Friday, October 12, 2012

Lacey gains LA Times endorsement following Blockbuster II fundraiser

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board endorsed Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey for District Attorney in the primary election, and now they've renewed their endorsement ahead of the general election, just over three weeks away.

Praising Lacey as  'a creative thinker, a cautious manager, a proven leader.' the Times said she was 'more interested in evenhanded justice than in the lure of the spotlight,' and was 'the best choice for the job.'

While the Times endorsement must come as disappointment for rival District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson, it was unlikely that the Times were going to change the opinion they held going into the primary.

The LA Times endorsement tops a fast-paced twenty four hours for Lacey, who was visibly delighted by the huge turnout at her 'Blockbuster II' fundraiser Wednedsay night at the home of movie mogul Lawrence Bender.

Bender had previously been recruited by campaign co-chairs Michael Goldstein and Michael Baruch to host what became known as 'Blockbuster,' the April 24, 2012 fundraiser that gave Lacey's campaign a 'quantum leap' boost to carry her through to emerge the leader in the June 5 primary election.

The crowd at Wednesday night's event was easily double that of the April event as leading members of LA's entertainment industry and the political scene gathered to meet Lacey.

Topping the long list of local political leaders supporting Lacey was Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who delivered an impressive and impassioned speech hailing Lacey's experience and vision for the challenges facing the nation's largest prosecutorial agency.

Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, an enthusiastic supporter from the early stages of Lacey's campaign, had little doubt that he had picked a winner in Jackie Lacey.

Councilmember Dennis Zine and his Chief of Staff, Jimmy Blackman, flank Jackie Lacey
Los Angeles City Councilmember and City Controller candidate Dennis Zine had previously endorsed Alan Jackson, then Carmen Trutanich in the primary, but switched his support to Lacey.

Lawyer and entrepreneur Michael Baruch
It wasn't all politics as co-host Michael Baruch told the audience how his childhood friend Michael Goldstein had introduced the lawyer-entrepreneur to Jackie Lacey and the world of politics at an early morning meeting at the Coffee Bean. From that moment there was no going back, Baruch said, and he and Goldstein worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to bring together a group of Hollywood heavy-hitters who made these two 'Blockbuster' events the undoubted success that they are.

Left to right: Michael Baruch, Michael Goldstein, Lawrence Bender, Mayor Villaraigosa, Jackie Lacey and Davis Factor
Goldstein, who got to know Jackie Lacey when he was a law clerk with the DA's Office in the 1990's and has become a close friend, decided to get involved in Lacey's campaign because 'she's a special person, and the right person at the right time.' But Goldstein doesn't claim the credit for the success of the campaign, citing a who's who laundry list of entertainment industry and business leaders who were in attendance. He says it's Lacey who get the support from the people he introduces her to. 'Once they meet Jackie it's easy,' he says, 'it's easy to get behind the right person.'

Lacey's campaign strategist, Parke Skelton, made a rare appearance.
The man behind the candidate (literally here), campaign strategist Parke Skelton, made a rare public appearance to watch Lacey wow the crowd. Skelton generally does not attend campaign events, and the fact that he was in attendance probably signaled to those in the know, the high degree of confidence he has in Lacey's candidacy.

Skelton, in an interview with the Dragnet, gave his analysis on how Lacey turned her eight point deficit in the polls, ten days before the primary election, into a ten point lead over presumed frontrunner Carmen Trutanich when the votes were counted. 'Six million pieces of mail' was Skelton's cryptic explanation, a reference to Lacey's campaign strategy of using mail rather than television to reach voters.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey wows the crowd
Without taking anything away from the stalwart efforts of all who have made Lacey's campaign the success that it is, the night definitely belonged to Jackie Lacey. She seemed as delighted as those in the crowd as she spoke of her rise through the ranks of the DA's office to hold the number two position, and of her plans to meet the challenges facing Los Angelenos in the future. If Los Angeles is ready to elect their first female District Attorey, and first African American District Attorney, Lacey left no doubt that she is ready, willing and able to take on that job.


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