The Other McCain

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

CA-36: Hahn’s Bad Rap?

Posted on | June 15, 2011 | 60 Comments

The Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze has an article that would appear to exonerate Democrat Janice Hahn of accusations that her “gang-intervention specialist” program abetted violent felons. I say it “would appear to exonerate” her, because the article leaves unanswered several questions raised by previous reports about Hahn’s involvement in the program. In an attempt to clarify the issue, I sent an e-mail to the Daily Breeze reporter:

I just saw your story about the Ehlinger video and, having previously scanned the Breeze’s reporting about the Fox11 story from 2008, I am having trouble reconciling the two stories. In addition to convicted rapist Steven Myrick, Fox11 named three other individuals — Brandon “BL” Bullard, Marlon “Bow Wow” Jones and Demarco “DC” Chaffold — as having told police they were involved in the LA anti-gang program, specifically mentioning Janice Hahn’s name.
Is it now your contention that NONE of these individuals were actually paid through the program? That is to say, have the police reports been proven false?
Reading your own newspaper’s reporting from 2008, I gather that Bullard, Jones and Chaffold were all connected to Unity One, a non-profit anti-gang operation that received city money, and they had interacted with Hahn through her role in the anti-gang task force. So while the Fox11 report may have sensationalized the accusations, are we to doubt that Myrick, Bullard, Jones and Chaffold all viewed Hahn as a sort of political patron saint, and dropped her name when talking to police as a way of signaling that they were “connected” and/or “protected”?
More generally, there have been other examples (including Alex Sanchez and Hector Marroquin) of “gang intervention specialists” who evidently continued gang-banging while involved in these programs. Isn’t it fair to suspect that these programs are being exploited by the gangs as a sort of non-profit “legit” hustle, so as to access charitable contributions and government grants for their own benefit? And aren’t voters entitled to ask why, when it comes to fighting gang violence, the city is hiring gangsters instead of hiring cops?
Beyond the narrow matter of how this controversy affects the current congressional campaign, it seems to me that the efficacy of LA’s anti-gang programs is certainly a matter of dispute, and that further reporting on this subject is warranted. I write to you in the hope that you will clarify the facts, which your latest story does not seem adequately to address.

— Robert Stacy McCain
correspondent, The American Spectator

From a strictly common-sense perspective, there is an awful lot of smoke here for there to be no fire. I’m grateful to Richard McEnroe of Three Beers Later for calling my attention to this 2007 report about the arrest of Hector “Big Weasel” Marroquin:

FEDERAL ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS AGENTS knocked first, then entered the Downey home of purported anti-gang activist Hector Marroquin on Wednesday, arresting him for selling silencers and weapons — including three assault rifles and a machine gun — to an undercover ATF agent.
The gun sales, some of which Marroquin, the founder of the gang-intervention group No Guns, transacted at his bar in the city of Cudahy, were captured on videotape and audiotape, said police officers present at his arrest.
Inside the house, the 51-year-old veteran of the 18th Street Gang surrendered as his daughter’s boyfriend, David Jimenez, a parolee at large, jumped out a window, tossed a gun into the backyard pool and climbed on the roof, authorities said. Officials said ATF agents then confronted him, he climbed back inside and was arrested and charged as a felon in possession of a gun.
Marroquin, an alleged associate of the prison-based Mexican Mafia, has grown accustomed to such intrusions, having been arrested many times over the years while at the same time being the founder and CEO of No Guns, which has received $1.5 million from Los Angeles City Hall via the much-criticized L.A. Bridges program designed by the Los Angeles City Council to keep youth out of gangs. . . .
Along with his wife, son and daughter, who police say is a member of the Hawthorne L’il Watts Gang, the Marroquins made more than $200,000 a year in salaries — public funds paid by L.A. taxpayers — to steer children away from gangs and help active gangsters escape the life.

You see what I’m talking about? The Daily Breeze seems to be quibbling over details in the KTTV report about Hahn and gangsters, and let’s grant that the KTTV (Fox11) report may have factual errors or a sensationalistic presentation. Yet the Breeze‘s approach to the story overlooks the much larger and general issue of whether LA’s “gang intervention” effort amounted to a taxpayer subsidy for thugs.

Meanwhile, Newsy had a video report about the controversy over the anti-Hahn ad by Ladd Ehlinger Jr.:


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We have to distinguish between (a) criticism of Ehlinger’s ad, and (b) the significance of the facts about Hahn’s record on the LA City Council. Ladd’s ad has already passed the 125,000-views threshold, BTW.



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