The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

CA-36: The Facts of the Case

Posted on | June 16, 2011 | 62 Comments

 The New York Times is on the story:

Ms. Hahn, a Los Angeles City Councilwoman and a Democrat, released a statement deeming the ad “degrading to women in the worst way.” . . .
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising e-mail, calling for $150,000 in donations to help fight “vile right-wing attacks like these,” while Ms. Hahn, in her statement, urges supporters to “help Janice fight back with a $25, $50 or $100 donation.”

The “vile right-wing attack”? Yeah, that’s Ladd Ehlinger Jr.’s latest viral video in the CA-36 special election.

Last night on MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Schultz both discussed it. So, when it comes to reporting on “vile right-wing attacks,” this blog is at least 36 hours ahead of the mainstream media. The Democrats are demanding an investigation:

Hahn’s campaign believes there was coordination between Huey’s campaign and Turn Right USA PAC, the group that launched the ad. The Hahn campaign is calling for a Federal Election Commission investigation into the ad . . .

Hey, geniuses: There was no coordination. You can ask Ladd Ehlinger Jr., who is on Twitter.

But once everybody is finished jumping up and down and screaming about the video, how about somebody do some reporting on Janice Hahn and LA’s “anti-gang intervention” program? Because that looks like a pretty interesting story, as you can see in this excerpt from my latest American Spectator column:

Hahn’s support for the “gang intervention” program was the subject of an investigative report by KTTV in Los Angeles in April 2008. That report focused on Steve Myrick, a member of the Crips gang who told police  he was “working with Janice Hahn” and even had a certificate of appreciation from the councilwoman for his work with a summer job program. “That’s why I’m out [of jail] right now,” Myrick told police after he was arrested on a drug charge in 2006. “Miss Hahn got me out, like, three weeks ago.” He said he violated a police order banning him from a public housing project because Hahn “sent me over there to do some work. She got me off, so it was cool.” In 2007, Myrick was sentenced to life in prison for rape.
Hahn told KTTV it was “blatantly false” that she had made “direct payments” to Myrick or other gang-intervention workers, but defended the program’s hiring of convicted criminals: “I do know that it does take a different kind of person to be able to speak the language that convinces the shooters to not retaliate…. I see it as keeping the peace in a community that has been plagued by violence.” The report also exposed the case of Brandon Bullard, another Crips gangster who told police he was paid to work on Hahn’s gang-intervention program. Hahn spoke at Bullard’s funeral after he was murdered in February 2008.
That 2008 report also named gangsters Marlon “Bow Wow” Jones and Demarco “DC” Chaffold among those who had claimed Hahn as a patron, but KTTV did not mention other notorious examples of how LA’s anti-gang efforts have funded criminality. Mexican Mafia gangster Hector “Big Weasel” Marroquin, whom federal agents of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms arrested in May 2007 on gun-trafficking charges, headed a group that received some $1.5 million in city anti-gang money. In February 2009, former Long Beach gang-intervention worker “Crazy John” Kennedy was convicted in the murder of a couple who were tied to an anchor and thrown off their yacht to drown. And in May 2009, a federal racketeering indictment named Alex “Rebelde” Sanchez as a top leader of the ultra-violent MS-13 gang. Sanchez had been one of the most high-profile gang-intervention activists in Los Angeles. . . .

Please read the whole thing. As I noted last night, some have disputed the accuracy of the KTTV report, but the larger question — Is this “gang intervention” program an effective approach to fighting violent crime? — is entirely legitimate.

Just for starters, it’s kind of hard for Hahn to deny her connection to Bullard, given that she spoke at his funeral. And it is impossible for Hahn to deny that she has spent year supporting this crazy program, even calling for a tax increase to fund its expansion.

So once you major media genius types are through recycling Democratic Party talking points about “vile right-wing attacks,” you might want to try reporting, y’know, facts and stuff.



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