Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Free For All - AFSCME Affiliation, Fundraising Frenzies & Faux Pas


The results of the hasty affiliation vote were announced on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 by ADDA President Hyatt Seligman in a members only email.

The ADDA email wasn't exactly news to ADDA members, nor the overwhelming majority of DDAs who learned of the results in The Metropolitan News Enterprise earlier in the day, together with some very outspoken criticism questioning both the process and the compatibility of alignment with a big labor union. The Met News quoted DDA David Berger, "who has been critical of the group’s leadership," as having "predicted that affiliation would pass" and that "there will be a great many DAs who will feel the election was rigged” since there is “an unhealthy lack of transparency about the way ADDA holds elections.”

"The prosecutor—who has previously accused ADDA President Hyatt Seligman and his predecessor, Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen, of having “hijacked” the group to serve their own purposes—said affiliation with AFSCME “just heightens my fear that there will never be truly representative leadership of the ADDA.”

The Met News also quoted DDA Steve Dickman, who "said he voted against affiliation because he opposed becoming aligned with “big labor” and he does not “want to have any of my dues going to support the kind of causes that I really don’t agree with.”
He said that most large labor unions, and “AFSCME in particular, have very different views politically and policy-wise than I do.” For example, Dickman said, AFSCME supported Proposition 66, which “would have gutted three-strikes,” but the ADDA had opposed it.

AFSCME is “very, very different than myself, and I think, most of my colleagues,” Dickman said."

On Thursday, June 23, 2011, the Met News published celebratory statements by Seligman and Ipsen, with Seligman "...reached on vacation out of state, heralded the outcome of Tuesday’s ballot count as “ a huge victory for our union, majority rule and freedom of choice.”

Past ADDA president and current board member Steve Ipsen also proclaimed it “a great day for prosecutors” that was “a long time in coming.”

The final tally came in at 133 votes in favor of affiliation with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and 24 opposed.

This “landslide victory,” Seligman said, “gives us the momentum to move forward with a vote on agency shop aided by a powerful and trusted ally with special expertise in this crucial area.”"

Ipsen was quoted extensively, far more so that Seligman, a fact that some might say underlines the reality of the situation that Ipsen, restored to the ADDA Board after members rejected his candidacy, is still very much in control with Seligman doing what he's told.

The "landslide" claim is frankly laughable.  A total of 157 votes were counted; 133 for, 24 against. The ADDA is believed to have as many as 300 members, so more than half the membership either decided not to vote, or voted against joining big labor. Or perhaps the dearth of 'No' votes represents a large number of ballots that never reached members, arrived too late, or were lost in the mail?

When those 133 votes are put in perspective with the 800 or so DDAs who will be eligible to vote in the as-yet unscheduled "agency shop" vote to compel all DDAs to pay dues to the ADDA/AFSCME, there may be a real landslide in the other direction, but it will not matter to Ipsen; he has secured his place in the ADDA's big labor backed leadership that will ensure that meritless lawsuits continue to define the Ipsen's approach to representing members.


With the June 30, 2011 deadline for DA candidates to report their fundraising successes, all candidates are working hard to bump Alan Jackson from his early lead.

Mario Trujillo has been holding fundraisers like a man possessed and has very quickly mastered the art of working the room. Trujillo had one fundraiser Thursday night, and has another scheduled for the weekend.

Bobby Grace also had a big fundraiser Thursday night in Downtown LA, part of BET Awards Week called "Jammin' for Justice."

Grace's attention to all-important fundraising will please a seemingly endless number of defendants who await their day in court against Grace - it usually doesn't turn out so well for them.

Jackie Lacey has also been busy fundraising, and has this event hosted by former DDA David Fleck, just before the reporting deadline.

Fleck tells the Dragnet that he had the idea to combine the launch of his new business litigation practice with providing support for Lacey. So far he says he's had a very enthusiastic response to Lacey's fundraiser.


Lobbyist John Ek beside his former criminal defense attorney City AttorneyCarmen Trutanich
and the controversial cocktail reception hosted by Ek in San Pedro
Can't end the week without mention of Carmen Trutanich's lobbyist-hosted San Pedro fundraiser. The blogs lit up on Trutanich after it was discovered that John Ek, a lobbyist that Trutanich once represented Ek when he was summoned to a Grand Jury proceeding into campaign finance misconduct, and who Trutanich had coincidentally, but surely inadvertently, recently proved to be a great ally in enabling Ek's client HMS Host to hold on to their concessionaire position at LAX. a flood of negative comments in the blogs. Famed former journalist turned Street-Hassle blogger, Mulholand Terrace, was the first to comment on the questionable link between the LAX, Ek, Trutanich and the fundraiser cocktail reception. Politics Without Mercy went further, delving further into the long and perhaps lucrative history between the lobbyist and Trutanich.

The point previously made about the lack of a campaign disclosure on Trutanich's invitation is, perhaps, better understood when you look at Jackie Lacey's invitation. The disclosure statement is a requirement imposed by the FPPC, and an ethical violation can result in a variety of punishments if a complaint is lodged.

Happy Weekend!



Anonymous said...

So Superman Seligman was on vacation at the time of the most important event in ADDA history? That makes it clear that this really is an Ipsen side show.

Ipsen sold out the interests of DDAs to AFSCME for a financial bailout from AFSCME that was dependent on getting affiliation. Without Ipsen selling us out, his disastrous leadership of the ADDA would have resulted in bankruptcy, so now the ADDA gets to carry on destroying relations between the rank and file and the administration just to support Ipsen's DA campaign.

Happy Weekend? You are kidding.

Anonymous said...

AND we get to pick up the tab as the ADDA is converted into a tool of the Ipsen 2012 Campaign. He couldn't gt elected to the Board, but he struck the right deals, so the rest of the Board is whoring the association to his campaign.

Anonymous said...

The fundraising frenzy, as you call it, will show who is seriously in this race, and who is just dreaming.

Starting at the bottom, Steve Ipsen will probably miss the reporting deadline like he missed the Met News deadline, and blame it on union busting and the fact that it takes a long time to count nickels and dimes - quarters are easier.

Danette Meyers is still a long way away from her promised half-million - about $450K away.

Bobby Grace might come close to $80k

Alan Jackson had $100k in the bank, but has struggled to get anyone to donate since Cooley confirmed his support for Lacey. Maybe raised another $30k this period.

Mario Trujillo has had more fundraisers than any other candidate, but they're all small in terms of the amount raised. He's over $100k, and will probably beat Jackson for third place.

Lacey will probably break the $200k barrier given the number of smaller but well monied events she's been to where wealthy attorneys are writing checks because Cooley told them too.

Trutanich will lead the field. He's been telling his pitchfork followers that he's got a million pledged, and and another million promised. Nobody knows how much of that translates into actual reported contributions, nor can it be said how many contributions will have to be returned if there are any campaign finance violations, but Trutanich will no doubt take the lead.

Windscale - the writing is on the wall. You better start looking for a new job.

Anonymous said...

Ipsen doesn't need to raise money, that's why were having an agency shop election, so that the ADDA will have a war chest to underwrite his campaign.