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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trutanich looked like the biggest loser on Tuesday night. He must have been wondering why he was so unwelcome. None of the politicals wanted to be seen with him, and nobody from the DA's office would talk to him. He snuck out a side door, which is probably what will happen at his next defeat party.