mike," he said. "It's his time."

At a separate news conference at City Hall, Trutanich responded by painting the mayor as being out of touch with the needs of the city attorney’s office.

“The mayor has an appreciation for what those folks do across the street,” Trutanich said, pointing to police headquarters. “But I don’t think he has an appreciation for what we do in this office.”

In a statement released before the news conference, Trutanich's campaign said it was "surprised that Mayor Villaraigosa is showing such an interest in the city attorney's office.... Over the past four years, the mayor has cut the city attorney's budget from $117 million to nearly $75 million."

When asked about those cuts, Villaraigosa noted that all city departments -- including his own office -- have absorbed cuts in recent years.

Villaraigosa praised Feuer's work to strengthen gun control laws as a former Los Angeles city councilman, and said he is the best candidate to keep the public safe.

The mayor also gave a laundry list of gun control and public safety measures championed by Feuer during his time on the council. And he noted that Feuer was the "legislative architect" behind Measure R, the transportation sales tax.


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-- Wesley Lowrey

Photo: Then-Assemblyman Mike Feuer in 2008. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times