Not a good day on the newspaper editorial pages for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who wants to be seen as the frontrunner in the district attorney race. The contest is drawing more interest than usual from the newspapers (and from lawyers) since it is rare for the DA job to actually be open at election time. The choice made by Los Angeles County voters "likely will be their most consequential vote in years," says an LA Times editorial on Sunday. The Times opinion staff has been intensely covering the race, interviewing the candidates in detail and posting videos online. The paper's editorial board says that Jackie Lacey, the chief deputy to current DA Steve Cooley, is the one they like. Excerpt:
It is hard to overstate the role that the top prosecutor of the nation's most populous county will have as California completely reinvents its justice system. Residents must demand a D.A. who will do his or her utmost to keep them safe, while at the same time embracing reform and ensuring smarter, and less costly, punishment and supervision of nonviolent criminals.
Jackie Lacey is the candidate best equipped to strike the proper balance. She has years of experience leading the office, as well as realistic goals and a well-thought-out program for delivering justice....
Trutanich is not the disaster portrayed by many of his critics. He can be bombastic, but after a rough first year he has adopted a savvier, quieter approach. He avoids news conferences. Still, he does not seem to grasp that voters took seriously his pledge not to run for another office before completing his job as city attorney. It may have been just a campaign gimmick to him, but it was a pledge to his constituents — and it was all too typical of the occasional gap between Trutanich's statements and his actions.
Sunday's Daily News editorial also dinged Trutanch, while endorsing Lacey and Alan Jackson, who also is a prosecutor in the DA's office.
Los Angeles County voters need only remember three letters when they cast their ballot for district attorney on June 5: ABC. Anybody But Carmen.
Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich, the Los Angeles city attorney, is the presumed front-runner in the primary race, backed by cash and support from the county's established political and labor power structure. But his status as the anointed candidate doesn't make him the best person for the job - just the most political. Voters have two superior candidates in Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson.
Both are distinguished and veteran deputy district attorneys. Both are well-respected members of their agency with proven management skills. Both have smart ideas about modernizing the agency and adapting to the governor's realignment plan.
And either would be a much, much better D.A. than Trutanich.
The Daily News really doesn't like Trutanich anymore: "Lacey and Jackson are the real candidates in the district attorney's race. They are true prosecutors, not politicians, not liars and not bullies."
Cooley endorsed Lacey when he said last year that he wouldn't run again.
Photo of Lacey from her campaign's website