Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez on L.A. City Cesspool of Corruption and Carmen Trutanich’s District Attorney Campaign (RELATED TOPICS!) READ HERE!

[PICTURED: Carmen Trutanich For District Attorney.]
FROM LA TIMES (02/25/12)
by Steve Lopez (Excerpt)

Panning for gold in the local cesspool is always lucrative, but it’s been one fat nugget after another lately.

We’ve got Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa marketing himself for his next job before he finishes this one; City Atty. Carmen Trutanich insisting he’s not the liar he appears to be; auto painters at the DWP making $109,192 a year while the agency guns for a rate hike; and Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez under investigation for an alleged scandal involving tax breaks for clients represented by his friend.

And now comes a study revealing that Greater Los Angeles is the second most corrupt metro region in the United States.
Why so many scoundrels here?
California historian Kevin Starr says there’s a long history of corruption here, dating to the noir era and even earlier. And he says the roots of organized crime in the region are deep. But I think a better explanation for our current rot is that if you’re a scheming public official in Los Angeles, stealing everything that isn’t nailed to the wall is a breeze. Too many people aren’t paying attention and can’t be bothered to vote, which allows sleazy opportunists to easily build fiefdoms. And journalists can’t bag every skunk, no matter how much we’d like to.
A local hero looking for a bigger stage is City Atty. Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich. As a candidate for his current job, Trutanich promised to complete two full terms before running for another office. He even signed a pledge that if he violated the promise, he’d donate $100,000 to L.A.’s Best, an after-school program, and take out a newspaper ad that says “I AM A LIAR.”
Now he’s running for district attorney.
I check the ads every day and all I see is Donald T. Sterling. I can’t give Trutanich the $100,000, but I did offer to pay for an ad that all of Los Angeles can see.
For $1,500, Van Wagner Outdoor Advertising can get me up in the air for two hours, dragging a sign that says, “NUCH: I AM A LIAR.”
“A lot of things have changed,” Trutanich protested when I asked if he wanted to fly with me.
Like what?
D.A. Steve Cooley decided to leave office, Nuch said, and he’s the man best qualified to replace him.
A guy who lied, and broke the hearts of kids in an after-school program, is qualified to be the top law enforcer in the county?
I’m going to head over to L.A.’s Best to see what it feels like to get stiffed by a politician. But I may go ahead with the aerial ad too.
“I’ll salute you,” said Trutanich.
With one finger, I presume.


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