You may remember that one of candidate Carmen Trutanich's unfortunate pledges to voters said that if he ran for an office other than City Attorney, he would pay penance and give $100,000 to the LA's Best after-school program. After he did indeed run for DA, and got stomped, he newly re-pledged to make good on the promise by his 61st birthday, which came and went last Sunday. (August 12, if you're following along.) There was a slight change from the original pledge: he would not give the money so much as get others to give it.
So on Wednesday, the LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus checked and LA's Best said no Trutanich check had come in. Then today, Trutanich flack John Schwada sent a press release to LA Observed and others with the headline "TRUTANICH PROMISE KEPT: RAISES $100,000 FOR LA’S BEST BY HIS BIRTHDAY."
LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has delivered on his promise to raise at least $100,000 for LA’s BEST by Aug. 12, his birthday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, LA’s BEST president and executive director Carla Sanger received $30,000 of more than $100,000 committed, including $10,000 drawn against Trutanich’s own personal account.
In a thank you note, Ms. Sanger told Trutanich: “I want to express my personal appreciation to you for making good on your promise to raise $100,000 for the program….Your support will not only help change individual children’s lives for the better; it will assist LA’s BEST in its efforts to sustain our programs in the communities we serve.”
Well, OK. Such as it is. Let's check in with Maddaus' take on all that:
That's not quite true in all the particulars, or in any of them actually. First of all, he delivered $30,000, not $100,000. Second, he delivered it on Aug. 15, not Aug. 12. Third, his original pledge was to pay $100,000 in personal funds. Of the $30,000 he gave on Wednesday, only $10,000 came directly from Trutanich. The rest is from unidentified Trutanich supporters.
Now, we understand that the checks were in fact backdated to Aug. 12 -- but that's not the same as delivering the money on Aug. 12.
So, with that all understood, where's the rest?
"The commitments are there," says John Schwada, Trutanich's spokesman. "It's just a question of mechanics now."
Truest thing yet: "It was a stupid pledge to begin with," Schwada told the Weekly.
* Aug. 17 update: Trutanich filed the papers to collect money as a candidate for reelection in next year's election.