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politics

Michael Trujillo's Controversial Pro-Buscaino Email Sent by Someone Else, He Says

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Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM
click to enlarge Joe Buscaino.
  • Joe Buscaino.

An email that appeared to have been sent by career campaign consultant Michael Trujillo has been causing a small stir among L.A. city politics watchers in recent days.

That's because it sounds like it's coming from a campaign hand who's gloating about a client's victory -- that of LAPD Officer Joe Buscaino, who last week made it into a runoff to fill the Harbor area City Council seat of now-Congresswoman Janice Hahn.

One problem:

As Councilman Richard Alarcon's appointee to the city's redistricting commission, Trujillo isn't supposed to be consulting or donating to city campaigns.

An excerpt of the email that came from Trujillo's account (via LAObserved):

click to enlarge Trujillo, at right.
  • Trujillo, at right.

Last night was my best professional day ever in my entire life. We showed that you dont need anything -- the democratic party, the county federation of labor, seiu, ibew, park skelton, john shallman, eric hacopian, the speaker, the mayor, all of the city council, all of the assembly, all of the senate -- years of making deals in city hall.

The Buscaino campaign just followed some simple words and did what we had to do to be in first place tonight.

The blog Mayor Sam's Sister City called it "a sad exercise in political delusion ......... or nefarious political trickery."

LAObserved noted that a Nov. 9 message posted on Trujillo's Facebook page at about the same time had similar wording: "Most awesome night of my professional career."

click to enlarge FACEBOOK
  • Facebook

It wouldn't be the first time an email from Trujillo caused some controversy.

Trujillo tells the Weekly that during the early morning victory celebrations Nov. 9 -- he says he's a Buscaino supporter, not an employee -- someone took over the keyboard of his computer and sent out the note:

My computer was open and my friend had some fun as a joke. It was hijinks and shenanigans with some friends late night. I was sitting on the sidelines praying for the guy and raising my pom poms on Facebook. That's about all I did.

Buscaino spokesman Brian VanRiper told the Weekly that Trujillo ...

... doesn't really have any formal involvement in this campaign. Mike is a supporter. He's not going to recveive any compensation. He hasn't donated. I guess you can call him a volunteer.

Earlier on election night Trujillo was among 300 Buscaino supporters celebrating his apparent victory at a Mexican Restaurant, VanRiper said.

"Mike's a good guy."

Buscaino will face Warren Furutani in a January runoff election.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com/@LAWeeklyNews]

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