Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Free For All

Villaraigosa floats downsizing City Attorney's office - will outsource civil division

Failed Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich got dealt a double belly blow this week. Not only is the the Mayor proposing to cut fifty deputy city attorney positions, but he is also floating the idea that the the criminal and civil divisions of the City Attorney's office be separated. The function of the civil division would be outsourced, leaving the City Attorney solely responsible for the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes. It would strip the City Attorney's office of as much as 75% of its staff and budget, and more importantly, its power.

The idea is not a new one, it's been discussed on several occasions in the past. However, the current budgetary crisis and perhaps more importantly, Trutanich's crippled political position, makes the chances of this becoming a reality more than just a hypothetical debate topic.

No City Attorney has done more to destroy the prestige of the City Attorney's office than Carmen Trutanich. He is widely seen as inept and incompetent and more focused on furthering his political career than honoring his soon forgotten 'Pledge to Serve.' His spectacular defeat following his failed campaign to become District Attorney has served to further weaken his position, and with it, his ability to fend off the impending loss of fifty positions. More significantly, his clownish antics in pursuit of his arrogant egocentric political ambitions has strengthened the position of those, like the Mayor, who now seek to strip the office of City Attorney of many of its powers.  

Politicians, like Trutanich, who use and abuse the powers that have been entrusted to them, not only face removal at the hands of voters, but they also demonstrate the need for steps to be taken to prevent their successors from repeating their abuse.

Birds of a feather. Carmen Trutanich and County Assessor John Noguez.
No better example exists of the way that corrupt politicians can not only destroy their own careers, but wreak havoc on their offices, than that of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, a political ally of Trutanich. As a result of Noguez's alleged corrupt practices, voters will weigh in on whether the County Assessor should be an elected or appointed position when they cast their votes on Measure A in the November 6, 2012 election.

If Measure A passes it will doubtless strengthen the Mayor's position on Trutanich and lead to a Charter Amendment to de-politicize the City Attorney's office. The LA Times was quick to oppose the Mayor's idea. 'If the people don't like their city attorney or any of their other elected officials, they know what to do about it, and they can do it every four years.' the Times Editorial Board said. Make no mistake, the Times is not defending Trutanich; they clearly see the need to put an end to his shameless abandonment of his responsibilities. The Times believes that the voters of Los Angeles are best armed to throw Trutanich out of office in March 2013, and provided that the Times continues to lead in exposing Trutanich for the monumental failure that his is, the Times may be right.

Trutanich once said that 'my greatest legacy would be that after serving two terms as City Attorney, someone would go before the City Council and ask that the City Attorney be given four more years.' It now seems that Trutanch's greatest legacy will be the exact opposite.

Which Way LA?

November 6, 2012 draws closer and with it the voters' decision as to whether Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey or Assistant Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson are best qualified to continue the remarkable achievements of District Attorney Steve Cooley, will come more sharply into focus as the candidates ramp up their campaigns.

While Lacey's campaign has concentrated on reaching voters through a flood of mailers leveraging her myriad political, media and law enforcement endorsements, Jackson has pursued a tv ad campaign that has drawn criticism for its negativity. If the outcome of the primary election is any indication as to which strategy works best with LA's voters, then Jackie Lacey will become the first female District Attorney and the first African American District Attorney in the history of Los Angeles.

Streebek's Column


Once again Congressman Berman has brought the two parties together, as two former Secretaries of State George Schultz, the Secretary of State during President Reagan’s administration, and Madeline Albright, the Secretary of State during President Clinton’s administration, call Bully Brad’s attack on Congressman Berman’s travel unfounded. In a joint letter they state:

“We want to set the record straight on Congressman Howard Berman’s overseas travel during his service in the U.S. House of Representatives. In so doing we urge you to reject Rep. Brad Sherman’s misleading campaign tactics around this subject and hope that voters in the 30th Congressional district will instead appreciate, as we do, the tremendous service that Howard Berman has done for his constituents and for all America during his public career.”

“As Chairman and now the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he has worked closely with both Republicans and Democratic colleagues and administrations to keep America strong and the American people safe. And take it from us – to do that effectively, international travel is required.  Making the effort to forge in-person relationships garners results that simply do not come from the exchange of letters or phone calls.”

Norman Omstein, a well respected political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute has been a long time observer of Congress and Politics. He recently wrote the following about the 30th Congressional District race:

“I hate it when candidates or consultants take cheap shots at foreign travel. When the cheap shot comes from somebody who himself is on the Foreign Affairs Committee, it is especially ridiculous.”

“The larger fact is that all Members of Congress should travel, and travel a lot. They make hugely consequential decisions involving America’s role in the world – and involving the rest of the world – and there are few cost/benefit ratios than the insight and sensitivity brought about by being in other countries, informing and improving important decisions made in Congress.”

“To attack Berman, of all people, for traveling and meeting with global leaders is particularly farcical. There may be no Member of Congress who generates more respect abroad then Berman, before and during his tenure as chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and now as the ranking member. Berman has gravitas, and his meetings with leaders abroad have manifestly been in the national interest and have been supported by major figures in both parties. Berman has not met with foreign leaders to score political points, for ego tripping or to stick it to an opposing president, he has done so to advance the national interest.”

Sherman’s attack on Congressman Berman’s foreign travel constitutes nothing more then acting like a Snake Oil Salesman. This ridiculous attack constitutes an attempt to sell the public a falsity. Only this time trying to turn something that “Helps us” into something that “Ails us.”  Congressman Berman exists as a remarkable statesman who bears the burden of being away from his family as he travels to foreign lands to help keep us safe at home.

Posted by Pep Streebek


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why target Trutanich? Why not? That lying sack of sh*t deserves to be thrown out of office in an even more humiliating fashion than when he got neutered in the DA primary.

Which way LA? Jackson all the way.

Sherman or Berman? Berman has the gravitas for the job.