There’s really only one option
A couple of days ago both candidates for district attorney; Beth Grossman and Larry Krasner, got up on a dais at LaSalle University and debated each other and took debate questions from the audience. About 30 minutes in, it struck me how weak of a candidate Krasner really is. Responses to over half the questions thrown at both candidates had Krasner trying to evoke Donald Trump. Towards the end of the debate, every Krasner answer had Trump thrown in somewhere.
This opens a window into Larry Krasner’s thinking. The President of the United States has very little interest and not much to with a DA of a medium-sized city. But apparently Philadelphians are emphatically childish and stupid–because evoking Trump’s name in response to questions where it’s not relevant to the district attorney means Krasner has given up trying to be logical about his answers.
Apparently there must be someone out in that audience who thinks the Philadelphia District Attorney has the power to unilaterally impeach and remove Trump from office. No doubt that same person was taught by members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Some of Krasner’s pushers are intellectually dishonest
Just minutes after Krasner learned that he had won the Democratic nomination for DA, supporters at Krasner’s primary party started chanting “fuck the police”. Seeing the obvious optical blunder, campaign spox Ben Waxman rushed to shut the chanters up, but the damage was already done.
I’ve sparred with some Krasner supporters over what they want out of policing. The best are the people who argue for no police in Philadelphia whatsoever. A few of them were wringing their hands over the murderers of Gerard Grandzol even being arrested.
In their worldview, when a crime happens you’re supposed to vent about it on social media, not call the police, and then get over it. Apparently if you are a victim of rape I guess you’re supposed to just learn from your mistakes and move on.
Obviously these are the views of the most ridiculous Krasner people out there and they’re not representative of the whole. But they do represent why Krasner supporters would be bundling their faith to someone who has no experience prosecuting crime.
Or to use Krasner’s debating crutch: it shows how people decided to elect someone with no political experience as President of the United States.
Being the Occupy Lawyer doesn’t cut it
Another thing that bothers me is this ad which used to be on the website of Krasner and Long, Larry Krasner’s law practice:
Krasner’s law practice put out ads touting their experience representing those accused of child molestation and rape. You can believe that all of Krasner’s clients were completely innocent if you want.
In a normal world, someone who has a huge amount of experience in criminal defense that gets tired of working in that field but wants to continue to have an impact in the justice system will instead run to be a judge, a job where you have far more control over the dispensation of justice and the power to weigh all the facts.
This would be a different race if Krasner had a background on both sides of the bar. But he doesn’t.
To be a prosecutor means you are taking a particular side in the justice system: the side of crime victims. This is a role that Krasner has never once tried to fill. Not even in a small capacity to just get experience at it. Being an ADA is not exactly a glamour job.
Beth Grossman has a mass of experience that is the polar opposite of Larry Krasner. She has worked in every unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. She’s represented crime victims from all walks of life across the city. She’s put in the hard hours and her knowledge of how the office works and the people there gives her an edge in implementing changes to the subunits there.
Krasner’s solution to drug houses – you should move
Krasner backers complain loudly of Grossman’s tenure in the Civil Asset Forfeiture unit at the DA’s office, as if she herself had set the policies the DA ran under–as if she were the actual DA. The City is presently under a binding court agreement over the practice and Grossman herself has said that if she becomes District Attorney, convictions will be a hard prerequisite for any forfeiture action to proceed and she’s committed to reforming the practice.
As far as the people who want CAF permanently ended: I have yet to actually see or hear from any Krasner people what their solution is to drug houses without going after the deed to the drug house itself. Yours truly has gotten rid of drug houses that owe taxes and I have worked with the DA’s office in the past to get drug houses put up and sold down the river.
Does it help out the community? You bet your sweet ass it does. The first week when you can actually get some sleep before 2AM and sit on your steps through midnight is a refreshing feeling and countless people I have personally helped with this problem have thanked me for it.
Criminal asset forfeiture, which is different than civil, isn’t usually an option because it requires the property owner of record to be directly involved in the narcotics trading. Nearly all drug houses in Philadelphia are rental properties with an absentee landlord who does not give two shits about the next door neighbors and is never there to check up on what’s happening with the house.
Every time Krasner has been pressed on what to do about drug houses, he’s come up empty handed.
I shouldn’t be surprised. Krasner’s life experience in criminal law is to be sympathetic to the person selling the narcotics, not to the junkie who died from them and certainly not to any of the people on the periphery who are being damaged by it. This is a burning question Larry Krasner has had all year to overcome and to answer with assurance that he’s fit to assume a role he is not familiar with.
Instead, all he can do is bark “but Donald Trump!”
Well, that’s not good enough.