A seventeenth Deputy District Attorney, Carol Najera, is running against sitting Judge James Pierce.
Many candidates have filed papers to run for multiple seats, and have until March 7 to finalize their choice. As that deadline approaches the mud has already started flying as candidates seek to bolster their chances by pointing out perceived deficiencies with their opponents.
Party Politics mires race for Office Number 48
Deputy District Attorney Efain Aceves started the mud slinging in the race for Office Number 48. Aceves was one of six candidates to file papers for the seat now held by retiring Judge Ronald Sohigan. DDAs Amy Carter, Carole Rose, and Helen Kim also filed, as did as former Criminal Court Bar Association President Andrew Stein and former state legislator Charles Calderon. With Carter, Kim and Stein expected to run for other seats, Aceves looked set for a three-way race with Rose and Calderon however, the Los Angeles Metropolitan News-Enterprise reported that Aceves was dropping out.
Aceves had previously accused Calderon of "seeking to come in an buy a race," perhaps a reference to Caleron's perceived grip on Latino-Democrat power brokers keen to restore faith in the Calderon brand in the face of federal indictments recently handed down to his brothers; Senator Ronald Calderon and former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon. Aceves added that a judicial race "should be above these types of politics."
The Met News reported that, while making no reference to Charles Calderon, Aceves expressed fears that the Calderon indictments "may end up injecting even more politics into a judicial race that I feel should be above partisan politics," and suggested that Calderon not run. "Frankly, if Calderon truly cared about the judiciary he would drop out of the race and not bring the cloud of corruption that follows the Calderon name into this respected institution," Aceves said.
With Aceves out, the race for Office Number 48 now looks like being a fight between 34-year veteran prosecutor Carol Rose and 'beleaguered by association' Calderon armed with a suitcase full of campaign cash and partisan endorsements. If anyone deserved the support of the Latino-Democrat caucus, it was Aceves who has the experience, credentials and qualifications to be a judge. It is a great shame, if not a disgrace, that a qualified candidate has been forced to drop out in the face of misguided partisan politics.
The move to rescue the Calderon brand could, however, backfire as voters typically uniformed in judicial races, will likely revile at the sight of a Calderon on the ballot. Indeed, the LA Times recently noted that the "Caleron name may lose its luster." This could give Rose an unexpected boost to her campaign. Much will depend on her choice of ballot designation as well as her ability to muster support.
Carol Rose's campaign website is CarolRoseForJudge.com
For those interested, Calderon's website is CharlesCalderonForJudge.com. Calderon states he was a Deputy City Attorney in the late 1970's, trying "approximately 90 jury trials" before embarking on his political career. It is unclear whether he has seen the inside of a courtroom since that time. It is unlikely that Calderon will show his face in Federal Court in support of his indicted brothers.
Stein Slams Schreiner for "Bullshit" remark to jury
|Left to right: Deputy DA Steven Schreiner, Deputy City Attorney Tom Griego and Attorney Andrew Stein|
In an email blast to supporters and the media, Stein attached a transcript containing Schreiner's remarks and asked recipients to "share this transcript with all your friends who are voters!" and posed the question "Do you want this man sitting as a JUDGE?" Stein did not indicate which portion of Schreiner's agrument he found to be improper, however, replies to the email suggest the use of the word "Bullshit" was considered inappropriate.
Schreiner prosecuted the special circumstances murder trial at the Norwalk Courthouse last year, and when the Hon. Judge Tomson T. Ong allowed Schreiner and defense attorneys ten minutes apiece to respond to questions posed by the jury during deliberations, Schreiner used the 'B' word.
It is interesting that Stein decided to take aim at Schreiner in the opening of what is certain to be a bitterly fought race. Stein could easily have attacked his other opponent, Deputy City Attorney Tom Griego, who last ran unsuccessfully against then Deputy District Attorney Alan Schneider.
Griego is understood to have asked disgraced former City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to transfer him from his obscure civil law duties, to the criminal division so that he could use the ballot designation "criminal prosecutor" in his bid to become a judge. The Metropolitan News-Enterprise blasted Griego, calling the use of his chosen ballot designation "misleading" given that he has not prosecuted any criminal cases and as of March 8, 2010, all he had done was "read manuals." Griego garnered a "Not Qualified" rating from the Los Angeles County Bar Association in his failed bid.
In his current bid to become a judge, Griego hails his achievements as a "Criminal Gang Prosecutor" in the "highly coveted Anti-Gang Unit," where he claims to have "successfully prosecuted over 150 gang and quality of life crimes" since being "elevated" to the unit by Trutanich in 2011, after his defeat - Griego's not Trutanich's. Griego's current claims are likely to be closely scrutinized by Stein and others in the light of his prior conduct. Tellingly, Griego boasts the support of Trutanich on his endorsement page.
Andrew Stein's campaign website is SteinForJudge.com
Tom Griego's campaign website is GriegoForJudge.com
Steven Schreiner does not appear to have a campaign website at this time.
The battle lines for the 14 open seats will become clearer March 7, when candidates who have filled papers in multiple seats; DDAs Helen Kim (8), and Amy Carter (4), Attorneys Andrew Stein (2) and Arnold Mednick (2), make their final choices.