Friday, December 21, 2012

City Attorney candidates take differing positions on assault weapons control

The mindless slaughter at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut has stirred a national debate on gun control and the need to prevent another tragedy. The three leading candidates for Los Angeles City Attorney weighed in with their thoughts and suggestions.

Greg Smith takes the lead in weapons ban debate

Showing his rising stock, Public Safety Attorney Greg Smith, set a leadership example by providing a clear and concise statement.

Smith's clarity and unequivocal statement must have struck a chord with the media, with CBS giving his endorsement for a full federal ban on assault weapons top billing in their tv and radio coverage.

CBS quoted Smith directly “I cannot begin to fathom what the children of that Connecticut school and their parents have been going through these last few days,” said Smith. “My heart breaks for them.” Smith – who is campaigning to replace current City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, along with other candidates including former Los Angeles City Council member and California Assemblyman Mike Feuer – was also the latest candidate to support legislation introduced by Senate Dianne Feinstein to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 used in the Sandy Hook shootings. As City Attorney, Smith said he would specifically act by focusing on gun reduction programs and increasing penalties for illegal possession of firearms.

 Feuer writes rambling op-ed at the Huff Post

Termed out State Assemblyman Mike Feuer penned an op-ed that rambled through his personal experiences as a parent during the 1999 North Valley Jewish Community Center attack, praised President Obama's response to the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy, and suggested it was up to "an army of determined parents to change the debate on gun legislation in Congress." 

If you read Feuer's op-ed, you might find yourself scratching your head wondering where, exactly, Feuer suggests any solution - such as the one endorsed by Smith. It might be there, but good luck finding it. Feuer's op-ed has all the hallmarks of the kind of Sacramento political doublespeak that kisses political asses, shifts blame and responsibility, and then kicks the can down the road. The notion that 'an army of parents' take responsibility for coming up with a solution is a perfect example of why Los Angelenos do not need a termed out Sacramento politician as City Attorney; we need solutions not rhetoric.

Trutanich believes the pen is mightier than the assault rifle

The laughing stock of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, Carmen 'the Clown' Trutanich wasted no time clambering to grab the headlines with his swift action to respond to the nation's need for sensible solutions to end senseless gun violence; he's writing letters to registered firearms owners.

The letters, co-signed by LAPD Chief Beck and Attorney General Kamala Harris, will warn law abiding firearm owners "that failure to notify authorities when they sell their weapons or when their firearms are lost or stolen is a misdemeanor." How Trutanich thinks his letter will do anything to address the issue of firearm control is unclear. Perhaps he should cc law enforcement officials in Connecticut with his solution, they need a laugh.

Trutanich, whose former law firm boasted its representation of the NRA amongst its clientele, made no mention of how he would communicate his warning to those who are not registered firearms owners, neither did he state how much taxpayer money would be wasted on postage and printing in his pointless political stunt.

Trutanich may have been depressed by the low turnout at his office holiday party where he was reportedly 'distracted.' The former ambulance chaser slip and fall lawyer turned career politician was seen frequently huddled with his senior staffers, perhaps in search of some words of cheer at a time when his political career heads into oblivion.



Anonymous said...

Hey Dragnet. Why haven't you published the verdict in Steve Ipsen's federal lawsuit? The jury came back with a verdict so fast that it has set a record. Ipsen LOST. Seligman LOST. They will get NOTHING, to a dime, and they have to pay costs. Guess that Federal Injunction crap on the ADDA website will have to go now. Maybe with those two fools handed their asses on a plate the ADDA might kick then out too.

Anonymous said...

Hey rocket scientist. Debbaudt was awarded $400k and the ADDA over $120k. The injunction was never overturned. The Ipsen Seligman suit was not supported by the ADDA but was pursues by them. But for the ADDA going to court we would have all lost our megaflex.

Perhaps you should know WTF you're speaking about before you condem the ADDA. Also the current ADDA is leadership is a refreshing change from the All-About-Steve years. Now its truly about the DDAs.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the case was lost the moment Ipsen took the stand.

Anonymous said...

@9:35AM I think you are being a little oversensitive. I didn't read @9:06AM's post as anti-ADDA. We are all over the moon that Ipsen was forced to step down and stop running the ADDA for his personal benefit. The fact that he has lost the lawsuit is HUGE and members need to be told so they will feel more comfortable about getting involved. You are right, the new ADDA leadership is refreshing and this loss needs to be clearly defined as Ipsen's loss. I just hope the ADDA will not be forced to pay the legal fees - they have to be ten times more than when Ipsen lost his case against Burke. Could Debbaudt explain what the situation is?

Anonymous said...

12-22-2012 @9:35am, you need to be more precise about he terms of the ADDA settlement with the county. The Injunction was made "personal" to Cooley. So even though the injunction had some great language, it evaporated the moment that Lacey put her hand on the Bible.

Now the real question is attorney's fees. The county, as a prevailing party, is well entitled to them, especially considering the speed of the outcome (wow, I wish we could hear from those jurors!). The ADDA paid for Ipsen's lawyer and Seligman's lawyer too. So there is a real issue issue regarding who is picking up the tab on county legal fees. Maybe since Debbaudt got a settlement with an ADDA funded lawyer he can chip in a few bucks.

All of which brings us to this conclusion: why is Ipsen, now a private criminal defense lawyer AND a losing litigant in regards to his allegations against the county and Cooley, still on the ADDA board. At which point does he have to go? And if he stays, can we really say, as 12-22-2012 @9:35am argues, that the "all about Steve years" are over? Can we say that its truly about the DDA's, especially with many of the same board members running the organization?

Anonymous said...

I heard, but don't know for sure, that concerning Hyatt's transfer to Long Beach, he testified that it was close to home and to a Grade IV assignment, and that he likes Long Beach. So, in terms of retaliation for union activity there was no freeway therapy and no defacto demotion. I assume it was the same sort of situation for Ipsen. But I really don't have any more insight into it, because I was not there. ~ Marc Debbaudt ~

Anonymous said...


12:45 is simply wrong. The attorneys that represented me and the attorneys that represented Hyatt and Ipsen were absolutely NOT paid for by the ADDA. In fact, the Board created a wall so as not to engage in a conflict concerning decisions that may benefit the union versus the individual officers re the lawsuit. Also, my understanding is that they will not be required to pay attorney's fees, but may be required to pay costs which could be substantial. As to why Ipsen is on the Board, the ASFCME constitution says that until the termination is final after all remedies are exhausted in order to prevent an Administration from disrupting a board by a termination, he is entitled to stay on the Board. The way to overcome this is to get rid of AFSCME. Ipsen's termination matter was not directly resolved by the current verdict. Also, I agree with the implicit idea that there should be Board elections ASAP so that the Board will be comprised of those elected by members after AFSCME affiliation and Agency shop were decided. I will not run. ~ Marc Debbaudt ~

Anonymous said...

I understand that there were findings by the jury that the two were indeed engaged in protected activity but that the county did not commit actionable adverse employment practices presumably because they, sort of in the same spirit rebutting Alan Jackson's complaint, were given Grade IV assignments, not lesser assignments, and no freeway therapy. Also, because I didn't say it outright, let me emphasize that the ADDA will NOT be assessed anything in terms of costs or attorney's fees re this verdict. There is NO obligation by the ADDA who settled their part of the case for $125,000.00 a year ago. ~ Marc Debbaudt ~

Anonymous said...

The jury had a verdict within 90 minutes of deliberations, after a two week trial. That tells you all there is to know about Ipsen and the merits of his case.

As for Seligman, I think he also had no case, but the jury might have given him something, which is common in these types of employment discrimination case. But but any chance Seligman might have had for a windfall was very effectively torpedoed by Ipsen's testimony. He is toxic, and I agree with Marc, his continued presence on the ADDA board is something that will destroy any efforts that the new ADDA leadership makes to build bridges and put the Ipsen era into the dark past.

It is up to those DDAs who are not intimidated by Ipsen to stand up and insist on board elections and to field candidates who will represent DDAs interests, and not their own petty gripes. Until that happens, it's business as usual.

How about it 'Joe?' You had the guts to trash Trutanich on national tv at a time when he was the presumptive next DA with all the endorsements and three times more money than Lacey and Jackson combined. Are you going to remain silent on this, or is it true that you are obsessed with destroying Trutanich and nothing else?

Ball's in your court.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the resolution of that whole mess about the civil service hearing where the county is seeking to overturn the hearing officer. Ipsen was a big player on that (at least the mass mails seemed to indicate) and it has been dragging on for some time.