Why Carmen Trutanich Should Be the Next City Attorney in Los Angeles
On Tuesday, May 19, the voters of Los Angeles will go to the polls to elect a new City Attorney. They’ll replace the termed-out incumbent with one of the candidates who survived the primary election. But will that be Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich? Or will Jack Weiss be the next City Attorney in Los Angeles?
Make no mistake, this is a critical election! It comes at a time when City government is being politicized—when elected officials at City Hall trample the Charter and corrupt the civil service system. It comes at a time when the cost of government is exploding—when the politicians seem more inclined to raise taxes or cut services than to control waste or enhance workforce productivity.
Electing the next City Attorney deserves the active participation of all Angelenos committed to good government. That’s true—both because the new City Attorney could play a powerful role in ending the “politics as usual” environment at City Hall, and because the candidates seeking that office represent such starkly different backgrounds.
A word (or two) about the candidates may be useful. Hopefully, the following contrasts will help the reader understand which candidate is better qualified to be the next City Attorney in Los Angeles.
Trutanich is widely regarded as a skillful attorney. He’s devoted most of his adult life to the public service. He had a long and distinguished career as a Deputy District Attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. More recently, he’s been a successful partner in a private law firm.
By contrast, Weiss has been called a bored politician. He worked briefly as a State Prosecutor, handling eight jury trials. More recently, he’s been a member of the Los Angeles City Council, where (according to the City Clerk’s Office) he missed 38% of his meetings in 2007 and 32% of his meetings in 2008.
An outstanding lawyer, Trutanich has consistently represented the interests of his clients. That’s what lawyers do. As a Deputy District Attorney, he represented the public interest. As a partner in a private law firm, he represented the interest of his clients. And if he becomes the next City Attorney in Los Angeles, he’ll represent the city’s interest. He’s promised to uphold the Charter, and to help other city officials—elected and appointed—do their work in accordance with relevant regulations.
By contrast, Councilman Weiss has been accused by his constituents of neglecting their concerns. They initiated a recall effort against him. It failed, but more recently, Weiss has been accused by a homeowners’ association of subordinating the interests of individuals to the wants and wishes of big developers (some of whom have, reportedly, contributed to his political campaigns).
Throughout his campaign, Trutanich has focused on the positive. He’s proposed a number of specifications to cut waste and mismanagement in the City Attorney’s Office—to end the “politics-as-usual” environment at City Hall.
Compare that with the personal attacks coming from the Weiss campaign. He’s demonstrated by the negative nature of his campaign that he lacks any major accomplishments which would support his unusual effort to become the next City Attorney in Los Angeles.
Angelenos need a City Attorney with long and varied legal experience. They need one who’ll fairly, and honestly, enforce the law. They don’t need a City Attorney with little legal experience. Nor do they need a politician in that office who’ll betray them, advance himself and support his Charter-bashing cronies.
For these reasons, I support Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich for City Attorney!