Unions raise stakes in L.A. city attorney’s race

Don’t expect the Los Angeles city attorney’s runoff to get any more civil before voters go to the polls May 19.

The political action committee of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor -- closely allied with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is the chairman of the election committee of City Councilman and candidate Jack Weiss -- notified the city Ethics Commission this week that it was spending $335,309 on media spots to oppose Weiss’ foe, Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich.

No script has been posted yet for the ads, but the move sets up dueling independent expenditures between the federation and the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is backing Trutanich. Independent committees are exempt from normal fundraising limits as long as they don’t coordinate with the candidates they support.

The police union’s political action committee has spent $252,000 on positive radio spots citing the endorsements of the San Pedro defense attorney by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and praising Trutanich as “law enforcement’s choice.”


Weiss, in turn, has been endorsed by Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, the Los Angeles Police Command Officers Assn. and La Ley, the Latin American Law Enforcement Assn.