Great Candidates for L.A., and some ugly ones


Los Angeles Elections: 2015

One of the hats I wear, figuratively as well as my literal hat collection (consisting of everything from a Basque Beret to a Capone Fedora), is that of coordinator of the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition. The SPC is a joint process for vetting candidates. Some of the participating organizations make endorsements; others participate solely for the purpose of neutral voter education and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.

Sharon Kyle and her husband Dick Price of LA Progressive graciously hosted SPC Candidate Interviews at their home

Sharon Kyle and her husband Dick Price of LA Progressive graciously hosted SPC Candidate Interviews at their home

This year we just completed the SPC vetting process with candidate interviews (following their submission of extensive responses to the longest and most difficult candidate questionnaire on the planet, or at least in the State of California). Each of the SPC participating organizations contributes questions and issues for candidates to be jointly vetted on which is why it is so long. The participating organizations are: San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women (SFV/NELA NOW), Miss Revolutionaries, Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF), California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), United For Education Coalition (UFE), L.A. Progressive, Todos Unidos, and the California LULAC Institute (CLI).

L-R:  Former Assembly Member Sally Morales Havice, Andra Hoffman, and Donna Dymally

L-R: Former Assembly Member Sally Morales Havice, Andra Hoffman, and Donna Dymally

While I’m factually reporting the outcome of the organizational endorsements that have resulted, the opinions and reasons I’m expressing in the following are mine alone for why I’m endorsing these candidates (and opposing others). The beauty of the SPC is that each group makes it’s own decision after the joint vetting process which in the long run saves both the individual associations and the candidates a lot of time and energy, even if our questionnaire is so long and so detailed, it tends to scare off most people running for office….and that’s just the way it should be. If you want to run for office you should expect and be prepared to be raked over the coals, not given a cake walk by the voters or grassroots organizations that make endorsements to educate and sway the voters.

Andra Hoffman for Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, Seat No. One

Andra Hoffman is being endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries. Some may wonder why Andra is being supported by CALLAC as opposed to the apparent front-runner amongst some bourgeois Latino circles, Francesca Vega, of CSUN (my Alma Mater). My mentor and intellectual jefe Dr. Rodolfo “Rudy” Acuna put his view (and mine) of Francesca succinctly when he wrote on January 7:

When I raised this issue criticizing the candidacy of a Latina for the LA Community College Trustees, some people went berserk saying I was anti-Latina. I knew of no instance where she advocated for Latino students or Chicana/o Studies on the California State University campus. Indeed, in a controversy with the CSUN president she sided with the administration.

In other words, en otras palabras, Francesca is a Vendida: a sellout.

L-R:  Andra Hoffman, Norma Ramirez, Cindy Montanez

L-R: Andra Hoffman, Norma Ramirez, Cindy Montanez

Andra on the other hand and to her credit, has a consistent and courageous record of advocacy for the most oppressed, repressed and generally fucked over Latino/Chicano students: Dream Act students. Not only did she participate in efforts with the late great Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh to craft and pass AB 540, the original Dream Act, she then bucked the administration at her own college (Glendale Community College) to implement it and educate students about its benefits and protections. At peril to her own employment, she resisted efforts to truncate and restrict the Dream Act’s applications and that is a record of involvement that deserves applause and support.

Filiberto Gonzalez for Los Angeles Board of Education, District No. Three

Filiberto Gonzalez

Filiberto Gonzalez

SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries are endorsing Filiberto Gonzalez along with the BHHF. Filiberto was raised by his mother, a single parent, in Salinas and went to a school that was right next door to a United Farm Workers organizing office. An activist at an early age, he majored in Chicano Studies (as I did in a double major) at CSUN and by 19 was already being personally targeted for abuse by the racist anti-immigrant organization, Voices of Citizens Together because of his activism on the issue of a young Chicano who’d been gunned down, shot in the back, in my old barrio of Arleta/Sun Valley by a white racist. This is a background like my own; a life time of commitment to La Causa.

Filiberto is well versed in the policies and politics of the Los Angeles School Board, has identified specific areas where it needs to be changed and how the LAUSD needs to adapt to the challenges of the coming years and decades. He has the requisite experience to make that happen.

Cindy Montanez for City Council 6th District

Cindy Montanez

Cindy Montanez


Cindy is endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries.  I think that this is the fourth time that Cindy Montanez has earned my endorsement for public office. One big reason is that when I wrote AB 1617 in the 2002-3 legislative session, then-Assembly Member Montanez introduced and fought for it in an effort to put teeth into laws against discrimination and sexual harassment in California.

While I personally like her opponent, Nury Martinez, Nury just didn’t perform when she was a member of the School Board. SFV/NELA NOW vetted her on very specific issues. If she’d done anything to implement her promises during her tenure on the Board of Education, believe you me, I’d have heard about it. The comparison between Cindy’s record and Nury’s record is simple: for Nury, it is the Biblical writing on the wall, “Mene, Mene Tekel Upharsin,” (It has been counted and counted and found wanting) and that is very disappointing.

Aside from that, a quick read of Nury’s campaign disclosure forms indicates that she received a contribution from a certain individual who is part, parcel of, and owes his soul to the Jerusalem Network of the Israeli Mafia. As Bob Dylan sang in two of his songs (Subterranean Homesick Blues and It’s Alright Ma) “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” What does this guy expect to get for his money? Mobsters do not contribute money to politicians without expectations that have been very carefully considered.

Nadine Momoyo Diaz for City Council, District Fourteen

L-R:  Nadine Momoyo Diaz, Sandra Mendoza, and Norma Ramirez

L-R: Nadine Momoyo Diaz, Sandra Mendoza, and Norma Ramirez

Nadine is endorsed by BHHF, SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries.  In the Fourteenth District voters have a choice between business as usual and politics as unusual, the latter being represented by Nadine Momoyo Diaz. A long time activist and community organizer who has often represented the people on land use issues, she has always bucked the established trends and refused to sell out. Let me start by contrasting that with the record and campaign contribution record of the incumbent, Jose “the Weasel” Huizar.

Before he started running for office himself, Huizar made a campaign contribution to anti-semitic City Council Candidate Woody Fleming who ran against Jan Perry. Woody, a one-time member of Social Democrats USA, which supported the CIA inspired fascist-military takeover of Chile by Augusto Pinochet in the early 70s, denounced Jan Perry as being married to a “white, wealthy Jewish Westside lawyer who is coming to take their land” referring to a fabricated allegation that her husband wanted to buy up black neighborhoods. Anti-semitic accusations tend to be really unreasonable and stupid, but that one takes the cake. Jan is Jewish so how or why Woody thought it was reasonable to denounce her marriage to another Jew is really weird, unless what he’s complaining about is that a Black Jew was married to a White Jew……Woody….Negro Please!

More recently Huizar accepted $700 from a bar that was once the center of extreme controversy for refusing service to Gay patrons and posting anti-Gay leaflets up to make it a hostile environment for LGBT people.

He’s taken repeated contributions over the years from the perennial CEO of one of the notorious poverty-pimp 501(c)(3) “non-profits” in East Los Angeles who have been targeted in my investigations for all kinds of mis-guided uses of public monies and by “mis-guided” I’m being very polite so as not to belabor the very obvious corruption that can be gleaned just by reading their publicly available IRS 990 tax returns.

Over the years one consistent contributor to Huizar has been labor exploiter and capitalist pig Bruce Corwin. To see why I have no problem saying this and without mincing words, just read my blog at: Huizar is supposedly proud of his immigrant roots. If he really is and if he had any self-respect he’d call out Corwin as the pig he is for what he did to his immigrant work force at Film Processing Company. Incidentally, the doctor who diagnosed the workers there that Corwin’s company chemically poisoned is now endorsing and supporting Nadine Diaz. Similar to Corwin is another Huizar contributor who got nailed  and went to jail for dumping perchlorate in Playa Del Rey, on a property bought by the family of a man presently in federal prison for ripping off a bank for around $40 million and who incidentally are associated with a cabal of contributors to John Noguez who benefited from favorable tax rulings……

In 2010, the “Elect Noguez Committee,” run by then County Assessor and now charged criminal John Noguez gave a campaign contribution to Huizar. Of Noguez, who also personally contributed to Huizar in 2005, Wikipedia reports:

Jose Huizar campaign contributor John Noguez

Jose Huizar campaign contributor John Noguez

On October 17, 2012, Noguez was arrested on 44 counts of conspiracy, bribery and corruption, with bail set at $1.36 million.[23] Also arrested were key conspirators Mark McNeil, Noguez’s chief appraiser and Ramin Salari, a campaign contributor and Arizona tax consultant.[23] Between February and September 2010, Noguez allegedly accepted $185,000 in bribes from Salari and used his influence to lower the appraised property values for Salari’s clients, to help the clients save millions of dollars in property taxes.[23] In total, the property tax scam deprived the Los Angeles County of at least $1.16 million in tax revenue.[20] Improper tax breaks were granted to more than 100 wealthy Westside property owners.[24] If convicted, Noguez faces more than 30 years in state prison.[25]

EVOQ Properties Inc. gave Huizar money in 2014. Here’s what I have to say about EVOQ: and and and

Another of Huizar’s campaign contributors (and his wife, daughters, father, and entire extended family) along with his company that made consistent contributions to Huizar’s legal defense fund (when he was fighting a lawsuit by his former campaign staffer of sexual harassment charges) was described to me by one of my reliable confidential sources as “Partner in Forever 21, pays people for illegally converted storage facilities, not up to fire code, building and safety codes.”

Ken Spiker, the Los Angeles Parking Association and some of the more sordid companies involved in oligopolizing the parking industry in Los Angeles have made contributions to Huizar. For that background, see Richard Ullman, one of those contributors along with his campany Five Star Parking, is also featured in that article along with the story of his family’s questionable contributions to then City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. One utterly despicable company that has contributed to Huizar’s current campaign is United Valet Parking:

It has been said for centuries ( that “birds of a feather flock together.” Maybe that is why former Senator Richard Polanco, for whom the taxpayers footed a $117,000 plus settlement for sexual harassment, has been a campaign contributor to Huizar, who likewise was sued for sexual harassment by one of his former aides.

Contributions to Gloria Molina over the years have been suspect as well.

Amongst her contributors are the CEO of an East Los Angeles for-profit medical firm that helped to run Huntington Park’s Mission Hospital out of business (, attorneys in a firm closely associated with now convicted felon ex-lawyer Terry Christiansen who were up to their eyeballs in the Tony Pellicano case, and now disgraced former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But one of the most interesting past contributors, and the timing of the contribution, were large last minute contributions to Gloria’s unopposed June 8, 2010 re-election to her final term on the Board of Supervisors.

Gloria was the only candidate on the ballot, so you’ve got to wonder exactly why she had to make reports of last minute “late contributions” just days before the election. On June 3, 2010 two unions gave her $1,000 each and the next day, Occidental Oil gave her another $1,000 on June 4??????? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that a couple of years later, Occidental would attempt to start fracking for oil in the City of Carson with 200 wells right near Cal State Dominguez. It helps to have bought and paid for politicians to grease the wheels of your company’s political operation, but Oxy had to back down in the face of massive community opposition from that plan.

Aside from her contributions, Gloria was behind the shakedown of the Bobcats Youth Football and Cheer leading program and its expulsion from its home at Salazar Park where it had been instrumental in a vigorous positive campaign to keep children off the streets and out of gangs since the late sixties:

Other Candidates to Vote Against

In a couple of races where the SPC (or myself) hasn’t made an endorsement, be attentive to voting against a couple of degenerates running for office.

Thankfully, Melvin R. Snell did not qualify for the ballot in the 10th City Council District, but he did qualify as a write-in candidate. Snell, and his wife Birgitta Croil, have twice been involved in lawsuits involving the ripoff of assets from the elderly. In one case the woman died and the autopsy results showed burns on the bottom of her feet after Croil was supposed to be taking care of her. Snell and Croil operate the so-called LOS ANGELES HUMANITY GROUP FOUNDATION which purports to be a non-profit but which has failed to file with the California Department of Justice Registry of Charitable Trusts….and which ignored my written request that they comply with IRS regulations and federal law which require them to provide me with copies of their IRS form 990 tax returns…..gee, I wonder why they wouldn’t want me to see them??????

Homophobic Anti-Semite Lydia Gutierrez is a right wing fanatic running for Los Angeles Board of Education in the 7th District. She’s an evangelical protestant associated with such lunatic fringe groups like Focus on the Family and once accused myself and another Jew of supporting “baby killing” while we were trying to offer a family free criminal defense services in a meeting at a Catholic Church, apparently because our Jewish views on abortion somehow disqualified us from defending their son on a criminal charge that had nothing to do with abortion or politics.

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Mohsen Loghmani’s “im Pro Per” performance


From The flowers of wit, or a choice collection of bon mots, by Henry Kett, 1814:

…observed the eminent lawyer, “I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.

Attorney JJ Little

Attorney JJ Little

Thursday and Friday, December 18 and 19, 2014, I underwent an experience of being cross-examined as an expert witness in a fraudulent transfer case by Engineer/Contractor Mohsen Loghmani, representing himself in propria persona.  It was like stepping into a combination of the 5th Dimension and the Twilight Zone simultaneously.  When I got done, I received the following kudos from Plaintiff’s attorney J.J. Little:

Hi Jan, thanks again for (as is usual for you) doing such an unbelievably fantastic job as our resident “expert.” You are truly gifted and it is a real pleasure and privilege to watch you in action. I’ve now seen you testify on numerous occasions and you honestly seem to get better and better-and I do not see how that is possible given that you are from the get-go perfection in action. I do not believe there is anyone better! Again, thank you. Closing arguments are on Monday. I will let you know how it turns out. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate what you did for us. Have a great evening, JJ

Hopefully I’ll get a copy of the transcript when it’s done because nobody will actually believe some of went on in the courtroom.  One example (approximation of the question/answer):

Mohsen Loghmani asked me a question using a word he pronounced as T H E I R and I was pretty sure that was the word he meant instead of T H E R E or T H E Y ‘ R E, but it wasn’t clear because he consistently seemed to be referring to himself and his co-defendant ‘wife,’ Mahshid Loghmani, collectively in questions when he should only have been referring to himself.

I responded:  “Did you use the word T H E I R in your question?”

Loghmani:  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sharia Divorce

Sharia Divorce

In the foregoing exchange, I put the word “wife” as ‘wife’ because even that was in question in the case.  In an Illinois divorce action, a divorce was granted based upon intentional cruelty alleged by Mahshid against Mohsen Loghmani.  Yet, they continued to live together for decades, commingled their funds, and raised their children together.  Trying to discharge the underlying judgment in excess of $2 million against him, Mohsen Loghmani alleged under oath that Mahshid was still his wife and their testimony in deposition and discovery responses were all over the map on whether or not they were still married; amongst other things a contention was made that the Illinois divorce didn’t matter because they were still married under Iranian law???????

Heisenberg Uncertainty PrincipleIn another exchange with Mohsen Loghmani I had to cite the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as applied to social science and investigation, Kurt Goedel’s mathematical Impossibility Theorem and Ockham’s Razor in my response to his question, to explain why it was impossible for me to respond to or make sense of his question.  Loghmani asked me if I could say that in terms a layman could understand and I told him that the problem was that what he was talking about made no sense, in so many words.

In the meantime to see more about this bizarre case and the history of Mohsen Loghmani, check out my Skeleton’s Closet at:

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Dr. Udani & Staywell Research–Should You Beware?


Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani

Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani

UPDATE 1-26-15:  check out Facebook Page of other Staywell Research people who allege they were stiffed by Dr. Udani–

A lawsuit filed against Dr. Sanjay Kishore Udani and his Northridge, California based Staywell Research firm which conducts pharmaceutical drug testing raises some serious questions about the representations for compensation made on internet solicitations.  According to the suit, these concerns have been brought to the attention of the Food & Drug Administration but there has been no response to our communication from the FDA and potentially, no investigation.

On the surface, Dr. Udani lists an impressive curriculum vitae [Note it is mis-spelled by his own internet posting as curriculum vitale]:

Jay Udani_001 Jay Udani_002Anyway, the lawsuit speaks for itself:

S&C Scan_20141212_113126_001 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_002 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_003 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_004 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_005 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_006 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_007 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_008 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_009 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_010 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_011 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_012 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_013 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_014 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_015 S&C Scan_20141212_113126_016

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Rudy Acuna on Student Activism


Stupid America!

Student Unrest

How Chicanas/os Lost Their Swagger  12 12 14


Rodolfo F. Acuña


I constantly hear references to winning football teams having swagger – they play with a chip on their shoulder.


In the sixties, black youth had that swagger — after years of being taught that they should stay in their place, they adopted the mantra of “black is beautifuldon’t fuck with me.” Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans displayed a similar swagger as if to say “I am someone, I demand respect.


The Chicano Movement was serious business. It spawned a ton of characters.  You delighted in their audacity and their challenging of the man. I remember Dr. Ricardo Sanchez telling anyone who would listen that he went from a GED to PhD.


Sanchez, a high school dropout and ex-convict, wrote poems about cultural justice. He received a doctorate from the Union Institute in Cincinnati and had an academic appointment at Washington State University, teaching creative writing and Chicano studies.


He would saunter into El Paso restaurants and deliver poems “reciting not from memory but from the moment.” I remember how he and Tigre captured a Tex Mex cafe in Milwaukee.


You had those who would snicker about his doctorate. But he did not give a shit – he knew he was a doctor because he willed it and his poetry established that. Ricardo did not need to attend a Princeton or a Yale to validate himself — his swagger said it all.


Another favorite was Abelardo. Like Sanchez he was from el Chuco (El Paso).  A teacher, social worker, and administrator of community service organizations he declared himself a poet, producing mountains of poetry, fiction, and essays. We both taught a summer session at the University of Utah.


He loved the sound of his name, my favorite poem was “Stupid America.”


stupid america, see that


with a big knife

on his steady hand

he doesn’t want to knife you

he wants to sit on a bench

and carve christ figures

but you won’t let him.

stupid america, hear that


shouting curses on the street

he is a poet

without paper and pencil

and since he cannot write

he will explode.

stupid america, remember

that chicano

flunking math and english

he is the picasso

of your western states

but he will die

with one thousand


hanging only from his mind.”


The truth be told, a person or country is only stupid when they make the same mistakes, over and over and deny them.  For example, in August 2014, Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, a black youth. Two grand juries failed to indict the white police officer. The previous month Eric Garner was strangled by Staten Island, NY police officers. These incidents tapped the grief and grievance of centuries of injustices. Protests against the police killings of Brown and Garner turned violent and spread to campuses and cities throughout the country. .


On September 26, 2014, 43 Mexican students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. In all probability, they were assassinated and incinerated.


In the 60s, the U.S. spent millions of dollars studying the causes of urban and student rebellions — studies that were ignored. The catalyst was the 1965 Watts Rebellions that shook the nation “to its democratic foundation.” A 101-page report of December 2, 1965 titled “Violence in the City—An End or a Beginning?: A Report by the Governor’s Commission on the Los Angeles Riots, 1965” startled America and then went away.


Two years later the Kerner Commission, “The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,’ was commissioned by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots in the United States and to provide recommendations. It warned “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal“, adding that “Unless there are sharp changes in the factors influencing Negro settlement patterns within metropolitan areas, there is little doubt that the trend toward Negro majorities will continue.”  The report called unemployment a major cause of the unrest as well as the poor training of police. 


Despite or because of the war on students, launched by the patron Saint of Greed, Governor Ronald Reagan, student activism escalated. The largest and most heated were at the University of California, Berkeley that along with San Francisco State was the flagship of student protests. .


Reagan’s (1967-1975) approach to solving student turmoil was to “get rid of undesirables. Those there to agitate and not to study might think twice before they pay tuition. They might think twice how much they want to pay to carry a picket sign.” It was a smoke screen for one of the biggest shifts in taxes from the rich to the poor, and the wedding of the Republican Party to the super rich.  


Student protests came to a climax on May 4, 1970 when guardsmen shot down four student protesters students at Kent State, leading to nationwide campus protests. More than 450 violent and non-violent demonstrations broke out across the country. At New York University banners read, “They Can’t Kill Us All.”


Over 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C., against the war and the killing of unarmed student protesters — “The city was an armed camp. The mobs were smashing windows, slashing tires, dragging parked cars into intersections, even throwing bedsprings off overpasses into the traffic down below. This was the quote, student protest. That’s not student protest, that’s civil war,” said a Nixon adviser. The Jackson State killings occurred on Friday, May 15, 1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. It resulted in the killings of two students and injury of twelve.


According to the Urban Institute’s national study the Kent State shooting was the single factor in the first nationwide student strike in U.S. history, as over 4 million students protested in over 900 American colleges and universities that were closed during the student strikes.


Yet another commission, “The President’s Commission On Campus Unrest,” was chaired by William W. Scranton, the Former Governor of Pennsylvania. The report gave a sense of urgency. It exhausted the available material on the subject, concluding that “Studies of activist youth reveal that in most cases students become activists through an extended process.”


Rounding off the reports was a 1979 book by Fresno State English Department Chair Kenneth Seib — The Slow Death of Fresno State: A California Campus under Reagan and Brown. The conclusion was that Black Studies and La Raza Studies programs were intentionally killed by far right senior professors in collusion with Governor Gov. Ronald Regan and CSC Chancellor Glenn Dumke. They deliberately murdered the programs.


These studies are readily available on the internet. As I have said, it is not stupid to make a mistake but is to keep on making the same mistakes. Americans are stupid not because they are Americans but because they won’t admit their mistakes and find ways to correct them.


“Stupid America.” You lost generations of geniuses. Gone is the boasting, “From GED to  PhD,” giving of gritos of liberation. As a result Chicana/o lost their swagger condemning the poorest them to staring an “Y Qué” look. Part of the swagger was hope.

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Attorney Aram James on Darren Wilson


Darren Wilson Walks, Begging the Question: Will Cops Ever Be Held to Account?

No Indictment, no justice, in the cold blooded killing of unarmed African-American  youth Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.  Déjà vu!

Former LAPD officer & private investigator Alex "Renegade Popo" Salazar at NYC demo

Former LAPD officer & private investigator Alex “Renegade Popo” Salazar at NYC demo

Can we achieve systemic justice in officer involved shootings, and other forms of police murder? Is it possible in this country, given our two tier justice system, one designed for the police and another designed for the rest of us? What are the necessary steps we must take to restore trust in our criminal justice system, when the police seem, rarely, if ever, to be held fully accountable, when they shoot and kill, strangle and tase and brutally beat to death, unarmed people of color, and the poor?

Former Public Defender Aram Byer James

Former Public Defender Aram Byer James

How is it that in 2014, a decision whether to prosecute such a shocking crime, one carried out in broad day light, before numerous witnesses, can be relegated to a secret, behind closed doors, grand jury process? This secrecy is particularly ironic for an incident that has played out so publicly in our media, both here at home and worldwide. Doubly ironic, when mostly peaceful demonstrators, demanding an open flow of information regarding the case, have instead, been met with a martial-law war-zone-like response, from both the police and local government in Ferguson. As more than one commentator has said about closed proceedings: “Democracy itself dies behind closed doors.”

The importance of open proceedings, our supreme court speaks

Sixth AmendmentOur U.S. Supreme Court in Richmond Newspapers INC. v. Virginia (1980) eloquently expressed the importance of open criminal proceedings, and the risks inherent to the public trust, and public safety itself, when such proceedings, instead of being held in the open, are closed off to the public view, and the necessary scrutiny of watchdogs from the community, and the press:

“The historical evidence of the evolution of the criminal trial in Anglo-American justice demonstrates conclusively that at the time this Nation’s organic laws were adopted, criminal trials both here and in England had long been presumptively open, thus giving assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and discouraging perjury, the misconduct of the participants, or decisions based on secret bias or partiality. In addition, the significant community therapeutic value of public trials was recognized: when a shocking crime occurs, a community reaction of outrage and public protest often follows, and thereafter the open processes of justice serve an important prophylactic purpose, providing an outlet for community concern, hostility and emotion. To work effectively, it is important that society’s criminal process ‘satisfy the appearance of justice,’ which can best be provided by allowing people to observe such process. From this unbroken, uncontradicted history, supported by reasons as valid today as in centuries past, it must be concluded that a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of a criminal trial under this Nation’s system of justice.”

Our own Supreme Court’s logic dictates, in fact compels, the conclusion that secret grand juries should be abolished and that public proceeding (preliminary examinations) be the rule in probable cause hearings, in all serious cases, where the determination is made, whether there is sufficient evidence to believe a crime has been committed, and that a particular person has committed such a serious crime, justifying a subsequent jury trial on the charges. This standard of probable cause, in an open setting, should apply to all persons charged with serious crimes, but certainly those involving the police, and others public officials, who hold the public trust. Public officials should be held to a higher level of public scrutiny and accountability, not a lower standard.

If you or I (as ordinary citizens) are charged with a shocking crime, say shooting down an unarmed human being, apparently without provocation, it is extremely unlikely that our potential prosecution will be decided in a secret closed door proceeding (by a criminal grand jury) . What is likely is that our guilt or innocence will be played out in a public setting, for all the world to view.

First, we can assume, except in the rare circumstance of a clear case of say self-defense, determined by a prosecutor, early in the process, that we will be arrested, and shortly thereafter brought to an open court proceeding, to enter a plea to the charges. Subsequently, all proceedings in our case, preliminary examination, jury trial, sentencing, etc., will be open to public and press scrutiny. The opposite of the secrecy and government oppression, that most often characterize grand jury proceedings.

To mitigate mistrust of our government, and the police state mentality often associated with our police, and our entire criminal justice system, particularly when they interact with people of color and the poor, we must do away with secret proceedings (grand juries). Secret proceedings that allow the police, in officer involved shootings, to shield their actions from public accountabilty. No openness means, more often than not, no justice. We the people, can no longer allow secret proceedings to stand.

As we have seen in Ferguson, one person, the elected prosecutor, in this case, Robert McCulloch, makes the call as to whether to use a secret grand jury, instead of insisting on an open proceeding, such as an open preliminary examination. Such calls (the exercise of prosecutorial discretion) are made by the elected prosecutor in each county .

If we the people are ever to change the two tier system of justice , we must take the time to know our local elected prosecutors, and how they think on the critical criminal justice issues of the day. We must actively participate in their election. If an individual elected prosecutor insists on treating police with prosecutorial kid gloves, we need to vote that prosecutor out of office.

Finally, every district attorney’s office in this country needs to establish a specialized police crimes unit. Such a unit would consist of a district attorney, an investigator, a former criminal defense attorney, and a retired police officer. All members of this unit would be highly trained in best police practices.

The elected district attorney would delegate to this unit the responsibility for prosecuting serious police crimes, with the same prosecutorial skill, equal protection of the law and professionalism as any other serious criminal activity.

In the end, absent our willingness to engage in “participatory justice” where the community is an equal partner with the local prosecutor, the local defense bar, and the local police, we will continue to hear the cries of injustice go unanswered in officer involved shootings, and other acts of police brutality.

Original Article at:

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Rudy Acuna on Ethnic Studies & Immigration


Thinking Critically

Is a Victory Really a Victory?

Obama’s Immigration Order and Ethnic Studies

If it stinks light a match


Rodolfo Acuña 11 28 14


Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

People want to believe, they want to have hope. Everyone loves a happy person, and that’s great but it makes critical thinking all the more difficult. It is like having a gas attack at a party. No one appreciates Mr. Doom in their midst. Most people are just making a living and surviving, and no one wants that Chicano bullshit messing up a good time.


I am very mindful of stepping on shit and getting those sniffing stares.  So when I heard President Barack Obama’s announcement about signing an executive order staying the deportation of about 4.5 million undocumented parents of children born in the United States, my reaction was cautious.


Watching the White House playing out the immigration scenario has been like watching a schoolyard toughie tell someone repeatedly, “I am going to beat you up.” About the 20th time he sings the same old song you want to say to him, well just do it!   


A lot of us were hopeful when Obama first said that he was going to fix the immigration mess. Indeed, there have been partial actions such as that for the Dreamers; however, at almost every step of the way he seems afraid that to alienate Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats – afraid they will not love him.


ICE data shows the Obama administration deported 357,422 (2013); 409,849 (2012); 396,906 (2011); 392,862 (2010); 389,834 (2009); and 369,331 (2008) — totaling 2,316,204 deportations between 2008 and 2013.  Also, according to ICE statistics for the fiscal year 2013, of the 357,422 deportations,  67.6 percent were from Mexico; Guatemala 13.4 percent; Honduras 10.3 percent; El Salvador 6 percent; and Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Jamaica 2.7 percent.  The deportees were almost all Latino/a  or of Caribbean origin. Contrary to popular belief over 40 percent had no criminal record.


The truth be told, even before Obama gave the speech, many Latino/a immigration advocates were praising the president for “a monumental and historic undertaking”.


Obama’s plan limited it to undocumented parents who had children that were born in the United States – the parents of the dreamers would not be protected, and the order will only be in effect for as long as Obama is in the presidency.


When some critics mentioned this, the cheerleaders started lighting matches, hoping that the “sulphur smell from the match masks the fart smell from the dog.”


In this context, the recent Los Angeles Unified School Board of Education’s vote to make an ethnic studies course a graduation requirement, beginning with the class of 2019, has produced a similar euphoria among many Latina/o activists.


Student Cindy Reyes told ABC7, “We want to learn our side of the story as well.” The board’s motion calls for a phasing in of the requirement, beginning with a handful of schools in 2015-16. It will become a one-semester course by 2019.


This one is difficult to criticize because the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign and other supporters have invested an awful lot of emotional capital. Activists such as Jose Lara (AKA Jose del Barrio) have worked tirelessly. ·Ibarra, a Board Member of El Rancho Board of Education got the Pico Rivera School District to adopt an ethnic-studies requirement for all students starting in 2016, and there have also been rumblings in Santa Monica and other districts.


In the summer, the hopes of the activists were raised when California Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) introduced a bill that require the state’s Department of Education to develop a model for implementing a standardized, statewide ethnic studies curriculum for high schools. It met with opposition and the bill was never taken to the floor.


Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California schools comprising 53 percent of the California student body (whites are 26 percent, and Asians, 9 percent). Despite this, as a rule a student learns very little about the Mexican/Latino heritage of the state.


More important and fundamental to Ethnic Studies, it leaves out critical thinking.


The California thrust for Ethnic Studies comes from the “Save Ethnic Studies Campaign” around the outlawing of the Tucson Unified School District’s tremendously successful Mexican American Studies Program that almost eliminated the dropout problem and significantly improved the attendance in higher education. They forget it was based on a pedagogy of critical thinking.


The MAS model was never intended to be merely cultural experience or courses on race theory.  It was based on the research of educators such as Paulo Freire and Edwin Fenton. The goal was to produce critical thinkers.


Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail and there are a lot of pitfalls — as we witnessed in the Alejo Bill. Chicana/o legislators like Obama are with you for as long as it is not inconvenient for them. Moreover, as we learned in the Tucson campaign just calling it “Save Ethnic Studies” does not unify people and in fact builds in contradictions.


So take out the matches while I air some of my concerns:


·       This could prove to be atole con el dedo – 2019 is a long way to away, and there is no funding as of yet. Will conservative members and the internal bureaucracy use the budget to kill it?

·       We were further down the path with bicultural-bilingual education; what have we learned from that experience?

·       One of the biggest obstacles to Mexican American Studies at the university level was our fellow teachers who would ask, “Well, if we give you this, how about the Asians, the Native Americans, Russian Jews, and later Armenians? You are asking for special treatment.

·       That leads to the question, what is a minority?

·       What is an ethnic minority? Or, for that matter, a Latino and should they all be given equal time?

·       Who is going to determine the curriculum and the pedagogy?


My own opinion is that Mexican American Studies deals with identity, skill development and critical thinking.  Its development has to have internal checks and benchmarks in order for it not to become one more senior problems class.  Our community deserves more. Up until now education has been exclusively the study of white America; it must be expanded to reflect the nation’s diversity but at the same time attack the dropout problem.


The truth be told, few educators know much about Mexican Americans and they only think that they know about black Americans. We have the opportunity to educate the majority society, which will not easy. It is also educators who control our universities, and it is the universities who have contributed to this ignorance and kept us in this state.


Is a Victory Really a Victory? We are supposed to have diversity in academe; however, we are more segregated than the community at large. Only 3-5 percent of the faculties are of Mexican origin. 


The cheerleaders say that Obama’s Immigration Order shows he is pro-immigrant, does it? If questions are not asked, we’d better get a supply of matches and light them – in case we are not able to stand the smell.


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Executive Action on Immigration


J.B. Tucker & Associates

News Release

P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433

Tel: 310.618.9596 Fax: 310.618.1950

Cell: 818.720.3719

Criminal Justice Columnist, Counter Punch Magazine

Commentator, Black Talk Radio

Public relations guru”Los Angeles Times 1996

Former 1st Vice President, LA Newspaper Guild

Member, CWA Local 39521, Pacific Media Workers Guild

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2014

For Information: Jan B. Tucker, CALLAC State Director (as above)

CALLAC Says Time For Executive Action on Immigration Action

Long Overdue

Reacting to the impending announcement that President Obama would issue an executive order to address congressional inaction on immigration legislation, the California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) gave an initial single word summary of its viewpoint: “ORALE!”

Jan Tucker, State Director of CALLAC, described the elements of the impending executive order as gleaned from news reports as “positive to the extent that law abiding working families are protected and that the family reunification principles of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976 (INA)—signed into law by Republican President Gerald R. Ford—are followed. We have long said that immigration action must provide a pathway to citizenship and which takes into consideration families, whether the families are here or not. This action would not even have been made if not for the Latino and especially the growing Chicano vote and our decades of grassroots action demanding change—actions which must continue with increased vigor.”

In President Ford’s October 21, 1976 signing statement of the INA he told the world that:

This legislation will also facilitate the reunification of Mexican-American families by giving preference to Mexican nationals who are close relatives of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents, or who have needed job skills. I am concerned, however, about one aspect of the legislation which has the effect of reducing the legal immigration into this country from Mexico. Currently about 40,000 natives of Mexico legally immigrate to the United States each year. This legislation would cut that number in half.

The United States has a very special and historic relationship with our neighbor to the south. In view of this special status we have with the Mexican Government and the Mexican people, I will submit legislation to the Congress in January to increase the immigration quotas for Mexicans desiring to come to the United States.

Shortly after its formation, CALLAC adopted national goals proposed in a leaflet which the group charged have yet to be addressed either by the bipartisan legislation that passed the United States Senate and stalled in the House or by the President’s imminent executive order:

Recognition of the need to redress grievances of the special status of Mexicans and people of Mexican origin in the context of the conquest of Mexican territory in an unjust war, the unlawful ethnic cleansing of 2 million people including 1.2 million United States citizens in the 1930s, and continual US interference in the internal affairs of Mexico

Recognition and respect for the rights of indigenous Native Americans in the context of their conquest, de facto attempted genocide and negotiated peace treaties.

Far reaching proposals for immigration action have been put forth by CALLAC and its sister organization PALLAC which they contend address the underlying systemic economic, cultural, and international legal issues which “an American unilateralist approach to immigration” continues to ignore.

Pennsylvania League of Latin American Citizens (PALLAC) State Director Ruben Botello, has long proposed an “American Union” which would emulate the European Union (EU). In a 2011 article on the subject, Botello wrote that:

Instead of band-aid approaches to the immigration problems its sovereignties face, this region of the world needs an American Union (AU) similar to the European Union (EU) that helped end the serious conflicts and hostilities between the EU’s member nations that led to World War II.

CALLAC State Director Jan B. Tucker has pushed for invocation of Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as a means to legitimize the process of migration action and to place it within the multilateral context of the legal relationship between the United States of America, the United States of Mexico, and of the treaty rights of Native American tribes, many of whom assert the sovereign authority to make their own immigration rules for Mexican and other immigrants. According to Tucker, Article XXI provides for a bilateral commission or third-nation neutral arbitration for issues between the United States and Mexico.

“It is a truth of history that the border crossed the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere—not the other way around—and unilateral efforts to block centuries old patterns of migration are doomed to fail in the short and the long run,” said Tucker, who holds a double major B.A. cum laude in Political Science & Chicano Studies. “Consistent with the model proposed by my friend and colleague Ruben Botello, however this process moves forward, it should also formalize U.S. [EEUU] recognition of dual citizenship as a step towards Western Hemispheric integration.”

In a related move, the Office of the Minister of Information of the National Brown Berets de Aztlan (NBBDA), applauded the statements of CALLAC calling for the invocation of “Guadalupe Hidalgo Article XXI remedies.”


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SFV/NELA NOW Annual Party & Election


For more info and to RSVP, and visit our Facebook Page,



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Information Wanted, Good, Bad or Ugly


Information wanted, good, bad, or ugly

Information wanted, good, bad, or ugly

I’m eager to get in touch with anybody who has information on any of the following people, companies or institutions. Note that inclusion on the list doesn’t mean that they have done anything wrong; some of the people listed may be potential victims. Note also that some of these names may be very common so do not impute anything adverse just because somebody’s name might be in the list because of its commonality. If you know anything or know anybody who might know anything about these folks, bad, good, or otherwise, please e-mail me at:

You may specify that your identity is to be considered confidential. As a journalist I am immune from court contempt proceedings. If you want to blow the whistle on corruption of any sort, I will protect your anonymity to the best of my ability.

Freedom of the Press IssueAside from my role as a private investigator which gives my sources a certain degree of protection under Section 7539(a) of the California Business & Professions Code, I also am protected by the immunity conferred by the California Constitution Article I, Section 2(b) and California Evidence Code Section 1070. I am a card carrying member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild Local 39521. I formerly served as the First Vice President of Newspaper Guild Local 39069 under presidents Gary North and Joe Segura. I am criminal justice and legal affairs columnist for CounterPunch Magazine as well as the operator of this Detective’s Diary blog.

The List

Louis Charles Cavallero (Sr)

DaVita’s (Restaurant on La Brea just south of 3rd Street, Los Angeles 90036 in the 70s, LCN hangout)

James William McDonald (deceased process server and private investigator; one of my mentors)

Koichi Ishihara (convicted of vehicular embezzlement in U.S. Deported to Japan following prison sentence)

Century Commerce Corporation

United Belem Corp.

Ryan Taiji Okabe

Mark Jerry Haushalter

Yaroslav D. Bilyk aka Viacheslav Bilyk aka Slavik Bilyk

Artashes Darbinyan

Credit Umbrella

Information Service Systems Art, LLC (based in Russia)

Michael Klein aka Menachem Klein

Mehran Kohansieh aka Michael Kohen

Bruce David Hersh dba Bruce D. Hersh, Esq. PC, a New Jersey Professional Corporation (disbarred)

James Martin Caban aka James Cabaw (former NYPD Sergeant fired and prosecuted for extortion)

Henkel Corporation (and its former or current employees, Thomas Steel, Richard Lawrence, Nicola Maher, Cindy Williams)

Ali Sadoughi

Ciamack Loghmani

Arianne Loghmani

Mohsen Loghmani

Mahshid Loghmani

Kenny Sabet

United Valet Parking

VALERA-ARAUJO ZOILA ELINA California License#: 0D56216

George Ventura

Diego George Ventura

Zoila Valera

Marc (Mordechai) Gafni

Dejon ‘Danger’ Miller aka Dejon Allan Miller

Shariff H. Hasan aka Shariff Mordecai Hazan aka Mordecai ben Avraham aka Shariff Daugherty aka Chazan Mordechai aka Chazar Mordechai

Angela M. Hasan aka Angela Sneed aka Leila Hasan aka Angela M. Beauchman

Dwight E. Daugherty aka Dwight Hasan

Aminah Amatnallah Hasan

Mubarrak Abdullah Hasan

Tanya Elmetta Hassan

Bilal M. Hasan

Joseph Ramin Radparv

Kiuto Sneed aka Kiuto Hassan


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Today’s Black Panthers still going strong


L-R:  Michael D. "Chicago Mike" McCarty, Helen V. Morgan and Donna Dymally @ Simply Wholesome Slauson & Overhill

L-R: Michael D. “Chicago Mike” McCarty, Helen V. Morgan and Donna Dymally @ Simply Wholesome Slauson & Overhill

Every first Sunday of the month Los Angeles Black Panthers–not wannabes or pretenders but the real O.G. men and women of the 1960-70s era Black Panther Party–hold an informal breakfast get together and today was one of those days.


Dedon Kamathi and Helen V. Morgan

Dedon Kamathi and Helen V. Morgan

Amongst other collaboration with the Black Panthers, I’ve launched a project which is being promoted by KPFK talk show host and Black Panther Dedon Kamathi to assist radicals, from then and now, to get their government files under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act and state law equivalents.  In California the equivalent laws are the California Public Records Act and the Information Practices Act.  Recently I’ve sent in a whole batch of request from Black Panthers who were active all over America to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, requesting that for efficiency and time’s sake they look at the legal issues involved in approving what to release jointly  for the requestors.  As Black Panthers spied on during the days of COINTELPRO there will be common questions of law to be applied, since much of what law enforcement did in those days has since been acknowledged to have been illegal and unconstitutional.

To download a release for me to assist you in getting your government files, to go:

Deacon Alexander & Helen V. Morgan

Deacon Alexander & Helen V. Morgan

Deacon Alexander’s family was once described by J. Edgar Hoover as the most dangerous Black radical family in America.  Hoover’s successor, L. Patrick Grey III once sent a letter about me to the head of the Secret Service telling him that I was dangerous due to activity in groups “engaged in activities inimical to the interests of the United States.”  As an “oh by the way,” that letter was sent when I was 17 years old.  Deacon’s older sister, Charlene Mitchell, was the Communist Party Presidential candidate in 1968 and Deacon headed the National Coalition Against Racist and Political Repression, amongst other things.

Akile & Helen V. Morgan

Akile & Helen V. Morgan

R.W. Akile (he usually goes by just the name “Akile”) is the man who brought Kwanzaa to Los Angeles and to this day runs the annual Kwanzaa parade and festival — the second oldest such event in America after Atlanta.  As Akile has explained:

Kwanzaa was started by a group of people known as the US Organization and their collaborators. It started at the Aquarian Spiritual Center and Book Shop the home and business of Dr. Alfred and Bernice Ligon. It marked the first time in 1616 years (350 AD to 1966) [after Julius I, Pope of Rome declared Dec. 25 would be the Birth of Jesus], that DEC. 26th would be important to the Black world once again. In the ancient world Dec. 26 corresponds to the day celebrated as Asaru’s birthday.


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