L.A. Observed's Kevin Roderick notes with passing glee tonight's Weiss-Trutanich matchup on Warren Olney's Which Way L.A.? program, on KCRW 89.9 FM: "Maybe Warren Olney can smack some sense into them."
Not a chance. This City Attorney's race, to be decided in the May 19 runoff, has become so bitter and personal that the candidates will probably file for restraining orders by show's end. From a distance it doesn't make sense, as neither man comes across as a political brawler. However, it's inevitable that in a culture of incumbency in which there are so few real head-to-head campaigns, and where the rough and tumble of city politics has become so exsanguinated of passion that the rare tossup race becomes a blow-hole through which the electorate's anger is channeled and ventriloquized.
The latest brouhahas revolve around Weiss backer Kelly Candaele having to resign from
a city pension board because he illegally listed himself as a Weiss
campaign-event host; and from a childish Trutanich ad graphically
depicting Weiss as a lapdog -- with the lap on which his image appears
belonging to the mayor. Along the way Weiss' union backers have set up
giant inflatable rats at Trutanich appearances to show their
displeasure over his role in breaking a South Bay trash-collector's
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strike, while Sheriff Lee Baca (who'd backed both candidates)
has withdrawn his half-support of Weiss over the latter's supposedly
more-negative campaign. One thing is certain: We're really going to
miss this mudwrestling after it's all over.