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Twists & Turns in Los Angeles CD 14 Race, including a threatening nastygram from the Huizar Campaign

February 6th, 2011 · 12 Comments

Since we have been following the Los Angeles CD 14 race on the blog, I thought it would be worth cluing you into some of the latest developments.

The Jose Huizar campaign has been making an issue out of a story that came out about Rudy Martinez possessing an LAPD badge of an officer who was slain over 30 years ago. At the time he possessed the badge, Martinez was a volunteer with the LAPD and was issued the badge to make miniatures for a celebrity golf event sponsored by the police department. Now, this issue with badges is one that has come up in other localities, including in neighboring Orange County, where former Sheriff Mike Carona had a loose policy about the sheriff’s badges. In my view, the badges should only be issued to sworn officers, but I can see how a police department could entrust one to a volunteer. The bigger issue is whether there is ever any documented proof that the person who has the badge was in fact impersonating an officer, which leads me to an interesting message that was sent out by the Huizar campaign referring to this badge issue.

On Friday evening, I received an e-mail message that was sent by Michael Trujillo, the campaign manager for the Huizar campaign. This e-mail was titled, “So Rudy Wants to Fight – Please Open” and was addressed to 23 e-mail addresses and cc’ed to five other e-mail addresses (I don’t know how many may have been blind carbon copied on the message). The message begins with a verse from the bible, then talks about unleashing the dogs of Satan on Rudy Martinez, and putting a political bullet between Martinez’s forehead and making him pee his pants. It really is an ugly e-mail that could be construed a number of different ways, but this type of rhetoric is precisely the kind that people have been buzzing about since the Tucson shooting last month.

Having received this message from an anonymous member of Team Huizar, I called Michael Trujillo on Saturday evening to ask him whether he did in fact write the nastygram about Rudy Martinez and what his team has coming in terms of an LA Times article, an upcoming press conference tomorrow, and an LAPD report. And I also asked Trujillo about the language used that could be considered threatening to his opponent. Trujillo admitted to me that he authored the e-mail over the phone, and even prior to speaking with me, he had sent me a message saying that he understood that I had received an e-mail that contained “some politcal [sic] locker room talk.”

Trujillo tried to dismiss the message over the phone as simply being something that was sent internally to rile up and mobilize his political team, and he said that it was sent to some current staffers, campaign team members, and former team members. Trujillo likened the message to being something that a football coach or even priest (I’m assuming he was referred to a Catholic high school football team) says to a team before the players hit the field, but I’m not sure sure that a coach would put something as aggressive in writing, especially to send out to over two dozen recipients during a time when people are calling for more civility in politics. Furthermore, another issue that came out of the e-mail is that Trujillo addressed this message to some current paid city staffers, who are not supposed to be acting in a “campaign capacity” while on the job.

So here is the infamous nastygram from Michael Trujillo with a self-righteous religious introduction and then veering off into a macho, street-fighting tirade. What are your thoughts? Should Latino elected officials and wannabe elected officials condone this kind of campaigning? Finally, I find it ironic that Trujillo chose to sign off as Chief Parker, especially in light of the badge issue with Rudy Martinez. For those of you in need of a quick refresher on LAPD history, here is some information about the controversial former police chief.

UPDATED 7:30 PM 02/06/11: Michael Trujillo has been fired.

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Feb 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Doesn’t Martinez have a criminal record? I read that he has several convictions. As I said before, people in high places don’t like Huizar. They’ll even back somebody with a criminal record to get him out.

    Why are you so in favor of Martinez? Aren’t you
    the one who is always complaining about the quality of political candidates, and then you promote a candidate with a criminal record?

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-martinez-20110205,0,2476440.story

  • 2 webmaster // Feb 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Martinez has some misdemeanor convictions from when he was in his early 20s, I believe, which are mentioned here:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/01/local/la-me-cd14-allegations-20110201/2

    I do believe that people can rebound and change after brushes with the law as a young adult. We can’t incarcerate or make everyone a felon. The cost of continuing to punish people for misdemeanor offenses is not good for our society in my view. I want to see people with criminal records turn things around and redeem themselves. Don’t you?

    So yes, Martinez has a record with law enforcement, but I’m not so sure that “people in high places don’t like Huizar” because he has been more closely aligned with Villaraigosa and used to be president of LAUSD school board. He has been groomed by “people in high places”.

  • 3 anonymous // Feb 7, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Regarding your allegation this was sent to city staffers who are not supposed to be involved with campaign activities – that’s partially correct but partially incorrect. City staff are certainly allowed to be involved wit campaign activities as long as they’re not using city resources to campaign and are not on the city’s clock when doing the campaign activities.

    Campaign staff aren’t held behind a shield about campaign activities, they just can’t be campaigning during work hours when they are on the city’s dime.

    The email was only sent to personal, non-city email addresses and was sent after hours, which is perfectly legitimate.

  • 4 Claudia // Feb 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I love how the author says Rudy has “misdemeanor convictions.” Sorry as a woman, being arrested for beating on his wife is not something that should be swept under the rug, that’s a a big deal as far as arrest go. The author is definitely PRO RUDY. I don’t like these non issue items, when it comes down to it, I want the best candidate to win. When the city is trying to figure out the budget I want someone with experience representing me.

  • 5 Anna // Feb 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Yes, she is pro-Rudy. That’s why she has tried to muddy the waters with non-issues like Huizar’s list, an email from a staffer, Godfather picture, etc.

    There is little or nothing on qualifications for holding office or on the issues that affect the district.

  • 6 Chicano future tense // Feb 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Here we go…Great..that’s just great!!

    the Raza has a choice between a crook and a nut job.
    This thing with the badges sounds really weird to me..hate to say it but it sounds like we are dealing with a squirrelly character ..

    This other candidate Huizar ..well he comes across to me like a straight up politico of the Chicago/Mexico City dirty school of politics-you know those “really” ambitious clever manipulative scoundrels who will lie,claw and scratch their way to the top,step on anybody,do just about anything just to slither their way up the political ladder. Call them for what they really are- CORRUPT and ROTTEN to the core….and you just know there’s gotta be a lot of promises of pay-offs,bribe money,jobs and influence peddling going on in these campaigns..
    it stinks to high heaven..

    it wouldn’t surprise me at all if even some of the operatives and minions from these campaigns were posting here on LPG..

    I mean who needs such a choice between a nut job and a slick ambitious corrupt Chicago style politician….?

    The Raza is royally screwed…as if they don’t already have their hands full with the really big crooks from DC,NY ,Chicago, Arizona.. .Now they have their own little crooks -their own people to worry about taking them for a ride..

    Hell,if I was a voter in that L.A. Council district I wouldn’t vote for any of those damn creeps..
    I mean aren’t there any honest people running for office there in LA?

    as far as Mr Huizar and Mr Martinez..
    A plague on both their houses!!

  • 7 Anna // Feb 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Why are you calling Huizar a crook? What has he done wrong?

  • 8 Huizar and Martinez, Round 3 – The Media Frenzy | NELA Lives! // Feb 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    [...] assumes, to the recent meltdown by Huizar campaign consultant Michael Trujillo first reported by latinopoliticsblog. Everyone in town has jumped all over this story, from the LA Weekly’s Jill Stewart, to our [...]

  • 9 Honesty // Feb 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Ana.you ask, what has Huizar done wrong?
    It is very sad, or in denial of who Huizar really is, I would ask what he done in five year, and what he has done stole 1.2 million dollars from our community to pay his salaries, that money for quality of life services like PARAMEDICS and repair of street, and side walks. How can he justify paying $27,000 to a consultant for organizing the Free turkey give away, when this is the job his employees should be doing. That $27,000 came out of our money for CD14. And he is in the budget committee, what a joke.
    Please inform yourself of the facts, just start with the use of the CLARTS fund money.

  • 10 Anna // Feb 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Honesty, thanks for anwering my question. Aren’t there any laws that mandate how money for the district is supposed to be spent? Can you really take money meant for street repairs and paramedics and give it to consultants? Scary…

  • 11 Some Additional Updates in the Los Angeles CD 14 race // Feb 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    [...] infamous Michael Trujillo e-mail did not rise to the level of the Los Angeles District Attorney filing charges. Additionally, this [...]

  • 12 The LAPD Badge Issue Revisited in Los Angeles CD 14 Race // Feb 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    [...] 14 council seat, the LAPD badge that challenger Rudy Martinez possessed has been brought up by the incumbent’s campaign and widely reported in the media. Well, the badge issue has surfaced again today with the sister of [...]

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