WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles city attorney race has heated up less than a week before the May 21 runoff election.
CBS2’s Dave Lopez reported that Assemblyman Mike Feuer has an 11-point lead against incumbent Carmen Trutanich, according to a poll released Thursday by the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State L.A.
That same poll, however, showed 41 percent of voters are still undecided.
Feuer said he’s taking nothing for granted in a campaign many describe as “nasty.”
“A candidate at this stage of the campaign has to be running like an underdog,” he said.
In campaign flyers, Feuer hasn’t been shy, using harsh words to describe his opponent, such as “Carmen Trutanich: Broken Promise. Liar.”
“We’re just repeating what others have said, accurately, about his misstatements throughout the course of his career as city attorney,” said Feuer.
The Trutanich camp fired back with its own flyer, which claimed that Feuer gave Tobias Summers, accused of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a 10-year-old Northridge girl, a get-out-of-jail-free card.
The flyer claims Summers was released from prison early because of AB 109, a bill that was co-sponsored by Feuer when he was in the state legislature.
The Feuer campaign disputes this, pointing to an interview California Department of Corrections spokesman Luis Patino gave to the LA Weekly.
“(Summers) could have gotten a similar short term of incarceration on parole. He could have been put in a drug program,” Patino said. “Nothing says that, each and every time, they would have sent him back to state prison. That’s just not true.”
Feuer said of Trutanich, “This is the mark of a desperate candidate on the verge of losing three elections in 11 months.”
The two men have had 15 public debates where they have thrown verbal daggers at each other.
Lopez reported the candidates couldn’t be more different personality-wise.
Trutanich, who is from San Pedro, has a long family history of factory workers and a tough guy image.
“I’m honest. I’m direct,” he said.
Feuer’s parents were educators, and he himself was a Harvard Law School graduate.
“I’m actually very proud of my legal background, where I litigated in state and federal court and in trial and appellate courts. The support I have in the legal community speaks for itself,” he said.
Trutanich, however, had his own opinion of Feuer’s professional accomplishments.
“If the people in the city of Los Angeles want someone who needs training wheels in this job to do this job…then that’s their choice,” he said.