By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
”Celebrity status is a difficult thing to overcome,“ she now observes, agreeing that the case was an O.J. predecessor. ”Only I didn’t get $4 million out of it like Marcia Clark did.“ She knew she was in trouble when her own investigators went begging for the defendants‘ autographs. She also recalls her groundbreaking 1978 work restructuring rape laws to favor victims. ”No one else wanted to do it,“ she explains. She blames her opponents for the LAPD dysfunction that created Rampart. In addition to supporting the consent decree, she’d attack a long-running city abuse: workers‘ compensation costs that have dramatically increased over the past 16 years.
Rocky Delgadillo sees his background as a mayoral expert on communities and development, as well as an intellectual-property lawyer for one of the nation’s most prestigious firms, as perfect preparation for a city-attorney career. Yet his opponents assail him for stressing school programs that are not the city attorney‘s prime responsibility. He responds that the city does get to offer after-school programs, and that ”School is the great equalizer. The quality of life is every official’s responsibility.“ While his prime supporter, Dick Riordan, had problems with that federal police consent decree, Delgadillo sees it ”as a real opportunity to bring some much-needed reforms to the LAPD and improve things for the cops who are doing a good job already.“ Like D‘Agostino, he lays some blame for Rampart at Feuer’s door, while asserting that as mayor‘s deputy, ”I focused on development like a laser beam.“ This statement, however, suggests that he had little to do with the police issues that will pervade the new city attorney’s first term.
Even so, Delgadillo is endorsed by Warren Christopher, who was chairman of O‘Melveny & Myers when Delgadillo was a rising star at the firm. He also speaks of curbing city-attorney ”prosecutorial abuses“ that may have contributed to the Rampart problems, and ”building back our credibility“ in the face of what he sees as ”a reversal of trust“ in the LAPD. He’d continue the department‘s anti-gang injunction programs, but believes ”nothing stops a bullet like a job.“ His conviction here probably reflects his background as a poor Eastside kid who studied his way to Harvard and got a plum position with O’Melveny & Myers. Even Feuer agrees that Delgadillo ”has a great story.“
Delgadillo is also, like Feuer, well-financed -- close to the near-million-dollar limit for his race. The most controversial aspect of this financing is the $115,000 worth of billboards donated by a billboard company that is apparently nonplused at Feuer‘s sign ordinances -- although the company insists it is merely supporting its preferred candidate. D’Agostino, on the other hand, has raised barely $300,000, including matching funds. Her best hope is to make a runoff.
Otherwise, the race is between the two City Hall vets. And the two City Hall political styles.