|Deputy District Attorney Andrew Cooper (center) flanked by newly-appointed Hon. Judge Frank Tavelman (left)|
and newly-elected ADDA President Marc Debbaudt (right) at Engine Co. No. 28
Although the focus of the the well-attended event was on the DDA Judicial candidates, several representatives from AFSCME, the labor group who bailed the ADDA out of its financial woes, were also in attendance, perhaps looking a little nervous given Debbaudt's election platform accusing AFSCME of being a "financial vampire, draining your dues, giving you little in return." Let's hope Debbaudt is as successful in negotiating lower dues as he was in orchestrating his first event.
But enough ADDA politics, let's turn to the Deputy District Attorneys who have been endorsed by the ADDA in their campaigns to become Judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court. We start by looking at three DDAs who were amongst the first to announce their candidacies.
Office Numbers 22, 61 & 157
|(left to right) Deputy District Attorneys Amy Carter, Andrew Cooper and Dayan Mathai|
candidates for Office Numbers 22, 157 & 61.
Office No. 22 Amy Carter
Although Carter filed papers for four open seats, observers expect Carter to settle on Office No. 22 on March 7, when all declared candidates have to settle on one seat and their all-important ballot designation.
Carter, who will run as a "Sex Crimes Prosecutor," is pitched against Pamela Matsumoto who describes herself as an "Administrative Law Judge." Matsumoto's ballot designation may not be entirely correct. According to the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise, she was a Superior Court Referee until being laid off in July 2012 and served briefly as an ALJ hearing benefits cases before that assignment ended in August 2013. She currently is engaged in insurance defense work.
Whether Carter will use any of the $500K that she has on hand to challenge Matsumoto's ballot designation remains to be seen. Experts seem agreed that Matsumoto's current ballot designation is weak compared to Carter's and legal fees will be better spent on the slew of slates that Carter has already locked up. Matsumoto told the Met News that she does not know how much she will spend on her campaign, and will not hire a consultant.
Although to odds seem to favor Carter, she is not leaving anything to chance, and is conducting her campaign with the same attention to detail and preparedness that has defined her career as a most effective prosecutor.
Office No. 61 Dayan Mathai
Gang Homicide Prosecutor Dayan Mathai currently faces four opponents in the race to replace retiring Judge Nash. Late entrant DDA Helen Kim has filed papers for this seat, as well as seven others; a $14k+ expense that might cause some to question her judgement. On March 7, we will know which seat she chooses, but she would be wise to drop out of this race. That would leave Mathai's likely opponents as Beverly Hills admiralty lawyer B. Otis Felder and Commissioner Jaqueline H. Lewis.
Linkedin, however he would be unwise to chose that ballot designation.
It appears that his current occupation is "Attorney at Law Offices of Otis Felder," and he lists past employment at the City Attorney's Office in Central Trials and in San Pedro.
Interestingly, Felder also lists a past employment as "Staff Assistant to Hon. Albert Gore, Jr at United States Senate," presumably the same Al Gore who served as Vice President of the United States and laid claim to have invented the internet. That might explain the confusion over Felder's job description. Once again, we will have to wait until March 7 to learn of Felder's choice of ballot designation, or indeed, if he will run.
Not much is know about Commissioner Lewis. Currently she has no campaign website and may be relying solely on her ballot designation to carry the day on June 3.
Whether Mathai face one or two challengers, he is likely to do well given his ballot designation, preparedness and active campaign.
Office No. 157 Andrew Cooper
Gang Homicide Prosecutor Andrew Cooper was the first DDA to declare his candidacy and has had the longest to prepare. His sole opponent is former Commissioner Arnold Mednick, who is currently working as a sole practitioner.
Mednick probably cannot be lawfully use "Superior Court Referee" as a ballot designation as it is too remote. Mednick would likely draw a challenge should he use a misleading ballot designation, and Cooper appears well prepared to challenge it.
In what appears to be a straight race between Cooper and Mednick, the odds favor Cooper given his campaign resources, preparedness, and ballot designation. But Cooper is not leaving anything to chance. He had a calendar crammed with community meetings and fundraising events.
We will have more on the other DDA candidates in the run up to the March 7 deadline, but for now, here are some photos of the candidates from the ADDA event.
|(left to right) The Hon. Frank Tavelman, DDAs Stacy Okun-Wiese and John Colello|
|(left to right) DDA Shannon Knight, HDDA John Portillo and DDAs Teresa Pineda-Magno and Donna Hollingsworth-Armstrong|
|(left to right) DDA Bobby Grace, The Hon. Hilda Solis, DDA Serena Murillo|