Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Lacey Comments on Times Report, Jackson Trumpets Daily News Nod
Assistant Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has released a commentary on the revelation by the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that her opponent in the DA’s race, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, has received a donation from a convicted felon.
She recited that the article detailed “the complex relationship between convicted felon Victor (a.k.a. Victorino) Noval and Los Angeles County District Attorney candidate Alan Jackson” and that “Noval and his family members and an employee have directly contributed $115,000 to fund Alan Jackson’s effort to become D.A.”
Victor Noval was convicted of masterminding a $60 million fraud against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a crime that was called the “largest in that agency’s history.” (Los Angeles Times, October 18, 1997). At the time, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Shapiro called it a “classic Ponzi scheme with a real estate gloss.” In 2003, Noval was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $20,733,000 in restitution.
Now, Noval and his immediate family have emerged as the single largest source of support for the Jackson campaign. Noval, his sons and an “assistant at the Noval Foundation” have contributed $15,000 directly to the Jackson campaign committee.
In addition one of Noval’s sons contributed $100,000 to the state Republican Party, money that was used to send out hundreds of thousands of mailers to Republican households endorsing Jackson in the days leading up to the June primary election.
Jackson, who edged Carmen Trutanich out of the November runoff by a 1.5% margin, simply would not have been in the runoff without the massive infusion of funds from the Novals.
Additionally, Victorino Noval hosted a fundraiser for Jackson at his $6 million Beverly Hills home in May 2012. About 100 guests were present, but it is not known how much was raised for Jackson at the event.
Why is this important?
1. Laws may have been broken.
The State Republican Party received $100,000 from Noval on May 30, 2012, and then spent the vast majority of that money the next day sending out mailers for Jackson. If the contribution was specifically “earmarked” for Jackson the contribution is an illegal violation of the county’s campaign contribution limit of $1,500 for a candidate for District Attorney. The startling fact is that the Republican Party had not even endorsed Jackson and was required to hold an emergency telephone endorsement meeting on May 26. It would have been impossible for the Republican Party to endorse Jackson on May 26, solicit a $100,000 contribution from someone who had never before made a contribution to the Party on May 30, and then prepare and send out hundreds of thousands of units of mail endorsing Jackson on May 31 without coordination between the campaign and the Party.
2. This says something about Jackson’s ethics.
“I want to ensure that public corruption is a zero tolerance issue,” stated Alan Jackson (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, October 16, 2012.)
Zero tolerance of public corruption has to start in the campaign. Jackson cannot just shrug this off and say, “I didn’t know.” The fact is that it is his job to know—his most important job. The public should not have to accept the appearance that their District Attorney has been bought and paid for by a convicted felon.
Jackson’s campaign has the affirmative responsibility to carefully vet ever[y] contribution they receive—particularly when the money is coming from someone they “don’t know” who is giving such large sums and bundling money from their children and low-level employees. Especially when they are hosting a major fundraiser at their home. Especially when they are being solicited for six-figure contributions to support your candidacy through the Republican Party.
•Alan Jackson’s campaign yesterday sent out this press release ballyhooing their candidate’s endorsement by the Los Angeles Newspaper Group newspapers:
On Sunday, prosecutor Alan Jackson was endorsed by the Daily News and its network of 10 newspapers across Los Angeles County including Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Pasadena Star News, Torrance Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press Telegram, Whittier Daily News and Impacto USA.
The Daily News endorsed Jackson praising his leadership skills and courtroom work, but also described Jackson’s opponent Jackie Lacey as an “uninspired choice” who is “the candidate of the status quo” in a time of unprecedented transition in the landscape of crime and public safety. Jackson’s campaign continues to rapidly pick up momentum and endorsements across the County….
The Daily News has this to say about Alan Jackson:
“Jackson makes a better case that he has the ability to negotiate the rapidly changing future in prosecutorial technology. As an active courtroom lawyer, he’s more naturally able to do this than Lacey, who has been in an administrative position for the past 13 years.”
The editorial continued by explaining why Alan Jackson is the best choice for DA over his opponent Jackie Lacey:
“By comparison, Lacey would be an uninspired choice for the job….
“But because Lacey is so connected to the establishment, it is Jackson who is more likely to show the independence to make law enforcement decisions based on what’s right instead of what’s politically correct.”
Alan Jackson said, “I could not be more proud and humbled to have earned the support of the Daily News and so many respected newspapers widely distributed across the County. As the next District Attorney I will work tirelessly to ensure that communities and families and kept safe by modern DA’s office.”
Last week the Jackson campaign released the only television ad in the DA’s runoff highlighting Jackson’s priorities as a prosecutor, and exposing the fact that Jackie Lacey has come under fire for being dishonest under oath.
•David Berger, a deputy Los Angeles district attorney, posted this comment on his blog (http://losangelesdragnet.blogspot.com):
“The Daily News endorsement makes no mention of the fundraiser scandal suggesting, perhaps, that their editorial board was unaware of the problem. Discussion in the comments section of the LA Times and on the Dragnet shows a fairly even split of opinions as to whether Jackson’s campaign has been damaged by the scandal.
“Interestingly, the last time the term ‘felon fundraiser’ appeared two weeks before an election campaign was in 2009, when the campaign of City Attorney candidate Jack Weiss hit the rocks over a similar fundraising scandal.
“Rival candidate Carmen Trutanich was interviewed by FOX News reporter John Schwada on the topic and succeeded in getting in a few well-placed digs at Weiss. Weiss ultimately lost the election, although it is unclear what part the felon fundraiser played in his downfall; he was widely disliked for a variety of reasons.”
•Fred Huebscher, a political consultant who sells space to candidates on slate mailers—with Lacey being one of his advertisers—derides the campaign approach of Jackson, who is relying on television advertising.
He has provided this analysis to the MetNews:
“After reading your newspaper’s article about the District Attorney campaign and Alan Jackson’s TV ad, I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Jackson’s campaign is one of the more inept campaigns in California history. First of all, the ad which attacks Jackson’s opponent, Jackie Lacey, for being dishonest does not explain how she was dishonest. Moreover, one does not really understand from the ad that Jackson is a candidate for District Attorney. But most importantly, Lacey’s consultant, Parke Skelton, had it right when he said that Jackson’s TV ad buy is really just shredding money. In fact, Jackson would have been better off refunding the money spent on the ad to his contributors or giving the money to charity.
“It’s lucky that Jackson’s consultant, John Thomas, the mastermind of the Jackson campaign, isn’t working for Joseph Stalin because Stalin would have sent Mr. Thomas to the gulag or an even worse fate. Hopefully after Mr. Jackson’s defeat on November 6, Jackson will realize how futile his campaign was.”
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company