One Tuff Brand: new clients, new friends


 

Jan B. Tucker @ OTB Fashion, El Monte

Jan B. Tucker @ OTB Fashion, El Monte

Met with new clients and now new friends yesterday, OTB Fashion.  Founded in 1991, OTB focuses on fast fashion and aims at the teenage market. There are two subsidiary brands, ONE TOUGH BRAND and ONE TUFF BABE. ONE TOUGH BRAND designs skateboard clothing for young men and ONE TUFF BABE concentrates on JEANS; it`s very popular among teenagers.

You can meet them at http://www.otbfashion.com/home.html 

5M4001 5M8003 6002 BLACK FullSizeRender GREEN IMG_6183 IMG_6184 IMG_6202 IMG_6373 IMG_6676 IMG_6677 IMG_6678 IMG_6689 pink ROYAL BLUE WIINE

 

Support SB 443 To Reform “Forfeiture” laws


 

June 17, 2016

Senator Holly Mitchell Wallis Annenberg Building 700 State Dr., Suite 113 Los Angeles CA 90037 By Fax: (213) 745-6722 (Principal author of SB 443)

Senator Isadore Hall III San Pedro District Office 222 West 6th Street, Suite 320 San Pedro, CA 90731 By Fax: (310) 514-8578

Assembly Member David Hadley 23211 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 200A Torrance, CA 90505 By Fax: (310) 375-8245 (Co-author of SB 443)

Assembly Member Mike Gipson 879 W.190th Street Suite #920 Gardena, CA 90248 By Fax: (310)324-6485

SB 443 – SUPPORT (with suggested amendments)

Honorable State Legislators:

For those of you who know me personally, you are undoubtedly aware that when it comes to criminal investigations I am a switch hitter: sometimes I do prosecution work and sometimes I do defense. I support SB 443 in principle based upon my background, training, education and experience and I also suggest the following amendments.

RedliningThe practical way that prosecutors deal with cash seized in connection with criminal investigation is inextricably linked with their life experience. All too frequently, their only experience with the Barrio and the Ghetto is driving to a courthouse on a freeway from the suburb they live in. It therefore does not occur to them in the first place that Black and Brown communities have long suffered from economic red-lining and that banks are often few and far between, forcing the average person to be more dependent on cash transactions and check cashing institutions whether or not they are involved in crime.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in zip code 91331. Banks gradually abandoned the community; at one time a bank merger raised the spectre that two of the last three banks in the area might move.

If you live near Ventura Blvd some communities will have multiple banks on virtually every block; likewise with Wilshire Blvd on the Westside or Hawthorne Blvd in the South Bay. Deputy District Attorneys or Deputy City Prosecutors who grew up in those hoods, have never lived in an area devoid of banks, and who have no friends living in such communities cannot actually conceive of why somebody would keep $1,500.00 hidden in her clothing drawer for any legal reason. I am not describing a hypothetical: I am describing what the late Valerie Monroe and I had to put up with on the all too typical case of a spouse of an accused drug dealer who tried desperately to get her life savings back when it had been seized by the police.

Jan B. Tucker & Valerie Monroe announcing California Three Strikes Project

Jan B. Tucker & Valerie Monroe announcing California Three Strikes Project

Valerie Monroe was not just an attorney. She had served as Chief Deputy Public Defender of the Juvenile Justice Center before going into private practice. She served as Southern California Legal Redress Chair for the NAACP State Conference under Presidents Norm Bullock and Jose De Sosa’s administrations. Valerie and I co-authored the California Three Strikes Project initiative to roll back that law to serious and violent felonies only in 2000, the first initiative effort to reform the law.

A white DDA, who had the effective power of god, i.e. the power to say no to our request for the spouse of the defendant, actually refused to give the woman back her money because she could not believe that anybody would not keep their money in a bank. She also did not believe our protestations that there were no banks in the community. None. Nada. Whatever our client’s purported transgressions (his real transgression was to run afoul from the Compton Police Department narcotics squad’s control over the cocaine trade; they concentrated on putting their dealers competitors out of business), his wife was a clerk at a Boys Market making union wages and trying to raise her children. The DDA also could not conceive of a Black family where one person is law abiding and another family member is not.

H Rap BrownThese attitudes are not exclusive to white prosecutors. It has traditionally been easier for “oreos” or “coconuts” to get hired into occupations that were previously reserved for white people. Thus, while H. Rap Brown warned in the 60s that “Justice in America means ‘Just Us’ White folk,” there may persist in institutions an attitude of “Just Us who think like White folk” because we grew up in white neighborhoods, went off to previously segregated prep schools and colleges and had better prospects of being the first minorities hired.

Thus, potential amendments to existing forfeiture laws should provide guidance for the due diligence that goes into prosecutorial decision making, e.g.:

  • When a law enforcement agency contends that the amount of cash seized is consistent with proceeds from drug dealing, they must document its consistency with other specific cases subject to disclosure and discovery and cannot simply rely upon a purported “expert opinion” of a narcotics officer;

  • When a law enforcement agency contends that the amount of cash seized would or should have been deposited in a financial institution, it must demonstrate that (a) those who claim to own the money are “bankable,” (i.e. that their credit history would not preclude them from even having an account under normal and customary banking regulations), (b) that there are sufficient banking resources available in the community, and (c) that they have conducted a reasonable inquiry from impartial sources that attest that any particular ethnic group does not have a cultural bias against using American banking institutions (I know and raise this latter issue because I personally worked undercover for 11 months amongst a work force that was overwhelmingly composed of Mexican nationals and other immigrants);

  • Any person offering “expert” opinions on these matters must meet Daubert vs Merrill Dow 509 U.S. 579 113 S. Ct. 2786; 125 L. Ed. 2D 469 (1993) standards [as opposed to simply Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923) standards] and must have at least a B.A. and have achieved a passing grade in either statistics or logic or preferably both at a college level.

Thanking your for your prompt attention, I remain,

Respectfully Yours, Jan B. Tucker

Judge Aaron Persky: A Bench is Not a Throne


 

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky

The current controversy over Judge Aaron Persky’s sentence of a Stanford University athlete to six months in jail and three years probation after a jury convicted him of three felony counts of sexual assault has sparked over a million online signatures supporting his removal from office.  Stanford University Law Professor Michele Dauber is also organizing a formal recall petition to force Persky to face the voters.

Persky should have been voted out of office a long time ago though because of his role in a civil case, also involving the sexual assault of another unconscious woman. As Wikipedia explained:

In 2011, Persky presided over a civil lawsuit against multiple members of the De Anza college baseball team, who were accused by the underage plaintiff of gang-raping her while she was unconscious until passersby intervened. During the trial, Persky decided that the jury should be allowed to view seven photos of the plaintiff taken at a party she attended approximately a year after the alleged gang rape, as per the defense’s claim that this evidence contradicted the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff’s attorney, who argued the photos were irrelevant, described this decision as prejudicial against her client.[14] An ABC News 20/20 episode aired on June 5, 2009 on the case.[15] The jury in this civil case found the defendants to be not liable for the charges against them.[16]

Former Assembly Member Scott Wildman got AB 1926 passed on rape evidence

Former Assembly Member Scott Wildman got AB 1926 passed on rape evidence

I know a few things about evidence used in sexual assault cases.  In a recent case I argued in a declaration that a woman’s attire made a particular accusation that a man groped her in a particular way physically impossible, while both were walking down the street at the time (and she would have tripped if he did what she claimed he’d done because her dress was down to her ankles and she said he reached up under the dress and grabbed her crotch and buttocks).  This was in spite of the fact that my NOW Chapter (SFV/NELA) and I were the key proponents of AB 1926 (Scott Wildman, D-41st AD, 1998 Legislative Session) which banned the use of a woman’s attire by the defense to prove consent.

One thing I also know about is the election and regulation of Judges in California and why a political revolution–Bernie style–is needed to overhaul the system.  First, let’s look at why and how Aaron Persky got in office and how he stayed there (again, from Wikipedia):

Persky worked for the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, practicing corporate civil litigation.[6][9] While in private practice, he received the California Association of Human Relations Organizations’ Civil Rights Leadership Award for work on hate crimes, and the State Bar of California’s Wiley Manuel Pro Bono Award for his pro bono work for the poor.[9]

In 1997, Persky joined the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office.[9] In this position, he prosecuted criminal offenses which included violent sex crimes and hate crimes. He served on the executive committee of the Support Network for Battered Women and the Santa Clara County Network for a Hate-Free Community.[6]

By 2003, Persky was a deputy district attorney in the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office and prosecuted juvenile offenders; he was also a member of the DA’s Juvenile Wards Team.[6]

Judicial career

In 2002, Persky unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County,[6] losing to Ron Del Pozzo, who was also a deputy DA.[8][10] Persky received 102,801 votes (47.9%), to Del Pozzo’s 111,679 votes (52.1%) for Seat 16 on the court.[10] In his 2002 run, Persky was endorsed by the Santa Clara County Bar Association (and its Women Lawyers Committee)[8] and by the San Jose Mercury News, while Del Pozzo received the endorsement of Sheriff Laurie Smith, U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, and the AFL-CIO. Both candidates ran a positive race.[10]

Persky received an appointment to the court from California Governor Gray Davis the following year.[6]

He is the former Chair of the Court’s Community Outreach Committee.[11]

In June 2016, Persky was elected without opposition for another six-year term on the bench.[12] The vast majority of Santa Clara County judges—25 in total— ran unopposed in 2016.[8][13] He was 54 years old at the time.[6]  [Emphasis added]

My old friend, retired Deputy Public Defender Aram James, got into a public debate with Persky when Persky ran for Judge, with Persky taking a position against judicial candidate transparency:  http://www.metroactive.com/papers/metro/10.17.02/public-eye-0242.html

Most California Judges, not just Santa Clara county judges, run unopposed.  “Most” is actually a low figure.  Challenges to sitting judges no matter how horrible they are, are almost non-existent.  Why?

Retaliation

Judge Charles W. Stoll threw out a Family Leave Act case against Disney Imagineering brought by a member of my NOW Chapter. We pulled his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests and found that his single largest investment was in Disney stock….like around $50,000.00 worth of it.  Responding to my press release announcing my complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance, Stoll told reporters that he didn’t know that state law required him to recuse himself — on the 23 out of 25 cases in the Glendale Branch that had conveniently been assigned to him, not one of which made it to trial — for any conflict of more than $1,500.  My response to his claim was that when a judge claims “ignorance of the law” as an excuse, it “is not an excuse; it’s an indictment.”  See http://articles.latimes.com/1996-06-04/news/mn-11608_1_improper-conduct

The result:  Stoll was publicly reproved by the Commission, and later when I was sued in a case before him, he extended the deadline to allow the Plaintiff to serve me without any legitimate cause.  I complained to the Commission that he should have recused himself because I had very publicly gotten him disciplined.  The Commission refused to take any action.

Run against a judge and the retaliation will be even worse by the judge’s colleagues and the Commission will do nothing to protect you.

Filing Fees and Ballot Statement Fees

California filing fees to run for office are a percentage of a year’s salary for the office, so every time they raise their salaries they make it that much harder for working people and the poor to run for office.  The current filing fee is $1,890.41 to run for judge and the way the rules are rigged, in order to hope that you can file for one of the several seats that might be vacant, you might have to pay filing fees for more than one seat just to play the game and get into the right race.

Candidate statements will cost Superior Court candidates tens of thousands (I think around $50,000) and you cannot even get those fees waived if you are indigent (from the LA County Candidate Handbook):

INDIGENT CANDIDATES – If a candidate alleges to be indigent and is unable to pay the advance fee for submitting a candidate statement, the candidate shall submit an Affidavit of Financial Worth to the local agency to be used in determining the candidate’s indigence eligibility. The affidavit shall be submitted by the candidate with their candidate statement by the specified deadline. The candidate shall certify under penalty of perjury the truth and correctness of the content of the affidavit. A determination shall be made whether or not the
candidate is indigent and the local agency will notify the candidate of its findings. If a determination is made that the candidate is indigent, the local agency shall print and mail
the statement without payment of the advance fee. The candidate will be billed the actual pro rata share of the cost following the election. If a determination is made that the
candidate is not indigent, the candidate shall withdraw the statement or pay the requisite fee within three days of notification, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and State holidays.

In Knoll v. Davidson (1974) 12 Cal. 3d 335 [116 Cal. Rptr. 97, 525 P.2d 1273] the California Supreme Court, writing in the wake of Lubin v. Panish (1974) 415 U.S. 709 [39 L.Ed.2d 702, 94 S.Ct. 1315], held that even indigent candidates could be forced to pay to have a statement included in the ballot pamphlet.  Lubin, (I assisted with the legal research on the case with Attorney Marge Buckley) threw out California’s old filing fee law as facially unconstitutional for discriminating against people of modest means.

After years of other litigation and legislation, where we are now is that we wind up with 34 candidates for U.S. Senate on the ballot because they could afford or raise the filing fee of $3,480.00, even though the only justification the U.S. Supreme Court has ever held was a legitimate reason for a filing fee was to limit the size of the ballot to something reasonable.  Some of those candidates were frivolous; some were arguably insane; in fact, some argue that the Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump, is nuts but he can pay any filing fee to get on the ballot with ease, while perfectly legitimate working class and indigent candidates are effectively kept off the ballot, because Proposition 14 and subsequent legislation abolished the previously reasonable requirements for signature in lieu of filing fees that applied to third party candidates.

Likewise, wealthy candidates for Judge and their wealthy supporters can get subsidized by having their statements in the ballot pamphlet.  Sole practitioners and their working class clients can’t raise that kind of initial expense.

A Platform for Reform

  1.  Abolish filing fees to run for Superior Court (and for that matter, for all public offices).  There should be one rule for rich and poor alike to get on the ballot. You should simply not be able to buy your way on the ballot.
  2. Abolish all fees to have a candidate statement included in any ballot pamphlet for all offices.  These statements are a service to the voters who can then intelligently select from what a candidate puts in writing to all voters on an equal opportunity basis.
  3. Require a Judge’s most recent Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests (redacted as to address information or simply listing their courthouse address) be posted at their courtroom door and/or in the court clerk’s office for public inspection, to avoid a Charlie Stoll having the audacity to throw every case against Disney out of court in its home district while owning thousands in Disney stock.
  4. Specify specific penalties for specific judicial misconduct by law, so the Charlie Stolls of the world cannot get off with a slap on the wrist for decisions that ruin people’s lives and then get re-elected without opposition or significant consequence.

By the way, getting back to Judge Persky, like most California Judge’s the guy’s financially well heeled.  There are very few Judges that you could characterize as being working class or of even representing the interests of the working class on the bench.  So take a look at Judge Persky’s Statement of Economic Interests:

R_Persky_Michael_A_001 R_Persky_Michael_A_005 R_Persky_Michael_A_002 R_Persky_Michael_A_003 R_Persky_Michael_A_004

 

 

 

I Like Bill but I Back Bernie: Feeling the Bern since 1972


 

Bill Clinton & Jan B. Tucker @ The L.A. Biltmore Hotel

Bill Clinton & Jan B. Tucker @ The L.A. Biltmore Hotel

One of my signature photos is with Bill Clinton and having met him and heard him speak you’ve got to admire his brilliance, his oratorical ability and his ability to persuade.  That doesn’t mean I agree with his politics nor for that matter Hillary’s politics.  Entirely aside from my political disagreements with the Clintons I’ve been feeling the Bern since 1972 when Bernie and I were delegates to the People’s Party national convention that nominated Dr. Benjamin Spock for President and D.C. School Board member Julius Hobson for Vice President.  More about my role at that convention is found at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/03/02/margaret-wright-womens-herstory/

The history of that convention is now coming full circle because it will be interesting to find out whether Bernie Sanders supported the minority “socialist” economics plank I wrote or the majority “populist” plank.  I sent this letter to the University of Missouri archives earlier this year and still haven’t gotten a reply to try and document if Bernie had a role in this….I think he was on my side but I just don’t remember precisely:

February 27, 2016 Gary R. Kremer, Director Western Historical Manuscript Collection 2 Ellis Library Columbia MO 65201-7298

Dear Mr. Kremer:

Wikipedia indicates that the archives of the People’s Party which held it’s 1972 and 1975 conventions in St. Louis are located at the WHMC of UM.

Along with now-Senator Bernie Sanders, I was a delegate to both of those conventions. Sanders’ role in those conventions will now obviously be a matter of great historical and news interest.

If the collection for the People’s Party is indexed anywhere online, or if any of the actual contents are in digital form on the internet, I would appreciate it if I could get the URL to access those records. Ultimately what I would like to get access to, preferably in digital form are:

  1. The party platforms of the 1972 and 1976 campaigns; most specifically I would like the 1972 Ageism plank (which I wrote) and the Majority and Minority economic planks (I wrote the Minority “socialist” economic plank); and the Gay rights planks.

  2. The documents signed by delegates to get the Ageism and Minority Economic planks on the convention floor for a vote;*

  3. The delegate and observer lists for each convention;

  4. Any other documents with references to (a) Bernie Sanders, (b) other Vermont Liberty Union Party delegates, (c) Jan Tucker [i.e., myself), (d) California Peace and Freedom Party delegates, (e) Charles “Chuck” Avery of Indiana Peace & Freedom Party [who at some point was People’s Party National Secretary], (f) the appearance at the 1972 convention of Dick Gregory and his endorsement of the Spock Hobson ticket.

Thanking you for your prompt attention, I remain,

Respectfully Yours, Jan B. Tucker

*

The document for the socialist economic plank should contain the signatures of Fred Stover, President of the U.S. Farmers Union and former Under-Secretary of Agriculture under Henry Wallace; and Carl Braden, President of the Southern Conference Education Fund. I don’t remember if Bernie Sanders signed on to it but whether he did or didn’t will obviously be of great public interest.

Young Bernie supporter Corin Sowers speaks with Marge Buckley about our meet ups with Bernie in 1972 and 1975; while waiting in line for Bernie's San Pedro appearance with Harbor Labor Coalition unions

Young Bernie supporter Corin Sowers speaks with Marge Buckley about our meet ups with Bernie in 1972 and 1975; while waiting in line for Bernie’s San Pedro appearance with Harbor Labor Coalition unions

Two issues that are underscored by Bernie’s participation in the 1972 and 1975 People’s Party conventions are (1) his track record of supporting African American causes and (2) his support of Gay rights.  Much has been made of Bernie’s support for Jesse Jackson’s presidential candidacies but Bernie backing Black candidates at the Presidential level didn’t start with Jackson.  In 1972 (see  http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/03/02/margaret-wright-womens-herstory/) we nominated Julius Hobson (of Supreme Court “Hobson vs Hansen” fame) and in 1975 we nominated Los Angeles’ own Black Panther Party Minister of Education Margaret Wright for President who ran with Dr. Spock for Vice President in 1976.  In Vermont, to get Margaret on the ballot for the Liberty Union Party primary, we had to file and win in the U.S. Court of Appeals Wright vs Thomas to enforce our earlier victory in California’s U.S. Supreme Court Lubin vs Panish decision, to establish the right of working people and the poor to run for office without paying filing fees.

Bill Clinton & Helen Verniece Morgan

Bill Clinton & Helen Verniece Morgan

As an interesting aside, Helen V. Morgan who’s been on Hillary’s team ever since she had her picture taken with Bill at the Biltmore (with me) recently heard Bernie speak….and now she’s feeling the Bern too….like many in the Black community she just didn’t know Bernie and now that she’s heard him she realizes just how much she agrees with his issues and his track record with the African American community.

On LGBTI rights the contrast between Hillary and Bill Clinton and Bernie could not be more stark.  Hillary and Bill backed the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Both these measures were disgraceful:  during a national protest against DOMA called by the National Organization for Women (see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2015/07/05/jan-b-tucker-for-vice-president-lgbti-issues/ for more about that protest and other records of the Peace & Freedom Party and People’s Party on LGBTI rights) I personally performed a Lesbian marriage in front of the Van Nuys Federal Building.

Bernie’s record on LGBTI rights is spot on; watch him denounce a homophobic congressman in 1995:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O49wD6_g_Bs

Bernie’s LGBTI rights stances also go back to our 1972 and 1975 People’s Party record on those issues.  I remember poignantly watching Dr. Spock give a big bear hug to People’s Party (and Gay activist from Indiana Peace & Freedom Party) National Secretary Chuck Avery at the convention.  For people like us it was perfectly normal; but in 1975 even the concept of the world’s greatest and best-read pediatrician hugging a Gay man in public or private was a cause for most folks to freak out.

So, what to do about the California Primary?

If you’re No Party Preference or a Democrat, unequivocally absolutely vote for Bernie…..but some of us need to keep a third party option alive now and for the future, precisely because the forces that brought us DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and mandatory minimum sentencing and the like are still going to be alive and well in the Democratic Party and that fight will continue even if Bernie wins the presidency.  So here are some alternatives:

Gloria La Riva

Gloria La Riva

Peace & Freedom Party:  Vote for GLORIA LA RIVA of the Party of Socialism & Liberation (PSL) in the PFP primary.  I don’t always agree with Gloria but like me, she’s absolutely despised by the PFP leadership.  My slate endorsed her in 1998 when I was the party’s biggest vote getter and she kicked Marcia Feinland’s ass in the primary for governor for which the leadership has never forgiven her (nor me for that matter; our slate decimated theirs that year).  Gloria is also well respected in the labor movement and is currently First Vice President of my union local, Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA Local 39521 (AFL-CIO, CLC).

SEDINAM MOYOWASIFSA-CURRY

SEDINAM MOYOWASIFSA-CURRY

Green Party:  Vote for SEDINAM MOYOWASIFSA-CURRY longtime African American activist and friend who I met through my Black Panther Party circles.  Why not Jill Stein?  In 2012 I discussed her views on immigration and learned she knew nothing about the subject.  She didn’t even know about the implications of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and especially Article XXI of that treaty on the whole debate.  I offered her an opportunity to discuss it with me so she could actually say something intelligent about the subject other than to repeat what the left wing of the Democratic Congressional Latino Caucus tell people they’re supposed to support on so-called “immigration reform.”  She had 4 years to bone up and I haven’t heard from her.  As another Oh By the Way, another Green aspirant, Darryl Cherney is a special kind of stupid…..

DOWN BALLOT RACES:

For U.S. Senate see my commentary at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2016/06/01/replacing-a-fighter-u-s-senator-barbara-boxers-seat-up-for-grabs/

Los Angeles County District Attorney

CAST NO VOTE

Los Angeles County, Judge of Superior Court

Office No. 11 – Debra R. Archuleta

Office No. 42 – E. Matthew Aceves

Office No. 60 – Stepan W. Baghdassarian

Office No. 84 – Susan Jung Townsend

Office No. 120 – Ray Santana

Office No. 158 – Kim L. Nguyen

Office No. 165 – Kathryn Ann Solorzano

LA Supervisorial Seat 2

MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS

LA Supervisorial Seat 4

JANICE HAHN

LA Supervisorial Seat 5

ARA JAMES NAJARIAN or DARRELL PARK

Torrance City Council (vote for 3)

MIKE GRIFFITHS

LEILANI A. KIMMEL-DAGOSTINO

GENGHMUN ENG

Proposition 50

YES

Another Milestone for the Detective’s Diary


 

Periodically in the past I’ve made announcements of when I got to 1,000,000 hits on this blog, then 2,000,000……at this point we’re closing in on 2,500,000.  But recently we hit another milestone:  over 15,000 subscribers!

 

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    15015
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