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Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day of Shame for Trutanich - Campaign Lies Outed By Political Pantloads Blog

For most of us Memorial Day is the day to remember those who have paid the ultimate price in the defense of our freedom. The Political Pantloads Blog chose instead to remind us to remember the apparently false campaign promises of City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich.

In addition to it's sharply worded critique of Trutanich, Political Pantloads has produced a YouTube video piecing together statements made by Trutanich, both before, during and after his campaign. Those statements now seem not only laughable, but reflective of Trutanich's utter lack of credibility and trustworthiness.

In those statements Trutanich repeatedly (and with hindsight, ironically) states on numerous occasions that "I am not a politician," that "it's been a long time since the office has not been occupied by someone looking to make the next run," and that "My greatest legacy when I've completed my eight years as City Attorney" Trutanich says, is for  someone to "amend the City Charter to give me four more years." 


Perhaps best of all, in terms of ultimate irony, is Trutanich's "I don't want to see my name in the press" statement, a reference to another campaign promise Trutanich used to make to the effect that he wanted "the hard working lawyers of the City Attorney's Office to get the credit for their work." That promise didn't last long, and recently Trutanich has taken to denigrating those very same lawyers as "inexperienced" and accused them of making "blunders."

The video references Trutanich's bogus campaign website, recently outed by the  Dragnet as a complete fabrication designed to mislead people into thinking that Trutanich is being besieged by law enforcement officials to run for District Attorney, in violation of his numerous statements, promises and pledges, all of which now appear to be utterly worthless.

You can use the YouTube link above to view Political Pantloads' video, or watch it in the embedded player here.



The Political Pantloads video concludes with a statement claiming that the video was "independently produced" and that "No candidate or campaign for Los Angeles County District Attorney in 2012 has been involved in or contributed to the production of this video."

We do note that part of the opening sequence appears to have been copied from a video produced by the Alan Jackson campaign entitled "Trutanich Let Us Down," however, we also note that Political Pantloads states that is has used content that might be subject to copyright under the "fair use doctrine."

Both the Alan Jackson and Political Pantloads YouTube videos represent a change in the way that voters can become better informed about their choice of candidates, and we expect to see more of them as the campaigns develop.

While Trutanich's opponents in the race for District Attorney all have differing campaign platforms, we doubt that any of them will disagree that Trutanich's biggest weakness is the promises he made which can be so demonstrably shown to be false - "How can you possibly trust Trutanich?" will likely become a unifying theme.

&tc.

Friday, May 27, 2011

ADDA Affiliation Deal Worth "A Million Dollars"

As the ADDA Board Majority urges members only to vote for affiliation with AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, "the largest public sector union in the country with over 1.4 million members" according to ADDA President Hyatt Seligman, the ADDA Board Majority has been emailing paid-up members with daily facts in support of affiliation.

Much emphasis has been placed on the amount of assistance AFSCME has already provided the ADDA Board Majority in maintaining what some might consider to be an aggressive, indeed antagonistic, stance against the County, the administration, as well as those who do not agree with the way the ADDA represents the rank and file.

In what appears to be a concession to the ADDA Board Minority, Seligman produced a "pros and cons" flyer, shedding some light on the consequences of affiliation. Comments posted on the Dragnet, presumably from those in receipt of information supplied by Seligman revealed some interesting conclusions.

One comment suggests that AFSCME keen to assist the ADDA Board Majority because the three-year affiliation deal is worth almost a million dollars

Affiliation could be worth as much as a million dollars to AFSCME
over the three-year unbreakable deal.
to AFSCME. The million dollar math appears to be based on;
  • the revelation that AFSCME will receive $35 (not $33 as a commenter stated) from each member's monthly dues, 
  • the affiliation deal will last a minimum of three years before it can be terminated, and,
  • Seligman considers affiliation to be "critical" to getting an agency shop passed, whereby all DDAs will have to pay monthly dues.
Given that the agency shop will result in as many as 800 DDAs being forced to pay ADDA membership (currently $903.60 a year for Grades III & IV, and $658.56 a year for Grades I & II), that results in a monthly payment to AFSCME of 800 x $35 = $28,000, which means $336,000 a year, for a total of $1,008,000 over the three-year unbreakable deal.

Comments also argue that Seligman believes affiliation with AFSCME is "critical" to the agency shop, because AFSCME will supply considerable support, promotional materials and other inducements to persuade a simple majority of DDAs to vote for the compulsory dues.

Other observations on the information supplied by Seligman raises concerns that affiliation will mean that DDAs will be forced to adopt "solidarity" positions with AFSCME in situations which contradict the interests of DDAs.

There is also concern that while Seligman states that affiliation will not change the current cost of ADDA membership, it is unclear whether the ADDA Board Majority will vote to increase dues after affiliation. They seem to be able to vote on anything they choose.

Seligman describes affiliation as a "trial marriage," a three year unbreakable relationship before any vote could be taken to "divorce" the relationship. Some might wonder why there is no "prenuptial" agreement to allow for an earlier termination should the trial marriage fall afoul to DDAs being forced to participate in industrial action, crossing picket lines to go to court as the oath of office demands.

A "con" statement in the "It's Decision Time" flyer makes the point that nothing in the affiliation agreement addresses the way that the ADDA Board Majority communicates with members. Indeed, the ADDA official website, which was recently on "account suspended" status, has been reinstated, however the content is so outdated that it still lists Steven Ipsen as "President" in "About Us," and states that Doug Sherrod is the Treasurer, even though he is understood to have resigned.

Some might say that the ADDA Board Majority are uncommunicative where it suits their purpose, and have hidden behind excuses such as not having the technical knowledge to communicate and being denied access to Lotus Notes. However, it appears that the ADDA Board Majority can communicate when it needs to, as witnessed by the current daily communications from Seligman.

&tc.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Controversy Rages Over Endorsement

OPINION: LA Daily News' political insider Rick Orlov's Monday Tipoff that District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey has the "backing of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, as well as the County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO" sparked a deluge of disbelief in our Monday Briefs post.


No comments questioned "the big story" that Steve Cooley has 'cooled it' with Carmen Trutanich and considers him basically unfit for the office of District Attorney.

It was the report that Lacey has the backing of the County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, that must have been greeted with cheers by the rank and file Deputy District Attorneys who are more than disenchanted with the self-destructive antics of the ADDA "Board Majority."

The ADDA "Board Majority" has invested heavily in trying to portray Lacey as a "union buster," a charge that remains to be fully litigated and, from an outsider's perspective, one that will likely be disproved once all the facts are established in a court of law, rather than propagandized from a bully pulpit.

Regardless, the ADDA "Board Majority" clearly see the prospect of "real organized labor" supporting Lacey as terminal to their efforts. It appears that the ADDA "Board Majority" acted swiftly,  through their contacts at AFSCME to obtain clarification from the County Federation of Labor.

A letter from the County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Executive Director
Maria Elena Durazo states that endorsements have yet to be decided.

(Credit: LA Union Buster)
A letter from Maria Elena Durazo, the Executive Director of the County Federation of Labor responded swiftly to the "Tipoff," providing some temporary relief for the ADDA "Board Majority." The letter, published at the LA Union Buster blog, states that no endorsement has been made for any candidate, and states that the endorsement process has not yet commenced. Nevertheless, Rick Orlov did not retract his "Tipoff" and the likelihood is that his sources are sound.

Readers will recall the controversy surrounding DA candiate Danette Meyers endorsement by LACBA Executive Director Sally Suchil, from which it appears that statements and indeed endorsements by Executive Directors should not be taken as reflective of the decisions of the organizations they serve.

The "Tipoff" has, however, brought the "union busting" claims of the ADDA "Board Majority" more sharply into focus. In the process, it has highlighted the hypocrisy of the ADDA "Board Majority." In one of their more widely known "shots in the foot," last year they endorsed conservative republican John Eastman for Attorney General. Eastman has something of a reputation for being ultra conservative and has probably sued unions - he is hardly a champion of the organized labor movement, and probably more richly deserving of any "union busting" appellation, than someone who simply tried to help a friend.

No doubt the debate will rage on, but it does appear that as people become more aware of the issues, the ADDA "Board Majority" may have to re-think their endorsement policy - one comment suggested that the ADDA "Board Majority" might endorse Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ... 


Meanwhile, we're hearing rumors that Steve Cooley's June 2, 2011 City Club fundraiser for Lacey is heavily "oversubscribed" and going to be a crowded event. Trutanich may have to drop the dime to a Fire Marshal and make sure the room capacity isn't exceeded, or perhaps he'll just launch a 'criminal aspects' investigation and threaten to arrest a few guests to keep himself in the headlines.

&tc.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Briefs

Cooley Cools It With Trutanich - It's Official: Trutanich "Not Up To The Job"


Although the Dragnet first reported the breakdown in the close relationship between LA District Attorney Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, it took a little time for the mainstream media to confirm the rumor.

Rick Orlov at the Los Angeles Daily News reports that "Cooley became disenchanted with Trutanich shortly after he was sworn in."

""It was becoming clear, across the board, that (Cooley) did not believe Trutanich was up to the job," said a Cooley political adviser."

Orlov's confirmation of the bust-up of the former bffs was also picked up by Kevin Roderick at LA Observed

Both sources report that the bust-up occurred shortly after Trutanich was sworn into office. Readers will recall that Trutanich swiftly set about defining his administration as one of sound-bites and grandstanding, with Trutanich's ill-fated accusation of "criminal aspects" to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG's) handling of the Michael Jackson Memorial. This was equally swiftly followed up with Trutanich's alleged threats to arrest Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry and a number of City employees over the granting of billboard permits at AEG's new downtown movie complex.

Sources close to Trutanich said that they were "shocked" that within 3 days of taking office, Trutanich seemed to care little for a 'head-to-toe" evaluation of the way the City Attorney's Office could be improved, and was "obsessed" with taking on AEG over the Jackson Memorial with "little or no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing."

Such internal disapproval surely found its way to Cooley, who probably also felt that Trutanich had become intoxicated with hogging the headlines instead of doing the job he was elected to do. Cooley is believed to have likened Trutanich's antics to exceed even those of his "press release a day" predecessor Rocky Delgadillo.

The straw that probably broke the camel's back is believed to have occurred in November 2010, when Cooley learned of Trutanich's intention to run for District Attorney in violation of a sworn campaign pledge not to use the City Attorney's Office as a springboard for higher office.

Apparently, Trutanich did not have the courage to reveal his intentions to Cooley, and Cooley only learned of Trutanich's treachery when a longtime political aide informed Cooley that he had been hired to work on the Trutanich DA campaign.

Although Orlov reports that "Both sides say, for the record, there is no major rift between the two," sources inform us on background that the pair "hardly speak" except when forced to appear at public events where both have been scheduled to appear.

Readers will recall that Trutanich recently made a complete fool of himself at an awards event for District Attorney candidate Mario Trujillo when he forced his way to the podium to interrupt Cooley's presentation - with hindsight, perhaps a clear sign of Trutanich's desperate need for some public face time with Cooley.

For Trutanich, maintaining the facade that he has Cooley's continued friendship is critical to his political future; either as a candidate of District Attorney, or should he fail in that endeavor and seek re-election as City Attorney. "Trutanich was only considered a credible candidate [for City Attorney] because he had Cooley's support and approval." an insider told us. "Without Cooley, Trutanich looks more like the Carmen the Clown image that the blogs have portrayed."

As Cooley's support for Jackie Lacey, the candidate Cooley believes "most qualified" to run the largest county prosecutorial agency in the nation continues to ramp up, it is likely that the rift between Cooley and Trutanich will became more obvious and apparent, likely severely limiting Trutanich's fundraising ability.

Jackie Lacey Set To Announce Major Endorsement 

According to the reports of Rick Orlov at the Daily News and Kevin Roderick's LA Observed, Jackie Lacey is set to announce a couple of major endorsements for her campaign to become District Attorney in 2012.

In addition to a very public display of support hosted by Steve Cooley at the Los Angeles City Club on June 2, 2011, Lacey is expected to announce that she has secured the endorsement of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as well as that of the County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

Readers will recall that last week District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson secured the endorsement of Supervisor Antonovich, and the Dragnet speculated that Lacey would be in line for the Ridley-Thomas endorsement, so in all likelihood, Supervisor Gloria Molina's phone number is at the top of District Attorney candidate Mario Trujillo's speed dial list.

Steve Ipsen's Campaign Launched On Saturday

In case you missed it, Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen launched his campaign to become District Attorney in 2012 this past weekend with an event at a 90 acre winery in Agua Dulce.

The meet and greet event coincided with Ipsen's 50th birthday.

For more details, read our report here.





Significant Questions Remain Unanswered in ADDA Board Majority Affiliation Push


ADDA President Hyatt Seligman has been delivering a series of "Questions of the Day" on what is for many Deputy District Attorneys, the puzzling issue of "affiliation."

We first reported on this in our Friday Wrap Up Free For All.

The secret emails are for "members only" as those DDAs who are not currently required to pay dues to the ADDA are excluded from receiving Seligman's missives.

Perhaps some of the most obvious questions, such as "What exactly is 'Affiliation?'" and "How much will it increase monthly dues?" have not been addressed by Seligman, suggesting that there is an inconvenient truth about Affiliation that members and non-members alike, do not need to bother themselves with.

It is understood that Selgman considers "affiliation" to be critical to the success of the "agency shop," which we understands means that all affiliation will provide Seligman with the power to force through the requirement for all DDAs to pay dues, regardless of their wishes.

All DDAs who currently pay dues to the ADDA should receive a ballot to vote for affiliation. Those who believe that they should receive a ballot, but for some reason have not received it (not a rare occurrence from what we are told), are urged to contact us where attempts will be made to ensure that all votes are counted.

&tc.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Steve Ipsen Launches Campaign for District Attorney - Runs As Democrat

As previously reported, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen has launched his campaign to become District Attorney in 2012.


Ipsen's campaign website, www.SteveIpsen.com, went live just in advance of Ipsen's launch on Saturday May 21, 2011 with an event at a 90 acre winery called "A Day in Agua Dulce," which apparently coincided with Ipsen's 50th birthday.

As expected, Ipsen focuses on his union activities and his support for victims' rights. Ipsen, an early adopter of the power of the internet, used Craigslist to freely publicize his launch event, underlining our earlier prediction that Ipsen's would be a "grass roots" campaign.

A Craigslist posting advertised Ipsen's campaign kick-off event.

Politically, Ipsen is considered by many to be a right-wing republican given his views on illegal immigration urging for the repeal of LAPD's Special Order 40 and support for Jamiel's Law that would give the police more rights in the interrogation, detention and ultimately deportation of illegal aliens.


It was, therefore, rather surprising that Ipsen's Craigslist campaign kick-off event announcement, states that "Steve Ipsen is a registered Democrat and has been a criminal prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney's office for 25 years."

Although the Craigslist ad does not contain the required disclosure statement indicating that the advert comes from Ipsen's campaign, it certainly appears that it is a campaign communication, and it would be reasonable to conclude that Ipsen's political affiliation is correct.

That, perhaps, makes it all the more surprising that Ipsen's official campaign website's "About Steve" information does not include any mention of Ipsen's political affiliation.

Ipsen's candidacy now brings the total number of candidates for District Attorney to seven, with Alan Jackson and Carmen Trutanich apparently being the only republicans. Should Trutanich shift party allegiance to the democrat party as rumored, this could leave Jackson in the enviable position of being the only republican in the race, a position that could assure him a place in the inevitable run-off election, given that the democrat vote will be so heavily divided by the other six candidates.

Observers believe that the District Attorney campaign could be one of the most interesting political campaigns in recent history, however, the ability of the candidates to make themselves known outside the close knit legal community will be heavily dependent on their ability to raise substantial funds for their campaigns.

It is rumored that Mario Trujillo will lead in terms of fundraising when the campaigns report their initial results, with Alan Jackson in close contention, and Jackie Lacey expected to close the gap now that Steve Cooley has given her his endorsement and will be hosting a fundraiser for her at the City Club on June 2, 2011.

There still remains some doubt whether the election will be on February 25 together with the Presidential primary, or June 5, 2012. Our sources indicate that the DA election will be June 5, a date that will make party affiliation less relevant to this non-partisan race.

&tc.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Wrap Up Free For All

Trutanich's Porcupine Defense Fails Again - Another Shocking Loss For LA Taxpayers

Trutanich claims to have saved "millions" by protecting the City Coffers with his schoolyard "Porcupine Defense,"
 however, it appears to some to be an expensive and seemingly ineffective strategy. (Photo Credit: LA Times)
The LA Times reports that Carmen Trutanich's schoolyard "Porcupine Defense" strategy failed, yet again. This time with a rather spectacular failure that will cost Los Angelenos $1M plus attorney fees for a case that could have been settled for $100k.

In response to his latest disaster, Trutanich decided to keep his mouth shut over his failure and declined to repeat his previous blame-shifting accusations that his lawyers are "inexperienced" or made "blunders." Neither did Trutanich restate his opinion that no one in his office is capable of performing his job.

Rather, Trutanich deferred to his spokesman, John Franklin, who simply said "office is reviewing its legal options."

Perhaps it's time for the office to review the efficacy of the Porcupine Defense strategy given its alarming failure rate and the fact that this is the second case in a row that attorney Gregory Smith has won against Trutanich.

Trutanich might also want to reconsider his motivational techniques as berating his staff is rarely a formula for success.

ADDA Starts Secret Email Campaign To Force Affiliation Vote

ADDA President Hyatt Seligman has begun a series of "Question of the Day" emails to dues-paying members of the ADDA, urging them to vote in favor of "affiliation" with AFSCME.

The majority of Deputy District Attorneys who the ADDA claims to represent, are not to be included in the emails, nor will they be allowed to vote. That is because, according to Seligman's answer to his first Question of the Day; "It is simply fair. Your Board majority believes that this is by definition an internal membership matter, and should be open to all members to vote on. Why should those who have voluntarily paid regular membership dues for up to three years suddenly be forced to defer to others who have chosen not to pay a penny for their representation?"

Seligman's explanation appears to reflect some of the anonymous comments previously posted on the Dragnet to the effect of "pay up or shut up" whenever ADDA matters are discussed.

It is also somewhat telling that Seligman has started to refer to the "Board Majority," perhaps an indication that there are some on the ADDA Board who do not believe that "affiliation" with AFSCME is either:
  • appropriate at all, 
  • appropriate for a decision by only due-paying members when the ADDA routinely claims to represent all DDAs regardless of their fee-paying status, or,
  • appropriate before the Agency Shop vote takes place.
Perhaps even dues-paying members are puzzled and confused by Seligman's use of organized labor jargon. Two, perhaps fundamental "Questions of the Day" that Seligman might have chosen to answer, but declined to, are; "What is AFSCME?" and, "What is 'affiliation?'"

A third question might "What is an Agency Shop?" but maybe the more troubling unanswered questions are:
"Why all the secrecy?"
"Why hide behind jargon?" 
"Why don't you explain that 'affiliation' means the sacrifice of independence and the political allegiance to a bigger union who may not represent the views of DDAs?"

Perhaps those with some insight and understanding of the wondrous ways of organized labor would care to offer their answers by way of comments that can be posted anonymously here.

Of course, Seligman has offered to accept email questions from members only, and perhaps those brave enough to identify themselves as troublemakers questioning the views of the "Board Majority" will submit questions.

However, given the often venomous disdain that the "Board Majority" has displayed towards those who exercise their fundamental right to dissent, Selgiman's new email address is unlikely to be flooded with questions. (Note: We respectfully decline to publish Seligman's new email address without his permission.)

Let the comments begin, and please keep it clean and relevant.

&tc.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MET NEWS BLASTS LACBA FOR IMPROPER LINK TO THE DANETTE MEYERS CAMPAIGN

District Attorney candidate Danette Meyers 'links' to the Los Angeles County Bar Association came under fire from the eagle-eyed Roger M. Grace, Editor-in-Chief at the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise.

Los Angeles' leading legal newspaper uncovered an improper link
from the LACBA website to Meyer's campaign as well as endorsements
from officers and employees in violation of LACBA bylaws.
In his Tuesday, May 17, 2011 "Perspectives" column "Is Danette Meyers the LACBA Candidate for District Attorney?" the venerable Roger M. Grace blasted LACBA for an improper link from the LACBA website to Meyer's campaign website as well as misleading endorsements from officers and employees suggesting that LACBA has endorsed Meyers. Grace claims this to be in violation of LACBA's policy.

Clearly Grace uncovered a serious scandal at LACBA, and LACBA's response was swift; the offending link was immediately removed according to a follow-up report by the Met. News Enterprise, suggesting that Grace was fully justified in alleging impropriety arising from the LACBA-Meyers link. 

A LACBA spokesperson nevertheless downplayed the scandal telling the Met. News Enterprise that the link 'was “an honest mistake” by a staff member who was updating the organization’s biographies of past presidents and had not realized the link led to a campaign website.'

The Met. News also reported that "Hamid Towfigh, the campaign manager for Meyers, did not return a call for comment."

We recommend that you read Grace's Perspective to fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation.


OPINION: DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN?

The use of questionable, unauthorized and improper endorsements will likely remind many of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys' endorsement of John Eastman, who rivaled Steve Cooley in the Republican primary election for Attorney General. Most Deputy District Attorneys were unaware of the endorsement and would never have approved of it, a fact that must have been well-known to the ADDA Board members who nevertheless voted for the endorsement without regard for those they represent. 

&tc.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich Endorses Alan Jackson for District Attorney

"Alan Jackson would make an outstanding District Attorney. I urge everyone to support him” - Antonovich.

Supervisor Antonovich's 5th District is Jackson's following the
popular conservative's endorsement.
Hot on the heels of Steve Cooley's announcement that he will retire from his 3rd term as Los Angeles County District Attorney and endorse Jackie Lacey's candidacy, the Jackson campaign announced that District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson has secured the endorsement of Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' Micheal Antonovich:

ANTONOVICH ENDORSES JACKSON FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Los Angeles, May 17 – Today Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich endorsed Deputy DA Alan Jackson for District Attorney.  The Supervisor’s endorsement of Jackson continues the momentum for his candidacy.

In the wake of District Attorney Steve Cooley’s decision not to seek a fourth term, Supervisor Antonovich said, “I wholeheartedly endorse Alan Jackson’s candidacy for District Attorney of Los Angeles County.  Jackson is a true crime fighter who is well-qualified to fill Steve Cooley’s shoes.  He is battle-tested in the courtroom and a prosecutor with integrity who vigorously fights to seek justice for victims and their families.  With his leadership, intelligence and unparalleled courtroom experience, he is the most qualified candidate for the office.”

“I am humbled and honored to have Supervisor Antonovich’s endorsement of my candidacy for District Attorney. His longstanding support for our community and law enforcement is unmatched. If elected, I look forward to partnering with Antonovich and the other members of the Board to create a safer Los Angeles County for us all,” stated Deputy DA Alan Jackson.

“Jackson has dedicated the majority of his life to public service both in the Air Force and as a prosecutor tackling some of the office’s most difficult cases. Alan Jackson would make an outstanding District Attorney. I urge everyone to support him,” continued Antonovich.

Deputy DA Alan Jackson has earned strong support from other elected officials such as State Senator Tony Strickland, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine, Long Beach City Attorney Robert Shannon, former La CaƱada-Flintridge Mayor and current City Councilmember Steve Del Guercio, and San Gabriel City Councilman Mario De La Torre.

For more information and a complete list of endorsements, please visit Alan Jackson’s campaign website at www.VoteAlanJackson.com.

Alan Jackson has been a prosecutor in the LA County District Attorney’s office for over 16 years where he has tried nearly 60 felony cases, more than half of which have been murder trials.  Jackson spent five years prosecuting hardcore gang cases in Compton, after which he moved to the Major Crimes Division where he has led the prosecution in some of California’s highest profile cases. Prior to becoming a Deputy DA, Jackson served in the United States Air Force as a jet engine mechanic. Currently, Jackson serves as the Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division, where he oversees the office’s most complex and high-profile cases.

# # #

As much as this endorsement is a boost to Jackson, it represents a blow to Carmen Trutanich who will struggle to gain traction with the all-important predominantly conservative vote in Antonovich's 5th District. Rumor has it that Jackson was an easy choice for Antonovich who is no fan of Trutanich.

The other conservative candidate, Steve Ipsen, also has strong ties to Antonovich's territory and Ipsen's delay in announcing his candidacy may well have cost him a chance to vie for that endorsement. Ipsen is expected to release details of his candidacy at the weekend, most likely with the endorsement of victim's rights advocates and organized labor leaders.

&tc.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cooley Endorses Lacey - Announces Retirement

According to the Metropolitan News Enterprise, Steve Cooley has told his friends and supporters that he will not seek a fourth term as LA's District Attorney. Although few were surprised that Cooley has decided to retire, his endorsement of Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey surprised nobody.

Lacey's recent promotion to the number two job at the DA's Office was widely regarded as an implicit endorsement by Cooley. He made that endorsement explicit describing Lacey  as "the most qualified leader to run the nation's largest local prosecutorial office," adding that he has "complete faith in Jackie’s skilled leadership and commitment to the office’s mission." Cooley is hosting a fundraiser for Lacey on June 9 at the City Club, an event that will test how willing Cooley's traditionally republican supporters are willing to support a democrat.

The Met News reported the comments of most of the candidates, none of whom expressed either surprise or any plans to change their strategies. Curiously, Carmen Trutanich declined to comment, perhaps he was too busy continuing his equally curious motivational strategy of berating his employees.

As the LA Dragnet predicted in January, Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen will also run for District Attorney, according to his remarks to the Met News. Judging by the recent posts on Ipsen's website/blog, www.Ipsen4DA.com, Ipsen has spent a great deal of his time forging alliances with organized labor groups, perhaps a indication of where he believes he will gain the most support for his campaign.

Trutanich is expected to imminently declare his candidacy formally, now that Cooley has announced his retirement, bringing the field of candidates to 7 out of the 10 that the LA Dragnet identified in January. Of the remaining 3, Cooley is out, Assemblyman Mike Feuer is likely gunning for Trutanich's City Attorney seat, and Rocky Delgadillo is apparently enjoying life in private practice and will stay out of the race, given that Mario Trujillo appears to be squeezing every available campaign donation from the territory Rocky once regarded as his own.

With seven candidates now in contention to be LA County's "Top Cop," this promises to be a very interesting campaign.

All campaigns will be reporting their initial fundraising on June 30, slightly under a year away from the primary election on June 5, 2012. Mario Trujillo is rumored to top the list of campaign fundraising, with Alan Jackson in second place. Cooley's City Club event for Jackie Lacey expected to bring in big bucks, so that situation could change.

&tc.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trutanich Says Nobody In City Attorney's Office Can Do My Job

OPINION - Carmen Trutanich recently fired another salvo at his own office during a Q&A session with the Studio City Neigborhood Council.

When asked whether he could recommend anyone in the City Attorney's Office
to take over from him if he's elected District Attorney, Trutanich basically said "No."
It seems that Trutanich's recent comments accusing his deputy city attorneys of being "inexperienced" and making "blunders" was not the first time Trutanich expressed a less than favorable opinion of those who are obliged to work for him.

On April 20, 2011, Trutanich was a guest speaker at the Studio City Neighborhood Council's monthly meeting, and was questioned about his plans for the City Attorney's Office should he be elected District Attorney; would he support someone currently in the office to run, so that the "momentum does not stop.?"

Trutanich's response seems to indicate that he does not consider anyone "inside"
the City Attorney's Office to be a "good leader." (Credit: Studio City Neighborhood Council)

The short answer appears to be "No." Trutanich does not consider anyone currently in the City Attorney's Office to necessarily be a good leader.

Insiders believe that Trutanich is likely "covering his bases" - he wants to be District Attorney, but if he loses the 2012 District Attorney election to the more qualified but less monied candidates, he does not want to encourage anyone in his office to run against him in 2013.

If indeed, Trutanich is "covering his bases" then it appears that he is far from confident of success in fulfilling his District Attorney dream.

Trutanich is known to be concerned that if he seeks re-election as City Attorney in 2013, he will likely loose to any number of Democrat candidates; State Assemblyman Mike Feuer and Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Jose Huizar have all been tipped to oust Trutanich who, as a Republican, is vulnerable to defeat from a Democrat. Although Trutanich changed his political affiliation from Republican to "decline to state" for his City Attorney campaign, his support base was and is very obviously Republican.

Perhaps the stress of contemplating an early end to his political career is causing Trutanich to lash out at the deputy city attorneys who doubtless try their best to follow his policies, but it seems that Trutanich cannot help to belittle and insult his own office when he talks about leaving it. Trutanich's response to Barry Johnson's question could certainly be taken as Trutanich basically saying "Nobody in my Office can do my job." Statements like that, as well as the more recent "inexperienced" and "blunders" comments, cannot be helping morale.

Trutanich may be contemplating another strategy to boost his chances in the District Attorney election, or to hang on to his City Attorney job if he fails to win in 2012; yet another change of party affiliation, this time to Democrat.

Trutanich would not be the only Republican to do the party affiliation shuffle; Republican shopping mall developer Rick Caruso is rumored to have changed his party affiliation to Democrat as he contemplates a run for Los Angeles Mayor in 2013. Trutanich has also been seen "making nice" to Democrats; he was recently selected to introduce Rep. Brad Sherman [D-CA27] as the keynote speaker at a Town Hall meeting at Cal State Northridge, perhaps a way of softening up Democrats to Trutanich as he tries to shake off his "thug" image.

Trutanich's rumored change of party allegiance will not surprise anyone and raise more doubts as to his credibility. He has already demonstrated his willingness to renege on his commitment to serve as City Attorney, insult and demean those who work for him, so why not be just as insincere with his party affiliation? With Trutanich, it seems that "anything goes" if it comes to advancing his political career.  

&tc.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Trutanich - No Special Deal for Lindsay Lohan

Troubled Hollywood celebrity Linday Lohan will get a taste of Carmen Trutanich's even-handed approach to criminal cases with a "no special deal" slap on the wrist from an unnamed deputy city attorney, according to Radar OnLine.

(Radar Online.com)

After the case was reduced to a misdemeanor, rumor has it that the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office sent a snippy message to the District Attorney's Office demanding that the Lohan case be handed over to them.

Today, Lohan is not expected to appear in court and will allow her attorney to enter a "no contest" plea on her behalf for a sentence to be served using electronic monitoring at Lohan's home.

In other news, it seems that Trutanich took heed of our "Where in City Hall is Carmen Trutanich?" admonition for bailing out of the City Council hearings on the proposed budget cuts for his office. Trutanich made a "rare" personal appearance and won a $2.7M increase in his budget, for the time being.

&tc.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Classic Cooley, Where in City Hall is Carmen Trutanich, ADDA Leaks

WEEKEND WRAP

Comments aplenty on Sunday's Trutanich Disses Deputy City Attorneys piece with little support for Trutanich's position that his trial losses are due to his deputy city attorneys being "inexperienced" and guilty of "blunders."

One comment presumed that "trial losses" referred to win/loss record of Trutanich's volunteer program where law school graduates prosecute cases normally handled by deputy city attorneys. Rumors suggest that the success rate is troubling, and that the program depreciates the value of the office.

CLASSIC COOLEY

As promised, this classic Steve Cooley quote on the topic of his narrow defeat in his run for Attorney General, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:


"I gave my college try, I paid a political price," he said. "Look at the last attorney general primary, there were two Republicans - one who wouldn't know which side of the courtroom to sit on, wouldn't know three strikes if it bit him in the ass - he spent every day hitting me ... suggesting I was soft on three strikes."


(We checked in later and he was referring to Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, not constitutional lawyer John Eastman.) End quote.

Cooley does have a way with words...


WHERE IN CITY HALL IS CARMEN TRUTANICH?

OK, we're shamelessly plagiarizing Rick Orlov's pity question in last week's LA Daily News, but this time the topic is on Trutanich's decision not to address the City Council on cuts to his budget.


City Watch published an op-ed by former CD4 Councilmember candidate Stephen Box on the way that city departments deal with their budgets. Box noted that "William Carter of the City Attorney’s office, standing in for Carmen Trutanich, gave a fiery performance, calling out the budget as an abdication of responsibility, rejecting the cuts and building a solid case for the value of his department."

Some might say that Trutanich's absence was an "abdication of responsibility" in and of itself. However, few would question the wisdom of whoever advised Trutanich to absent himself and defer to his Chief Deputy. Ever since Trutanich dropped the bombshell of "criminal aspects" to the Micheal Jackson Memorial in the Council Chamber, his credibility has been in question.

Trutanich's last appearance in Council Chambers did not turn out so well.
The 'criminal aspects' investigation yielded no criminal or civil charges.
(Credit: TRU Is False blog)

 Some might say that there is also the added benefit that should Chief Deputy Carter fail to convince the Council of the need to preserve the City Attorney's budget, he can throw Carter under the bus with accusations of "inexperience" and "blunders" along with the other deputy city attorneys who failed Trutanich.

ADDA LEAKS

Proof positive that ADDA President Hyatt Seligman reads the LA Dragnet: 

 Our recent observation that things have been a little quite in the ADDA camp yielded a comment indicating that a secret email had been sent by the ADDA to all members on the all important topic of the agency shop plan under which all DDAs in Grades I - IV will be required to pay dues to the ADDA.

It appears that the email mentioned by Anonymous 10:25PM was "unauthorized" and prompted a rare email response by Seligman:


It appears that "a small minority of ADDA Board members" sent the email attributed to Marc Debbaudt, and that there is disagreement about how and whether the ADDA should resolve its perilous finances by affiliating with AFSCME (American Federated State, Council and Municipal Employees) and proceed with the agency shop.

Seligman's email is too lengthy to repeat here, however, Seligman does not indicate how much the compulsory dues will be, perhaps a sign that it is an amount best kept secret. ADDA members who did not receive Seligman's email can request a copy by sending an email to Seligman.

Any of the recipients of the "unauthorized" email are invited to send it to the Dragnet where, in the interests of free speech and the free expression of dissenting opinions, it will be published anonymously.

&tc.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Trutanich Trial Losses Cost City Millions - Blames Deputies

It's not that long ago that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was celebrating a trial victory with that infamous "High Five for a Dead Baby" photo in the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times captured the essence of victory for Trutanich
who enthusiastically "High Fives" a staffer at the news of the
trial verdict involving a dead baby. (Credit LA Times)

Times change, and with it the 'winningness' of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has also changed.

The Los Angeles Times reports that "City records show that from 2005 to 2010, [LAPD] officers have sued the department over workplace issues more than 250 times. The city has paid settlements or verdicts totaling more than $18 million in about 45 of those cases and has lost several other verdicts worth several million dollars more in cases it is appealing, a review of the records shows. The city has prevailed in about 50 cases. The rest, representing tens of millions of dollars in potential liability, remain open."


Trutanich is known for proudly announcing the successes of his "aggressive" policy towards defending lawsuits, however, little had been said about the times when Trutanich's policy results in painfully expensive losses.
 
The LA Times cited an example where "Attorney Matthew McNicholas represented three LAPD officers. "McNicholas offered to settle the three cases for a total of $2 million, but police officials and city lawyers were adamant about taking all three to court and ended up losing verdicts totaling about $9.5 mil."

According to the LA Times, Trutanich blames inexperience and poor work by his deputy city attorneys for the recent losses. "Understaffing and a lack of lawyers with experience in workplace issues in the city attorney's office has hampered the city's ability to defend itself against such lawsuits in court, officials said." The Times reported.


In what appears to be an attempt by Trutanich to distance himself from the problem, Trutanich authorized his chief deputy to tell the LA Times that "overworked attorneys have missed court-filing deadlines, failed to take important depositions and made other blunders on employment cases." The Times reported.

Trutanich's harsh criticism of his deputies appears to be due to the failure of his deputies to effectively implement his "Porcupine Defense" strategy. Trutanich recently told the Rotary Club of Arcadia that his "Porcupine Defense" was something which "he learned in school," explaining that "You may eat me, but I won’t taste good going down."

Trutanich did not indicate whether the "Porcupine Defense" was something he studied in elementary, grade, or law school.

Whether the blame lies in the failure of Trutanich's schoolyard strategy,  failing to "take important depositions," or making "other blunders," Trutanich's open condemnation of his deputy city attorneys may be seen by some as a cheap and cowardly attempt to avoid taking responsibility for his lack of management.

City Hall observers have recently noted that it is Trutanich, rather than his deputies, who may be derelict in his duties. As LA Daily News reporter Rick Orlov recently said "It is quickly becoming a popular game downtown: Where in City Hall is Carmen Trutanich?" perhaps an allusion to the considerable amount of time Trutanich spends away from work while he pursues his personal dream to become District Attorney.

UPDATED @ 3:00PM

The Los Angeles Dragnet received the following statement from Alan Jackson:

"Strong leaders build excellence by both setting an example and accepting responsibility. The mark of a true leader is having the fortitude to back your team even when times are tough. I have never believed in blame shifting, and in my view, nothing will undermine an organization more quickly. The next DA must embrace the opportunity to take responsibility for the largest prosecutorial agency in the country, and must have the strength of character to stand behind the deputies who fight for justice in courtrooms everyday."

Our thanks to Jackson for providing his views on leadership and responsibility. All candidates are welcome to submit their comments for publication.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Carmen Trutanich's "I'm A Liar" Ad Stirs Debate & All Quiet On The ADDA Front, Too Quiet?

TRUTANICH's "I'M A LIAR" ADVERT STIRS DEBATE

Alan Jackson scored a big hit here with his challenge to Carmen Trutanich to honor his pledge to pay $100,000 of personal funds to the Best Afterschool Program for Kids and place a full-page ad in every major daily paper with a picture of himself and text stating "I AM A LIAR." We got more comments on Trutanich's dilemma than anything else.

The What Would Reagan Do? blog got the ball rolling with their depiction of what Trutanich's advert will look like:

What Would Reagan Do? released this suggestion for one of
Carmen Trutanich's ads (Credit: What Would Reagan Do?)

Even if Trutanich reneges on his campaign pledge, his opponents are certain to use Trutanich's tacit agreement to allow himself to be called a 'Liar.' A novel campaign strategy.

Those defending Trutanich seem to think that name recognition will overcome Trutanich's ever-growing list of negatives, however, as several comments noted, Steve Cooley had no name recognition when he defeated Gil Garcetti, and Trutanich similarly had no name recognition when he defeated Jack Weiss.

Nobody would deny that Trutanich has name recognition, but as the comments pointed out, in Trutanich's case, it's largely negative and in today's electronic age, there's a healthy trial of negatives that are growing day by day, all of which are easily transmittable by Facebook and Twitter.

Trutanich made headlines yesterday with his lawsuit against Deutsche Bank, however, it was not long before Mulholland Terrace's Street-Hassle blog presented a highly insightful report on the serious problems with Trutanich's 'novel' legal theory. The obvious problem being the chilling effect of Trutanich's lawsuit, it could be enough to make it harder and more expensive for home buyers to get loans for property in the City of Los Angeles. 

ALL QUIET ON THE ADDA FRONT - TOO QUIET?


The official ADDA website remains in an "account suspended" state, with no cheery email from President Hyatt Seligman offering any explanation to members. That must surely put the likelihood of DDAs agreeing to an agency shop further in doubt.

As always, the Dragnet invites President Seligman to send us his comments.

DANETTE MEYERS WISH COMES TRUE?

Fox News reports that Danette Meyers will hand over the Lindsay Lohan case to the City Attorney's Office. "Because the charge was reduced by the court to a misdemeanor, the district attorney no longer has jurisdiction to prosecute the case and, therefore, we will give the case to the City Attorney's Office," said Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney's Office.

According to KFI AM640's Eric Leonard, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said "It's gonna be handled like any other case in the office," Trutanich said. "I'm not going to assign it to a prosecutor, it's a misdemeanor case." As usual with Trutanich's statements, you have to read it twice to figure out what he meant by "I'm not going to assign it to a prosecutor, it's a misdemeanor case." At first read, it appears Trutanich only assigns prosecutors to non-misdemeanor cases which makes as much sense as his other famous mis-speak, "I don't have a dog in this goldfish bowl." You figure it out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Carmen Trutanich District Attorney Campaign Challenged By Alan Jackson

Carmen Trutanich's District Attorney campaign has been challenged by Alan Jackson to abide by his contract with voters to pay $100,000 of personal funds to the Best Afterschool Program for Kids and place a full-page ad in every major daily paper with a picture of himself and text stating "I AM A LIAR."

The conservative blog "What Would Reagan Do?" published
Alan Jackson's challenge, together with their suggestion for
an newspaper advertisement Trutanich is obliged to publish.
 

On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, the Alan Jackson campaign released the following statement:


OVER TWO WEEKS AFTER ANNOUNCING HIS CANDIDACY, CARMEN TRUTANICH STILL SILENT ON PLEDGE TO SERVE
The Alan Jackson Campaign calls upon Carmen Trutanich to finally tell voters whether he will honor the penalty for breaking his pledge.

Los Angeles, May 3nd – It has been over two weeks since Carmen Trutanich has broken his promise and a widely circulated pledge he signed to the voters by announcing his intentions to run for District Attorney. Trutanich has remained silent on whether he will honor the penalty for breaking his pledge. The Jackson campaign is calling upon Mr. Trutanich to address this important issue and let the voters know whether or not they can count on him to honor his sworn promise.

The pledge stipulates that if Trutanich breaks his promise to serve two terms as City Attorney and not seek higher office, he must pay $100,000 of personal funds to the Best Afterschool Program for Kids and place a full-page ad in every major daily paper with a picture of himself and text stating ‘I AM A LIAR’.

The Jackson campaign has launched a timer counting the hours that Carmen Trutanich has left the question of honoring his word unanswered. Visit www.thetrufacts.comto watch the time tick by. The campaign has also listed contact information for the advertising departments of several major newspapers to facilitate Mr. Trutanich’s taking out the “I AM A LIAR” ads.

“Will Carmen Trutanich honor the penalty for breaking his pledge or not? We deserve our next DA to be a man of his word, not another career politician who will say or sign anything to get elected,” stated political consultant John S. Thomas.

“Voters deserve to have elected officials with integrity. Until Mr. Trutanich responds to voters that he will keep his promise, his integrity remains in question,” Thomas added.

Over two weeks ago the Jackson campaign launched a web video highlighting Carmen Trutanich’s “Pledge to Serve” and multiple public statements in which Trutanich swore during his campaign for City Attorney he would not seek higher office, specifically District Attorney. Please see www.thetrufacts.com to view the video.

Click below to view Carmen Trutanich’s original “Pledge to Serve.”




Alan Jackson has been a prosecutor in the LA County District Attorney’s office for over 16 years where he has tried nearly 60 felony cases, more than half of which have been murder trials.  He spent five years prosecuting hardcore gang cases in Compton, after which he moved to the Major Crimes Division where he has led the prosecution in some of California’s highest profile cases. Prior to becoming a Deputy DA, Jackson served in the United States Air Force as a Jet mechanic. Currently, Jackson serves as the Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division where he oversees the office’s most complex and high-profile cases.


# # #

Monday, May 2, 2011

Good News, Bad News

Alan Jackson got some good news Monday afternoon.


Phil Spector's conviction was upheld by a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal, according to the LA Times. In a statement released by the Alan Jackson for DA campaign, Jackson said: "The Court's stongly-worded ruling today affirms what we at the District Attorney's office have known since 2009: Mr. Spector received a fair trial and his murder conviction was proper. I am proud to have represented the People in the fight to get justice for Lana Clarkson. This is a great day for Lana, the Clarkson family and for Los Angeles. Phil Spector is exactly where he should be--behind bars."

That's bad news for Spector.

If looks could kill ... Phil Spector does not look happy.
(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Good news for Carmen Trutanich.

Rick Orlov at the Daily News all but accused Trutanich of "grandstanding"
in an op-ed criticizing Trutanich for exaggerating his role regarding DNA Rape Kits.
 
The good news? He got his name in the press, again.

Bad news for Trutanich is that he got his name in the press for making false claims. The Daily News article explained that Trutanich had not been invited to LAPD Chief Beck's press call on the clearing of the Rape Kit backlog.

But despite not being invited to the presser, Orlov reported that Trutanich nevertheless issued this statement,"we as prosecutors are successfully using these kits and other evidence to prosecute criminals."

Trutanich's statement was questioned by Orlov, who reported that an aide told him (on background) that "The city attorney was not involved and his office is unlikely to use the evidence kit because they prosecute misdemeanor crimes." 

 It seems that the unnamed aide, Chief Beck and Orlov all understand that the city attorney prosecutes misdemeanor crimes, while felonies, such as rape (as in "Rape Kits") are not prosecuted by Trutanich, making his statement basically false.

It probably has not escaped Orlov's attention, as well as the attention of many others, that as Trutanich ramps up his bid to become District Attorney, he is increasingly trying to make himself relevant to criminal issues that really are not in his purview, just to get some ink.

Examples of "grandstanding" by Trutanich are not hard to find.

The Daily Breeze was one of many local media outlets covering
the successful take down of the infamous RSP Gang.
Last week many media outlets picked up on the "massive gang sweep" that netted members of the notorious Rancho San Pedro gang. Carmen Trutanich was front and center in most reports of the action by federal agents and local law enforcement. All those arrested will face felony charges for illegal firearms and narcotics sales and possession, charges that will be prosecuted by the District Attorney, not Trutanich. So what was Trutanich's connection apart from hailing from San Pedro? An injunction. A useful tool, but in comparison to the actual news, rather peripheral in the opinion of some.

It appears that Trutanich may have been so misleading as to his actual role in this gang sweep, that reporters got entirely the wrong impression about Trutanich.

ABC7's Darsha Philips thinks Trutanich is the District Attorney.
ABC7's Darsha Philips's report describes the podium grabbing Trutanich as "L.A. District Attorney Carmen Trutanich." 

Orlov deferentially entitled his op-ed "Trutanich may try to raise his profile soon," however, Orlov seems to be saying that Trutanich is all too willing to make false claims about his relevance to criminal issues in order to raise that profile.

Trutanich campaigning on the city dime, again

City prosecutor Carmen Trutanich's continued use of city personnel and vehicles for his political campaign continues to raise questions as to whether Trutanich's use is in violation of City Ethics laws.

On Sunday April 29,  2012, at 9:30AM, Trutanich attended a fundraiser for his DA campaign.


Photos and video supplied to the Dragnet shows that Trutanich was chauffeured to the event in a City vehicle, driven by a City employee (part of LAPD's security detail). The LAPD Officer and the SUV remained parked outside the Abbas Restaurant at 129 N. La Brea Ave. for around two hours, before the SUV departed with Trutanich for an unknown location.   

Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 49.5.5.B states that 'No City official or employee of an agency shall engage in campaign-related activities, such as fundraising, the development of electronic or written materials, or research, for a campaign for any elective office or ballot measure:
1. during the hours for which he or she is receiving pay to engage in City business; or
2. using City facilities, equipment, supplies or other City resources.'





Raw footage obtained by the Dragnet shows Trutanich arriving at the restaurant in the city SUV.



This is not the first time that the Dragnet has questioned Trutanich's use of city cars and personnel in connection with his campaign. Last week, the Dragnet reported that Trutanich used a city car and driver to take him to an endorsement interview with the Central City Association.

Previously, the Dragnet reported that city cars and personnel were used and appeared in his campaign video 'True Stories.'

The City's ethics law seems quite clear, but it doesn't seem that Trutanich believes that law applies to him. The cost of providing Trutanich with a car and driver for his campaign activities is being borne by the taxpayer, surely Trutanich should reimburse the City of Los Angeles for the value of these services?

.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Bin Laden DEAD!


Justice has been served.

Our heartfelt thanks to the brave men and women of our armed forces and the intelligence community for finding the needle in the haystack, and taking him out.