LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- After weeks of bitter campaigning that included ethics complaints and lawsuits, voters will have the final say today in the race for Los Angeles city attorney, with former Assemblyman Mike Feuer hoping to unseat incumbent Carmen Trutanich.
Sniping between the two candidates reached new heights in the 10 weeks after the March 5 primary election, in which Feuer finished on top but fell short of the 50 percent needed to win the seat outright.
In the run-up to the general election, Trutanich has pressed accusations that Feuer illegally obtained matching campaign funds from the city, giving him an unfair advantage in the primary. Feuer maintains his expenditures were under the limit for qualifying for the city funding.
The pair sparred most recently on the subject of prison realignment.
Trutanich blasted Feuer's support of AB 109, a law that transferred responsibility of some felons from the state to the county, claiming the change led to the "early release" of a suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl. Feuer's campaign shot back, saying Trutanich himself supported the law last year when he ran unsuccessfully for district attorney.
When the two candidates were not attacking each other, they focused on listing their achievements. Trutanich laid claim to a litany of accomplishments during his four years in office, while Feuer emphasized his involvement in authoring gun control laws.
Feuer said if elected he would create a gun violence prevention unit, a continuation of his interest in promoting gun control, first as a Los Angeles City Councilman and later as a member of the Assembly. He recently authored a state law requiring bullets to be tracked through a "micro-stamping" process.
This is Feuer's second bid for city attorney. He lost to Rocky Delgadillo in 2001.
Trutanich says that in his four years as city attorney, he prosecuted more than 1,000 graffiti vandalism cases and obtained an unprecedented injunction against a tagging crew. He also went after two banks in court for not maintaining foreclosed homes, sued a health insurance company that was attempting to drop a client with breast cancer, and claims he collected $28.5 million back taxes for the city while working with a smaller department budget.