Next we heard City Hall types were getting calls from Trujillo about the Brown campaign. However knowing that Mike is always up to something and that we hadn’t yet confirmed the details of these calls, we decided not to pursue the story.
Now we have word from our Sacramento sources that Trujillo is indeed working for the Jerry Brown campaign.
Perhaps an introduction to Mike Trujillo is in order for those who might be new to our little well hated but widely read blog.
I first met Michael Trujillo five years ago at Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City (before the redesign) where we met with a few other political up and comers and had drinks while we dished about local politics. He was one of the major contributors to this blog when it was still anonymous.
A longtime Villaraigosa operative he has also worked for Rob Reiner/s initiative campaign and Hillary Clinton
Locally he worked on the ill-fated AB 1381 effort of Mayoral control of LAUSD, then transitioned over to guide (successfully) Tamar Galatzan’s $2 million plus school board campaign as campaign manager. A campaign that had Trujillo going head to head with Essel campaign manager John Shallman who was helming the campaign of Galatzan's opponent, School Board Member Jon Lauritzen (who has since passed away).
Then in what was seen as a Villaraigosa pre-emptive move of his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Trujillo was named California Field Director for Clinton's battle against Barack Obama for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, following which he added the titles of Texas and North Carolina Field director.
It was during this stint working for Clinton where he made a name for himself.
During the North Carolina primary, MSNBC named Trujillo part of the “Clinton Dream Team.”
He also played opening act for Bill Clinton in all three states.
But that’s not what makes this highly prized operative pick-up significant. Within the Democratic primary here in California the vote that both Newsom and Brown hope to have in their corner is the Latino vote. With Newsom making a pre-emptive strike at these voters by naming State Senator Alex Padilla as the campaign chairman, Brown may have neutralized that move with his pick up of Trujillo.
This strategy is not lost on Brown. It was a logical move for him to pick up the Crown Prince of the Villaraigosa Empire as part of his team. Brown knew aping the strategy of his longtime rivals, the Clintons, was not only smart politics but a psychic hit to Gavin Newsom who received the endorsement of President Clinton but his not inheriting the Clinton Californa team. As the Texas Observer noted:
For Clinton, the calculus is simple. The Latino vote has been an indispensable segment of her coalition. She carried that vote in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. In California on February 5, Latinos probably saved Clinton's candidacy by delivering a critical win in the nation's largest state. Despite polls showing Obama surging ahead there, Clinton secured an impressive 10-point victory. Latinos made up 30 percent of the vote, a record turnout, and 67 percent went for Clinton, according to exit polls.
The Clinton campaign hopes to duplicate that scenario in Texas. Much of the credit for the Latino turnout in California went to Clinton's field director, Mike Trujillo, a former staffer for Los Angeles Mayor and Clinton supporter Antonio Villaraigosa. Clinton sent Trujillo to Texas to rerun the California playbook.
What exactly Mike is doing for Brown is unknown at this time, I will try to get to the bottom of this fresh piece of information, but whatever Trujillo is doing for Brown one can assume that Villaraigosa and Ace Smith aren’t too far away.
However, with all the accolades comes some heat and I have to say that his decision to back Measure B as its campaign manager was a mistake in my eyes. I also believe many Neighborhood Council members may be upset with that decision as well.
That said, while I have not talked with Mike for some time, I will say that he has always been a friend of the blog and that while we disagree politically - we do so in a way that many elected officials can learn from – we have different takes on politics but always do so respectively.
Stay tuned for more MEAT until then blog away dum-dums.