Embattled Los Angeles City Attorney, Carmen ‘I am a Liar’ Trutanich’s response to the LA Times’ questions about a campaign billboard that ‘popped up’ alongside the I-5 freeway, was a line straight out of Hogan’s Heroes; ‘I know nothing’ Trutanich said, denying any knowledge of, or connection to whoever is responsible for the billboard.
Trutanich’s denial may seem not only a little too convenient, but also lacking in candor. It does not take a genius to work out that whoever is responsible for the billboard is a major supporter. As such, it is highly likely that he has told Trutanich what he has done. This makes the ‘denial’ just about as credible as everything else on Trutanich’s rap sheet.
But perhaps the biggest indicator of all not being what it seems when it comes to this ‘popped up’ billboard, is that it is not the first time that illegal billboards have ‘popped up’ for Trutanich.
In April 2009, during Trutanich's runoff campaign against Jack Weiss, a number of trailer billboards 'popped up' in the San Fernando Valley. Then, just as now, Trutanich denied all knowledge of the trailer billboards. Then, just as now, the trailer billboards did not have the requisite disclosure statements on them, so it was not possible to know who had paid for them.
Rumors suggest that the person responsible for the 2009 trailer billboards was a former client of Trutanich, who had successfully represented him in his unhitched trailer advertising business before becoming City Attorney. Trutanich, of course, subsequently changed his position on unhitched trailer billboards, another theme common to Trutanich; he changed his position on the Controller's right to audit programs administered by elected officials, changed his position on the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries, and of course, changed his position on not seeking higher office.
Perhaps it was City Attorney candidate Greg Smith who best summed up the situation when it comes to Trutanich's credibility at the recent Temple Israel of Hollywood City Attorney debate. Smith challenged Trutanich over his record of untruthfulness including; lying about non-existent police endorsements, use of a false and misleading ballot designation and the false claims about being surrounded and shot at by gangmembers. 'How can we believe anything you say?' asked Smith.
Trutanich achieved his much craved for nationwide media attention when he jailed a businessman on $1M bail for an illegal billboard, yet he seems perfectly content to sit back and play dumb when it comes to his own illegal billboards. Is this another example of the kind of 'do as I say, not as I do' doublespeak that we have come to expect from Trutanich?
The LA Times noted that the latest 'popped up' billboard appears to violate at least two campaign finance laws; one requiring independent expenditures over $1000 to be reported, the other requires a disclosure statement to appear on the billboard identifying who paid for it. Trutanich did not make any comment about the illegality of the billboard.
Given Trutanich's heavy handed treatment directed towards billboard violators, should we expect him to be pounding the table, waving papers and alleging 'criminal aspects' in respect of this latest billboard? Or is it the case that Trutanich knows that it is one of his supporters who has violated the law, and so they get preferential treatment? Either way, the lack of candor from Trutanich is very troubling and provides no clearer example of why he is unfit to be City Attorney.