Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lacey rocks the house at The Foundry on Melrose

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey took her ambition to become LA's first female DA and LA's first African American DA a step closer to realization at a major 'meet and greet' fundraiser at The Foundry on Melrose, Wednesday night.

The standing-room only event was well-attended with a crowd estimated to be in the region of 120, comprising prominent members of the defense bar including Host Committee members Michael Goldstein, Sam Solakyan, Richard Chacon, Alison Triessl, Percy Duran Sr., Steven Bernhein, Jeffrey Vallens, David S. Kestenbaum, Rabb Mahoney, Robert Schwartz, Arcand Naderi, Gina Di Domenico and Laura Stone. 

There was also a strong showing of judicial officers including the Hon. Judge Peter Espinosa, and a large number of Deputy District Attorneys. Also in attendance were LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia, SEIU Executive Board Member Bianca Gomez, and Actor Romeo Miller. An eclectic mix of supporters and one representative of Lacey's 'wide appeal and broad range of support,' said Micheal Goldstein who played a central role in organizing the event.

District Attorney Steve Cooley's support for Lacey as 'most qualified' to replace him when he steps down after a record three terms as LA's chief prosecutor is well known. Tonight, however, he delegated the task of introducing Lacey to his daughter, Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cooley. Shannon spoke passionately about Lacey's candidacy and her oratory left little doubt that she has learned well from the master of the short, succinct introduction.

The capacity crowded room then enthusiastically welcomed Lacey who spoke of the many successes she has achieved in her campaign, including an ever-growing list of endorsements from law enforcement, political and labor groups. Lacey also delighted the crowd by speaking briefly and directly to the task at hand; campaigning fearlessly and tirelessly over the remaining weeks before the election.

It was Host Committee Chair Michael Goldstein who spoke even more directly to the issue; 'Max-out your contributions!' Goldstein said. Judging by the resounding cheer at Goldstein's words, it was a suggestion that was embraced by the crowd.

Flamboyant complex litigation attorney Steven Jay Bernheim, Prinicpal of the Beverly Hills based Berheim Law Firm, then stunned the audience by telling them that he wasn't going to give a penny to Lacey. That was because he had already maxed-out, and he urged others in the room to do the same.

The Foundry's celebrity chef, Eric Greenspan's contribution to the success of the event, beyond providing the stylish and dynamic venue for the fundraiser, was to supply the crowd with a seemingly never ending selection of delicious food from The Foundry's lounge menu. If you haven't tasted his signature grilled cheese sandwich, you don't know what you are missing. 

The message from Lacey and her supporters was clear; the task at hand for the remainder of the campaign is to raise money to mount the kind of campaign that will propel Lacey from her current position as the number two in the largest prosecutorial agency in the nation, to the number one slot. There was no doubt whatsoever that the strong support evinced by the crowd at The Foundry shows that they are committed and determined to doing that.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Trutanich launches City Attorney reelection campaign with a lie

According to an email blast from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's quickly cobbled together reelection campaign, the former wannabe DA is holding true to his colors and is continuing to attempt to mislead, lie and deceive voters.

The first piece of 'campaign news' blasted to his koolaide drinkers proudly proclaims that 'TRUTANICH RAISES $100,000 FOR LA'S BEST,' and continues to claim that 'LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has delivered on his promise to raise at least $100,000 for LA’s BEST by Aug. 12, his birthday.'

It's a characteristically false claim for at least three reasons:

First, Trutanich was supposed to pay $100,000 to LA's BEST if and when he broke his promise not to run for higher office. Although the Dragnet had been reporting on Trutanich's stealth DA campaign since early in 2011, it was not until February 9, 2012 that Trutanich came clean and admitted he was running. The $100,000 was due and payable then, but Trutanich kept on trying to weasel his way out of his promise until his shatteringly humiliating defeat in the DA primary election.

Second, the $100,000 was supposed to come from Trutanich's personal funds, not from some half-assed fundraising effort to try to salvage Trutanich tattered reputation. If Trutanich can be believed, and that is a huge stretch, Trutanich personally donated $10,000 to LA's BEST, and 'unnamed' benefactors came up with another $20,000, which leads us to the third reason why Trutanich has commenced his reelection campaign with a lie;

Third, it is patently false to claim that 'Carmen Trutanich has delivered on his promise to raise at least $100,000 for LA’s BEST by Aug. 12, his birthday. He has delivered $30,000 but that is $70,000 short of the $100,000 he owes. He has neither raised nor paid that $100,000 and to try to maintain that he has, is just further proof of how Trutanich is utterly unfit and wholly untrustworthy.

LA's BEST tries to offer underprivileged school kids a chance to succeed. They desperately need the money Trutanich promised to pay them, so they are in the rather awkward situation of having to accept the scraps Trutanich tosses their way, while being fearful of the consequences of demanding full payment. Trutanich, like a deadbeat dad, dangles the promise for more money if they play the game. It is truly disgusting the to see the way Trutanich has victimized those who are the most needy and least able to defend themselves, but that is what a bully and a a thug does.

If the LA Times were to offer an opinion on the topic, it might look something like this:

Just as Trutanich made the lie about being surrounded and shot at by gangmembers the
centerpiece of his failed DA campaign, he appears to being making the lie about paying $100,000 to LA's BEST the centerpiece of his City Attorney reelection campaign. He should man-up, pay-up, and shut-up, but hell will freeze over before Trutanich actually follows through on his worthless words.

Trutanich's campaign website not listed on Google?

Hold on to your barf bags, here's the link to City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's 'official re-election' campaign website: Funny thing is that you cannot find that website by searching Google, the world's leading search engine.

There is probably an innocent explanation as to why Trutanich's formerly easily searchable DA campaign website, was not used, but we're scratching our heads wondering why, having paid so much money to have his eponymous DA campaign website supremely search-engine optimized, Trutanich now has to use a different domain name that so far remains invisible on Google?

Also missing from Trutanich's 'official re-election' website is a link to 'endorsements.'

Surely there a veritable laundry list of political hacks, law enforcement associations, State Governors, State Assemblymen, organized labor groups and the ubiquitous Dennis Zine, all willing to commit political suicide to endorse the man formerly known as 'The People's Lawyer,' but who preferred to be called 'Los Angeles Chief Criminal Prosecutor,' and who now self-styles himself as 'The People's Prosecutor?'

Perhaps the missing link to the 'Endorsements' page is a mistake by a campaign volunteer?

Or perhaps the reality is that anyone who wants to retain any shred of credibility is not answering the plaintiff calls from LA's Chief Liar?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

DA candidates' polls conflict

With the November 6, 2012 General Election fast approaching, both candidates for Los Angeles District Attorney released poll data this week, and both claim to lead the polls.

On August 20, 2012, Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson issued a press release with polling data from the research firm of Normington Petts and Associates claiming 'that in a profile match up, in which the candidates’ names are withheld, Alan Jackson defeats opponent Jackie Lacey by 14 points. Jackson garners 48% of the vote to Lacey’s 34%, with less than 18% of voters undecided.'

Jackson’s chief strategist John S. Thomas said, 'It is clear that voters want a top notch prosecutor who is tethered to the courtroom as their next Chief Prosecutor for Los Angeles County.'

That was swiftly followed by a press release from Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey with polling data from from pollster Paul Goodwin claiming that 'Polling Shows Lacey Leading D.A.'s Race By a 2-to-1 Margin.' Goodwin, of Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, said that 'In short, Lacey starts ahead, expands her lead when voters compare the qualifications of the candidates, and will solidify her advantage as voters divide along partisan lines. She is a strong favorite to win this seat.' Goodwin's said that 'there are many undecided voters,' but did not state the percentage.

Both candidates reiterated their positions along the lines first mentioned at the August 7, 2012 LA Cops District Attorney forum, with Jackson stressing his accomplishments as a prosecutor and Lacey stressing her management experience with the backing of District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Lacey also stressed the value of partisanship in the upcoming election, saying 'she will have the Democratic party endorsement in an election in Obama will win handily in L.A. County – our poll shows he leads Romney by 46 points here. This is a virtually insurmountable advantage for Lacey – Democratic registration among likely voters is nearly two and half times larger than GOP registration.'

Jackson, however, does not believe partisanship will be as significant, saying his 'message and frontline experience resonates strongly with voters. Alan Jackson is leading by every benchmark: fundraising, law enforcement support and polling.'

The candidates will face each other on September 20, 2012 in a DA Candidates' Forum sponsored by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys.

The ADDA sponsored forum will be moderated by LA Weekly reporter Gene Maddaus and will take place at Japanese American National Museum, which followers will recall was the location of the very first DA Candidates' forum. Failed DA candidate Carmen Trutanich did not attend that forum, and this time it is unlikely that he will dispatch a spy to report back on what might have been.

It is equally unlikely that Trutanich will 'drop by' as he did at the recent Mayoral candidates' forum; he looked like he had seen a ghost when LA Mayoral candidate Kevin James' campaign strategist John Thomas offered a friendly handshake to the former frontrunner. Trutanich then left the forum abruptly, to the delight of all in attendance.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Topics

Met News reports Trutanich blames Shallman for
'Hindenburg-like' campaign missteps

The Met-News article did not use the photo of the Hindenburg disaster
to analogize Trutanich's failed bid to advance his political career.
According to a front page article in the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise covering the announcement of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's lobbyist-lead campaign to hang on to the job he did not previously want, the former ambulance chaser turned career politician blames his former campaign strategist and $112,000 creditor, John Shallman, for what KABC host Doug McIntyre described as the 'Hindenburg-like' attempt to become District Attorney.

The Met-News quoted Trutanich's newly appointed lobbyist/campaign consultant, Rick Taylor, who was quick to embrace Trutanich's trademark blame-shifting strategy in explaining away Trutanich's unfavorable poll-ratings. The poll figures were released by John Thomas, campaign strategist for both Alan Jackson who successfully denied Trutanich a place in the November run-off election for District Attorney, and for City Attorney Candidate Greg Smith, who will likely displace Trutanich in the March 2012 primary election for City Attorney where most believe it will be Smith who will face termed out Assemblyman Mike Feuer in a run-off.

Tayor dismissed Truanich's negative approval ratings as  the work of 'an angry young man out there who’s trying to pretend he’s a political consultant,' Taylor said of Thomas. The poll of 500 county voters showed Trutanich’s job approval at 17 percent, with 43 percent disapproving; the city respondents were 22 percent positive and 49 percent negative.

Beyond the ad hominem attack on Thomas, Taylor challenged the accuracy of the poll data stating that it had previously 'failed to accurately predict the outcome of the district attorney contest.' Once again, Taylor seems to be slipping seamlessly into the Trutanich camp's well established propensity for misstatement. In fact poll data released by Thomas predicted Jackson and Trutanich would be separated by less than two percentage points in the DA race. That proved to be the outcome of the June 5 primary which saw Trutanich politically hobbled, if not castrated.

Taylor concluded his remarks to the Met News say that 'whatever Trutanich’s favorables are today, he expects them to go up as the campaign focuses on the incumbent’s record of accomplishment.' That's a very bold statement, and one that ignores the rather inconvenient truth that LA voters have already passed judgment on what they think of Trutanich's record of accomplishment; they don't like liars. Thus far Taylor seems to be continuing where Shallman left off by further enabling a candidate who cannot bring himself to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong, and who continues to distort the truth as characterized by John Thomas, who called Trutanich a 'pathological liar.'


Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Briefs

Trutanich claims to pay-off $100k debt to LA's Best

According to the LA Weekly, City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich issued a press release last week claiming that:

LA City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has delivered on his promise to raise at least $100,000 for LA's BEST by Aug. 12, his birthday."

The presser, rapidly put out by Trutanich's apparently unpaid campaign spokesperson John Schwada, (how the mighty do fall), gives the impression that LA's Chief Liar actually had paid off his $100k debt in full. In fact Trutanich only gave $30k to LA's Best After School Enrichment Program for underprivileged kids, and only $10k of that was from his own money, the identity of those who gave the $20k was not revealled.

Trutanich was, apparently, panicked into doing something after the LA Weekly called him out earlier in the week for reneging on his promise to the school kids.

Of course, $30k is not $100k, and as for the $70k balance, it seems that the poor kids at LA's Best will just have to make do with Carmen's assurance that he check is in the mail.

Trutanich announces lobbyist as campaign consultant -
City Hall for sale?

According to the LA Weekly, Carmen Trutanich has secured the services of lobbyist and campaign consultant Rick Taylor in his bid to retain his City Attorney position. No details were released as to any financial arrangement between Trutanich and Taylor, however, as Trutanich has not been able to raise money for his reelection until filing papers, the arrangement could be fluid one.

It is understood that most mainstream political consultants were unwilling to work on Trutanich's reelection campaign. That could be because they consider Trutanich to be essentially unelectable after have been trapped by his own lies on so many occasions during his ill-fated run for District Attorney. Additionally, they may also believe it unlikely that Truanich will be able to raise the kind of money needed to pay for their services.

Rick Taylor, however, may believe that investing his time in trying to manage Trutanich's campaign may have other benefits; such as the ability to offer his lobbying clients access to the man who will be  City Attorney at least until June 30, 2013, when LA's voters are expected to once again 'vote A.B.C.' (Anyone But Carmen Trutanich) and kick LA's Chief Liar out of office a second time.

Taylor's prior ties to Trutanich are unknown. Taylor's business partner at Dakota Communications, Kerman Maddox, is married to Deputy City Attorney Capri Maddox, who was recently appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa as a salaried commissioner to the LA City Board of Public Works.  

Tayor, like Schwada, may be offering his services without a formal fee arrangement. Taylor was recently reported to have been representing failed CD15 candidate Jayme Wilson, however, a search of Wilson's campaign finance disclosure statements filed with the City Ethics Commission did not show any payments from the Wilson campaign.  

According to polling data received by the LA Weekly, Trutanich is severely damaged goods; 'Trutanich was at breakeven in February (15% favorable, 14% unfavorable, with the rest saying, "Who's that?"). But after his failed D.A. bid, the numbers have moved to 15% favorable, 19% unfavorable. That's actually hard to do, and suggests that some image rehab is urgently needed.'
'The numbers are actually worse when you look at job approval. On that question, 17% give him a positive rating, and 43% give him a negative rating. Those are countywide numbers, but if you look at the results only within the City of L.A., it gets slightly worse: 22% positive, 49% negative. (Pollster: Jill Normington of Normington, Petts & Associates. 500 respondents countywide, 193 respondents in L.A.)' The LA Weekly said.

With polling data confirming Trutanich's 'unelectable' status, it looks like Rick Taylor has his work cut out trying to rehabilitate Trutanich.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trutanich breaks another promise - Is that even news these days?

According to the LA Weekly, Carmen Trutanich, the Chief Liar of Los Angeles, has again failed to deliver on one of his many promises.

The tough talker with a record of making empty threats and false promises has again stiffed the kids of LA's Best After School Enrichment Program and failed to deliver the $100,000 check he promised they would have by his birthday. That was last Sunday.

Trutanich's debt to kids of LA's Best arises from his 'Pledge to Serve,' a promise he made when running for City Attorney that he would not run for higher office until he had completed his full first term as City Attorney. Trutanich also promised that if he did break his pledge, the kids would get $100,000 personal check.

Trutanich started his campaign for higher office within months of becoming City Attorney, and he stiffed the kids of the $100,000 almost immediately, saying the $100,000 promise was just a gimmick, a campaign trick. But when Trutanich realized how unpopular cheating kids was, and how damaging it was to his political aspirations, he relented. He said he couldn't afford to write a personal check to cover his debt, but he would nevertheless raise the money by his birthday.

The LA Weekly also noted that despite Trutanich's assurances that he was seeking reelection as City Attorney, he had also failed to announce the formation of a campaign committee this past week, as promised. Speculation is that Trutanich was unable to persuade anyone with any credibility to chair his campaign committee, and that several campaign consultants have told Trutanich that they will not work for him. It seems, increasingly, that people who care about their reputations are avoiding association with Trutanich.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Midweek Musings

Trutanich blames Shallman for lack of 'name recognition' in DA campaign - "Should have bought slate mailers"

Rumors suggest that embattled Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich is desperately trying to pin the blame for his 'Hindenburg-like' defeat in the DA primary election on his campaign strategist John Shallman. Trutanich believes that Shallman's failure to advise the DA wannabe to purchase slate mailers caused him to suffer from a 'lack of name recognition' in LA County.

Trutanich came in stone last of the three frontrunners in the DA primary despite having a campaign warchest three times larger than his closest rival, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Trutanich blew his wad on a glitzy tv ad campaign, a strategy that saw him swamp LA tv with so many advertisements that he ended up deeply in debt as he increased his television exposure in the final weeks of his ill-fated campaign.

Lacey, who beat Trutanich by 12 points, eschewed tv advertising altogether, instead concentrating her campaign on securing key slate mailers. That, it seems, is what Trutanich is now saying caused his humiliating political castration, and he is laying the blame squarely at the feet of his former 'Ambassador of Quan' for failing to advise him to purchase slate mailers.

It's a convenient argument, particularly as Trutanich owes Shallman an estimated $112,000 for the final tv ad media buys, and Trutanich apparently does not have any money in his campaign committee account to pay Shallman. Trutanich also faces a further hurdle finding supporters willing to help to retire his debt; most of his supporters have already given the maximum allowable contribution and, as Doug McIntyre recently commented, now that Trutanich has been 'Tagged with the big 'L' for 'LOSER,' the Scarlet ''L,' it's real hard to find anyone to write fresh checks.'

Some speculate that Trutanich's slate mailer blame shifting is most likely a ploy either to stall the issue of his indebtedness, or to try to renegotiate terms with Shallman who makes a handsome commission on media buys. Either way it's a ploy that fails to pass the straight face test. The notion that Trutanich lacked 'name recognition' is as hilariously ridiculous as most of his other campaign missteps and completely ignores the fact that while first-placed finisher Lacey did have slate mailers, the second-placed finisher, Alan Jackson, beat Trutanich by two points and did not have any slate mailers either.

The inconvenient truth about Trutanich is that with or without slate mailers, and despite a million dollar tv campaign, he could never, ever, overcome the negative name recognition which started the moment Trutanich reneged on his 'Pledge to Serve,' and continued throughout his campaign of facile,  deceptive and deceitful shenanigans. The voters of Los Angeles made it very clear that having let Trutanich make fools out of them once, they were not going to allow that to happen again.

Trutanich fails to announce reelection campaign committee during National Clown Week

Despite telling the LA Times that he would announce his reelection campaign committee last week, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich failed to follow through with yet another promise. Last week passed without word from the failed DA candidate as to who would commit political suicide by supporting his reelection campaign.

In failing to make his promised announcement, Trutanich lost valuable free media coverage that would have flowed from making his announcement during National Clown Week. Trutanich's failure is fueling speculating that LA's Chief Liar may be taking the very expensive advice of his former campaign guru John Shallman seriously. Shallman dumped Trutanich after the DA wannabe failed miserably in the DA primary, but his parting advice was that Trutanich should not seek reelection and instead 'finish strong,' seeking the help of foundations to rehabilitate his reputation.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Free For All - Trutanich Huizar 'Dickheads'

Carmen Trutanich Jose Huizar called 'Dickheads' over Dispensary ban

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and Councilmember Jose Huizar have been called 'dickheads' by Death & Taxes, the entertainment industry news blog. Trutanich and Huizar are taken to task for their support and leadership of an ordinance to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles.

The ordinance, which received approval from the Los Angeles City Council, comes in the wake of a series of embarrassing failures by Trutanich to write an ordinance that limits the number of dispensaries to an acceptable level. Trutanich, enjoyed the support of the legitimate medical marijuana community when he ran for City Attorney because he promised to provide a workable ordinance to regulate the growing number of shops selling marijuana. But as soon as Trutanich took office he reneged on his promise and tried to 'regulate medical marijuana out of existence,' as one former supporter commented.

Trutanich likely saw the anti-medical marijuana lobby as key to his political ambition to become District Attorney. He tried to disguise his opposition to medical marijuana on public safety grounds, arguing that medical marijuana was unsafe because it might contain pesticide.

City Attorney Clashes with Speaker at 2009 Congress of Neighborhoods -Accused of Bullying, Questioned on Red Ant Theory from Michael N. Cohen on Vimeo.

However, when Kathryn Schorr, a cancer survivor questioned Trutanich's 'voodoo science' conclusions regarding the health risks arising from pesticide in medical marijuana, he became enraged and started screaming at the patient. His response to questions about the number of reports of persons injured by the use of pesticide treated medical marijuana was to shout 'Wrong! You're wrong!' at Schorr and scream at her to feed lead to her children, before telling her to 'Sit down and shut up.'

Video reporter Michael Cohen spoke to Schorr after her encounter with Trutanich. 'She appeared to be distraught and was crying and being comforted by a security guard and others. The security guard cautioned her not to drive home in her condition.' he said.

'Schorr felt that Trutanich was overbearing and bullying her and he should have let her make her point without interference. That being, one needs 10 pounds to do a proper lab analysis of contaminants in marijuana. She had the floor and his insisting that she should give lead to her children was wrong. She said she couldn’t understand how an elected official could talk to her that way.' Cohen related.

Trutanich's attitude towards Ms Schorr shocked and surprised many who had supported his candidacy for City Attorney and did much to boost the reputation Trutanich was fast acquiring as a liar, bully and a thug. 'Anyone who could be so rude and violent towards a woman who was a cancer survivor has no place in public service; he looks like your typical woman-hater' and observer opined.

Trutanich suffered a humiliating defeat at the polls during the recent District Attorney primary election. The onetime front runner with a campaign warchest three times larger than his closest rival, lost so badly that he will likely never hold public office again - his own campaign adviser has apparently told him not to seek reelection. When Trutanich eventually spoke to reporters about the reasons for his downfall, he identified opposition from the medical marijuana community as one of the reasons why 78% of Los Angelenos did not vote for him.

That Trutanich is generally accepted as politcally 'toxic' and 'unelectable' makes it all the more surprising that Councilmember Huizar is willing to associate himself with the hugely unpopular politician. Huizar, who is also a licensed attorney, has been rumored to be considering running for City Attorney. Trutanich is unlikely to be able to raise enough money to mount a campaign and faces so many serious negatives that his only chance at reelection would be if he were to run unopposed.

Thus far Police Rights attorney Greg Smith, termed-out Assemblyman Mike Feuer and Deputy City Attorney Ed Angeles have formally announced their candidacies for the March 2013 election for City Attorney. Trutanich told the LA Times that he would announce his reelection committee this week, however, as we close, no announcement has been made.

Trutanich was last week reported to have over $154,000 of debts from his ill-fated District Attorney campaign. A volunteer spokesman later told times that Trutanich has reduced his debts to $112,000 leaving only the costs of tv ads unpaid. Should Truanich be unable to pay off his campaign debts, many believe this would represent a further barrier to Trutanich's reelection hopes.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

District Attorney candidates Lacey and Jackson trade barbs in bristly DA debate

The LA COPS District Attorney forum scored two firsts Tuesday night; it was the first forum between the two finalists vying to become LA County's next District Attorney, and it was the first forum in which the two veteran prosecutors took shots at each other, instead of Carmen Trutanich, the perennial political pinata.

The forum, hosted by LA COPS, the Los Angeles County Organization of Police and Sheriffs, was moderated by Waren Olney, KCRW's host of Which Way L.A. and To The Point. Olney's calm, wry and somewhat deferential style was soon overshadowed by the clearly combative stance of the challengers, a marked contrast to their  demeanor in previous debates.

Jackie Lacey's opening statement stressed the duality of her 27 year long career at the DA's Office; the first half, she said, was as a front-line prosecutor trying cases in the trenches including the Office's first successful prosecution of a hate crime - a Nazi Low-rider who murdered an African American victim.

 The second half of her career, one that has seen her rise through the ranks to the number two position in the office, gives her 'the most relevant experience' to be DA, she said. Lacey stressed the way her management style had boosted morale in the post-OJ Simpson depressed Central Trials era. That clearly struck a chord with the many Deputy DAs in the audience who remembered the way that Lacey's breakfast buffets and street-named corridors had raised spirits and reinvigorated the sense of camaraderie in the trenches.

But it was Alan Jackson who drew first blood in his responding opening statement, setting the tone for the remainder of the debate. Jackson stressed an 18-year career which saw him 'write the book' on gang prosecutions during his tenure as a Hardcore Gang prosecutor in South Central. Jackson's successes lead him to rise through the ranks to be Assistant Head Deputy in the prestigious Major Crimes Division and it's a 'distinction,' he said, that qualifies him to be the leader of the DA's Office because he is a prosecutor rather than 'an administrator who has not set foot in a courtroom in twelve years,' he said. 

Jackson's vitriolic attack had the 120+ audience on the edge of their seats throughout most of the hour and a half debate which saw Lacey respond by repeatedly assailing Jackson's naivety and lack of management experience. Lacey tore into Jackson saying it was 'demeaning' to portray her as an 'administrator.' Lacey ridiculed the attack by contrasting Jackson's assertion as equating to 'the managing partner of Latham & Watkins' being 'an administrator.'

The 'prosecutor versus administrator' theme permeated the remainder of the debate and appears to be the way that Jackson sees himself as being the more qualified candidate, while Lacey's response to was to challenge Jackson for not understanding the lack of resources for his solutions to the challenges presented by Assembly Bill 109; the bizarrely named 'realignment' that currently dumps convicted felons on the streets of Los Angeles without supervision.

While Jackson's proposal for protecting public safety from the very real dangers of 'realignment' centers on outsourcing costly incarceration to neighboring states such as Arizona and Texas, Lacey sees the solution as being a more concerted effort to hold Governor Brown to his promise to give the County of Los Angeles the financial resources he originally promised, so that the problem can be tackled within the state.

Both candidates agreed on their opposition to Proposition 34; a ballot initiative to repeal the death penalty. Notwithstanding their agreement, Lacey noted that Jackson had previously not been so unequivocal in his comments to the LA Times. Jackson responded by pointing out that in his most recent prosecution he had unequivocally sought and obtained a death penalty conviction. Lacey responded by indicating that it was her chairmanship of the Death Penalty Committee that gave Jackson the authorization to prosecute the case as a death penalty case.

Lacey and Jackson differed as to their support for Proposition 36, an initiative that will see DA Steve Cooley's policy on Third Strike prosecutions become statewide law. Jackson opposes Prop 36 because it denies prosecutors the discretion to pursue a 25-to-life sentence in appropriate non-violent third-strike offenses. Lacey countered by saying that if Jackson had management experience he would know that it takes written approval to seek a 25-to-life sentence in such cases, and few, if any, have been sought or granted. Lacey criticized Jackson for saying that he approves of Steve Cooley's policy, but is reluctant to share that policy on a statewide basis.

When it came to Medical Marijuana, both candidates agreed that under City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's tenure, the City of Los Angeles had 'lost control' of limiting the number of dispensaries in the city, noting that there were now more dispensaries in Los Angeles than Starbucks. Lacey claimed the credit for encouraging the Federal authorities to intervene and enforce the law. But while Lacey stated her position that state (and federal) law prohibited any dispensary from engaging in 'over the counter' sales, Jackson seemed inclined to accept that over the counter sales were permissible as long as they were 'not for profit.' It's a fine distinction and one that seemed to have garnered Jackson the endorsement of 'Weed Tracker,' a web-based medical marijuana advocacy group.

Relations with the nascent Deputy District Attorney's union, the ADDA, also saw both candidates committing to a less troubled relationship, however, while Jackson promised to 'clear the decks,' Lacey questioned how he would achieve that. Lacey pointed out that she had been actively meeting and working with the ADDA, while Jackson had not joined the organization until forced to do so under the ADDA obtained 'Agency Shop' status. Lacey also countered Jackson's accusations of 'union busting' by reminding the audience that she has the endorsement of almost every organized labor group in Los Angeles, something she would not have if the 'union busting' accusation had any merit. Lacey added that the ADDA had, in fact, voluntarily dismissed her from their lawsuit against the DA's Office.

The hour and a half debate passed quickly and left little time for questions from the audience. Both candidates gave short closing statements, with Jackson going first. Perhaps underlying Jackson's ability to state the obvious in a disarming fashion, he thanked LA COPS and the audience for allowing a 'very robust discussion.' Jackson reminded the audience that it was Lacey who had once stated that if she was faced with one of those 'nightmare' decisions as to how to prosecute a case, she would call on Alan Jackson for the answer. He concluded by saying that given all the problems and challenges faced by the DA's office it was 'time for someone with a spine of steel.'

Lacey's closing contained something of a bombshell. She stressed her qualifications by reminding the audience that she had many significant endorsements including the LA Times and Steve Cooley, and then she added that she also had the endorsement of State Attorney General Kamala Harris. It was, of course, Harris who defeated Steve Cooley in his bid to become Attorney General, and it probably presents something of a first to have the dual endorsements of Cooley and Harris given their prior relationship. Lacey also stood by her choice of Jackson for the 'nightmare' case saying he was a good trial lawyer, but that was not the qualification for DA. For that, she said, 'you need someone without an ego.'

For more on what was undoubtedly a 'spirited' debate, see the LA Times and KPCC reports.

Also, ABC Ch 7 News carried this report in their nightly news.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Briefs - Jackson leads fundraising, Greg Smith gets ink, Trutanich excluded from DA forum

Jackson surprise leader in post election fundraising

In case you missed it last week, what with all the excitement about Carmen Trutanich being dogged by campaign debts, the LA Times also reported that District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson had 'raised $383,000 in cash between May 20 and June 30 compared to just $70,875 for Lacey, who many political experts consider the favorite in the November run-off to become the county's top prosecutor. Lacey had $41,000 on hand by the end of the reporting period but listed more than $22,000 in debts. Jackson had $307,000 left in cash and listed debts of nearly $40,000.' the LA Times said.

Ironically, Trutanich, the man who raised the most amount of money in the primary election, not only lost the election, but is now looking at a pile of debts that will likely require his personal check. As Doug McIntyre told his KABC morning audience on Friday, 'Good luck with that.' he said referring to Trutanich's chances of raising money from donors to clear his debts 'When you've got the big 'L' for 'LOSER,'  the scarlet 'L' tagged on you, it's real hard to get anyone to write fresh checks.' he said.

Trutanich told the LA Times that he will announce his campaign committee staff this week, which coincidentally happens to be National Clown Week.  No kidding. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.

City Attorney Candidate Greg Smith in the news

 The Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise gave City Attorney candidate Greg Smith front page coverage with their report on the popular Police Rights Attorney's candidacy.

Smith, who will likely mount strongest challenge to Carmen Trutanich's 'plan B' retention of his City Attorney position, also received a good account of his candidacy from Joseph Mailander (the blogger formerly known as Mulholland Terrace). Mailander, writing at CityWatchLA, is no fan of Trutanich. Indeed as we prepare to celebrate National Clown Week, it is worth remembering that it was Mailander who first dubbed the San Pedro ambulance chaser turned career politician 'Carmen the Clown,' and who found himself threatened with a defamation lawsuit by one of the Clowns' henchmen.

Smith's campaign website,, is near completion, and he has also established a FaceBook page for his campaign. 

LA COPS hosts first DA candidates forum for finalists
Lacey and Jackson

Mark your calendars, Tuesday night August 7, 2012, the Los Angeles County Organization of Police and Sheriffs (LACOPS) will host the first candidate forum for Jackie Lacey, Chief Deputy District Attorney, and Alan Jackson, Gang Homicide Prosecutor. The two remaining candidates in the race for Los Angeles District Attorney will go head to head in the first debate held for the November runoff.

Warren Olney, Host of Which Way L.A. and To The Point on KCRW Radio will moderate the forum.
The public is invited, and will be allowed to ask questions of the candidates at the end of the debate.

This will also be the first debate in which the former frontrunner Carmen Trutanich actually wanted to participate. However, he will only be able to attend as a spectator, not a participant. The former ambulance chaser turned career politician's office is a short limo ride from the location, so he could make an appearance. Any guesses as to what his question for Lacey and Jackson might be? How about; "Why is it that you guys beat me so badly that I not only lost, but also have a pile of bills to pay off?"

Seriously, we doubt that Trutanich will actually show up, but he has been known to party-crash events with an armful of calligraphic scrolls. On the other hand he may be too busy putting the finishing touches to his reelection campaign committee, taking care of his mother, or writing his acceptance speech for the Clown of the Year award.

See you at the debate!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Trutanich's DA debt disaster likened to 'Hindenburg' by KABC's Doug McIntyre

The LA Times story of failed DA candidate Carmen Trutanich's mountain of debts has exploded in a way that Trutanich must surely see as indicative of the futility of any future campaign to retain his job.

No sooner had the LA Times broke the exclusive story that Trutanich was over $154,000 in debt after his disastrous attempt to  fool voters into thinking he was qualified to be DA, Trutanich's volunteer network of unpaid supporters insisted that Trutanich had miraculously and suddenly paid down the debt to 'only' $112,000.

That $112,000 apparently relates to bills for tv ads which Trutanich placed through his former campaign consultant, John Shallman. Trutanich's volunteer spokesman claimed that Trutanich was disputing the $112,000 bill because he had not seen any 'backup documentation' for the tv ads, however, anyone watching tv in the week before the election could easily confirm that there were more than enough Trutanich ads to make 78% of voters sick of hearing his name and seeing his face.

Despite the explanation, the story of Trutanich's debts has given LA's talk radio another opportunity to remind listeners that Trutanich is not only a loser, but possibly a deadbeat who does not pay his bills.

KABC's Doug McIntyre was first to relate the story to Friday morning listeners with this piece likening Trutanich's disastrous candidacy to the Hindenburg disaster.

McIntyre notes that Shallman, who is now allegedly Trutanich's sole creditor, dumped Trutanich and now works for termed-out State Assemblyman Mike Feuer who needs to use the City Attorney's office to continue his political career. Could that be the real reason why Trutanich is not paying for his tv ads? Or is it, as McIntyre speculates, the fact that now that Trutanich has been 'Tagged with the big 'L' for 'LOSER,' the Scarlet ''L,' it's real hard to find anyone to write fresh checks.'

McIntyre is not the only talk show host to carry the story of Trutanich's debts; KFI AM640's John and Ken show relished in more misery to the former DA wananbe.

Additionally, KFI's Eric Leonard been covering the Trutanich debt disaster on KFI's hourly and half-hourly news beaks.

If reaction to news of Trutanich's debt is any indication of the way Los Angeles regards Carmen Trutanich, it bodes very well for the newly announced candidacy of Police Rights Attorney Greg Smith. Trutanich will have a very hard time overcoming the reputation he earned for himself as a liar who cannot be trusted. If he thinks his failure to honor the pledge to serve that made in 2009 has been forgotten because he did not succeed in becoming DA, he is clearly very much mistaken. Trutanich's reputation as an untrustworthy liar will be the defining issue in the 2013 primary election. If he doesn't pay his bills, expect the word 'deadbeat' to be added to his ballot designation.


Friday, August 3, 2012

City Attorney race update - a real challenger emerges

With the March 5, 2013 primary election for LA's next City Attorney still somewhat below the radar as the November Presidential election dominates the political scene, the race to be the City's legal adviser and law enforcer is quietly taking shape.

Greg Smith, Mike Feuer and Eduardo Angeles have all filed papers indicating their intention to run and have started fund-raising. Carmen Trutanich, has stated that he will run, but is having to play catch-up due to the disastrous failure of his deceptive egocentric District Attorney campaign and currently has no money and no campaign staff - a situation that may not change.

City Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) was widely tipped to be considering entering the race, but has now decided to skip this race and focus on his responsibilities as CD2's popular representative and chair of the City's Budget and Finance committee.

Counilmember Jose Huizar (CD14) is believed to be considering filing papers to oust Trutanich now that he can smell blood in the water and the stench of fear emanating from the 8th floor executive offices at City Hall East. Huizar has the credentials having served briefly as a Deputy City Attorney in order to build his political resume.He is currently spearheading the anti-medical marijuana lobby perhaps in an effort to establish himself as a 'law and order' candidate.

Huizar, or anyone else who wants the City's second highest paid elected office, has until noon on November 10, 2012 to file papers with the City Clerk's Office. With Krekorian out, Huizar on the fence, we now start our review of the candidates with Greg Smith.

Greg Smith - Police Rights Attorney

Greg Smith has made a reputation for himself as lawyer who aggressively and effectively fights for the rights of police officers and firefighters. As such it has earned him the respect of the police and public safety associations who will likely support his candidacy with endorsements and contributions. It has also earned him the respect of the City Attorneys he comes in contact with when handling cases involving the City of Los Angeles.

Smith probably knows more about how best to defend the City of Los Angeles than anyone else - he has a solid record of successes in cases against the City. Cases where cops and firefighters have suffered discrimination or retaliation for 'whistle-blowing.' Cases like the recent one involving police officers who spoke out about having to fulfill traffic ticket writing quotas. Cases where the City lost because Carmen Trutanich's facile schoolyard bully-boy 'porcupine defense' proved to be nothing more than a campaign catch-phrase gimmick that has cost the City millions of dollars.

Smith, a native Los Angeleno and life-long Democrat, served in the Navy in submarines before becoming an attorney.
A young Greg Smith and his 'boat' in 1971
Smith cannot talk about much of what he did in the Navy, most of the missions he took part in remain classified. What is clear that his service was both character building and certainly not for the faint hearted.

Smith's strong military background likely explains his successes not only in terms of his work ethic, but in his leadership ability. Simply put, Smith knows how to lead and it really is 'by actions not by words;' doubtless a jab at Carmen Trutanich who has succeeded in one thing only - demoralizing the City Attorney's office even more than Rocky Delgadilo.

Smith says he is is not only astonished but disgusted at the way the current City Attorney allows his deputies to suffer humiliating pay cuts and enforced work furloughs while steadfastly refusing to take a matching pay-cut himself. 'At a minimum, Trutanich should suffer the same pay cut as his deputies' Smith said, adding that if elected, he would take the same pay cut as most Deputy City Attorneys have been forced to take; believed to be in the region of 15%.

In terms of getting elected, Smith is clearly serious. He has hired John Thomas as his campaign consultant and expects to have his campaign website up and running next week. Thomas, of course, is no stranger to the City Attorney's race; he worked on Carmen Trutanich's successful 2009 campaign and continues to represent District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson. Under Thomas' direction, Jackson demolished Trutanich in the DA primary election with a well thought out campaign and a fraction of the money Trutanich had.

In addition to hiring Thomas, Smith also announced the rest of his campaign team; Jill Normington of Normington Petts and Associates will serve as Lead Pollster. Jill has over fifteen years of experience in survey research. She has helped elect candidates to some of the toughest Congressional seats in the nation and counts President Barack Obama among her many clients having conducted survey research for him.

Maria Jordan from the Prise Group joins Smith as Fundraising Director. Maria specializes in developing financial programs for national, state and local campaigns. Her career spans nearly a decade of experience in political fundraising and has served as finance director for multiple California campaigns. Several of her past clients include: Michael Antonovich for Supervisor, Carmen Trutanich for LA City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo for City Attorney and CA AG and Rudy Giuliani for President. Also joining the team are Tim Lineberger as Campaign Fundraising Staff and Gary Crummitt of Crummitt and Associates who will serve as Campaign Treasurer.

Smith has raised around $200,000 so far without any coordinated effort. With the new team now in place he expects to seriously increase that figure and will be 'dialing for dollars' and attending fundraisers in the run up to the March 5, 2013 primary election.

Our review of the City Attorney candidates will continue with Mike Feuer, the termed-out State Assemblyman who has never stepped foot inside a courtroom, Eduardo Angeles a Deputy City Attorney who raised a remarkable $67,000, and Carmen Trutanich, who has raised nothing but  hackles and and alarm bells in his bid to hang on to the job he did not want to do.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

BREAKING NEWS - Trutanich dogged by debts from DA dreams

Trutanich is reported to owe $154,000 in unpaid bills from his failed DA campaign.
$19,000 of that debt is believed to refer to his failed attempt to call himself 'Los Angeles Chief Criminal Prosecutor'
It's the dream that turned into a nightmare for former DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich; he is learning the true price of his disastrously foolhardy DA campaign - a fistful of unpaid bills. According to the LA Times, Trutanich owes around $154,000 from the days before his downfall. Some of the 'big ticket' unpaid bills includes $19,000 in 'legal fees,' probably the costs of his failed attempt to call himself 'Los Angeles Chief Criminal Prosecutor' on the ballot. Also listed amongst his campaign debts is $112,000 owed to his former 'Ambassador of Quan' John Shallman for a bunch of tv ads. Trutanich is apparently waiting for 'backup documents' from Shallman's firm to justify the $112,000 that is being claimed.

Trutanich told the LA Times that he expects the issues surrounding his campaign debt will be resolved. 'On a going forward basis, I don't think it'll be a problem,' he said. But his principal opponent in his hastily cobbled together scramble to hang on to the City Attorney job that previously wasn't good enough for him, disagrees. City Attorney candidate Greg Smith, who coincidentally announced his campaign team on the same day as Trutanich's debts became public, says that Trutanich 'will run into difficulties' raising money for his reelection. 'The period [of time] is getting shorter and shorter and paying off that kind of debt is going to be a concern,' Smith told the LA Times.

Smith has a point. After loosing the DA race so humiliatingly, it is going to be very hard for Trutanich to CONvince anyone that he is a viable candidate for anything. His own campaign strategist John Shallman publicly advised Trutanich not to seek reelection but instead to 'finish strong' and seek to help civic foundations to 'rehabilitate his name,' recognizing that he is utterly finished in politics.

The reality is that before Trutanich can raise a dime towards the fast approaching City Attorney election, he needs to raise at least $154,000 to cover the DA campaign debts that are known, as well as a further $100,000 that he promised to pay to LA's Best After School Enrichment Program for underprivileged kids for reneging on his 2009 'Pledge to Serve.' 'It's a case of throwing good money after bad,' opined one former supporter who, like so many, will not support Trutanich again.

Despite the very real obstacles facing Trutanich, he nevertheless told the Times that he would be announcing the formation of his campaign committee next week. He might as well have also said 'the check's in the mail.' 

UPDATED: Trutanich says debt from DA race is down to $112,000

Thin-skinned Carmen Trutanich wasted no time telling the LA Times that he had paid off his campaign debts except the $112,000 he owes John Shallman. Trutanich, still reeling from the lambasting he took in the press from his multi-'misstep' DA campaign, is clearly a little prickly about the accuracy of reports concerning him. It is understood that Trutanich's spokeman contacted the Time requesting the correction within hours seeing Tweets about being dogged with debt.

Of course, Trutanich failed to advise how quickly he would be paying off the $100,000 still owed to LA's Best After School Enrichment Program. Perhaps he thought people had forgotten?

They haven't. They won't.