With the November 6, 2012 Presidential Election only 9 weeks away, 63 days from today to be precise, national politics will likely dominate the political news landscape for the immediate future. With that said, however, local politicians should not think they're getting a free ride.
Trutanich's motives questioned as pay to play appears to explain Scalpergate
When newly politically castrated City Attorney Carmen Trutanich announced that he would be 'getting tough' with ticket scalpers, many observers believed it was just another of the former DA wannabe's headline grabbing gimmicks; like accusing AEG of 'criminal aspects' to the Michael Jackson memorial, suing a major bank for being a slumlord, or claiming to have singlehandedly shut down the 38th Street Gang.
Others were scratching their heads wondering why, at a time when there's an increase in gang crime, when crimes of opportunity are flourishing thanks to the flood of freshly released AB109 'realignment' criminals, and credit card fraud and identity theft are exploding, that the former pretender to the office of the Chief Criminal Prosecutor should be so obsessed with ticket scalpers?
Most Los Angelenos are not cowering under their bedsheets in fear of being 'victimized' by ticket scalpers. It really did look like LA's loudmouth lawyer was basically looking for a problem to solve, most likely because he has been utterly feckless in every other one of his endeavors. However, Trutanich's eagerness to solve a problem that didn't need to be solved with a new law (an injunction, no less) seems to be explained by the fact that executives of a leading legitimate ticket resale business had contributed $18,000 to Trutanich's political campaigns.
The LA Times broke the Scalpergate scandal before the Labor Day holiday weekend, suggesting in their headline that there was a conflict of interest. The Times quoted Bob Stern, former president of the defunct watchdog group Center for Governmental Studies, who said 'The appearance looks like he is catering to campaign contributors.' Stern's observation was denied both by Trutanich's campaign and his office, however, Trutanich himself did not make a statement. Regardless of the denials, Trutanich's proposed attack on ticket scalpers appears to be very much a 'special interest' solution for those ready, willing and able to bankroll his political career.
The Los Angeles Downtown News also criticized the 'special interest' injunction, questioning the rationale behind using an injunction typically associated with gangs and violent criminals when existing laws appear to exist to punish offenders. 'An injunction,' The Downtown News concludes, 'overdoes it. This is the wrong approach to the problem.'
The fact that no resolution was passed by the Los Angeles City Council calling for action by the City Attorney's Office for this previously unknown problem lends further support to the view that this appears to be a case of Trutanich catering to the special interests of campaign contributors.
Met News-Enterprise debunks accusation of 'Conflicting Testimony' by Lacey
a detailed analysis of the basis of a campaign attack made by District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson's political strategist, John Thomas, against Chief Deputy Jackie Lacey.
Met News-Enterprise Editor/Co Publsher Roger M. Grace placed the entire issue sharply into focus in one of his 'Perspectives' columns entitled 'Was Lacey’s Recantation of Earlier Testimony a Routine Correction or Perjury?' Grace leaves little doubt that an alternate headline could easily have been 'No good deed goes unpunished,' for it emerges that there would be little to attack Lacey with had she declined to offer sound advice to a friend; have nothing to do with Steve Ipsen, the former President of the ADDA, and former Deputy District Attorney.
The suggestion that Lacey's advice to DDA Rob Dver not to associate with Ipsen amounted to 'union busting' has long been dismissed. Lacey herself was dismissed from the ADDA's lawsuit and her recent sweep of organized labor endorsements seems to make it clear anyone taking an impartial view of the matter is left in little doubt that the problem lay with Ipsen, not with the formation of a union.
Under Ipsen's stewardship the ADDA struggled to present itself as an association truly representative of the rank and file, and appeared to be more of a stepping stone for Ipsen's political ambitions. It is notable that Ipsen had to step down from his coveted presidency of the ADDA for the association to become a union.
While Ipsen's departure from the ADDA apparently served to convince a sufficient number of DDAs that the ADDA could become a truly representative body, his ties to and hold over the ADDA appear to run deep. So deep, it seems, that rumors suggest the ADDA has voted to pay for Ipsen's legal battle with the DA's Office arising from his termination. Perhaps a representative of the ADDA could advise members whether or not this is the case? According to the Met News-Enterprise, Ipsen could not refute the allegations of misconduct at a pre-termination Skelly hearing, and has not requested a Civil Service hearing. In the circumstances it is unclear why the ADDA has chosen to take up Ipsen's cause, and it would seem incumbent on the ADDA leadership to offer its members an explanation, if only to refute the accusations of secrecy, ulterior motives and a lack of transparency that characterized the ADDA in the Ipsen era.