Remember Carmen Trutanich's “pledge to serve”? This is a story that refuses to die. Back in 2008, when he was first running for city attorney, Trutanich vowed to serve two terms and not to seek higher office. If he ever broke his word, he said, he would give $100,000 to the L.A.'s Best after-school program and take out a newspaper ad announcing “I AM A LIAR.”
Once he got into office, the pledge was out the window. He ran for D.A. in June, failing to make the runoff. Since then, he's been trying to raise money from his supporters to pay off the $100,000. (Trutanich, who earns $214,000 a year, said he couldn't afford to just write a $100,000 check.)
So who are these supporters who are so devoted to Trutanich that they're willing to make good on his broken pledge? They kept it secret at first, but now the L.A Weekly has obtained the names. Full list after the jump.
The money comes from three environmental clean-up firms — O.C. Vacuum, DeMenno Kerdoon and Advanced Environmental Group — and two companies that do business at the Port of Los Angeles: Vopak and Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals. Four of those firms also contributed to Trutanich's D.A. campaign.
Why would an environmental clean-up company want to give money to the L.A. city attorney? Well, so far, they haven't returned our calls. But the city attorney does prosecute certain environmental violations, such as hazardous-materials spills. The stricter the enforcement, the greater the demand for remediation services.
The city also owns and operates the Port of L.A., and the city
attorney's office has some influence over the port's environmental compliance. So it's worth noting that one of the firms on this list, Advanced Environmental Group (aka Advanced Cleanup Technologies) has invested heavily in a “scrubbing” system that cleans up port emissions. According to the company's website, the system was tested at the Port of Los Angeles, and has been adopted at the Port of Long Beach.
Now a word about the timing. Earlier this year, Trutanich said he would raise the money by his birthday, which was Aug. 12. Last month, Trutanich's spokesman, John Schwada, sent out a statement saying that Trutanich “has delivered on his promise to raise $100,000 for L.A.'s Best by Aug. 12, his birthday.”
Perhaps he should have been more clear about which birthday. So far, only $35,000 has been delivered in cash, including a $10,000 check from Trutanich. Another $70,000 has been pledged. Three of the donors are making their contributions in yearly installments, so the full amount will not be delivered until 2015.
Meanwhile, Trutanich has had more success raising money for his own re-election campaign. Just this week, he filed a notice that he has raised $100,000 — in cash, not pledges.
Asked for comment for this story, Schwada, said, “It's too bad L.A. Weekly can only throw brickbats at generosity.”
The full breakdown is below.
Trutanich Gifts- LA's BEST 9-17-12