Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, December 12, 2019


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Registrar-Recorder’s Office Bounces ‘Retired Army General’ Label

Designation As ‘Immigrant Advocate’ Also Disallowed


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Office of Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder has vetoed a Glendale attorney’s chosen ballot designation of “Retired Army General.”

It decided after-hours on Tuesday that lawyer Marc MacCarley’s desired billing on the March 3 ballot is legally impermissible. MacCarley retired from his military post in 2015 and has been in law practice.

Code of Regulations §20716(h)(4) says:

“A candidate may not use the word ‘retired’ in his or her ballot designation if that candidate possesses another more recent, intervening principal profession, vocation, or occupation.”

On his ballot designation worksheet filed with the Office of Registrar Recorder, MacCarley stated as the justification for the description of himself, “Retired as a Major General (US Army) on Jan. 30, 2015,” proceeding to set forth the duration of his service, adding:

“Receive pension which provides a significant portion of income.”

Under “Current or most recent job title” he did not mention his current role as an attorney, and under “Employer name or business,” he listed “United States Army” rather than his law firm, MacCarley & Rosen.

New Designation 

MacCarley—who was defeated in 2017 for a seat on the Glendale City Council—will now have to choose some other designation. Given that he apparently is engaged in no pursuit other than law practice, he would be limited under Elections Code §13107 to “Attorney,” “Attorney at Law,” “Lawyer,” or “Counselor at Law.”

The ballot designation of “Retired Army General” still appeared on the Registrar-Recorder’s website as of press time yesterday.

Pitted against MacCarley in the race for Office No. 129 are Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Kenneth M. Fuller and West Hills attorney Bruce A. Moss. Moss remarked:

“When I learned I had made an honest mistake with my ballot designation, I immediately and voluntarily corrected that error.  I’m disappointed Mr. MacCarley refused to do the same on his own, when it could not be more clear his designation would not be accepted.  I’m glad the error has now been corrected for him.”

‘Immigration Advocate’

Also disallowed was the ballot designation picked by Santa Fe Springs immigration attorney Robert F. Jacobs who sought to be identified as “Attorney/Immigration Advocate.” Code of Regulations §20716(b)(3) declares that a “status”—such as “activist”—does not qualify as a “current principal profession, vocation, or occupation of the candidate” which may be paired with the word “Attorney.”

Sec. 20716(b)(1) specifies that “volunteer work” does not qualify, except as permitted by §20714—where it is “the sole, primary, main or leading professional, vocational or occupational endeavor of the candidate.”  

His ballot designation worksheet sets forth, as the justification for the words, “Immigrant Advocate”:

“I am an Imigrant [sic] Advocate through the Executive Committee of the Immigration Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Assoc., and the Kiwanis Club, AILA, and MABA.”

Two Opponents

Jacobs is in a contest with Associate Law Professor Myanna Dellinger and Deputy District Attorney Steve Morgan for Office No. 72.

Dellinger, who is in Denmark, commented yesterday:

“California election law governs candidates’ ballot designations. All candidates should, of course, follow existing law. No one is above the law, which holds for this context as well.”

Morgan said of Jacobs’s failed attempt to use “Immigration Advocate” on the ballot:

“I’m glad the registrar changed the designation. I was surprised that in his first opportunity to demonstrate his judicial aptitude that he either didn’t understand the law or chose to ignore it. An improper ballot designation that requires intervention by the Registrar is not a great first argument why someone should be a judge.”

ALJ’s Designation

The Registrar-Recorder’s Office yesterday altered the designation of Klint James McKay, who put down “Administrative Law Judge.” Elections Code §13107 requires that the name of the agency be included, as Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney David Berger pointed out to the county office.

Berger is a candidate for Office No. 80, along with McKay and Deputy District Attorney Nick C. Rini. Neither McKay nor Rini has mounted a visible campaign.

The words “California Department of Social Services” were appended to McKay’s designation.

‘Community Educator’

Also in question is the ballot designation of civil rights attorney Caree Annette Harper who terms herself a “Attorney/Community Educator.”

On her ballot designation worksheet she sought to justify her description as a “Community Educator” by saying:

“Regular on-air information to KJLH listeners on community concerns re: jury duty[,] candidate information, legal updates.”

Also on the contest are Deputy District Attorney Andrew Scott Yang and criminal defense attorney David D. Diamond. Wang said:

“I believe Mr. Diamond is taking on those issues. I will be engaged in three back to back jury trials soon so I will be very busy.”

Endorsement Withdrawn

One Los Angeles Superior Court judge said yesterday:

“I have rescinded my endorsement for Caree Annette Harper for an improper ballot designation.  I do not know what ‘Community Educator’ means, and my understanding is that she is a civil rights attorney.”

Meanwhile, Onica Cole—using her first name as a nickname, running as “Sherri “Onica” Valle Cole—has questioned the validity of the ballot designation of Tom Parsekian as “Attorney/Mediator.” Attached to her query to the Office of Registrar-Recorder was a March 28, 2018 article in the METNEWS  concerning doubts that a candidate in last year’s election, Michael Ribons, was actually an “arbitrator.”

His ballot designation was “Arbitrator/Lawyer.”

However, there was a stated factual basis concerning the legitimacy of Ribons’s ballot designation (which was found by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to be invalid). Cole presented no evidence that Parsekian does not conduct mediations.

Parsekian and Cole are candidates for Office No. 150, as is Deputy District Attorney Manuel Alejandro Almada.


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