Top prosecutor. The city attorney’s race came to “Which Way, L.A.?” last night as KCRW’s Warren Olney conducted separate interviews with the candidates in Tuesday’s run-off election. The incumbent, Carmen Trutanich – or “Nuch” as he’s commonly known – finds himself in an uphill battle to keep the job that he won in a surprise victory four years ago.
After pledging not to run for another office during his term as city attorney, Trutanich switched gears and entered the D-A race last year. He decided try to for re-election after failing to make the run-off in that race. Trutanich said Feuer lacks the experience to be city attorney. “He’s never been in a courtroom in his life. He’s never done a mediation in his life. He’s never brokered a settlement of a large lawsuit, Trutanich said. “I’ve had hundreds of cases. I was a former hard-core gang prosecutor. I was an environmental crimes prosecutor. I worked in a profit law firm for 20 years. I’ve made a payroll every two weeks for 20 years, balanced my budget. And we were very successful.”
Feuer, a former Assemblyman and L.A. City Council member, lost a previous bid for city attorney. He touted his work on social justice and fiscal issues. Feuer said he would bring clearer priorities to the city attorney’s office and be a more effective manager than his opponent. “(Trutanich) cut the neighborhood prosecutor program and focused instead on ticket scalpers and protestors and street artists,” Feuer said. “The job of city attorney is to be the top lawyer, the top counselor to a multi-billion-dollar municipal corporation that has to deal with complicated land-use issues and municipal finance questions and slum housing issues. A wide array of matters. Mr. Trutanich’s failure in that regard is why there is unanimity among the newspapers in Los Angeles to support me instead of him.”
Feuer has in fact been endorsed by the L.A. Times and the L.A. Daily News. He also has the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Trutanich is endorsed by L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca, former mayor Richard Riordan and former City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, among others. Which Way, L.A.?
LAPD progress. After almost twelve years, a judge has formally dismissed what’s left of a federal court consent decree imposed on the Los Angeles Police Department after the Rampart Division corruption scandal. The oversight was part of a long list of reforms required by the feds, including the promotion of civil rights, increased audits, community outreach and other training. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the department took the consent decree to heart, using it “as a guide to change their culture.” L.A. Daily News
Misleading mailer. A labor group has sent out a political mailer this week claiming that mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in L.A. Just one problem…Greuel says she never made that pledge and she’s asking her union supporters to be “truthful.” Garcetti has made Greuel’s union support a central issue of the campaign, saying his opponent will lack independence if she’s elected. His campaign ripped the mailer from the L.A. County Federation of Labor, calling it a “cynical attempt to buy votes.” L.A. Times
Ballot counting. The L.A. City election is next Tuesday – but it could be a while longer before the winner of the mayor’s race and some of the other contests are known. How long? Think days, or possibly even weeks. There are several reasons for the potential delay: First, there’s the closeness of the mayor’s race. Another factor is the high percentage of Angelenos voting by mail. The city has a lengthy process for verifying and counting mail-in ballots. L.A. Times
Hospital strike. UCLA and four other University of California medical centers are starting to cancel elective surgeries that were scheduled for next week because of a possible two-day strike by nursing assistants, X-ray techs and others. U.C. officials say they are planning to hire hundreds of replacement workers because of the planned walkout. Employees are threatening to strike beginning Tuesday over stalled contract negotiations. Union officials say workers will maintain staffing levels in critical care areas. L.A. Times
Megabucks. California is experiencing the state’s first full-fledged Powerball frenzy. Saturday’s jackpot for the 43-state lottery game has jumped to $550 million. That’s close to the all-time record of $587 million, and by far the highest jackpot since California began selling Powerball tickets a little more than a month ago. AP