Other than ranking the candidates "Good, Bad and Underfunded," the Dragnet expresses no other opinion as to the ranking of the candidates, their names appearing in alphabetical order.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson (left)
Veteran prosecutor in the Major Crimes Division of the District Attorney's Office, Jackson was the first candidate to declare his candidacy. Jackson had already raised over $100k when he launched his campaign and has since raised over $407,000. Jackson has a string of political and police endorsements to lend credibility to his campaign.
Jackson is the only Republican in the race. While Los Angeles politics skews towards Democrats, there remains a sizable block of Republican voters who will follow the recommendation of former Gov. Pete Wilson, who recently endorsed Jackson, as well as those of local Republican clubs where Jackson has been making the rounds. In a primary election where six other candidates are drawing from the Democrat pool of voters, Jackson will likely have a sufficiently high number of votes to comfortably earn a place in the November run-off.
Party politics aside, many on both sides of the political fence applaud Jackson for being the only candidate to, thus far, take a vocal and vociferous stance against City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's narcissistic ambitions, failed policies, and willingness to lie. In taking the fight to Trutanich, Jackson supporters hail him for showing the strength of character and leadership that is crucial for the leader of the largest prosecutorial agency in the nation; one who takes a firm and unequivocal stand against the kind of political corruption and backroom deals some say are the hallmark of the Trutanich brand.
It's a stand that has earned Jackson the respect, support and endorsement of police associations quick to dissociate themselves from Trutanich's EndorsementGate lies scandal. That the El Monte Police Officers Association announced their endorsement of Jackson days after Trutanich's lies became public is perhaps the clearest indication of the strong bonds Jackson has with the law enforcement community.
Jackson's campaign website is www.VoteAlanJackson.com
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey (center)
Rising star of the DA's Office, the seasoned prosecutor has risen through the ranks to achieve the highest position in the District Attorney's Office short of being the District Attorney; Chief Deputy District Attorney. Those who have worked for Lacey have only praise for her calm, determined and rational style of leadership.
It's a sentiment shared by District Attorney Steve Cooley who has supported Lacey's candidacy from the get-go. This week Cooley released his email endorsement laying out the reasoning behind his support for Lacey, and his promise to those who elected him (a record three times), to leave the District Attorney's Office "in good shape and in good hands. That will occur only if my Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey is elected District Attorney." Cooley said.
|District Attorney Steve Cooley's email endorsement of Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey|
went out to thousands of Cooley's supporters on February 7, 2012. It can be downloaded here.
A centrist Democrat, Lacey can expect to benefit from the high number of Democrat voters likely to cast votes in a primary election where, despite President Obama being unopposed, Democrats will nevertheless turn out to express their partisanship. Lacey is known to be working on securing key political endorsements to solidify partisan support for her candidacy.
If there has been any criticism leveled against Lacey's campaign it is the lack of visibility and interest that the campaign initially generated; Lacey raised 'only' $220,000 in 2011. That's about to change dramatically according to sources.
The biggest change appears to be DA Steve Cooley's involvement in her campaign. His email removes any doubts that remained that he will have a last minute change of heart and seek a fourth term, and clearly Cooley is positioning himself to take a more active role in Lacey's campaign. Lacey has also recently revised her website and fired her campaign strategist and fundraiser in favor of seasoned campaign adviser Parke Skelton. We can expect to hear more from the Lacey campaign in the run-up to the June 5, primary election.
Lacey's campaign website is www.JackieLacey.com
Deputy District Attorney Mario Trujillo (right)
A former schoolteacher turned prosecutor, Trujillo worked his way up the ranks of the DA's Office including a stint in the Hardcore Gang Division where a string of successful prosecutions signaled to his supervisors that he was ready to step up to a management position; serving first as Special Assistant and then being charged with running the busy Bellflower Area District Attorney's Office.
Trujillo has been, unquestionably, the surprise candidate in this race. His campaign started as many grassroots campaigns do, with the support and encouragement of friends. He formally announced his candidacy at the 2011 Mexican American Bar Association's Annual Installation Dinner to rapturous applause, and he has since parlayed that support into serious fundraising with donations exceeding $439,000 according to the LA Weekly.
Politically, Trujillo is towards the left of Democrat politics, standing to pick up valuable support from the LGBT community as well as medical marijuana advocates, both of whom likely see Trujillo as receptive to a more tolerant approach to their issues, and both of which are powerful groups.
If Trujillo's achievements were remarkable as a grassroots campaign, just imagine what he could do with a serious campaign strategist to harness all that momentum? Well imagine no longer.
|Mario Trujillo ups the ante in the DA race with announcement that|
Ace Smith will guide his campaign in the run up to the primary election
Smith is understood to have been approached by other candidates, but chose Trujillo because of his potential to do well enough in the primary to win a place in the November run-off. Trujillo has also demonstrated the kind of fundraising ability that will be needed to pay for the services of a top flight campaign strategist like Smith.
Smith also may have something of a personal score to settle; he was campaign strategist to City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss in 2009, and lost badly to Carmen Trutanich. Nothing would please Smith more than to see Trujillo hand Trutanich a humiliating defeat, a strong likelihood as Trujillo has succeeded in capturing most if not all the support Trutanich previously enjoyed in the Latino community.
Trujillo's campaign website is www.MarioTrujilloForDA.com
|Trutanich wins sole place in the 'Bad' category|
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich
What more can one say about City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's candidacy than he says about himself; he is a liar.
He lied about his 'Pledge to Serve,' he lied about his police endorsements. If one word summarizes the Trutanich brand of politics it is 'LIAR.' While Trutanich apparently thinks that voters are as as unconcerned about liars as he is about telling lies, the Los Angeles media will do a great deal to educate the electorate about just how little trust can be placed in anything he says. At least that appears to be the case judging by the way local media covered Trutanich's lackluster launch of his campaign. The bully-boy hid behind an email rather than follow through with a a media event on the steps of the Criminal Courts Building. He was, perhaps, afraid of having to deal with questions about his duplicity.
Trutanich, politically, appears to be in a wilderness. A former Republican who became a 'Decline to State' to help his City Attorney campaign, he seems to have lost the support of Republicans who once backed him at the urging of District Attorney Steve Cooley. Republicans have little time for liars, and reports suggest that Trutanich got such a stormy reception at the San Fernando Valley Republican Club that he either left of his own accord, or, as recent comments suggested, he was asked to leave 'before things got out of hand.'
While Republicans revile at his betrayal, Trutanich has been busy forging links to Democrat politicians such as Senators Gil Cedillo, Isadore Hall, Kevin DeLeon and Congressman Brad Sherman, all of whom were listed on his ADDA endorsement questionnaire as 'key endorsers.' It is strongly rumored that Trutanich will now change his party allegiance to Democrat to further his campaign chances in the same way that San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon recently did. Gascon is, coincidentally, also listed as a 'key endorser.'
At 60, Trutanich is by far and away the oldest of the DA candidates, yet he is also the least experienced. He has not prosecuted a felony case since he left the DA's Office 24 years ago in 1988. Trutanich was a Deputy DA for seven years and he said he quit because of low pay. "I had four kids and I had to feed my family, so I went into private practice," was the way Trutanich used to explain his departure from the DA's Office. He may have to come up with an new story for his DA campaign.
State Bar records show that Trutanich was sworn-in as an attorney in May 1979. Typically, those who pass the Bar first time are sworn-in in the month of December. A May swearing-in could indicate having failed the first attempt, not uncommon for those who attend unaccredited law schools. It is not known whether Trutanich, who attended a part-time, night-time unaccredited law school, failed the Bar on his first attempt, or merely delayed taking the Bar Exam.
While the media have been quick to label Trutanich as a "front runner," they have been equally quick to label him a "liar." The front runner status comes from name recognition, and it is going to be up to the media and candidates ready, willing and able to remind voters why they recognize the name; he is a liar.
Liar or not, Trutanich has amassed an enviable warchest. He will need every penny of it, and will likely have to dip into his own resources now that the honeymoon is over and his supporters have been exposed to the less than enthusiastic media response to his candidacy.
Much like Meg Whitman's failed campaign to buy the Governorship, Trutanich's millions may not save his political career. A recent comment may well sum up many voters' sentiments; "Karma's a bitch Nuch, you're gonna to have even more in common with Jack Weiss than you do now. On election night you're gonna have to sneak out the back door of your victory party just like he did, wishing for a hole to open up in the sidewalk and swallow you up. Voters don't like being used and they don't like being lied to."
Trutanich's website is www.CarmenTrutanich.com
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace (left)
If sheer numbers of successful prosecutions of complex, serious, violent crimes were the determining factor in who should become the next District Attorney, Bobby Grace would win hands down. That he has run a campaign while trying back to back cases is a credit to his commitment to his job and the Office of District Attorney.
Perhaps because of Grace's commitment to his job, he has not had enough time to devote to fundraising and at last reports, had raised around $60,000. That's a creditable achievement, but few would disagree that it is not nearly enough in a countywide election.
Grace is considered a centrist Democrat, and has been active in local politics. Whether Grace will remain in the race or drop out and support another candidate is sheer speculation at the moment, but it is nevertheless interesting speculation. Grace could remain on the ballot simply to raise his profile for a future political campaign. After the primary, Grace would be well positioned to join forces with one of the candidates in the November general election.
Grace's campaign website is www.BobbyGrace4DA.com
Deputy District Attorney Steve Ipsen (center)
The former President of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys is the only one of the current candidates who has actually run for District Attorney before. If being something of a contrarian were the determining factor in who should become the next District Attorney, Ipsen would win hands down.
Politically it is hard to accurately place Ipsen. In his prior campaign he seemed to be leaning towards the right in terms of his tough on crime, victim's rights positions. However, his organized labor connections as well as comments from others, suggest he his trending towards Democrat.
Despite his prior campaign experience and his polarizing leadership of the ADDA, Ipsen has not done well in the fundraising department, having raised just $25,000. If Ipsen succeeds in gaining the support of organized labor, however, he could benefit from their fundraising efforts on his behalf, or more likely, substantial union independent expenditures.
Ipsen is also likely to ultimately receive the endorsement of the ADDA. The prosecutors union owes its existence to Ipsen's efforts, although some might also say the ADDA exists despite his efforts. Either way, the ADDA might be wise to endorse Ipsen so as to avoid 'bad blood' with the ultimate victor. Their endorsement of Ipsen would be predictable, justifiable and would likely not offend the frontrunners.
With the promise of labor endorsements and independent expenditures, Ipsen's lack of fundraising is not perhaps as much of a barrier to him making an impact in the primary election. Although it is unlikely that Ipsen will poll high enough to be in the November run-off, he is unlikely to drop out and will likely seek to parlay his organized labor backing into a prominent role in the run up to the November election.
Ipsen's campaign website is www.SteveIpsen.com
Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers (right)
We are surprised to find Danette Meyers amongst the "Underfunded." The veteran prosecutor has dedicated her professional life to the DA's Office, and those who have worked alongside her are quick to sing her praise. Significantly, that includes those who supervised her, former DA Gil Garcetti and former Head Deputy John Lynch have both endorsed Meyers.
Politically a centrist Democrat, Meyers recently became nationally known for her handling of celebrity bad girl Lindsay Lohan's various run ins with the law. While the free publicity is good for a candidate, Meyers' greater achievements are perhaps more worthy of mention. She has successfully prosecuted the most serious of crimes and has the reputation for being a dedicated and effective hard charger.
But parlaying an enviable record as a respected and effective prosecutor into the kind of money needed to fund a countywide political campaign is proving to be a hurdle for Meyers. According to the LA Weekly, Meyers raised just $116,000 in 2011. That may not be as much of a problem for Meyers as it might seem. She has strong ties to LA's legal community, the high point of which must surely be having served as the President of the LA County Bar Association. If campaign contributions aren't sufficient from that quarter, their influence and recommendation will surely result in Meyers having a respectable following in the primary.
Meyers' campaign website is www.DanetteForDA.com
The June 5, 2012 primary election is less than four months away, and seven candidates are vying for the position. It is unlikely in the extreme that any candidate will receive anything close to 50% plus one vote in order to win the primary outright, so a runoff election in November is virtually guaranteed. The question, of course, is which two of the seven candidates will receive the most votes in order to face off in November?
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