Category Archives: Politics

Homeless ‘Illegal Cooking’ Caused Skirball Fire in Bel Air | Dec 12 2017

Cause of Skirball fire was ‘illegal cooking’ in homeless camp, LAFD says

|| LA Daily News

“An illegal cooking fire at a homeless encampment was determined to be the cause of the Skirball fire, which began last week, authorities said Tuesday.

The illegal cooking occurred just before 5 a.m. Dec. 6 in a brush area adjacent to where Sepulveda Boulevard crosses under the 405 Freeway, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The LAFD’s Arson-County-Terrorism Section investigated the fire and the results were released via email Tuesday afternoon.

“At the time of the LAFD’s arrival there were no individuals present at the area of origin,” LAFD spokesman Peter Sanders said in the release.

No arrests have been made in connection to the blaze.

The Skirball fire has burned 422 acres, destroyed six homes and damaged 12 others in the Bel-Air community.

The fire is 85 percent contained with 69 fire personnel remaining on scene to achieve 100 percent containment, fire officials said.

According to the National Park Service, about 90 percent of wildfires nationwide are human-caused.”

…..Continue reading more @ Daily News

Muslim Terror Strikes New York City Again | Dec 12 2017

Trump’s Desired Immigration Reforms Could Have Stopped Last Two Terror Attacks

|| Daily Caller

“The Diversity Visa Lottery, a program President Trump wants to end, is at the heart of two recent terrorist attacks in New York City.

The alleged perpetrator of an October truck attack immigrated to the U.S. from Uzbekistan via the visa lottery program.

The alleged bomber at a subway station near Times Square Monday received a visa from Bangladesh due to a relative who came to the U.S. through the visa lottery.

Both attacks were reportedly done in the name of the Islamic State. The October attack allegedly committed by Sayfullo Saipov left eight killed and Monday’s attack allegedly by Akayed Ullah, left four, including Ullah, injured.

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How Dominique Crenn’s team has grown — and how they’ve helped her grow, too.

“VISA LOTTERY STRIKES AGAIN,” a White House official told The Daily Caller in an email Monday highlighting how Ullah entered the U.S.

Ullah is a Bangladesh citizen that immigrated to the U.S. in 2011 due to extended family chain migration, a program Trump also wants to eliminate.

“The chain was initiated by the suspect’s relative who became a U.S. Citizen after entering the country via a visa lottery program,” Tyler Houlton, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, wrote on Twitter.

In a statement following Monday’s attack, Trump placed the focus on America’s immigration policies.

“The terrible harm that this flawed system inflicts on America’s security and economy has long been clear,” Trump said. “I am determined to improve our immigration system to put our country and our people first.”

Three additional terrorists have also entered the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which was established in 1990. It gives 50,000 permanent residence visas (green cards) to foreigners from nations without a large amount of immigration to the U.S.”

The White House released statistics in November that showed nearly 30,000 foreigners from state sponsors of terror have won the Diversity Visa Lottery since 2007.

Congressional Republicans are looking to tackle immigration reform in 2018. A bill introduced last week by Senate Republicans would reduce chain migration, but it doesn’t end the Diversity Visa Lottery.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

Becerra Tried To Block Server Admin Over Red Flags, But Logins Continued, With Muted Reaction

|| Daily Caller

CA Atty Gen Becerra May have spied on fellow Dems while allowing info to leak to Pakistani Spies

“Xavier Becerra, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, barely reacted when he learned the caucus server had been infiltrated in 2016, although he loudly decried the hack of the Democratic National Committee that happened around that same time. No one has faced punishment for the caucus server infiltration.

The then-congressman, who is now California’s attorney general, refused to articulate even the barest details of the cyber breach at a press conference Wednesday, and would not say whether he’s seeking criminal charges against longtime IT aide Imran Awan and his family.

Members of the Awan family logged on to the Caucus server 7,000 times without authorization between October 2015 and August 2016, according to a House investigation. The logins suggested “the server is being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removed information,” it said.

Multiple sources said Sean McCluskie, who was Becerra’s chief of staff and is now chief deputy attorney general of California, knew of problems well before law enforcement was brought on board in October 2016.

Imran’s brother Abid Awan had no connection to either the caucus or Becerra’s congressional office and had no authorization or reason to log in, but he was doing so anyway, according to investigators. Becerra had paid Imran to manage his personal office server since 2004, adding in his wife Hina Alvi as a second IT aide in 2013. Hina Alvi was also the sole IT aide on the payroll of the caucus, which has its own staff and equipment. Other aides had no connection or authorization to access it.

McCluskie suspected Abid and quietly tried to address the issue by quietly blocking him. Abid defied him and continued to access the server, which should have raised urgent red flags, the sources said.

“The Caucus Chief of Staff requested one of the shared employees to not provide IT services or access their computers,” but “this shared employee continued,” the House report found. The logins continued for months, and eventually, police said the entire server with evidence on it disappeared and was replaced with a different one.

The Daily Caller News Foundation asked Becerra about the incident and his response to it on Wednesday.

“Go back and research your facts, you’ve got them wrong. I understand that this matter is still under investigation, and we have cooperated with the authorities both within Congress and with the federal government on this,” Becerra said. He refused four times to say what facts he was contesting or to elaborate on the incident in any way.

His reaction is odd given Democrats’ vocal abhorrence of the breach of the DNC resulting in the publication of its emails by Wikileaks, which Democrats have called an “assault on our democracy.” Early signs of that breach were treated casually by the DNC when first detected: A tech manager said he was too busy with other matters to chase down leads, the FBI’s calls weren’t returned, the DNC delayed a response to focus on the primaries, and Donna Brazile said when DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz finally relayed the news of the breach to officers weeks later, her tone was “casual.”

But even after the Wikileaks publication of DNC emails, Becerra never publicly acknowledged nor demanded consequences for the cyber breach on the server of a group similar in nature to the DNC.

Eighteen months later, no one has been charged or disciplined for the breach, which is perhaps not surprising since the victims don’t appear to be asking for it.

The Awan family was logging in to Becerra’s Caucus server with 17 different accounts belonging to offices whose data should have had no connection to the caucus, according to the House investigative report. The patterns were consistent with data being funneled onto Becerra’s server from other members of Congress, but members said Becerra never alerted them of any aberrations.

When TheDCNF broke the story about the caucus server in September, neither a Becerra representative nor McCluskie acknowledged the breach occurred. A spokesman finally told Fox News a month later that “since he was first approached by the authorities, AG Becerra has worked with them to provide them the information requested.”

Along with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, Becerra was Awan’s most consistent and earliest backer. He hired him in 2004, and between his personal office and the caucus that he controlled, paid the Awan family more money than any other member, payroll data shows.

This means examining Awan’s activities in 2016 could have created problems for Becerra and raised questions about more than a decade of potentially-compromised data as well as his judgment for not acting on warning signs. After 2004, Imran’s entire family — and a friend whose most recent job experience was at McDonald’s –eventually joined the House payroll. The staffers were mostly paid chief-of-staff level salaries, and newly-elected members said other lawmakers encouraged them to put the on their payroll by other lawmakers.

A senior Republican official with direct knowledge of the probe told TheDCNF “they [the Awans] had access to all the data including all emails. Imran Awan is the walking example of an insider threat, a criminal actor who had access to everything.”

“They were using the House Democratic Caucus as their central service warehouse … It was a breach. The data was completely out of [the members’] possession. Does it mean it was sold to the Russians? I don’t know,” the official said.

On Jan. 24, 2017, Becerra vacated his congressional seat to become California’s attorney general and hoped to clear his data. “We asked for an image of the server, and [the Awans] deliberately turned over a fake server,” the senior official said.

It was only then that the Awans were banned from the network. Since that time, Democrats have claimed they have never been informed of any breach, and those who did know — including Becerra — have gone to lengths to avoid discussing it or even defended the Awans. Wasserman Schultz suggested Islamophobia fueled criticism of the Awans’ alleged behavior. IT colleagues said they have long sensed something untoward in members’ relationship with the Awans, and even suspected that the Awans might be blackmailing members with their own emails.

Investigators also suspected the Awans of falsifying invoices for computer equipment in the House, and their attorneys said members of Congress or their staffs told them to fudge the records.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

CA Congressman Ted Lieu Caught Lying Again | Dec 11 2017

Democrat Ted Lieu Repeats CNN‘s Debunked Wikileaks Claim, Deletes Widely-Shared Tweet After Being Called Out

|| Law & Crime

“Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted out baseless accusations against President Donald Trump and Wikileaks before deleting the accusatory tweet after being publicly shamed for it.

He also accused Wikileaks, Trump and Donald Trump Jr. of collusion. On December 8, at 5:49 a.m., Lieu wrote:

Trump’s own CIA Director stated Wikileaks acts like a “hostile intelligence service.” Russia used Wikileaks against democracies. Now we know @POTUS & Donald Trump Jr. & others in Trump campaign were given access to hacked documents on Wikileaks. Sure looks like collusion.

Lieu’s tweet also contained a link to the now-discredited CNN report.

As noted by journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lieu’s tweet was ultimately shared in excess of 7,000 times and liked more than twice that number. Perhaps in response to being called out by Greenwald, Lieu eventually deleted his tweet–quietly and without admitting his error.

In that now-debunked story, CNNoriginally claimed an email was sent to President Trump and his eldest son regarding certain Wikileaks releases on September 4–ten days before the releases were publicly available.

In truth, the email in question was sent to Trump and his son on September 14–one day after Wikileaks published the DNC emails and began promoting them online. A report issued by the Washington Post hours after CNN published their false story provided the actual email–which was curiously missing from CNN‘s original reporting.

That same email, written by one Michael J. Erickson, also referenced other publicly-accessible emails of Colin Powell‘s available at DCLeaks.com.

CNN initially claimed their now-discredited story was a massive bombshell regarding Trump and Wikileaks.

The thrust of their initial reporting and promotion of the now-retracted story was that the media network had discovered physical evidence of an apparently nefarious relationship between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.

Those claims–the entire basis of CNN‘s story–were ultimately shown to be false.

Law&Crime reached out to Lieu’s office for comment, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.”

…Continue reading more @ Law & Crime

Dir of U.S. Forest Fire Managment Says SoCal Fires ‘Human Caused’ | Dec 08 2017

Firefighter Says California Fires Are ‘Human Caused,’ Then Backs Off

|| Daily Caller

“The raging California wildfires were started by humans, Robert Baird, the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Service, said on Fox News Friday.

“When you have human caused fires which these all are, they’re not related to lighting or anything, then the wind whips up the fires and makes them very difficult to contain, and that causes a challenge for us on the ground,” Baird said during an interview on “America’s Newsroom.”

Baird then back pedaled his answer.

Host Bill Hemmer asked Baird for clarification on whether the fires were started intentionally.

“However they were started, accidentally is often the situation, but that’s being dealt with by law enforcement,” Baird said.

“I’m focused on getting containment,” he added. “We are focused on life and safety and protection of the public. Law enforcement is coming in to determine what the cause and origin of these fires were.”

….Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

Fireworks, arson fires set in Isla Vista during red-flag conditions

|| ABC TV

“Amid severe fire warnings throughout Southern California, commercial-grade fireworks were set off in Isla Vista and four items were set on fire during an impromptu gathering, Santa Barbara County officials said.

The southern part of Santa Barbara County was hit with a power outage for several hours Monday night as the Thomas Fire raged in Ventura County. During that time, someone began setting off commercial grade fireworks in the beachside community, described as both mortar style and cinder cones.

Some were set off over the ocean and others at intersections in residential areas.

The fireworks attracted thousands of college students and local residents, who began to congregate on Del Playa Drive. As they gathered, some individuals set a number of items on fire, including two couches, a chair and a dumpster, and in at least one instance used gasoline as an accelerant.

Isla Vista is known to be home to many students of the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as Santa Barbara City College. Individuals involved in setting off the fireworks and fires have not been identified.

County authorities said the incident required a diversion of resources as they were being kept busy with the Thomas Fire and the power outage.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the series of events diverted resources away from other important calls for service,” the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office said.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public that first responders and the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center are extremely busy due to the Thomas Fire in Ventura County and the widespread power outages we have experienced in southern Santa Barbara County. We request your cooperation as we work together to provide safety during this crisis period.”

….Continue reading more @ ABC7.com

 

 

 

Wall Street Journal Calls for Mueller to Resign | Dec 05 2017

WSJ Demands “Too Conflicted” Mueller To Resign From Russia Probe

|| WSJ

“D.C. was set ablaze following reports that special counsel Robert Mueller was forced to fire FBI agent Peter Strzok from the Russia probe over anti-Trump text messages.

On Monday, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed calling for Mueller to resign from the probe.

WSJ reports:

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview. […]

The latest news supports our view that Mr. Mueller is too conflicted to investigate the FBI and should step down in favor of someone more credible. The investigation would surely continue, though perhaps with someone who doesn’t think his job includes protecting the FBI and Mr. Comey from answering questions about their role in the 2016 election.

Unlike the mainstream media, The Gateway Pundit has long believed the chief objective behind Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election. In fact, while both liberals and conservatives declared the ‘honorable,’ ‘highly respected,’ Mueller was the correct man to lead the Russia probe, this website expressed deep reservations about the special counsel’s character and history as a prosecutor.

Michael Flynn’s guilty plea, followed by a tweet sent out by President Trump’s lawyer John Dowd, appearing to imply the White House was aware of the former National Security Advisor lied to the FBI, has brought an odd, new focus to the mission behind Mueller’s probe. Former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy writes in the National Review that Mueller’s end game is now clear as day; impeach the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

“It is now an obstruction investigation,” McCarthy writes in reference to Mueller’s probe, “Which means that it’s an impeachment investigation.”

Assuming I am correct about Mueller’s theory, its fatal flaw as a vehicle for prosecution is the same as it has always been: As president, Trump had incontestable power to exercise prosecutorial discretion and to fire the FBI director. […] The FBI and the Justice Department are not a separate branch of government; they are subordinates of the president delegated to exercise his power, not their own. Even on Comey’s account, Trump did not order him to shut down the Flynn investigation, even though he could have. Trump could have ordered an end of the Russia counterintelligence investigation, but he did not.

Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to President Trump, pleaded guilty Friday to making false statements to the FBI about contacting Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.”

….Continue reading more @ TGP

 

John Oliver Gets Into Heated Argument With Dustin Hoffman Over Sexual Harassment Claims

|| The Hollywood Reporter

“At a ‘Wag the Dog’ 20th anniversary screening, the ‘Last Week Tonight’ host questioned the Oscar-winning actor about recent allegations of inappropriate behavior.

John Oliver got into a testy argument with Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations against the Oscar-winning actor at a film panel in New York on Monday night.

At a 20th anniversary panel and screening of the political film Wag the Dog, Oliver asked Hoffman about recent sexual harassment allegations made against him by Anna Graham Hunter, going back to when she was a 17-year-old production assistant on the 1985 TV film Death of a Salesman. According to The Washington Post‘s Steve Zeitchik, who tweeted about the back-and-forth as it happened and later posted a full story and video of what transpired, Hoffman “grew visibly uncomfortable.”

The Last Week Tonight host broached the subject approximately halfway through the hourlong prescreening discussion, according to Zeitchik’s story.

“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said to Hoffman at the discussion, according to the Post.

“It’s hanging in the air?” Hoffman said. “From a few things you’ve read you’ve made an incredible assumption about me,” he noted, adding sarcastically, “You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty.”

Oliver seized in particular on Hoffman’s apology after The Hollywood Reporter revealed the allegations against the actor.

When contacted by THR, Hoffman said, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am’ — it’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver said during the panel discussion, according to the Post. “It is reflective of who you were. If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen] then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘It wasn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”

The rest of the discussion was dominated by Oliver, Hoffman and the subject of sexual harassment, with other panel participants and audience members trying to change the subject, the Post reports, claiming that Oliver himself even tried to move on and talk about the film but Hoffman returned to the harassment claims.

Hoffman said several times Monday night that he didn’t believe he’d done anything wrong, the Post reported. He said he didn’t recall meeting Graham Hunter and that whatever he said on set was simply how members of “a family” talked to one another, the Post says.

“I still don’t know who this woman is,” Hoffman said. “I never met her; if I met her it was in concert with other people.”

The actor said he felt blindsided because neither Oliver nor organizers told him the moderator would raise the subject, according to the Post.

At one point, Hoffman asked Oliver if he believed the reports about him and Oliver said, “Yes, because there’s no point in [an accuser] lying.”

“Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years,” Hoffman said.

“Oh Dustin,” Oliver said disapprovingly, putting his head in his hand.

Oliver said he considered not bringing up the contentious subject at what was intended to be a benign event but decided he had an obligation to do so, the Post reported.

“I can’t leave certain things unaddressed,” the host said. “The easy way is not to bring anything up. Unfortunately that leaves me at home later at night hating myself. ‘Why the … didn’t I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.'”

“Am I the powerful man?” Hoffman asked.

Hoffman later said to Oliver of the allegations against him, “You weren’t there,” and the Last Week Tonight host replied, “I’m happy [I wasn’t],” according to Zeitchik.”

….Continue reading more @ THR

SoCal Assemblyman Dababneh (D-LA) accused of Sexual Harassment | Dec 04 2017

Valley Assemblyman Matt Dababneh accused of sexually assaulting Sacramento lobbyist

|| LA Daily News

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Van Nuys (2013 photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

 

“Assemblyman Matt Dababneh was accused by two women Monday of sexual misconduct, becoming the latest Los Angeles-area state legislator to face allegations of harassment.

At a news conference in Sacramento, lobbyist Pamela Lopez said that Dababneh, a Democrat who represents the West San Fernando Valley, pushed her into a bathroom during a 2016 party at a Las Vegas hotel and masturbated in front of her. Former legislative staffer Jessica Yas Barker said Dababneh regularly made inappropriate comments when both worked for Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks.

Dababneh put out a statement Monday afternoon denying Lopez’s charge.

“I affirmatively deny that this event ever happened — at any time,” the statement said. “I am saddened by this lobbyist’s effort to create this falsehood and make these inflammatory statements, apparently for her own self-promotion and without regard to the reputation of others. I look forward to clearing my name.”

But at least one San Fernando Valley elected official, Los Angeles school board member Kelly Gonez, called on Dababneh to resign.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate, said Dababneh would step down as chairman of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee while an investigation of the Lopez incident is investigated by an outside law firm hired by the Assembly Rules Committee.

The allegations came after weeks of rumors about Dababneh as cases of sexual harassment have come to light in California politics and other industries.

A week earlier, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Arleta, announced he was resigning immediately as harassment charges against him grew, and state Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Cerritos, was stripped of committee leadership positions pending an investigation of harassment allegations.

Also last week, Lopez testified at an Assembly subcommittee hearing on sexual harassment about an incident involving a state legislator. But she didn’t identify Dababneh as the legislator until Monday.

Lopez described the incident in a letter to Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, and other lawmakers, including Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Burbank, chairwoman of the Assembly Rules Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention and Response.

“On January 16, 2016, Mr. Dababneh and I were two of the many invited guests at a party to celebrate two mutual friends who were planning to get married,” Lopez’s letter read. “Most of the guests in attendance were political professionals, including many colleagues and associates I have known for years. I should have had no reason to fear for my safety.

“When I went to the bathroom after being at the party for a few hours, I felt the weight of a body push me into the restroom. I heard the door slam behind us. When I turned around, I saw that it was Matt Dababneh. He stood blocking the door and began to masturbate and move toward me, urging me to touch him.

“It was a terrifying experience. During the time he blocked me in that room, my instincts were focused on escaping without any physical contact and in a way that would not cause a scene. Before the ordeal ended, he told me not to tell anyone.”

Lopez wrote that she was moved to identify Dababneh after hearing members of the Assembly subcommittee say they were committed to protecting victims of sexual harassment from retaliation.

She said Dababneh, through his attorney, “has tried to silence me by threatening to sue me for defamation if I persisted in reporting this assault.”

….Continue reading more @ LA Daily News

Was the Kate Steinle Verdict the New OJ? | Dec 04 2017

Not guilty verdict in shooting by illegal immigrant offers sanctuary from common sense

|| LA Daily News  |  Doug McIntyre

“As a rule, I don’t offer opinions about books I haven’t read and movies I haven’t seen. I feel the same way about trials I haven’t followed. I mean really followed, the way the whole country hung on every twist in the O.J. Simpson case.

Last week, a jury in San Francisco acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zararte of murder in the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle. While I was aware the trial was taking place, I wasn’t in the courtroom when the prosecution and defense teams made their arguments. I didn’t read transcripts of the witnesses’ testimony, only cursory news reports that would occasionally catch my eye. Still, I was predisposed to believe Zarate guilty.

It’s fortunate for Mr. Zarate I wasn’t on the jury.

To recap, on July 1, 2015, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant with a history of arrests who had previously been deported 5 times, claims he found a gun wrapped in cloth under a bench along the waterfront in San Francisco. The gun went off/was fired — depending on which version of his story you believe — striking 32-year old Kate Steinle in the lower back. The bullet tore through Kate’s abdominal aorta, ending her life.

Surveillance video led police to Zarate, then going by the name of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, one of several aliases he used. The Steinle case blew up in the media not just because Kate was a beautiful young woman struck down in broad daylight while walking with her dad, but also because it shoved the disaster of San Francisco’s sanctuary policies onto the front burner, an issue that helped propel Donald Trump to the White House.

Zarate was eligible for a 6th deportation at the time of the shooting. Had then-San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirarimi held him for deportation, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested, he would not have been sitting on that bench to find a gun or anything else.

Zarate told investigators the gun went off accidentally when it fell to the ground after he unwrapped it. Then he changed his story, telling police he stepped on the gun, causing it to go off. But his story changed yet again; this time he admitted he fired the gun but said he was aiming at a seal.

What’s not in dispute is Zarate tossing the gun into San Francisco Bay before running from the scene.

During the trial, it was revealed the bullet that killed Ms. Steinle ricocheted 12-feet from where Zarate stood and struck Kate 78 feet away. This makes it highly unlikely Zarate was deliberately aiming at Kate and may well have led to the not guilty verdict.

By centering their case around the theory Zarate was playing a perverse game of Russian Roulette — firing randomly at passersby — the prosecutors may have overplayed their hand and undermined their credibility with the jury.

Still, the judge had given the jurors the option of finding him guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter. Amazingly, or perhaps not if you consider we’re talking about San Francisco, they only found Zarate guilty on a minor gun charge.

Jose Garcia Zarate’s immigration status and previous arrests were never introduced as evidence in this case. “Nothing about his immigration status, nothing about the fact that he is born in Mexico had any relevance as to what happened on July 1st, 2015”, said his defense attorney.

And that’s true to a point.

But there is another point — if San Francisco had turned Zarate over to ICE as requested, Kate Steinle would be alive today.

If San Francisco didn’t advertise, literally, on bus benches and public transit, they’re a sanctuary city, Jose Zarate may not have chosen San Francisco as his American destination.

“We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives,” said Kate’s father, Jim, after the jury’s verdict was announced. “We want to think about Kate on our terms. Nothing’s been on our terms. It’s been on everyone else’s terms.”

And, of course, he’s right. Kate Steinle’s death became a political football in the 2016 presidential election and remains so to this day. Sadly, Kate is hardly the only victim of illegal immigrant violence.

In Los Angeles, some of us will never forget the 2008 murder of Jamiel Shaw II by a convicted gangbanger, Pedro Espinosa, who had been behind bars 24 hours before killing Shaw. I will never forget introducing Jamiel’s dad to Danielle Bologna, whose husband and two sons were also murdered by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco.

Or Don Rosenberg whose son, Drew, was run down and killed by Roberto Gallo, then living and driving illegally in the City by the Bay. The list of the dead is far too long for this column.

Kate Steinle’s death furrowed Don Lemon’s brow on CNN as he tried to comprehend the strange term “sanctuary city,” as if he had never heard it before, but those of us in Los Angeles have had 39 years’ experience with sanctuary policies, ever since Special Order 40 was implemented by the LAPD back in 1979.  Proponents claim it makes America safer. Tell that to Jim Steinle.

ICE will once again attempt to deport Jose Garcia Zarate. Will San Francisco cooperate this time? And if so, how long before he’s back in the United States, thanks to our porous borders and the unwillingness of cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to enforce our own laws?”
….Continue reading more @ LA Daily News