Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LA Weekly previews Lacey administration

Now that the dust has settled following Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey's historic victory as LA's next District Attorney following the November 6 runoff election, LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus takes a look at what Lacey's administration might offer.

Maddaus clearly poked around quite a lot in probing the issues that will face Lacey when she is sworn in on December 3, 2012, and it is apparent that those interviewed by him spoke candidly.

Of her executive team, Maddaus noted that  'Many prosecutors expect her to promote several women from middle management to the DA's executive suite.' An expectation bolstered by his observation that 'many men in the top management tier have reached retirement age, and several women are well positioned to move up, including Pam Booth, director of the DA's central operations bureau. She's considered a top contender for the job of Lacey's chief deputy.'

Lacey, however, 'declined to get into specifics about her leadership team ... Asked whether it was important to her to see more women in the top ranks of the office, she demurred. "I have a wide variety of choices, among people who are very talented, both men and women,"' she told Maddaus.

Maddaus reported Lacey's leadership style to be 'collaborative' something with which anyone who knows Lacey would concur. '"She's a real consensus builder," Booth says. "She listens to what people have to say and knows how to balance that with what the needs of the office are."'

Management decisions aside, Maddaus notes that Lacey's biggest challenge is likely to be the way she crafts the Office's response to the side effects of realignment. The Prop 36 alteration to three strikes cases less likely to present any concern; for the past 12 years retiring DA Steve Cooley's third strikes policy has essentially done for LA County what Prop 36 does for the State.

When Lacey is sworn in on December 3, 2012, the one thing that does seem clear is that Lacey won't shake things up too much. Cooley told the LA Weekly that 'From my standpoint, the office is in the best shape it's ever been in,' Cooley says. 'I don't think it's gonna be all that much different. When things are in awful good shape, you don't want it to be different.'

While a calm, considered and collaborative transition is likely, the other thing that Los Angelenos can breathe a hefty sigh of relief at, is that the sheer bloody mayhem that would have resulted from having a recycled political hack in the form of Carmen the Clown Trutanich as the next DA is, thankfully, a nightmare we don't have to deal with.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trutanich - a failed politician facing Palookaville

With City Attorney candidate Greg Smith's injection of $500,000 in support of his campaign, failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich looks destined to repeat his 2012 political castration when the votes are counted in the March 2013 primary election for Los Angeles City Attorney.

The former ambulance chaser slip and fall lawyer turned bunny hopping hobbled career politician beat a hasty retreat from District Attorney elect Jackie Lacey's election party when it became clear that he was persona non grata there. So clear was the message that nobody loves a loser, that he did not even try to elbow his way into District Attorney Steve Cooley's retirement dinner.

Trutanich was persona non grata at Steve Cooley's Retirement Dinner
 Trutanich is so headed to political Palookaville it isn't even funny. Well, O.K., it is. At a stroke, Smith changed the dynamics of the City Attorney election by not only putting Trutanich in the shadows, but also presenting the fast-growing 'Anyone But Feuer' movement with a viable candidate with the finances, savvy and most important of all, the ability to be the kind of City Attorney Los Angeles has craved since Rocky Delgadillo started the downward spiral of self-promoting play-pretend politics that Trutanich so enthusiastically embraced.

Trutanich once boasted a laundry list of political endorsements. While many of those same political movers and shakers flocked to District Attorney elect Jackie Lacey's election party and also swelled the crowd at District Attorney Steve Cooley's retirement dinner, Trutanich was left out in the cold. 'He's toxic now,' one former supporter said, adding that it would be an act of 'political suicide' to endorse Trutanich who will likely never shake off his well-deserved reputation for lying, even if voters forget his humiliating defeat in the June 2012 primary election for District Attorney where he placed stone last among the front-runners.

Plenty of BS on Trutanich's re-election website, but not a single endorsement.
While Trutanich's 'official re-election' website has been changed several times to try to shake of the stench of failure, it still resembles something cobbled together for a modern day rendition of 'the Emperor's New Clothes.' Just as the fictional Emperor paraded around proclaiming his non-existent prowess and popularity, so too does Trutanich falsely claim he is the 'Protector of Neighborhoods,' while he stripped the School Safety and Neighborhood Prosecutor programs of their powers. Trutanich says he's the 'Friend of Taxpayers,' but to this day, Trutanich has failed to disclose how much of the taxpayers money was squandered ferrying him around in a chauffeur driven City of LA SUV as he shook down donations for his failed DA campaign. You can almost bust a gut at Trutanich's claim to be the 'Defender of the Vulnerable,' lest you forget that this is the same bully who was called 'Carmen the Barbarian' for his clod-hopping schoolyard bullying tactics that failed spectacularly to prosecute a bunch of Dream Act protesters and could not even convict the Occupy LA protesters.

But notwithstanding all the BS on Trutanich's website, there are two truths about Trutanich's Hindenburg-like campaign. First, check all the tabs, links and 'Learn more' boxes on his website, and you will not find a single endorsement anywhere - Trutanich is toxic and will remain so right up until voters throw him out of office. Second, the only truth in Trutanich's page is the one that says 'Don't let it happen!'

Don't worry Mr. Trutanich, we won't let it happen. Welcome to Palookaville, your new clothes suit you perfectly.


A night to remember - District Attorney Steve Cooley's Retirement Dinner

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A capacity crowd of over 750 gathered at the Sheraton Universal City Hotel's ballroom to honor Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who will step down as the elected leader of the nation's largest prosecutorial agency on December 3, 2012. Cooley's retirement comes after serving a record three terms as District Attorney, and 39 years of public service with the DA's Office.

We present a series of photographs to give those unable to attend the event a sense of the evening. It was truly a night to remember.

Tickets for the dinner sold out quickly, and there wasn't an empty seat in the ballroom. The crowd comprised members of law enforcement, the judiciary, the defense bar, and deputy district attorneys.

Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Kevin James with District Attorney Steve Cooley
District Attorney Steve Cooley with Attorney Michael Goldstein
Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise Co-Publishers Roger M. Grace and Jo-Ann Grace are joined by
Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Kevin James
The Hon. Judge Ruth Kwan and District Attorney Steve Cooley
Assistant Presiding Judge, the Hon. David S. Wesley and District Attorney elect, Jackie Lacey
Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca was the first of many speakers to thank District Attorney Steve Cooley his service
Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cooley delivered a moving speech
outlining her father's many achievements during his remarkable career.
DDA Shannon Cooley's speech was enthusiastically rewarded with a standing ovation
Film producer Michael Cooley charmed the crowd by presenting a video montage
of his father's life, including a section entitled 'Baby DA's' which gave a rare glimpse
of Cooley the Grandfather.
District Attorney Steve Cooley started his speech with a salute.

Cooley started his speech with his characteristic wit, congratulating those seated at the far end of the room for having the foresight to seat themselves where they can get out first, or when it gets boring.

In summing up his long service with the District Attorney's Office, Cooley paid tribute to the strong bonds and partnerships that have made his three terms so successful; law enforcement, the judiciary, the Board of Supervisors, but most important of all, the members of the District Attorney's Office - the Deputy DAs, support staff, and the Bureau of Investigations.

Cooley said he wanted to accomplish two goals before stepping down; 'Leave the office in good shape, we've done that' and 'Leave the office in good hands, we've done that' he said, paying tribute to his Chief Deputy and District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who will be sworn in on December 3, 2012 and in Cooley's words, 'will be the next great District Attorney.'

On behalf of the many who were unable to attend this memorable event, we thank Steve Cooley for his service, and for achieving his two goals.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Special

In honor of Veterans Day our coverage of local politics takes a break. Please be sure to check back with us tomorrow for our exclusive coverage of Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley's Retirement Dinner.

Over 750 people attended a dinner in honor of Steve Cooley's impending retirement. The 39 year veteran of the District Attorney's Office steps down after a stellar career of public service, the last 12 years of which were as the elected leader of the nation's largest prosecutorial agency.

We will return tomorrow with a full report.

Today, we simply thank all veterans who have served our country.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Free For All: Jackie Lacey elected District Attorney, Greg Smith lights up City Attorney race

Jackie Lacey makes history, elected as LA's next District Attorney

Jackie Lacey, her husband David Lacey and Steve Cooley take the stage as Lacey held her election night party
at Historic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Long Beach Press Telegram - John McCoy / Staff Photographer)
As predicted by the Dragnet, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey was overwhelmingly chosen by the voters of Los Angeles as the most experienced and best qualified to lead the nation's largest prosecutorial agency. Lacey will be sworn in as LA's next District Attorney at 11am on December 3, 2012, when current District Attorney Steve Cooley retires after 37 years of public service, the last 12 of which were as the most popular DA in LA's since the 1920's.

The Dragnet called the election for Lacey at 2AM on Wednesday morning, three hours before the final results were known, saying that Lacey had an 'unassailable lead.' True enough, the ten point lead Lacey started with, remained constant throughout the night and through to the final result.

It is, sadly, a rare event in politics when a truly qualified and capable candidate succeeds in being elected. Lacey had no easy ride in her campaign to become DA's office. In the primary election, Lacey effectively fended off an assault from the repellent lie-laden campaign of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who had the gall to think that LA voters placed no value on integrity and honesty in their choice of candidate. Ultimately, Trutanich's humiliating defeat was deftly delivered by Lacey, leaving Trutanich in the awkward position of now having to seek re-election for a position he publicly said he did not want. Ironically, Trutanich was briefly seen strutting around at Lacey's victory party, until he was about to be photographed. He beat a hasty retreat.

In the run off election, Lacey was pitched against Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, an accomplished and highly regarded prosecutor. While the campaign started off civilly, it soon became hotly contested. Jackson projected himself as the modern prosecutor, seasoned in the courtroom. His attacks against Lacey were hard-hitting, but ultimately failed to resonate with voters. In a statement to the LA Times, Lacey said of Jackson that he 'is a fine trial lawyer and I intend to work with him. It will be up to him what he does with his future in terms of staying with the office.'

City Attorney candidate Greg Smith lights up the City Attorney race with half a million dollars

The Los Angeles Downtown News reported that City Attorney candidate Greg Smith has donated a half a million dollars to his campaign to become the next Los Angeles City Attorney. Smith now challenges termed out State Assemblyman Mike Feuer as the highest fundraiser in the race to replace failed DA wannabe Carmen Trutanich.

Until Smith ramped up his campaign, voters faced the dismal choice of either Feuer or Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich for City Attorney. It was choice of between 'an empty suit and an empty head' as recently summed up by Joesph Mailander's excellent review of the state of the City Attorney's race at CityWatch LA. Feuer, who perhaps provides the poster boy definition for 'career politician,' is running for the job he did not want in 2005 when he failed to challenge Rocky Delgadillo for the job. At that time Feuer was seemingly only to happy to continue lapping up the government milk at the State Assembly, but now that he's termed out of that job, he wants another run at City Attorney.

In that regard, Feuer is no different that Carmen Trutanich; the slip and fall lawyer who lost interest in being City Attorney when he thought he could fool voters into electing him as District Attorney. Trutanich is now desperately trying to re-invent himself as committed to being City Attorney. It's an impossible task. Trutanich's humiliating defeat in the District Attorney primary almost guaranteed Feuer a clear shot at waltzing into the City Attorney's office, but Greg Smith has now made it clear that Feuer will have a harder opponent than the politically castrated Trutnaich.

Notwithstanding Smith's injection of funds, his campaign will not be an easy ride. He has to overcome the 'business as usual brigade' who favor incumbents and career politicians over well qualified and capable opponents. No clearer example of the hurdles Smith faces exists than by the way the Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, recently refused to allow Smith to participate in their upcoming 'Next City Attorney?' meeting which is scheduled to feature only Feuer and Trutanich.

Close, who is understood to overridden the wishes of other SOHA members in excluding Smith, is believed to have justified his decision based on fundraising. However, at the time Close made his 'decision,' Smith had raised almost as much money as Trutanich, leading many to speculate that Close's 'decision' had more to do with his personal feelings towards Trutanich than any objective criteria.

Smith's new injection of funds puts him well ahead of Trutanich and gnawing at Feuer's ankles. It also puts the credibility and integrity of Close sharply into focus. SOHA members may well start questioning why Close is so keen to give them only the choice between an empty suit and an empty head?

The so-called 'Next City Attorney' community meeting is scheduled to take place when the SOHA next meets at 7:15PM at cafeteria of Notre Dame High School at the corner of Riverside and Woodman in Sherman Oaks on November 14. It likely that one of the questions raised at the meeting will be why Richard Close really chose to exclude Greg Smith? LA's next City Attorney should not be a choice between an empty suit or an empty head.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jackie Lacey has unassailable lead in DA race

In a historic election, at a historic venue, District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey delivered on her promise to make history and will be elected Los Angeles' first female District Attorney and first African American District Attorney.

When Lacey greeted the large crowd at Union Station, early results showed her in the lead with 56% of the vote, leaving rival Alan Jackson facing defeat with 44%.

The capacity crowd at Union Station urged Lacey to declare victory, but with her classic grace and modesty, Lacey declined to stake an early claim to victory.

As the results trickled in, delayed by weather conditions hampering helicopter deliveries of ballots, Lacey's margin of victory remained constant; a steady 10 point lead over Jackson.

Michael Goldstein, who had worked tirelessly on Lacey's campaign and who had organized the Election Party, took to the podium to introduce two the stars of the evening.

District Attorney Steve Cooley introduced Lacey's mother to the crowd, and in a brief, moving and emotional speech, Jackie Lacey's mother thanked the people of Los Angeles for making history.

Lacey, clearly delighted with the strong showing from the results, declined to claim victory even though those results showed an unassailable lead.

By midnight, Lacey's lead remained where it started, 10 points ahead of Jackson. Lacey spoke to the crowd declining to call the election, but saying it was time to call it a day. Lacey urged her supporter to go home and promised an announcement in the morning.

As we close this article, 60% of precincts have reported and Lacey remains firmly 10 points ahead of Jackson, with the chances of any upset now a statistical impossibility.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's website can be accessed by this link to update the latest results, but the race is essentially over. Jackie Lacey has been elected as our next District Attorney.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jackie Lacey speaks to the growing crowd

Union Station is close to capacity as Lacey's historic election as LA's first female DA and first African American DA becomes closer to reality as the election results continue to favor Lacey over Alan Jackson

Live at Jackie Lacey's Victory Party

Macy Gray sings for Jackie Lacey

Lacey's election party at Union Station

Enormous crowd here to see history being made.

Lacey leads in first election results

Lacey ahead 56% to Jackson's 44% as the first of the vote by mail results are released.

ELECTION DAY SPECIAL: Standby to witness history being made.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey will make history on election day by becoming Los Angeles' first female District Attorney and first African American District Attorney, the Los Angeles Dragnet predicts.

Lacey's election night party at Union Station will bring together the entire spectrum of Los Angeles' social and political scene as the broad bi-partisan support she has received pays off in a night to remember.

Ahead of the election, the LA Weekly indicated their belief that Lacey's advantage over rival Alan Jackson is the support she has received from retiring District Attorney Steve Cooley.

In many respects, the LA Weekly article echos the sentiments expressed in our endorsement of Jackie Lacey; she is the candidate most qualified to continue the calm, deliberate and effective leadership of the nation's largest prosecutorial agency. The LA Weekly basically suggests that if you like the way Cooley has run the office, you will like the person Cooley believes is most qualified and most experienced to continue that leadership; it's a referendum on Steve Cooley.

Oddly, rival Alan Jackson has chosen to present himself as the 'outsider,' the man who would do things differently. That is odd because Cooley's leadership has been innovative, forward thinking, and hugely effective. That is why Cooley won a record three terms as LA's most popular DA since the 1920's. For the most part, Los Angelenos do not want someone to change the way the DA's office took a stately leadership role in fairly applying the Third Strikes law. They don't want someone who will dismantle the special units which target fraud and corruption in the justice system and the political realm. They don't want someone who will take us back to the dark ages before DNA was used effectively because of the training programs Cooley initiated.

So where does that leave Jackson?  While he proclaims himself as the 'modern prosecutor,' his modern methods do not seem to extend to using Google to discover that the host of his Beverly Hills fundraiser was a convicted felon. In trying to dig himself out of that embarrassing hole, the modern prosecutor swiftly defaulted to the ancient ploy of lying about the fundraiser not being a fundraiser. A lie that was equally swiftly uncovered by the modern device of displaying the email invitation to the event. It was a fundraiser and no amount of parsing language could dig Jackson out of that hole.

The LA Weekly also delves into the question of fundraising, comparing Lacey's $1.2M direct mail campaign to Jackson's brief $300k tv ad campaign. That drew a request for a correction from Jackson, saying that he had actually raised $225k in the last reporting period. But oddly (again) the modern prosecutor did not use modern means to publish details of his fundraising, so there are no reports on the County Registrar's website to confirm Jackson's claim. Given Jackson's statements about his felon fundraiser, one cannot blame the LA Weekly, or anyone for that matter, in taking what Jackson says about his fundraising with a grain of salt.

If anyone is a modern prosecutor, forward thinking, with her eye on the ball, it is Jackie Lacey. Her campaign has smartly and effectively drawn together the diverse elements that make up LA's electorate. As a consequence she has support all across the board. Support that will translate into success at the polls. Parke Skelton, Lacey's campaign strategist told the LA Weekly that Lacey will win by at least ten points, and he's probably being conservative at that.

Lacey has also shown the 'modern prosecutor' how to really be modern. In her pre-election day email blast, she urged her supporters to use social media to help to spread the word of her candidacy. Here's how Lacey's words translate into action:

P Diddy Combs and Jamie Foxx used Twitter to tell 10M followers to vote for Jackie Lacey
P Diddy Combs and Jamie Foxx, with over 10 million followers on Twitter, sent out Tweets to their 10 million followers urging them to make history and vote for Jackie Lacey for DA.

That is how Lacey leads, quietly, calmly and effectively. That's how she transformed Central Trials in 2000, from a place people wanted to get out of, to the go-to assignment in the DA's Office. She didn't bully, bluster or boast, she just got on with the job. That's why she has Steve Cooley's support, and the overwhelming support of the Deputy DA's who voted in their union's election to support her candidacy, and the overwhelming support of law enforcement, civic leaders and leading politicians from both parties.

On Tuesday night a real modern prosecutor will make history at Union Station. Jackie Lacey will be our next District Attorney.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Lacey looks likely to be next District Attorney

With just over 24 hours before the polls open on November 6, 2012 for the Presidential election, District Attorney candidate Jackie Lacey looks likely to make history and become the first female and first African American Los Angeles County District Attorney since the Office of District Attorney was established in 1850.

The signs are everywhere; not just the yardsigns that have sprung up over the last few days, but the media reports, fundraising successes, endorsements and mailers. All suggest that Lacey's candidacy has succeeded in capturing widespread support, crossing party lines and underlining Lacey's qualification as LA's next DA.

As we go to press, no data is available to show how Jackson fared in the final round of fundraising.
As previously reported, Lacey had an immensely successful final round of fundraising. Significantly, the Jackson campaign has not filed it's final pre-election statement electronically. That's significant because it is the first time that Jackson has not allowed his fundraising data to be readily available as a sign of strength in his campaign. It perhaps suggests that the rumors that he fell behind Lacey by only $20K to $30k may not be correct; the situation could be considerably worse.

Jackson may have encountered difficulties in fundraising as a result of the way he decided to handle the LA Times exclusive showing that he had attended a fundraiser hosted by a convicted felon. Jackosn compounded his difficulties by lying about the May 5 event at the Beverly Hills mansion of Victorino Noval as 'not being a fundraiser,' but a Cinco de Mayo party.

Jackson then took the bizarre step of accusing his host of lying, saying he was 'trying to sound like a big shot to his friends.' However, it later was revealed that the host had sent out an email invitation making it clear that the event was a fundraiser designed to 'help him out [Jackson] financially.'

Whether potential hosts were deterred by Jackson's ineptitude in handling the publicity or reviled by the way Jackson shamefully accused his host of lying, may explain why Jackson decided not to report his final per-election statement electronically; there wasn't much to report.

What is certain is that Lacey has the momentum in the final few days, now just hours, before Los Angelenos cast their votes to decide on LA's next District Attorney. It will be an historic election night and, fittingly, Lacey has decided to hold her victory party at an historic location; Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.

It will be a night to remember. The polls close at 8:00PM and typically the first results will be released around 9:00PM when the vote by mail results become known. The Dragnet will be posting live updates throughout the night via our Twitter feed and this blog.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Endorsement: Jackie Lacey for District Attorney

Jackie Lacey for District Attorney

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey should be our next District Attorney

The choice of who will lead the nation's biggest prosecutorial agency comes before voters next week amid a Presidential election that has, to a large extent, overshadowed local politics. Voters will nevertheless have to decide between two candidates to take over from Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, who retires after serving a record three terms as LA's DA.

The two candidates are Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey, number two in the office, and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson. Both are accomplished prosecutors, making the choice harder for voters - neither is identifiable as a politician, which is a good thing when it comes to deciding who to trust with the leadership of over a thousand prosecutors and a police force of over 230.

Taking over from Cooley will be no easy task. Cooley won his three terms as DA because of his non-partisan, non-political leadership. His dedication to advancing the mission of the office, the pursuit of justice, is as unquestioned as it is unparalleled. One of Cooley's major policy changes when he took office was to re-write the policy for the prosecution of Third Strikes cases so that twenty-five years to life sentences would only be pursued in the most deserving of cases. He also created two dedicated divisions within the office specializing in rooting out corruption and fraud; the Public Integrity Division ("P.I.D."), which targets misconduct by elected and appointed officials such as 'the Bell Eight', and the Justice System Integrity Division ("J.S.I.D."), which prosecutes police officers, attorneys and judges.

Cooley's commitment to seeking justice for Los Angeles residents didn't stop at his Third Strikes policy and the creation of P.I.D and J.S.I.D.; it's been an on-going commitment. Recognizing the need to train law enforcement and prosecutors in the preservation and presentation of evidence that is used for DNA analysis, Cooley established the Forensic Sciences Section, a nationally recognized initiative that ensures that evidence is carefully preserved to eliminate the kind of 'cross-contamination' claims that were partially responsible for the collapse of the OJ Simpson murder trial. It also trains prosecutors on how to present this evidence in a way that jurors will be able to understand and appreciate. It is a major commitment to the safe and reliable prosecution of cases as crime detection and prosecution moves closer to the kind of cases jurors see on tv shows like 'C.S.I.'

Cooley also made history in obtaining justice for the victims of violent crime who have suffered at the hands of criminals who fled the border to Mexico where they could not be extradited. Cooley established the 'Escaping Justice' project which, through well-researched, sound and effective diplomatic entreaties, caused the Mexican government to change their policy of giving sanctuary cop-killers and rapists.

Cooley's is truly a remarkable legacy, and one that will be hard to follow. Such is his popularity with voters that many believe that if he was not retiring after 37 years of public service, he would easily win a record fourth term. He is, therefore, an extremely hard act to follow. So when voters go to the polls on November 6, 2012, they would do well to listen to who Steve Cooley believes is the best qualified to continue to effectively and fairly lead the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Steve Cooley has no doubt that his Chief Deputy, Jackie Lacey, is the most experienced and best qualified candidate to lead the District Attorney's office. He points to her 25 year career as both a experienced prosecutor and an effective executive in his administration. 'She is the best qualified, there is not a close second. I trust her implicitly to be the next great District Attorney of this County.' Cooley said.

Few would disagree with Cooley, and few do. Lacey's candidacy has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Police Protective League, La Opinion, The Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, and many others in law enforcement, local politics, and community leaders, as can be seen on Lacey's impressive endorsement page. Most recently Lacey secured the support of the 1,000+ Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys who voted 'overwhelmingly' for Jackie Lacey to be their next District Attorney.

When Steve Cooley steps down as LA's most popular District Attorney, LA voters could not do better than listen to the recommendation of the man who is best positioned to know who will best preserve the integrity of the Office of District Attorney and continue his legacy of fairly and evenhandedly administering justice.

Jackie Lacey should be our next District Attorney.


Streebek's Column - Sherman failed to help


An independent producer not connected with Congressman Howard Berman’s campaign released today a video focusing on poor constituent service by Congressman Brad Sherman. The video tells the plight of Debra Knowles Hill who received a lottery ticket that enabled her to ask Sherman a question at a Town Hall Meeting. She explained her problem and the need to receive mortgage relief. The video shows his disinterested and uncaring response to her at the Town Hall meeting.

His dismissive actions toward her did not dissuade Debra from following up with Sherman’s office. Her contact resulted in only a single letter being sent to her bank. Sherman’s office did not have the time of day for her thereafter.

Debra in desperation reached out to Congressman Berman’s office. Even though her house was not in Congressman Berman’s district his staff provided the help to her that she needed.

Debra Knowles story does not exist in a vacuum. Fred Lang another attendee of a Town Hall meeting tells the following story:

After a career in the computer industry where I had become a corporate executive with worldwide responsibility, I found myself with a life altering choice. My wife had an unfortunate accident at work and with my extensive traveling schedule I watched her health deteriorate with each return home.  After settling her workers Comp case in 2001, with a stipulation of 100% disability and lifetime medical care; I gave up my job to become her primary caregiver. In the years that followed this situation placed a tremendous burden on our financial resources.

On May 15th 2011 I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Brad Sherman. Following the meeting I had the opportunity to speak directly with Congressman Sherman. I explained that due to changes in the Workers Comp Law (Gov. Schwarzenegger’s SB 899) the Insurance company had been given legal cover to delay significant monies that were due me. I explained to the Congressman that this situation had placed our home of 34 years in jeopardy of foreclosure. Congressman Sherman asked me to contact his Chief of Staff the following week and he would see what he could do to help. When I followed up as directed I was told that they would do nothing, because I was not in his district. One of my wife’s best friend had a relative working as an intern in Congressman Sherman’s office and she thought he might be able to help. He tried to plead our case, but came up against the same brick wall that I had experienced.

Following the denial of support I contacted our assemblyman Bob Blumenfield to request support with our Workers Comp issues. The Assemblyman and his team immediately began to see what they could do to help mitigate our situation. When it became clear that it would take time to resolve our financial situation and we would be facing potential foreclosure, In Jan. 2012, they introduced me to Esther Azal in Congressman Berman’s office. Ms. Azal immediately became the process of working with our Bank. This was followed shortly by a letter from Congressman Berman telling us that they would do what they could to help us. Congressman Berman and his team have continued to work on our behalf and He is the main reason we are in our home today!

We are also very troubled by Brad Sherman’s claim that he is helping Californians avoid foreclosure.

These are real stories from real people. Individuals who did not receive the help they needed even though they attended one of the Town Hall meetings Sherman brags about. It seems that Sherman is being a Snake Oil Salesman again. Claiming that something exists as being effective when it in reality it is ineffective.

Town Hall meetings are only important if something worthwhile occurs as a result of them. Sherman has not enacted any meaningful legislation, thus acting on no ideas presented to him at the Town Hall meetings. It now seems he has not provided help to those in need who have requested his help at the Town Hall meetings.

So what value does the Town Hall meetings serve? An opportunity for Sherman to be a well-paid messenger? Don’t we need something more from a Congressman? Congressman Howard Berman provides true constituent service, more then just a messenger, a true servant of the people.

Posted by Pep Streebek


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Themes; Trutanich 'weakened,' Jackson gains endorsement

LA Times confirms Trutanich weakened after humiliating loss in DA race

The LA Times reports that embattled City Attorney Carmen Trutanich staved off the proposed reduction in his powers for two weeks. The proposal to strip the City Attorney's office of its Charter derived power to exclusively represent the City is to be 'reviewed,' perhaps with a view to providing for an 'Alternate City Attorney' for cases where there is a conflict of interest between Trutanich's political interests and those of the City Council.

The proposal certainly seems to have scared Trutanich, who backed of his chest thumping threats and sheepishly agreed to 'sit down with this committee and find a way to manage this problem.' As the Times noted, Trutanich has been weakened by a poor showing in his bid to become DA. In the time that remains before Trutanich is thrown out of office after his next electoral Hindenburgh, it remains to be seen how much of the Office of the City Attorney is further weakened by having Clown as its master.

Few would deny that Trutanich has pushed the envelope of politicizing the role of City Attorney to the point where the City Council's frustration at his antics have empowered them to the point where they might succeed in stripping the office of the power Trutanich has abused. City Councilmembers complained of Trutanich's delays in handling their business, such as the drafting of ordinances. In as many words, they basically accused Trutanich of putting their ideas on the backburner if he didn't agree with them.

Perhaps on of the most blatant examples of the way Trutanich has abused his power is the ACE Program. The simple plan from CM Koretz to provide for the efficient enforcement of municipal code violations was boldly hijacked by Trutanich, and morphed into a power-grabbing civil rights violating piece of legislation that purported to sneak Grand Jury-like subpoena powers and a kangaroo court system  into Trutanich's hands. Trutanich went so far as to claim the idea was his, when interviewed on the Kevin James radio show, despite that fact that the idea came from CM Koretz's Chief of Staff, Richard Llewellyn, and was based on existing programs in the City of San Diego and Santa Monica.

As a result of the way Trutanich miss-managed and mislead the council about the ACE Program, it has remained stalled for two years. There is still no cogent plan to address minor code violations, and the reason is clear - Trutanich could not be trusted to complete the task as instructed.

Jackson receives endorsement from Armenian National Committee

Despite losing out in fundraising and failing to secure the endorsement of the ADDA, the Jackson campaign reports that: 'the Armenian National Committee Western Region (ANC) endorsed Alan Jackson for District Attorney. This is the latest of a string of major endorsements for the Jackson campaign from law enforcement groups to major newspapers. Jackson’s campaign continues to gain momentum as it moves closer toward Election Day.'

The ANC stated, “In interviews with the ANCA-WR, Mr. Jackson was better prepared and clearly outlined the relationship he plans to have with the Armenian-American community. Likewise, he was well-versed in issues of concern to the Armenian-American community and the ANCA-WR is confident that as District Attorney, he will serve his large Armenian-American constituency and all citizens of Los Angeles justly and forthrightly.”

“I couldn’t be more proud to have earned the support of the Armenian National Committee and I look forward to partnering with them to make sure their community’s voice is heard,” said prosecutor Alan Jackson.

Streebek's Column


Desperate to get his campaign back on track after his embarrassing conduct at Pierce College, a group supporting Sherman has launched a mailer being called racist and sexist by Buzz Feed Politics.  According to Buzz Feed:

“Washington, D.C. — One of November's ugliest contests, the race between two California Democrats for a Los Angeles-area seat, just got even more divisive.

In a move some Democratic operatives see as touching the hot buttons of race and sexual orientation, as well as intra-party politics, an outside group backing Sherman has begun circulating a mailer in the district featuring Reps. Maxine Waters, who is black and Barney Frank, who is gay, as well as Sen. Barbara Boxer, a champion of the environmental and women’s rights movements.

For years, Republicans have used all three politicians as bogeymen of the left in advertisements and speeches to motivate conservative voters. But their inclusion in a mailer backing Democratic candidate has raised eyebrows in Democratic circles, and drew a sharp rebuke from Berman’s camp.

"We were shocked to see a mailer like this. We find it offensive,” said Brandon Hall, a senior advisor to Berman.

Sherman’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mailer, sent to voters by Californians for Integrity in Government, features a quote from Greek philosopher Euripides on the front warning voters that they should “Judge a man by the company he keeps" and grainy, grey-scale photos of Waters, Frank, and Boxer on an ominous cloudy background.

“If you love these politicians, vote for Howard Berman,” the flyer reads, warning that “Maxine Waters, Barney Frank and Barbara Boxer all WANT YOU TO VOTE FOR HOWARD BERMAN.”

Sherman, meanwhile, is pictured smiling in a color photo, and the flyer notes he has been endorsed by “EVERY REPUBLICAN ELECTED OFFICIAL IN THE VALLEY.” Republican endorsees of Sherman listed on the flyer include State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, LA City Councilmen Mitch Englander and Dennis Zine, and retired Councilman Greig Smith.

All four appear to be white men in photographs.”

It seems there are no boundaries as to what those who support Sherman will do to keep him office. They cannot concentrate on the positive things BS has done for his constituents, because there are none. They cannot attack the accomplishments of Congressman Berman, because his legislative achievements are legendary.

Congressman Howard Berman has overwhelming support among Republicans. The support includes such notable Republicans as Steve Cooley, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Congresswoman Bobbi Fiedler.

Clearly the supporters of Sherman are concerned about the number of Republican voters who have decided to vote for Congressman Berman’s. Thus Sherman’s supporters have chosen to counter this popularity by attacking those who have chosen to endorse Congressman Berman and utilize racism and sexism to garner votes.

If Sherman had a modicum of decency he would immediately issue a statement denouncing the mailer. But then again we should not hold our breaths expecting the right thing from a man who cannot even apologize for his intemperate actions at Pierce College.

Posted by Pep Streebek