Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney, Part III

Before we conclude our review of the nine candidates we have selected as either having officially announced their campaigns to run for Los Angeles District Attorney in 2012, here's a little news.

Part II candidate Seve Ipsen topped the list of comments on Part II. Always controversial, Ipsen drew both sharp criticism and praise.

Part I candidate Alan Jackson, yesterday released a press statement showing that in the month of December he raised an impressive $113,870.13 in campaign contributions - undoubtedly a great start to a well-planned campaign.

Assistant District Attorney Jackie Lacey appears to have selected as her campaign website. Visitors to that URL are greeted with the following message "The Committee to Elect Jackie Lacey for DA Website is under construction. Check back soon for the unveiling." A sure sign that Lacey's announcement is imminent.

Danette Meyers meanwhile, used the LA Weekly to take a few shots at Lacey, perhaps a sign that she feels less confident (desperation?) about her chances now that Lacey's getting her campaign going.

So we turn to the remaining three candidates, perhaps the ones most likely to make it to the February 25, 2011 primary election, if they run.

Carmen Trutanich, Los Angeles City Attorney

Carmen Trutanich (right) and District Attorney Steve Cooley (left) were virtually joined at the hip
during Trutanich's campaign to become City Attorney, as well as through the early months of
Trutanich's tenure in City Hall. That relationship may be becoming strained as Cooley did not expect
Trutanich to renege on a campaign promise to serve a full first term, and not run for District Attorney.

 Next up is Carmen Trutanich, the current Los Angeles City Attorney. Trutanich  was elected as City Attorney in 2009 with the support of Steve Cooley. Although many claim Trutanich to be a Republican, in fact he is a "Decline To State" and enjoys support from all sides of the political spectrum.

Trutanich was a Deputy District Attorney in the 1980's before embarking on a successful 20 year career as a criminal defense attorney.  Since becoming City Attorney, Trutanch has achieved remarkable, if sometimes controversial, success in rebuilding the City Attorneys Office into an effective, accountable and efficient agency. Although some accuse Trutanich of being a micro-manager and somewhat overbearing in forcing the City Attorney's Office to adopt his policies, there is no question that his "My way or the highway" approach has weeded out weakness in the Office.

Notwithstanding his campaign pledge to serve a full first term as City Attorney, and to seek a second, Trutanich has made no secret of his desire to become District Attorney, and his campaign will surprise few. Trutanich relied heavily on Cooley's support for his City Attorney campaign, and doubtless Trutanich will seek Cooley's support again. However, for the time being, Cooley appears to be refusing to take a position on Trutanich's candidacy (see below).

Expect an official announcement from Trutanich early in 2011, and expect John Shallman to be his campaign mentor.

Rocky Delgadillo, former Los Angeles CityAttorney

Rocky Delgadillo certainly had a rocky ride as City Attorney, but recently proved that he is still a
major force in politics, coming a close second to Kamala Harris in the Attorney General primary.
Rocky Delgadillo served two terms as Los Angeles City Attorney before being termed out and running an unsuccessful campaign to become State Attorney General. Delgadillo, a Democrat, is a likable career politician who used his tenure at the City Attorney's Office to forge valuable local alliances with the electorate.

Even though Delgadillo failed to beat San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris in the democrat primary election for Attorney General, Delgadillo came a very close second and cannot be dismissed. Delgadillo can count on city-wide support from a wider base than Mike Feuer, based on his name recognition and ties to the Latino community.

With no other viable political office on the horizon, don't be surprised to hear that Delgadillo is running for District Attorney, and don't be surprised at the amount of campaign cash he can raise.

Steve Cooley, District Attorney of Los Angeles County

Will he? Won't he? Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley holds the answer to the question
that all the other candidates want to hear. Cooley would make history if he were elected to a 4th term.
 We list Cooley last, but by no means least. He had his nose blooded for the first time in his remarkable career by the wafer thin loss in the Attorney General race and that probably makes him somewhat disinclined to re-enter the fray, but there's no denying that Steve Cooley has been the most successful District Attorney in recent history. Additionally, Cooley's candidacy in the mid-term election should not be seem as a barometer of political capital; he was overshadowed, if not overwhelmed, by blind partisanship as Californian Democrats fought to stem the tide of national anti-Obama sentiment.

The same will not be the case in 2012 as, even though Obama will be seeking a second presidential term, there will be fewer major state elections, and the non-partisan nature of the District Attorney election could well favor Cooley.

In 2008 Cooley won a virtually unprecedented third term as LA's "Top Cop," something that had not happened since Buron Fits in 1936. Cooley's tenure as District Attorney is perhaps best described as the sound and thoughtful voice of reason, rather than that of a knee-jerk reactor to hot button issues. When Cooley's Public Integrity Division filed charges against the egregiously corrupt government of the City of Bell, it was not a sudden, rash move, but the result of a thorough investigation backed up with sound legal theories of culpability and strong evidence. This stands in marked contrast to Attorney General Jerry Brown's scramble to 'file something' against the City of Bell. Brown received harsh criticism from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ralph W. Dau who said of Brown's lawsuit that there was no stated legal basis for it and "… So I'm wondering, is this just a political lawsuit?"

Cooley's solid and sound stewardship of the District Attorney's Office is as much a testament to his level headed approach to law enforcement as it is a testament to the talented and capable management team he has built in his ten years at the helm. His will be a hard act to follow, and other than Jacky Lacey, few candidates appear to have the same depth of experience and level headedness that Cooley has employed to make the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office the premier law enforcement agency that it is.

When Cooley conceded the Attorney General Election in December 2010, Cooley stated “I will complete my third term and finish my career as a professional prosecutor in the office where it began over 37 years ago," signaling, perhaps, that Cooley would retire from the political arena. However, days later when Alan Jackson announced his candidacy, Cooley told reporters that he would consider running for reelection if no qualified candidates stepped up to succeed him or if any overly partisan contenders appeared likely to win.

Cooley's statement indicates that he has not ruled out seeking a fourth term, and will likely refrain from making any decisions, either to run himself or endorse any particular candidate, until at least the summer of 2011. By then he will have had a chance to evaluate the policies and viability of the various candidates. Viability probably has to be measured in terms of fundraising, and therein lies the rub; Lacey, Jackson and Trutanich would otherwise heavily on their association with Cooley to raise money, but if Cooley is indeed going to refrain from publicly supporting any candidate at this early stage, they are all very much on their own when it comes to fundraising.

Cooley, in his own right, has an almost unparalleled ability to raise the estimated $3M to $4M it will take to win in 2012. He raised as much in his Attorney General campaign, and unlike most of the other candidates, Cooley now has valuable statewide relationships with supporters who would willingly fund his campaign.

Expect Cooley to make an announcement in the summer of 2011. His likely choices of campaign managers might appear to be limited as other candidates will have secured the services of those he has previously relied upon. However, Cooley built a powerful campaign machine for his AG race, and should he decide to run, a number of candidates will withdraw, probably leaving Cooley with the ability to drawn on the services of Kevin Spillane, John Shallman and John Thomas to run a powerful campaign.

Wrapping It Up

The race has barely started, but don't expect it to be a sleepy start. Some candidates may be surprised to find the advancement of the date of the primary from June to February, gives them little time to ponder, and the longer they wait, the harder it will become to raise the money necessary to stand a chance in topping the bill in the primary.

Cooley is basically the only candidate who has the luxury of playing wait and see, and his decision to run or endorse will likely be pivotal in this election.


Anonymous said...

Uh, you might want to check with the county. The Presidential Primary will be in Feb 2012. The D.A. Primary will be on June 6, 2012.

Personally speaking, I won't give any of these Deputy D.A's a dime until I know what Steve Cooley is going to do.

Will Alan Jackson refund that $113,000 back to his contributors if Steve Cooley decides to jump in next week or next month?

Anonymous said...

This blog is written by a bunch of ninny kiss ups who are clearly favoring Cooley the corrupt and all of his minons who step in line. Yawn....

Anonymous said...

Except for a few candidates, this race is a big orgy of Cooley lovers. The ones who don't look like they are going to do well are going to back out and put their money behind the most likely winner. Cooley is the pimp and the majority of these candidates are his tricks.

Anonymous said...

2:36PM I thought the presidential and county elections were at the same time? It's the city elections that are separate. I check the county registrar's website, but can't find any information. Do you have a link to something?

Anonymous said...

I agree, Cooley holds the cards. I like Cooley, but I do think he should retire. I think the only way he should run is if some nut-job politician looks like they're gaining traction. So far, the biggest nut-job is Danette Myers who released a biter hate-filled statement in response to receiving news of Jackie Lacey's announcement on NPR.

Here's a link to what Danette "My Job Isn't Glamorous Enough" Meyers had to say:

Who the hell does she think she is?

Anonymous said...

Jackie Lacey's press release on NPR seems very thoughtful and balanced. If she continues to runs her campaign that way, she'll gain widespread support. BTW, I think the primary is June 6, 2012, not February 25.

Anonymous said...

I think anyone who supports Jackson would be glad to transfer their support to Cooley, if he runs. I don't think Cooley will run though, I just think he wants to make sure a decent candidate will become DA. So far I like Jackson and Lacey, the rest of them not so much.

Anonymous said...

None of these candidates are very dynamic, except maybe Trutanich. I like what he's done in the City.

Anonymous said...

You mean Jack-o-liar who lied in fedral court to keep favor with Cooley. "Low blood sugar" please... That is as disgusting as the criminals Jack-o-liar prosecutes. Danette Myers over Jackie all the way. Jackie is another Cooley suck up. I want someone who will stand up to the incestuous corrpution consisting of Trutanich, Cooley, Lacey and Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Danette Meyers is victocrat who thinks she's entitled to special treatment. She won't get off the bottom of the ballot come the primary.

Lacey is the best of the rest, but my vote goes to Nuch Trutanich. He's the kind of no nonsense DA that we need. He's got the moxie of a street fighter who just keeps on pounding away until he wins. That's what we need in LA to deal with the gangs, drug dealers and illegals. Truanich in Twelve!

Anonymous said...

We need a TRUe DA for LA. Vote TRUtanich in 2012! All the other candidates are too politically correct, only Trutanich has the guts to say the TRUth and stamp out corruption and crime.

I love what he's doing on Skid Row, cleaning up the scum so that decent law abiding citizens can enjoy this historic district safely. That's what a TRUe DA can do, so let's vote for a TRUe DA for LA!

Anonymous said...

Trutanich told the LA Times that he's not ruling out a run for District Attorney.

I hope he run because he is exactly what LA needs to fight crime. Trutanich will use all the power of the DA's Office to stamp out crime and corruption, and there will be nothing that those corrupt LA City CLowncil officials will be able to do to stop him.

Sure he got off to a difficult start at the city attorney's office, but that's because the CLowcil held him back, as DA he'll be able to investigate them properly, and use the Grand Jury to force them to give up the secret deals they do for their friends.

None of the others have the guts to do the job, but Trutanich will strike terror in their hearts. Go Nuch.

Anonymous said...

I like Alan Jackson for DA. He's young, good looking, energetic and has raised a ton of cash while all the others are spinning their wheels. The press will love him and he'll win hands down. Go Alan!

Anonymous said...

Alan Jackson may be a republican, but he's got the support of the DA's union! It's not surprising because the DA's union is run by a republican (Steve Ipsen) who cannot run, so he'll support Jackson.

The DA's union is part of SIEU, the biggest union in the city, and whoever they support will get the support of all organized labor in LA. That's going to give Alan a huge advantage in June 2012.

Anonymous said...

What are Rocky's chances of winning?

David Barron said...

I hope not 'Rocky.' By the way, did he get the City vehicle repaired?