Friday, May 11, 2012
I'm supporting Carmen Trutanich for District Attorney!
Here is a blog post that will definitely wind a lot of people up, including David Berger, Alan Jackson, Zuma Dogg, all the Mayor Sam bloggers and half of the LA Weekly staff.
I am supporting Carmen Trutanich for District Attorney. For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to him hereafter by his common, more popular nickname "Nuch".
I met Nuch in 2008 when I was running for Mayor of Los Angeles and Nuch was running for City Attorney. We were both underdogs at the time and ended up speaking in front of a lot of the same homeowners associations and Neighborhood Council meetings. After listening to him speak in public on repeated occasions, I started to feel a sense of camaraderie with Nuch. At public forums where we both spoke, he was earnest, humble, direct, and honest. Nuch is a man who came from humble beginnings. He used to work in a tuna cannery with his Dad.
I knew who this guy was, and I liked him.
I was overjoyed when Nuch defeated the worthless and vile Jack Weiss for the City Attorney spot.
Now, here is where things get a little complicated....
Nuch signed a pledge saying that he wouldn't run for another office while he was City Attorney. Now, this might seem a bit hypocritical for me to support someone who does this, as I have pilloried the repulsive political figures Paul Krekorian and Richard "Fredo" Alarcon for doing the exact same thing. However, there is a very specific difference here. Krekorian and Alarcon gave their voters the middle finger salute as they virtually left skid marks on their way out of office mere months after having asked voters to elect them.
Nuch may have believed when he was elected that he would stay on as City Attorney for 4 (or 8) years. Nuch has already served 3 years of his 4 year term. I don't consider his leaving his post a little early that big of a violation of the voters trust. He has done his job, and done it with an aggressive style that has rankled many of his critics, including some elected officials.
Nuch threatened to prosecute AEG and Tim Lieweke for profiteering off of the Michael Jackson funeral while costing the City millions to police the event. He also threatened to throw City Council Member Jan Perry in jail for cutting backroom deals with billboard companies at L.A. Live.
I really liked these moves by Nuch. It showed me that he had toughness, and character.
Now, this isn't to say there weren't negative moments. Nuch has also been accused of being a bully. Of being too aggressive with the power of his office. There was the incident in City Hall where he was caught on camera shouting at medical marijuana supporter Kathryn Schorr about pesticides. Clearly, Nuch most likely regrets that incident.
There was what the L.A. Times called an "unusually aggressive move" by Trutanichs office to raid the home of a Pacific Palisades businessman on a Friday night and throw him in jail with a million dollar bond for erecting an eight story supergraphic in Hollywood. I have no problem with Nuch arresting this man, but I do think the million dollar bail was excessive for the crime.
Is Nuch perfect? No, of course not. He is human and he makes mistakes like everyone else. But he is a hell of an improvement over someone like Rocky Delgadillo, who was much more likely to be personally involved in lawbreaking rather than preventing it.
Nuch is brash and aggressive in his pursuit of justice, and I like that about him. Critics say that Nuch is a bully, and that he has a mean streak. Let me answer these critics....
Law enforcement is not for the timid! You cannot be a shrinking violet or a wallflower when you make decisions to throw people in jail. You are going to make enemies when you ruin peoples lives by arresting them. You cannot back off because you want to be politically correct!
Nuch threatened to sue the Occupy L.A. miscreants for the damage done to City Hall. Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilman Alarcon were out there handing out rain ponchos to the Occupy crowd. They were practically baking them cookies! Tough leaders have to make tough decisions, and there is nothing about Nuch that indicates he would back off of a tough call.
The Republican Party says I should support Alan Jackson.
Jackson seems like a little bit of a crybaby to me. He filed suit over Nuch using the phrase "Chief Prosecutor" on the ballot. This shows me that Alan Jackson will misuse the legal process to solve a petty dispute between himself and Nuch, hoping for an outcome that can benefit only one person...himself. I don't care for that.
What people use as their ballot description is irrelevant. Obsessing over it is petty.
Nuch is allowed to differentiate himself from the hundreds of other attorneys that work for the City of Los Angeles.
When I ran for Mayor in 2009, Gordon Turner called himself "Deputy City Attorney" on the ballot even though --from what I understand -- he hadn't been working for the City for over a year. Did I cry about it? Did I go running to the courts and sue because Turner had a ballot designation that sounded appealing to voters?
No. I didn't. It was my job to get my campaign message out...and I didn't do the best job...and Gordon Turner beat me by thousands of votes.
Carmen Trutanich has already shown everyone how tough he is.
Alan Jackson is showing us quite the opposite.