Essel Campaign Claims Opponent Stole Letter in Negative Ad - NBC Southern California

Essel Campaign Claims Opponent Stole Letter in Negative Ad

Second District runoff race heats up



    Essel Campaign Claims Opponent Stole Letter in Negative Ad
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    Person standing behind the opaque glass of a door

    With the special runoff election just two weeks away, the battle over the Los Angeles Second District Councilman seat is taking an unusual twist.

    Candidate Christine Essel’s campaign manager has sent out a news release in which he says the candidate has filed a police report accusing her opponent of burglary.

    The news release is unfortunately short on facts and long on accusations.

    It does not explain the who and the how of the alleged crime, just the conclusion that opponent Paul Krekorian’s campaign has engaged in some nasty business.

    Here’s what’s alleged in the police report filed at North Hollywood station:

    Essel claims Assemblyman Paul Krekorian sent out a campaign mailer to Republicans in second district that accuses Essel as being too closely associated with Democrats.

    The campaign flyer features a 10 year old letter from then Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa thanking Essel and her husband for holding a “meet and greet” at their home.

    The news release does not say how supposedly purloined letter came into the possession of the Krekorian campaign, but  it concludes it to have been stolen.

    Essel then goes further. She is quoted as comparing the situation to the Watergate break-in in 1971 in which burglars broke into National Democratic headquarters in Washington, DC.

    Since then, almost every political scandal has had the word “gate” connected to it and Essel refers to this one as “lettergate.” In this case, she is quoted as saying: “It’s a chilling development in this campaign that eerily conjures up images of the Watergate break-in scandal. I can’t recall in my 56 years as a resident of this city ever seeing an elected state official perpetrating theft of personal property from an opponent.”

    Her campaign manager goes even further, calling the Krekorian campaign “desperate and criminal” – he calls on the State Assemblyman to turn over the alleged thieves.

    What he does not say is where and when the burglary took place –or what evidence aside from the publication of the Villaraigosa letter –there is that any burglary took place.

    In a statement from Eric Hacopian, campaign consultant for Paul Krekorian for City Council, on this mornings allegations leveled against Paul Krekorian, a former L.A. City Ethics commissioner.

    "This is another silly attempt by a failing, bought and paid for special interest campaign to change the subject on a day when Chris Essel and her allies are trying to overturn 25 years of ethics laws enacted by the voters. Her hypocritical claims are laughable. What's more, in directing the North Hollywood police to look into this frivolous matter to pursue her own political interests, she is wasting valuable police resources at a time when we can ill-afford to misuse public funds. Thankfully, community leaders and neighborhood council members from throughout this district realize that Paul is their true vehicle for reform. The people of CD2 have seen through all of Essel's many past lies, and they see this and her as more of the same.That is why he has the support of the majority of Neighborhood Council members in Studio City, Sunland-Tujunga and Valley Glen, among other communities."

    That election is on December 8th.