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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carmen Trutanich accused of extortion, threats and thuggery to dodge debts

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's failed campaign to become District Attorney cost over $1.8M, but left the former ambulance chaser slip-and-fall lawyer in third place and perhaps even worse, facing a pile of debts. On Thursday, September 27, 2012 Trutanich took the unusual step of suing his former campaign manager, John Shallman, in what many believe to be a 'thuggish' attempt to avoid paying those debts.


In court papers filed by Trutanich, he blames Shallman for losing the election due to 'negligence and missteps.' The lawsuit, however, does not claim any damages or losses as a result of Trutanich's humiliating defeat. Once considered the 'frontrunner,' Trutanich assured his supporters that he would 'Win this thing [the election] in the primary.' However, in the June 5, 2012 primary election for Los Angeles District Attorney, Trutanich lost what KABC 790AM talk show host Doug McIntyre described as 'a Hindenburg-like campaign' finishing a remote third and excluding him from the runoff election.

Despite raising more than double the money of his opponents, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, and boasting a slew of political endorsements including Governor Jerry Brown, 78% of voters resoundingly rejected Trutanich's candidacy. At his inaptly named 'Victory Party' in his native San Pedro on election night, Trutanich hid from the thinning crowd of supporters as the electoral results came in spelling disaster for the him.

When Trutanich ultimately emerged from hiding to address those supporters who remained, Trutanich blithely blamed the media for his defeat. Now, it seems, Trutanich is blaming his campaign manager for that defeat. Blaming others for his failures appears to be a consistent theme with Trutanich; when faced with a slew of expensive trial losses that cost the City of Los Angeles millions of dollars, Trutanich blamed his deputies for being 'inexperienced,' 'missing deadlines' and 'other blunders.'
Last year, Trutanich lost a string of simple trespass cases against the Occupy LA protesters and blamed the LAPD Officers for 'paperwork errors.'

When he was unable to substantiate claims that he had been 'surrounded and shot at by gangmembers' he blamed District Attorney Steve Cooley for engaging in 'suspicious political activity,' arising from the loss of his personnel file.
Regardless of where the blame lies for Trutanich's downfall, the reality is that he faces a $166,000 campaign debt, and the failure to pay off that debt will further diminish any remote chance he has to be re-elected as City Attorney in March 2013.

Many political experts believe that unpaid campaign debt often renders a candidate such as Trutanich vulnerable to accusations of being 'fiscally irresponsible' and 'a deadbeat who does not pay his debts.'

Candidates faced with campaign debt often write a personal check to cover their debts or seek additional fundraising to 'retire' the debt. Indeed, after his 2009 campaign to become City Attorney, Trutanich successfully held a series of fundraisers to 'retire' around $170k of accumulated debt.
Trutanich is not, apparently, seeking to 'retire' this debt through fundraising. This is likely a reflection of his failing popularity and the perception former supporters now have of Trutanich as a loser. 'It's hard to find people to write fresh checks once you've been tatted with the big scarlet "L" for "Loser,"' Doug McIntyre recently said of Trutanich.

Trutanich is also, seemingly, unable or unwilling to write a personal check to clear his campaign debt. Trutanich recently faced a similar situation over his $100k debt to LA's BEST – an after-school program for underprivileged kids. That debt arose from his failure to honor his 'Pledge to Serve,' a promise he made not to use the City Attorney's office as a political springboard to higher office. Trutanich first claimed he did not own any money at all because the 'Pledge to Serve' was a naïve campaign gimmick. He then claimed he was 'Not a rich guy,' despite earning over $214k a year. Ultimately Trutanich paid ten cents in the dollar to LA's BEST, and delivered a bunch of 'pledges' or 'IOUs' to pay off the rest over then next three years.

But with regard to the $166,000 owed to Shallman, Trutanich has chosen a different tactic. He apparently tried to negotiate with Shallman, with former State Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg acting as middle-man. Hertzberg, a former Trutanich supporter had served as Chair of Trutanich's Transition Team and was surprised when Trutanich filed a lawsuit against Shallman without telling him. Accusing Trutanich of 'Thuggery' Hertzberg said he was shocked that Trutanich went behind his back and filed suit without telling him. 'It's unethical behavior. It sickens me,' Hertzberg told the LA Weekly, 'This is as low as it gets. It's all for gamesmanship. It's just not honest.' He said.


Shallman told the LA Weekly that Trutanich was an 'extortionist' and accused him of a 'back-alley shakedown' saying that Trutanich owes him $166,000, which he said has been fully documented. He further alleged that Trutanich is trying to renege on that obligation by publicizing 'false and vindictive attacks against me and my family,' adding that 'There is truly no depth too low for this man to stoop. He has no shame and is a disgrace to the City of Los Angeles.'

Campaign Strategist John Thomas, who runs Alan Jackson's campaign which successfully ousted Trutanich from the DA race said 'attempting to blame his political loss on his former consultant and then using legal threats to run away from his financial obligations is not only fiscally irresponsible, it borders on reckless behavior. This is certainly not becoming of an elected official.' He said.

In a statement to the LA Times describing Trutanich's lawsuit as 'frivolous,' Shallman gave further details of the alleged extortion. 'Trutanich's extortion attempt came last [Wednesday] night, from a lawyer for his failed campaign for district attorney. He offered to drop the lawsuit and keep his false allegations quiet if I completely forgive his debt. If I did not acquiesce to his illegal demand -- and thereby agree to an illegal campaign contribution -- he threatened to continue this thuggish attempt to drag my own, and my wife's, reputations through the mud. Well, the only way to deal with a thug is to stand up to him. And that's what I intend to do,' Shallman told the LA Times.

A spokesperson for Trutanich attempted to justify the lawsuit telling the LA Weekly that Trutanich is owed a 'complete accounting' of the money he paid for this campaign. 'It sounds to me as if John Shallman and his representative, Bob Hertzberg, would like the public to believe that they're the injured party. No, they're not the injured party. Carmen Trutanich is the injured party.'

Trutanich's claim to be the 'injured party' is sure to draw a wry smile on the faces of those who recall the last time Trutanich claimed to be a victim; the centerpiece of Trutanich's campaigns, both the 2009 City Attorney campaign and the failed 2012 District Attorney campaign both portrayed Trutanich as a fearless crime-fighter who had been 'surrounded and shot at by gangmembers.' In the weeks before the primary election, the LA Times exclusively revealed that claim to be false.

The public outrage over Trutanich's false and frankly implausible claim to have been the victim of a violent crime where he was surrounded and shot at by gangmembers, yet suffered no injury and did not report the crime to police is widely believed to have been the single largest cause of his downfall.

Trutanich previously tried to blame Shallman for what has become known as the AssassinationGate scandal, telling the LA Times 'that it was not his idea to make the Green Meadows Park incident part of his campaign, but that one of his election strategists learned about what had happened from Bell and asked to use it.' Trutanich failed to mention why, if he objected to the use of this implausibly tall tale, he did not object to its use in his 2009 campaign, and why he had told the tale to many over the years.

It remains to be seen whether Trutanich's most recent attempt to characterize himself as a 'victim' or 'injured party' will fare any better than his last attempt. John Thomas perhaps sums up the reality of both the election defeat and the debt dispute 'Mr. Trutanich lost because he has integrity issues. Plain and simple. Voters want someone they can trust.' Mr. Trutanich, lost in the court of public opinion over his election, it seems, will have to deal with similar issues in a court of law over his debts.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friday Free For All, Mayor Day LA

Jackie Lacey gains mayoral endorsement in DA campaign


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's support for Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey's bid to become District Attorney first became known when the Dragnet exclusively reported that LA's first Latino Mayor would be headlining her Blockbuster II fundraiser on October 10, 2012. In advance of that event, the Mayor will officially endorse Lacey's candidacy on the steps of the South Lawn at City Hall, Friday September 28, 2012 at 9:30AM.

District Attorney Steve Cooley to endorse Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Kevin James


The pace of the race to replace termed-out Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sped up with the surprise announcement that Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley was giving his seal of approval to Mayoral candidate Kevin James.

James, a former federal prosecutor and accomplished talk show host, is the only 'outsider' a Mayoral race that pitches him against City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilmembers Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti in his bid to become Mayor of the nation's second largest city.

This from the Kevin James for Mayor campaign:

MEDIA ADVISORY 

CONTACT: John S. Thomas Kevin James for Mayor 2013
http://www.kevinjamesformayor.com

DA STEVE COOLEY TO ANNOUNCE ENDORSEMENT OF KEVIN JAMES FOR MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES 

Who: Steve Cooley, LA County District Attorney Kevin James, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles Other members of the community

What: DA Steve Cooley will announce his support and endorsement of Kevin James and talk about why Kevin James should be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. Cooley believes that Kevin James will make an outstanding Mayor and that Kevin James is the Mayoral candidate best qualified to tackle the many problems confronting the City of Los Angeles. Cooley and James will answer questions briefly afterward.

When: Friday September 28, 2012 10:00-10:30am

Where: City Hall – South Lawn (Steps) 200 West 1st Street Los Angeles, California 90012

# # # 

Cooley's endorsement is seen as a significant boost to James' campaign, and within hours of the announcement James was interviewed by KFI AM640's top-rated afternoon drive-time talk show, The John and Ken Show, where his candidacy was enthusiastically welcomed. 


Trutanich to abandon City Attorney re-election bid and run for Mayor?

Rumors rustling around City Hall today suggested that former DA wannabe City Attorney Carmen Trutanich was poised to abandon his re-election bid as City Attorney, and instead run for Mayor of Los Angeles. Trutanich's City Attorney re-election bid has been fraught with difficulties stemming from his disastrous DA campaign which saw the self-proclaimed 'frontrunner' finish a distant third in the primary election, not even making it to the run off.

If, indeed, Trutanich has decided to run for Mayor, the decision is not that hard to understand. His reputation as a lawyer had been severely damaged by a slew of losses, none the least of which was his failure to convince a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge that he was qualified to call himself 'Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor' during his DA campaign.

It is also said that the humiliating defeat he suffered in the June 5, 2012 primary election has made  fundraising for his re-election 'difficult.' KABC 790AM talk show host Doug McIntyre said yesterday, 'It is difficult to get people to give him  [Trutanich] money when he has the big scarlet 'L' for loser tatted on him.'

In addition to any fundraising difficulties, it is also notable that since launching he re-election bid, Trutanich has not attracted a single endorsement for his City Attorney re-election campaign. Challengers Greg Smith has been gaining law enforcement support and Mike Feuer now boasts the support of many of the career politicians who formerly supported Trutanich.

With Trutanich seemingly set to lose a second major election in less than a year, it could be that Trutanich will abandon his City Attorney aspirations and run for Mayor, where his legal acumen will not be as open to challenge, and his tough talking rhetoric might stand more of a chance.

The South Lawn of City Hall looks like being a busy place Friday, with Jackie Lacey and Kevin James both holding events there. Trutanich's office is only a stone's throw away so he could get his chauffeur driven SUV to ferry him to the South Lawn to make an announcement. That, of course, assumes that Trutanich is going to be in his office on Friday and not hanging out in San Pedro for a fish lunch and a chance to lament what might have been with the handful of Koolaide drinkers who still support him.

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Trutanich is a liar, demagogue, and a paper-waving bully

Embattled former DA wannabe City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's vain hopes of being re-elected took a nose-dive during the Wednesday morning rush hour when Trutanich sent his spokeman to try to convince KABC talk show host Doug McIntyre that he was not a liar and a demagogue.


The interview did not go well.


In what is probably the most entertaining ten minutes of talk radio, McIntyre explained that Trutanich had lied when he campaigned on a platform that supported then City Controller Laura Chick's right to audit the offices of elected officials to root out fraud, corruption and waste. As soon as Trutanich was elected, McIntyre said, he changed his position denying Chick the right to audit and saying that the Controller could only audit if elected officials gave her permission.

Trutanich allowed the Controller to audit the Workers Compensation program that his predecessor Rocky Delgadillo ran, doubtless because any negative criticism would reflect badly on Delgadillo, not him. However, it is understood that Trutanich will not allow the Controller to audit his office to find out how much City time and resources Trutanich used in his campaign to become District Attorney.

It has been shown that Trutanich used City vehicles and personnel in the production of his DA Campaign video 'True Stories,' and he has also been captured on video using his chauffeur-driven City SUV to ferry him to and from DA campaign fundraisers. The City Controller should have the right to audit Trutanich to report on precisely how much his failed bid to become DA cost the taxpayers of Los Angeles, however, unless Trutanich gives his permission, we may never know.

Trutanich's poor response to McIntyre's attempt to interview him on the issues prompted McIntyre to declare that 'Trutanich will lose and will not be the next City Attorney.' 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Midweek Musings, Trutanich called a 'liar,' Sherman's a no-show

Laura Chick calls Carmen Trutanich a 'liar' 'demagogue' says he 'must go'


An open letter from former LA City Controller Laura Chick yesterday reminded Los Angelenos of Carmen the Clowns' very first betrayal of the public trust - his rapid about-face over the issue of whether the City Controller has the right to audit programs run by elected officials.  Chick originaly endorsed him - she saw him as 'a breath of fresh air,' but was soon to discover it was bad breath. She called Trutanich a 'liar' and a 'demagogue' and said 'he had to go.'

Right up until election day, Trutanich had promised to support the Controller's right to root out fraud, waste and corruption in City Hall. But as soon as he was elected, even before being sworn in, he changed his position. Perhaps someone told the clown that giving that much power to the Controller would threaten the ability of elected officials to get away with their favorite shenanigans?

Trutanich did, however, agree to let the Controller audit the Workers Compensation program run by his office. It was a no-lose deal for Trutanich; whatever faults were found with the program (and there were many) could be blamed on Rocky Delgadillo's administration. Interestingly, of the hundreds of recommendations made as a result of the Controller's audit, Trutanich has implemented few, if any.

Chicks open letter e-opens the spat three years ago, but more importantly serves as a reminder as to why Trutanich cannot be trusted; he is a liar and a demagogue and he has to go.

Sherman's a no-show
This from guest blogger Pep Streebek



NO “BS” AT SFVBA INSTALLATION EVENT WHEN CONGRESSMAN SHERMAN FAILS TO SHOW UP AFTER A PROMISE TO ATTEND. 

The SFVBA (San Fernando Valley Bar Association) held its annual installation event. Historically Congressman Sherman attends to give one of his flags to the outgoing President. Rumor had it that Congressman Sherman practically begged to be allowed to attend again to present a flag and certificate to the outgoing President. Attending were City Councilman Dennis Zine and Assembly Member Mike Feuer.

Although the by laws of the SFVBA prohibit the organization from taking a position on political issues, apparently Congressman Sherman received the message that a growing group of members are tired of his Trutanich style of representation and were waiting to question him during the event about his do nothing tactics in Washington and his inability to effectively represent the valley in Congress.

Thus Congressman Sherman decided to adapt the tactics of his “partner in politics” Trutanich and avoid the evening. As we all know Sherman can run but he cannot hide.

Eventually the sharpshooters in the legal community will catch up to Sherman and confront him about his do nothing, Snake Oil Salesman, Trutanich like tactics. Stay tuned as the chase continues.

Posted by Pep Streebek

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

City Attorney candidate Greg Smith launched campaign ad, Trutanich to dodge debates

City Attorney candidate Greg Smith attacks career politicians in campaign ad



Police rights attorney Greg Smith launched his first City Attorney campaign ad, taking direct aim at failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich's woeful record. Although there's a laundry list of failures, disappointments and deceptions streaming from Trutanich's brief tenure as City Attorney, Smith focused on the startling 31% drop in gang prosecutions by the City Attorney's Office under Trutanich's watch.

While Trutanich was busy running his failed attempt to become District Attorney, he was asleep at the wheel at the City Attorney's Office. Trutanich's chickens are now coming home to roost, and his shocking dereliction of duty is likely to be the Achilles Heel of his attempt to be re-elected as both Smith and Feuer focus on his abysmal record as City Attorney.

Trutanich to dodge debates


As usual, you cannot believe anything Trutanich says. In response to a challenge from the Feuer campaign calling for 10 debates, Trutanich said he wants 100, according to the LA Weekly. But with a proven and accomplished liar like Trutanich, you always have to look at the details; the devil is in the details. As the LA Weekly pointed out, during his Hindenburg-like District Attorney campaign, Trutanich welcomed the prospect of debate much like Dracula greets daylight; he ran like a chicken at first claiming he didn't get invitations, then claiming scheduling conflicts, and finally claiming to be too busy looking after his sick mummy.

We are now expected to believe that Trutanich's aversion to debates where he can be challenged over his awkward relationship with the truth and his ambulance-chaser background as a liar, is a thing of the past? Hardly.

We can fully expect Trutanich to insist on two things. First, he will not debate Greg Smith. Smith has a record of achievement and performance in the real world of litigation, something that neither Trutanich nor Feuer can lay claim to, so he 'won't go there.' Second, Trutanich will restrict the topic of debate so that laundry list of his deceit and deception are excluded. What kind of 'debate' is that? Well it not a debate. Neither Feuer nor Smith will debate Trutanich on those terms, and any claim by Trutanich that he only wants to debate the 'issues' is baseless. The biggest single issue is Trutanich's record as a liar. That was his downfall in his failed bid to become District Attorney, and it will be his downfall in his bid to be re-elected.

Once again, Trutanich's challenge of 100 debates is smoke and mirrors and as deceitful and deceptive as his 'Pledge to Serve.' If Trutanich has his way, there will not be a single debate where he doesn't get to set the agenda.

Trutanich accuses Feuer of violating promise not to run


File this one in the 'you cannot make this stuff up' category. Trutanich posted the comment above in the LA Weekly. It seems Trutanich is either hallucinating or, once again, lying. This time Trutanich's trouble with the truth stems from his assertion that Mike Feuer pledged not to run for City Attorney if Trutanich failed to become District Attorney.

Such a promise, if true, is probably an illegal attempt to manipulate the electoral process, but let's not go there. The fact is that Feuer, when asked what he would do about his City Attorney campaign if Trutanich failed to become DA, artfully dodged the question, saying that he fully expected Trutanich to become DA. There was no promise, illegal or otherwise. But, of course, Trutanich never let the truth trouble him and assumes Los Angelenos are too stupid to know better.

Trutanich, of course, has been proven to have violated his promises on countless occasions, so perhaps he expects his rivals to be just as dishonest and deceptive? This time, however, the egg looks to be very firmly on the Clown's face.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Musings - Bratton endorses, Trutanich kites IOUs

Ex Chief Bratton endorses Jack Weiss Mike Feuer for City Attorney

Former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill 'No-Braina' Bratton has endorsed termed-out State Assemblyman Mike Feuer's bid to become LA's next City Attorney when Carmen Trutanich is thrown out of office in 2013, the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported.

With a statement evoking that time-proven French adage 'le plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose,' Bratton re-hashed his 2009 endorsement of Jack Weiss for City Attorney saying 'As L.A.’s former police chief, I know how much Los Angeles needs a city attorney who’s been in the forefront on public safety issues, has a strong track record as a problem-solver, has wide experience in the justice system and is universally-respected for his integrity. I’ve just described Mike Feuer [who] has a remarkable record of achievement as a lawyer and a public official.'

Bratton refrained from adding 'It's a no-brainer' to his glowing account of Feuer, and also omitted to mention that Feuer has never actually tried a criminal case, and appears to have never stepped foot inside a courtroom as a trial lawyer.

Bratton, readers will recall, controversially endorsed Jack Weiss for City Attorney in this tv commercial during Weiss's doomed City Attorney campaign.



Bratton's endorsement of another career politician should serve as a stark reminder to voters to give the appropriate weight to endorsements from officials who foist career politicians on us with no regard for their lack of qualifications, and who also seem to think we have no memory.

In Bratton's defense, it should be said that Jack Weiss had tried two criminal cases during his brief stint as an Assistant US Attorney, most notably prosecuting Darlene Gillespie, a former Mouseketeer, who subsequently spent three months in prison for fraud.

Bratton's endorsement also serves to jog the memory about other similarities between Feuer and Weiss; both were Los Angeles City Councilmembers for Council District 5, both were widely disliked within their district for poor representation of constituents, and both exemplified a certain limo-liberal 'we know better than you' attitude. While Weiss left politics for a career in Bratton's private security consultancy business after losing his bid to be City Attorney, Feuer bunny-hoped to the State Assembly after narrowly losing his first bid to be City Attorney to Rocky Delgadillo in 2001. 

Feuer's decision to run for City Attorney seems to be born more out of need to hang on to a political paycheck than any genuine interest in being City Attorney. As noted, Feuer narrowly lost the 2001 race to the self-promoting Delgadillo. However, after Delgadillo's first lackluster term as City Attorney, Feuer declined to run against him. Many believe that Feuer could easily have defeated Delgadillo, however, it seems Feuer was more interested in Sacramento shenanigans than saving Los Angeles from Delgadilo's self-serving tenure as City Attorney. Feuer's inaction ensured that Delgadillo ran unopposed in 2005 and was thereby able to inflict further ruin on the City Attorney's Office in pursuit of his political career.

With the State of California facing financial ruin as a result of mismanagement by 'we know better than you' career politicians, voters will have in interesting choice in March; A pair of career politicians in the shape of Feuer, who didn't want the job in 2005, and Trutanich who didn't want the job in 2012. And then there's Greg Smith, he wants the job and most certainly is not a career politician.

Trutanich kites IOUs to pay off debt to LA's BEST

The LA Weekly reported that failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich shoved a bunch of IOUs and a check worth ten cents in the dollar to LA's BEST After School Program of underprivileged school kids to try to make it look like he was honoring his debt.


According to records obtained by the LA Weekly, Trutanich's claim to have paid $100,000 to LA's BEST is a false and misleading as his claim to have 'three quarters of a million YouTube views' of his DA campaign video, his claim to be the 'Los Angeles Chief Criminal Prosecutor,' and his fairy tale about being 'surrounded and shot at by gangmembers.' It's all smoke and mirrors. Trutanich paid only ten thousand dollars to LA's BEST from his personal funds, not the one hundred thousand he was supposed to deliver. $25,000 was given by environmental clean-up firms that do business at the Port of Los Angeles who also contributed to Trutanich's D.A. campaign.

But the balance of the $100,000 that Trutanich promised to pay is made up by IOU's - 'pledges' from those companies to pay the balance over the next three years. Let's hope, for the sake of those school kids, that those companies think more of their pledges than Trutanich thinks of his.

It is no coincidence that none of the 'pledges' are due for payment until after both the 2013 primary and general elections. Once Trutanich loses his lame bid to be re-elected, would anyone care to guess what the likelihood is that those 'pledges' will be honored?

There is probably nothing more contemptible than reneging on a promise to a kid, but Trutanich seems to relish in his image of being a schoolyard bully, a coward and a thug. Trutanich should have paid his debt in full without being shamed into playing this lame, half-assed smoke and mirrors con trick on a bunch of underprivileged kids. Pay you debt Trutanich, get out of public office, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

ADDA hosts final DA candidates' forum

Downtown Los Angeles' National Center for the Preservation of Democracy provided the dynamic venue for the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys candidates' debate. It appears that the ADDA event was the last opportunity for Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson to go head to head before the November 6, 2012 election that will decide who will be LA's next District Attorney.


Newly appointed ADDA President Donna McClay opened the event by introducing Lacey and Jackson, as well as LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus, who moderated the debate with a mix of his own questions as well as those submitted by ADDA members.

ADDA President Donna McClay introduced Lacey and Jackson
and set the ground rules for the debate, moderated by LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus
Lacey and Jackson largely followed the same script from Wednesday night's Italian American Lawyers Association forum, however, the ADDA forum differed in terms of the candidates responses to questions of direct concern to the 1,000 plus Deputy District Attorneys.


As the Los Angeles Times published their account of the debate focused on the topics of most interest to voters, this post will concentrate on candidates' responses that will be of most interest to Deputy District Attorneys.

Promotions:
The first question unsurprisingly challenged the candidates as to how they would change the promotion process. With 290 Grade III Deputy District Attorneys currently eligible for promotion to Grade IV, moderator Gene Maddaus asked why it was that few of that number will actually be promoted?

Lacey answered that question by noting that Grade IV promotions can only be made when current Grade IV's either retire, promote or obtain judicial appointments. Because of the success of the DA's Office in terms of job satisfaction, Grade IV positions rarely open up, thereby limiting promotional opportunities. One change Lacey would implement when making promotions would be to broaden the criteria for promotion. Trial experience has historically been the benchmark criteria for promotion, but Lacey stressed that her administration would recognize those who excel in non-trial assignments.

Lacey went so far as to criticize the practice of promoting trial deputies to management positions, as the qualities that accomplished trial attorneys possess, often makes them a 'difficult fit' for management. Lacey pledged to make those who achieve in 'every segment' of the office eligible for promotion, but cautioned that she was not giving false hopes; ultimately the Board of Supervisors limits the number of Grade IV positions, and so while she would ensure that more DDAs have the opportunity to promote, there was little she could do in terms of increasing the number of promotions. Lacey also promised to increase 'transparency' in the promotion process so that DDAs have a better understanding of how and why promotions are made.

Jackson pledged to increase 'participation' in the promotion process by giving the ADDA the opportunity to provide input in the exam process. Jackson noted that while the Board of Supervisors requires an exam process, the Board does not dictate the content of the exam. The exams are 'onerous,' he said, especially where DDAs in some assignments have a better opportunity to prepare for exams than others who are often 'jammed' with the demands of their particular assignments. It's an indication, perhaps, that Jackson would favor less demanding exams, such as the Grade II exam format, to give all DDAs an equal chance to be considered for promotion.

Relationship with ADDA:
Maddaus stated that it's no secret that the current administration has not enjoyed a good relationship with the ADDA, how would the candidates change that?

Lacey said that once elected, she would want to 'sit down and talk' to the ADDA. She noted that she was the only candidate who has interacted with the ADDA, and that in the past year, she has seen the relationship with the ADDA improve.

Jackson took the opportunity to take a swipe at the administration in response to this question; he believes the relationship is 'broken' and that the ADDA should support his candidacy as one offering 'change.' He said he understood the 'frustration' of the ADDA in being excluded from participation in the assignment, transfer and promotion process. He also referred to the federal injunction and said that it 'has to be gotten rid of.'

Morale in the office:
Maddaus asked what the candidates would do to improve morale in the office?

Jackson rhetorically asked the audience if they would like to have Blackberrys, and noted that while most DDAs have cellphones capable of receiving email, he was confounded by the administration's reluctance to allow DDAs to send and receive office emails on their own smartphones. He also said that he would seek to expand the availability of 9-80.

Lacey's response was to question whether giving DDAs Blackberrys would actually improve morale. She noted that in her experience, giving things like Blackberrys does not improve morale and that in any case, the current budgetary constraints of the Office made that unlikely. Lacey reminded the audience of what she did when, in December of 2000, she became Director of Central Operations. At that time, she noted, there was a long line of DDAs begging to get out of Central Operations. Lacey detailed how she 'got to work' to improve morale by making leadership changes, changing filing and case settlement policies, and improving 'teamwork.'

Lacey stressed that 'it's relationship, not equipment' that improves morale, noting that in her four years as Director of Central Operations, her weekly meetings with managers turned Central Operations around, citing a 15% improvement in jury trial successes and that the line of DDAs seeking to get out of Central soon changed to a line of DDAs seeking assignments in Central. Many in the audience were 'in the trenches' of Central Operations when Lacey took over, and few would disagree that he did indeed improve morale.

'Open Door' policy:
Maddaus commented that it has been said that District Attorney Steve Cooley does not have an 'open door' policy, preferring DDAs to go through a military style chain of command rather than bring their concerns directly to him. Would the candidates change that?

Jackson stated that in his current assignment as Assistant Head Deputy of the Major Crimes Division he has an open door policy and he would continue that as District Attorney.

Lacey said that she had always had an open door policy, and that a number of DDAs routinely 'drop in.' But Lacey also stressed that she also sees the need to empower Head Deputies and others in management to be able to 'handle issues.'

Management changes:
Maddaus asked the candidates what management changes they would make if elected as District Attorney.

Jackson said that he would not make any changes for at least six months, while he evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the Office. He said he would involve the ADDA in the process of making management changes.

Lacey said that she would make changes, without naming names. She understood that highly accomplished trial attorneys do not necessarily make the best managers, and stressed that as she now has twelve years in management, she already knows what changes need to be made.

Performance Evaluation - Steve Cooley:
Maddaus ended the evening with the six million dollar question; What was the candidates' biggest disagreement with Steve Cooley's management? 

Lacey declined to give specifics, however, she did state that she was often put in the position of being the person others would go to with their concerns. 'I'm the one they go to,' she said. They tell her 'You go in there and talk to him.' and she does, and he listens. But, she stressed 'He is the person the people of Los Angeles elected, and he gets to make the call.' Lacey added that she would hope to surround herself with people who will challenge her, she doesn't want 'a bunch of nodding heads.'

Jackson answered the question by criticizing Steve Cooley over his relationship with the ADDA, and in particular with the ADDA's former President Steve Ipsen. Jackson thought it was regrettable that the relationship had deteriorated to the point where lawsuits had been filed, and that he felt that the pending litigation could have been avoided.

In a rare request for rebuttal, Lacey countered that it is always 'tough managing prosecutors' who are, by their very nature 'opinionated and reluctant to concede that they might be wrong.' But on the specific issue of Steve Ipsen, Lacey said that the administration had 'tried its best' to resolve the issues. It just wasn't possible.  


The ADDA District Attorney Candidates' Forum ended with Lacey and Jackson shaking hands after what had been a very fast moving 90 minutes, thanks to Gene Maddaus' moderation.

The ADDA's forum provided DDA's with a glimpse of what to expect from their next DA. Whoever wins in November will have a very tough job ahead of them, not only living up to the legacy left by Steve Cooley's record three terms as DA, but also with the very serious budgetary challenges that face the Office and the people of Los Angeles County as we struggle to meet the challenges of realignment.

ADDA President Donna McClay has to be given kudos for what was a tremendously successful and very professionally organized event. It is unfortunate that more DDAs did not attend this event, but she too has a hard task ahead of her to redefine the ADDA's role and relationship with its members. This was a good start.

Former District Attorney Robert Philbosian was in the audience, and with his characteristic brevity of words, he cut to the chase and made his point with two questions; 'How many DDAs are there?' and 'How many were here tonight?' The answers; 1,000+, and about 100.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday Themes - DA Candidates' Forum, Smith scores first in City Attorney Race, Trutanich pimps wife in re-election campaign

Fundamentals not fireworks in penultimate Lacey- Jackson DA debate


The Italian American Lawyers Association and the Metropolitan News-Enterprise co-hosted what is understood to be the penultimate DA candidates' forum at a well-attended event at Casa Italia, just north of downtown LA.

In marked contrast to the flying brickbats of last month's LA COPS forum, both candidates chose to refrain from direct attacks and instead stressed their qualifications to be LA's next DA.

Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson won the toss to deliver his opening statement, and took the opportunity to outline his tripartite vision for his administration. In a classic What? Why? and How? opening, Jackson's 'What' was his commitment to bolster the Public Integrity, Hi-Tech and Crime Prevention divisions of the Office. His 'Why' was ascribed to what he has learned during his 16 years' experience as a Deputy District Attorney, and his 'How' was his plan for a 'modern leadership' of the office, something he has instilled as Assistant Head Deputy of the prestigious Major Crimes Division of the DA's office.

Despite the quick-witted and often hilarious efforts of forum moderator Judge George P. Schiavelli (ret) to limit Jackson to his allotted three minute opening, Jackson ran well over the time limit with a purposefulness that showed he had prepared himself arduously for the task of convincing the audience of the validity of his credentials.

When Judge Schiavelli then gave Jackie Lacey the opportunity to deliver her opening, she was not in the least bit fazed when told that Jackson had used so much time that she only had thirty seconds for her opening. Graciously ignoring UCLA graduate Schiavelli's swipe at Lacey's alma mater, USC,  (something of a constant theme under Schiavelli moderation), Lacey showed that her trial advocacy skills as a line prosecutor were still potent.

Lacey used an analogy to demonstrate the need to elect an experienced leader as DA. Recounting a tale from a time long past, Lacey described how, when she and her husband David purchase their first home, it was badly in need of repainting. Her husband, a qualified accountant, figured out that they could arm themselves with paint brushes and buckets, and accomplish the task themselves. Lacey was leaving the office for a weekend of painting when she noticed a County employee about to paint the office. She asked him for any tips on how to paint her home. 'Hire a painter' was the advice she received and Lacey subtly parlayed that into a compelling argument that 'while everyone thinks they can be DA, you need someone who knows how to be DA to run the office.'

Lacey reasoned that she best knows how to run the office; of her 26 years with the office, 12 have been as an executive, rising through the ranks to hold the position of Chief Deputy with day-to-day responsibility for running the office. Lacey argued that her experience explained why she had garnered so many endorsements, including her 'sweep of law enforcement endorsements.' It was a message that, judging by the nods of approval and applause from the audience, clearly resonated.

The first question posed to the candidates concerned whether there was a need for greater transparency in the office, and if so, how would they achieve it? Both Lacey and Jackson agreed that there was a need for more transparency, but they differed as to how that would be achieved. Jackson favored the establishment of a 'Community Liaison Commission' to directly report on community concerns. Lacey, however, countered that the best approach would be to maintain the independence of the office and use direct outreach and contact with the community, warning that commissions can often be hijacked by individuals with personal agendas that are not truly reflective of the community.

Lacey and Jackson also differed on their answers to questions as to whether the DA's office should support or oppose the Secure Communities Program, a federal mandate to law enforcement to submit biometric data of arrested persons who are not citizens. Jackson's position was that it was the duty of the District Attorney to follow the law, however Lacey maintained that this was not an area of the law that engaged the DA's office; rather it was the concern of the arresting agency, and therefore the DA's office should not 'exceed our authority' by weighing in on the issue.

On how Realignment was to be funded, the candidates also differed. Governor Brown's sponsored Proposition 30 would raise taxes to provide funding for county-based treatment of low level offenders, something that Lacey, perhaps reluctantly supports in the absence of any other source of revenue to cover the burden now placed on counties. Jackson, however, said he was opposed to increasing taxes and believed that greater efficiencies in Sacramento, such as merging the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization would yield savings that could provide the necessary funding.

Thus far, Lacey and Jackson had offered differing approaches to the matters effecting public safety, however, on the topic of the Death Penalty, both disagreed with the premise that the 'Death Penalty is broken and does not work.' Both agreed that the Death Penalty was a necessary sanction reserved for the worst crimes, and that greater reform was needed in the appellate process that seemingly delays justice for victims.

Lacey and Jackson also seemed to believe that the DA's office will have to adapt to the almost inevitable cuts to the Courts' budget; perhaps as much as $80M that will result in more court closures and cutbacks in services. Lacey stressed the need for the office to be better prepared, show up on time and tighten filing policies. Jackson believed at a more uniform, county-wide case settlement policy was needed to ensure the same case disposition 'from Lancaster to Long Beach, and Santa Clarita to Santa Monica.'

The Italian American Lawyers Association DA Candidates' Forum gave Lacey and Jackson an opportunity to show how and where they differed on their vision of the future of DA's office. It was a civil and  polite debate on the issues. Tomorrow night's ADDA sponsored forum may not be so convivial. It will be the last opportunity for the candidates to demonstrate their differences, and we could see more fireworks than fundamentals.

City Attorney candidate Greg Smith claims a 'first' in City Attorney race


Police rights attorney Greg Smith's bid to become LA's next City Attorney gained powerful momentum with the announcement that he as secured a valuable 'first.' He is the only City Attorney candidate to have secured the endorsement of law enforcement, something he expects to be the first of many endorsements from law enforcement associations.

This from the Smith campaign:

INGLEWOOD POA ENDORSES GREG SMITH
FOR CITY ATTORNEY

 Los Angeles, September 18th – Today the Inglewood POA endorsed Greg Smith for Los Angeles City Attorney.

With a field dominated by career politicians, Smith is quickly becoming law enforcement’s choice for City Attorney. Lloyd Water, President of Inglewod POA stated, “Greg Smith is beyond a doubt the clear choice of law enforcement to become the next City Attorney of Los Angles. We want to partner with him to crack down on gangs and keep families safe. Greg gets it - we can't simply handcuff our way out of this problem. Greg wants to partner with cops to keep kids out of gangs in the first place. We are proud to enthusiastically endorse Greg Smith for City Attorney." 

“I could not be more proud to have received the early support of the men and women of Inglewood police and look forward to partnering with them as City Attorney to protect families and keep kids out of gangs in the first place,” claimed Greg Smith.

For more information please visit Greg Smith’s official campaign website at www.GregSmith2013.com

Owner of a private law firm and Vietnam era Veteran, Greg Smith is a top notch attorney who has practiced for over 25 years representing members of law enforcement and community members who were victims of discrimination from all over the City. Smith has grown a reputation for being unafraid to take the tough cases and has worked with clients to expose waste fraud and abuse. He represented one of the early whistleblowers that helped expose the Bell corruption scandal.

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Trutanich pimps wife as nobody else supports re-election bid


Failed DA wannabe Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich issued an impassioned plea from his wife to support his doomed campaign to hang on to his City Attorney job. Toxic Trutanich has thus far failed to attract the support of any elected official or police agency in his bid to be re-elected to the job he once thought was beneath him as he blithely reneged on his 'Pledge to Serve' and in pursuit of his dream to become LA's biggest nightmare; District Attorney.

In the absence of any credible, or even incredible, support to be re-elected, Trutanich apparently had his wife issue an email basically begging for the former ambulance chaser turned career politician to have another chance. It is, of course, not the first time that the man labeled a liar by the LA Times has used his family to invoke sympathy for his cause.

During the time Trutanich was trying to deny that his was going to run for DA, he claimed he was too busy looking after his son, who had 'just come back form Iraq,' injured, implying perhaps that his son was a serviceman injured in the line of duty.


In fact Trutanich's son, an Assistant US Attorney, is believed to have sprained his ankle during a friendly sports event while overseas on assignment with the Department of Justice.

Trutanich also famously 'partially suspended' his DA campaign in its final weeks because he had to take care of his sick mother.


Many believe that this was a rather crass attempt to hide from the media in the face of allegations that he had lied about being the victim of an assassination attempt when he falsely claimed to have been 'surrounded and shot at by gangmembers' in Green Meadows Park in the 1980's.

Trutanich, of course, dramatically failed to con LA voters into electing him as District Attorney, despite raising more money and boasting more endorsements than his rivals. The picture of Trutanich taking the 'walk of shame' at his ill-fated Victory Party on the night of his electoral defeat continues to the the number one downloaded picture from the Dragnet.

Trutanich's Walk of Shame
Credit: Daily Breeze

Trutanich's ill-fitting suit jacket, forced smile and awkward stance belies the enormity of the humiliation that Trutanich was faced with on June 5, 2012 when LA voters told Trutanich precisely what they thought of his unfitness for public office.

It is believed that Trutanich will succumb to entreaties to withdraw from his re-election bid and accept the advice of his former campaign strategist John Shallman to 'finish his tern strong' by bowing out with as much grace as he can muster, and devote his post-political career to supporting charitable endeavors. One such endeavor would be for Trutanich to concentrate his efforts on paying  LA's BEST After School Program for underprivileged school kids the $70,000 he still owes them.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Midweek Musings

Lacey supporters 'save the date' for Blockbuster II

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will top the bill at a star-studded event next month to support Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey's bid to become LA's first Female DA, and LA's first African American DA. The extravaganza is expected to draw such a large crowd that the event's principal organizers, Michael Baruch, Lawrence Bender and Michael Goldstein, have not yet determined whether the event will take place in a large home or at a hotel.

Baruch, Bender and Goldstein were instrumental in the production of Lacey's hugely successful Blockbuster fundraiser during the primary election campaign, and according to sources, they are determined to do even better with this event. Hosts for the event include New York Giants owner Steve Tisch, Hard Rock Cafe founder and steakhouse guru Peter Morton, Golden Globe winning Executive Producer Ben Silverman,  Smashbox Studios co-founder Davis Factor, Oscar nominated producer and Quicken Loans co-founder Gary Gilbert, Discovery Land Co's Chairman and CEO Michael Meldman, Ranger Global Adviser's Chief Investment Officer and philanthropist Alex Von Furstenberg, and international entrepreneur and luxury hotelier Sam Nazarian.

With such a well connected hosting committee, the event is certain to build on the success of Lacey's last Blockbuster, and the Dragnet looks forward to reporting exclusively on the event.

Jackson gains support from Mayor Richard Riordan and Governor Pete Wilson


Los Angeles' last Republican Mayor Richard Riordan will throw his home open for a fundraiser to help Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson's bid to replace Steve Cooley as LA's DA. Mayor Riordan co-hosts the event with Governor Pete Wilson, former Federal Judge Robert Bonner, and former US Ambassador to Uruguay Frank Baxter

As we go to press, the Dragnet cannot confirm whether we will be able to cover this event. Mayor Riordan may not have forgiven our previous criticism of his former support for failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich.



Trutanich faces defeat as referendum on 'Soft Ban' on Medical Marijuana qualifies for ballot


The LA Times rarely carries good news for failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich. As LA's least favorite clown shakes down his San Pedro base to finance his desperate and doomed bid to hang on to his City Attorney position, his jack-boot ban on medical marijuana appears to be as doomed as his candidacy.

As the LA Times reported, a very well organized ballot initiative to overturn Trutanich's ban easily qualified for the ballot. 'Activists seeking to repeal a ban on medical marijuana outlets in Los Angeles have secured enough verified signatures to place their measure on the ballot.' City Clerk June Lagmay told the LA Times Monday.

'Backers of medical marijuana dispensaries needed 27,425 valid signatures for their measure to qualify. Lagmay said a statistical sampling of the signatures showed that activists had turned in 110% of the amount needed.'

'The council now has the option of repealing its ordinance, calling a special election or placing the measure on the ballot in the March 5 election, when voters will choose a mayor, city controller, city attorney and eight council members. The third scenario is currently considered the most likely.' The LA Times said.

That third option, allowing the voters to voice their opinion, is the one least favored by Trutanich, who is understood to be lobbying desperately for the Council to simply repeal his so-called 'Gentle Ban' so as to avoid what would be a de facto recall of Trutanich. In plain terms, the vast number of voters expected to vote against Trutanich's jack-boot ban, would also be voting for City Attorney, and are unlikely to vote for him.

Not surprisingly, nobody on the City Council, except perhaps Councilmember Jose Huizar who gave his name to Trutanich's ban, wants to do anything to help Trutanich's swift and well deserved removal from the Los Angeles political scene. It also explains why Trutanich has been, and will continue to be, incapable of garnering any political endorsements for his re-election.

DA Candidate Forum tonight

Just a reminder, tonight sees the first of this month's two DA Candidate Forums.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Topics

Don't miss the DA candidate forums

The Italian American Layers Association's September meeting is co-sponsored by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise and features the first of this month's DA candidate forums. The IALA event is Wednesday, September 19, at 6:00 p.m. at Casa Italiana, 1051 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012.


The ADDA hosts the next candidates' forum, Thursday, September 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), 369 E. First Street, Los Angeles 90012. LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus, aka 'The Clown Slayer,' will be the moderator of what promises to be a lively debate.

MABA PAC 'Suspended'

File this one in the 'for what it's worth' category but it appears that those who have received the endorsement of the Mexican American Bar Association's Political Action Committee ('MABA PAC'), may have been supported by a suspended entity, at least according to the Secretary of State's website where a search under MABA PAC's entity number C1619651, shows the corporation to be 'suspended.' It raises a question mark over financial contributions or independent expenditures made by MABA PAC; these could be illegal and in violation of campaign finance law limits  if made from a 'suspended' corporation.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Briefs

JUST LIKE IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY RACE THE DAILY NEWS AND THE LOS ANGELES TIMES “SAID NO TO TRUTANICH” THEY HAVE NOW SAID NO BRAD SHERMAN !!!!


In a startling blow to Snake Oil Salesman Sherman, Friday the Daily News issued an endorsement for Congressman Berman. Thus once again the Los Angeles Times and the Daily News agree on who is the best candidate to be elected. Fortunately the electorate listened to them the last time they agreed, and did not vote for that toxic tonic Trutanich.

Once again Sherman the Snake Oil Salesman and his Worthless Trutanich toxin have something in common. Both major Los Angeles newspapers are saying “No BS” just like they said “Anything but Carmen.”

Thus when Congressman Berman defeats Sherman the Snake Oil Salesman, the newspapers will be right a second time. Of course when there is two, there is three. The three will be endorsing “Anyone but Carmen” in the City Attorney’s race. Clearly the newspapers have the number on Toxic Trutnaich and his crew of Snake Oil Salesmen.

Thus any politician thinking about endorsing some Snake Oil known as Trutanich better think twice. Because Snake Oil is foul smelling and once you get near it, the odor gets on you, and no matter what you to do you can’t get rid of the stink, and no one wants to be around you just like they want to stay away from the toxin known as Trutanich.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Free For All - Jackie Lacey soars in DA race, Trutanich backers pay the price for betrayal

Jackie Lacey gains bi-partisan support in bid to become Los Angeles' next District Attorney

This from the Jackie Lacey Campaign:

The Jackie Lacey for D.A. campaign scored three more powerful endorsements today: Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, former Los Angeles County District Attorney Robert Philibosian and United States Congressman Adam Schiff.

Lacey, who won the support of Los Angeles County's largest law enforcement organizations, is continuing to show tremendous bipartisan support in the race for D.A. Molina and Schiff are Democrats and Philibosian is a prominent Republican.

Gloria Molina, a pioneering elected leader, was the first Latina ever elected to the California Legislature. For the past 21 years, she has served with distinction as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Molina stated: "With 26 years' exemplary experience as a prosecutor and top administrator in the District Attorney's Office, Jackie Lacey has the skills to be an outstanding District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Our county faces a number of critical criminal justice issues, particularly in managing the state's poorly planned "realignment," which will shift thousands of felons from incarceration in state prisons to the county jail. We desperately need a proven leader as D.A. to tackle these tough issues. We need Jackie Lacey."

Robert Philibosian served as Los Angeles County District Attorney from 1981 to 1984. Currently a leading legal practitioner, Philibosian is of counsel with the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton.

"As a former Los Angeles County District Attorney myself, I know that leading this complex office is no job for someone lacking management experience," Philibosian said. "That's why I am proudly supporting Jackie Lacey, the prosecutor with the experience to be a great D.A."

Adam Schiff has served in the United States Congress since 2001, where he sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Previously, Schiff served one four-year term in the California Senate and six years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Los Angeles office.

Schiff said in endorsing Lacey: "As a former federal prosecutor, I have some ideas about what it takes to be a successful District Attorney. Jackie Lacey combines an extensive record as a successful courtroom prosecutor with experience managing the day-to-day operations of the nation's largest local prosecutor's office. I proudly endorse Jackie Lacey for D.A."

For a complete list of Lacey's endorsements, visit her website at www.JackieLacey.com.

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Jackie Lacey tackles tough topics on KPKF's Uprising Radio

District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey took to the airwaves Thursday morning on KPFK's Uprising Radio, hosted by Sonali Kolhatkar, to answer some tough questions as to why she believes she is the 'most qualified' to become LA's next District Attorney.



In the almost half hour long interview, Lacey gave a fascinating insight into how the daughter of an impoverished African American family who fled the racism and oppression of the South for California in the 50's, became her family's 'first kid' to go to college, eventually winning a scholarship to USC's School of Law. After graduating she joined the DA's Office rising through the ranks to hold the number two position in the nations' largest prosecutorial agency, with day-to-day oversight of the Office's 1,000 attorneys and 1,100 support staff.

As well as explaining the organizational structure of the DA's Office with a clarity sure to be appreciated by line deputies who often wonder what, precisely is the relationship between the DA, Chief Deputy,  Assistant DAs,  Bureau Directors, Head Deputies and Assistant Head Deputies , Lacey also explains her position on the topics that she believes are of the greatest concern to Los Angelenos; Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Third Strikes reform, Death Penalty, Prison Overcrowding and the DA's recent crackdown on 'feel good' doctors who recklessly dispense prescription medication with often lethal consequences.

As to how Lacey feels about being the first female DA, and the first African American DA, Lacey explains that while she would be proud to break those barriers, she nevertheless feels that it is her twenty five years of experience in the DA's Office, twelve of which have been in senior management, that best qualifies her to lead the Office. She touts her endorsements by DA Steve Cooley, the LA Times, and LA's two largest police associations; the Los Angeles Police Protective League and the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.

It is an engaging  and insightful interview, and doubtless provides a preview of the issues likely to be discussed at next week's two District Attorney candidates' forums; the first co-hosted by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise and the  Italian American Lawyer's Association on September 19, at 6:00 p.m. at Casa Italiana, 1051 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012, and the second being the Association of Deputy District Attorney's DA Candidates' forum on September 20, 6:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), 369 E. First Street, Los Angeles 90012.

Lacey appears to be on something of a roll these past weeks, with sources in her campaign revealing that she is leveraging the momentum she has gained by her slew of endorsements into almost nightly fundraising events. A recent event at DA Steve Cooley's home is understood to have been a 'resounding success' with over 75 influential community and law enforcement leaders in attendance, and the campaign is exceeding its fundraising targets to ensure a 'robust' campaign in the run up to the November election.

Trutanich backers pay the price for selling Los Angelenos a 'bill of goods' 

Pep Streebek joins the Dragnet
as a contributing blogger
Eagle-eyed Dragnet followers will have noticed that yesterday's post, blasting 'Snake Oil Salesman' Congressman Brad Sherman,  for trying to sell us a bill of goods in the form of failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich, was penned by Pep Steebek.

Steebek joins the Dragnet as a contributing blogger to help inform readers of the way political hacks try to foist their kindred spirits on voters. What, exactly, did Sherman think he was doing by supporting the loathsome, unseemly and consistently deceptive candidacy of Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich?

Was it a case of sheer ignorance on the part of Sherman, that he had no idea of the well documented history of betrayal and deception by the man the LA Times called a 'Liar,' or was it that Sherman didn't care how unsavory and unsuitable Trutanich was for the position of District Attorney?

Despite Sherman's best efforts to fool voters into buying what he was selling, voters were able to see though the bullshit, and roundly rejected Trutanich's 'Hindenburg-like' candidacy. Sherman will likely pay the price for betraying the trust of voters when he faces his challenger in November.

Sherman, of course, was not alone in endorsing and supporting the lie laden candidacy of Carmen Trutanich. Termed-out Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine, who now aspires to become City Controller, showed the kind of reckless misjudgment that should disqualify him from holding the public trust, by not only backing Trutanich, but pulling his endorsement of Alan Jackson. Will Zine make the same kind of reckless decisions should he succeed in becoming City Controller?

Trutanich paid the price for betraying our trust when he was politically castrated on June 5. His lame attempt to hang on to the City Attorney job that he considered beneath him, will fail as miserably as his disastrous DA campaign. Thanks to the clarion voice of Streebek, those who were as foolish and arrogant to think that voters can be so easily fooled, will likely meet the same fate as Trutanich.  Brad Sherman, Dennis Zine, and a few others need to publicly apologize for the way they betrayed our trust.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

THESE SNAKE OIL SALESMEN, LIKE CONGRESSMAN SHERMAN, WHO TRIED TO SELL US TRUTANICH MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!


In the old west a smooth talking vendor would ramble into town. He would peddle an elixir, representing it could cure anything “that ails you.” The townspeople who gave their hard earned money for the magical potion soon discovered that they had purchased nothing more then a useless foul smelling substance. If the Snake Oil salesman did not get out of the territory fast enough, the townspeople were able to catch up to him and hold him accountable for his swindling ways.

In the recent district attorney’s race many politicians acted like Snake Oil Salesman and tried to sell us a similar elixir called, Trutanich. They have not left town and it is time to catch up to them and hold them accountable.

Congressman Sherman was well aware of Trutanich the Bully’s antics. We expect our Congressmen to research and endorse proper candidates who will serve us properly. Clearly Sherman the Snake Oil Salesman did not, he just latched on to the politician he thought would win to help him gain momentum in his own race. He tried to sell us Snake oil for his own gain.

On the other hand maybe Sherman was aware of Trutanich’s antics, but didn’t care. Excused them did not think they were so bad, because he had engaged in similar antics. Remember the video of Trutanich acting like a bully towards an ordinary citizen?

Well Sherman shares the same trait as Trutanich. Watch this video as he acts as a bully to some lady nervously asking him a question.



Brad Sherman loses his cool with a constituent

What do we want from our politicians? We want them to be concerned about their constituents. Not to bully them. When a constituent puts them on the spot, phrases a question improperly, or has the facts wrong, we want them to answer the question in a proper way conveying the accurate information. But a bully cannot do this, because they thirst to utilize their power to prey upon those who do not have the means to defend themselves from their attacks.

When these bullies, like Trutanich and Sherman, display their true personalities, because like the Snake Oil Salesman, they are always trying to hide the truth, we must be aware of it and realize this brings to light a greater problem. That problem is that they are more concerned about their individual personage, then helping their constituents. Thus when they have to make the tough decision to support political ideals that may hurt their public image but benefit their constituents, they will not because their love for their self is greater then their concern for the citizens they represent.

We need politicians whose primary concern is not their personal gain, but what is best for us. Bullies like Trutanich and Sherman do not have this ability. They are just Snake Oil Salesmen trying to mask their true intentions, why they try to swindle our vote by selling us a foul smelling substance.


Posted by Pep Streebek










Thursday Themes - Trutanich re-election 'unlkely' in face of Medical Marijuana Ballot


As the LA Times reported, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has been forced to postpone implementation of his incongruously-named 'Gentle Ban' on medical marijuana. Trutanich was forced into postponing his plan when medical marijuana advocates delivered a petition for a ballot initiative that would give Los Angelenos the chance to vote to repeal Trutanich's ban. Over 50,000 Los Angelenos signed the petition, more then enough to ensure that the initiative will appear on the ballot in the March 5, 2013 primary election.

Ironically, the vote to repeal Trutanich's ban will appear on the same ballot as Trutanich's re-election bid, guaranteeing that anyone and everyone who votes to repeal Trutanich's ban, will also vote A.B.C. (Anyone But Carmen) when it comes to picking LA's next City Attorney. With so many Los Angelenos likely to vote in favor or repealing Trutanich's ban, it is a given that Trutanich will not be able to garner sufficient votes to make it into a runoff, with Greg Smith and Mike Feuer being the likely finalists.

Trutanich's downfall will make political history by his being the first incumbent City Attorney to be defeated in a re-election bid, and the first elected official in Los Angeles to be be handed two swinging electoral defeats in less than 12 months.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Briefs

Crime explodes in Los Angeles - 'Realignment' proponents Trutanich and Feuer likely to blame

The LA Times reported Sunday, that crime in 16 L.A. neighborhoods is up 'significantly' for the latest week, according to an analysis of Los Angeles Police Department data by the Times’ Crime L.A. database.

The Time stated that 'Ten neighborhoods reported a significant increase in violent crime. West Hills was the most unusual, recording three reports compared with a weekly average of 0.3 over the last three months.'

While elected officials continue to tout the 'big lie' that crime is down the reality, as many line cops and prosecutors know, is very different. Crime rates are exploding and the latest figures from the LA Times bears out what most had been fearing - the flood of felons resulting from Assembly Bill 109, the perhaps innocuously-named 'Realignment' bill, has caused the explosion.

AB109, Governor Jerry Brown's solution to California's budget woes, didn't pass in a vacuum.  In order to overcome the well-founded fears that crime would explode, Brown had many accomplices including non other than current City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who seemingly was fully prepared to inflict an explosion of crime on LA's streets in return for Governor Brown's endorsement for his Hindenburg-like campaign to become District Attorney.

Another accomplice in the AB109 crime disaster is termed out Assemblyman Mike Feuer, whose enthusiastic support for flood of felons bill is well documented by his voting record. Feuer, of course, also has his eyes on the City Attorney's office and was likely hoping to being rewarded with an endorsement from Brown too, until the value of the Governor's endorsement that was established by  Trutanich.

By the time Los Angelenos go to the polls to elect their next City Attorney, it seems inevitable that the explosion in crime rates will be uppermost in the minds of voters. It is equally inevitable that Los Angelenos will know which of the candidates supported the unmitigated disaster that is AB109.

Jackie Lacey wins key law enforcement endorsements in DA race


Both the LA Times and the LA Weekly covered the announcement late on Friday, that Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey had secured endorsements from the L.A. Police Protective League and the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs. 'This is a very important endorsement,' Lacey told the LA Weekly, 'I competed. I prepared. And I respect their views.'

'Lacey is the chief deputy in the D.A.'s office, and has the backing of her boss, Steve Cooley, who is retiring after three terms. Cooley has had a strong relationship with both unions, which may have put Lacey over the top.' The LA Weekly said.

Lacey's opponent in the November election, prosecutor Alan Jackson, has also claimed law enforcement support.

'We're proud to be backed by cops all over the county,' said John Thomas, Jackson's campaign manager. 'We're not concerned about the effect on the race. Alan is still leading in support from law enforcement.' Thomas told the LA Weekly.

Trutanich reacts to pay to play accusation - says it ain't so

In what appears to be a sure sign that the LA Times hit a raw nerve in City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's needy media-craving ego with allegations that the former wannabe DA was seeking an injunction against ticket scaplers as a form of payback to campaign donors, the Trutanich campaign swiftly issued a denial to the Scalpergate scandal.

 In a break with his previous modus operandi, the tough-talking grandstander agreed to meet with the media to discuss the denial. 'Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich will be available to speak with interested media parties today - by appointment through his campaign press office - to set the record straight about baseless insinuations made in the Los Angeles Times this morning about the motivations underlying his office's ticket scalpers injunction.' a statement on his campaign website said.

It also appears that Trutanich's offer to talk to the media was issued the day the LA Times broke the story, August 31, 2012, however, it seems that the media were not interested in listening to Trutanich's denials, a case of 'Methinks he doth protest too much,' perhaps? Or more likely the reality is that nobody believes anything the man the LA Times labeled a 'Liar' says.

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