Back when all of this election mess first started, I wrote an article, somewhat sentimentally praising Candidate Jim Leitner and the awkward position both he and the Assistant District Attorneys were in. Back then (and doesn't it seem like a lifetime ago?), things were so different.
Jim told the ADAs that he talked to that he had been placed in an awkward position, and that he was trying to help them out. He promised them that he would never support Lykos in the event were he to not make the runoff.
What he said in private, he seemed to back up publicly at the first candidates' forum over at the Spaghetti Warehouse. He told the Republican Women at the luncheon that the elected District Attorney needed to be a trial lawyer or else the Assistant District Attorneys would never respect or follow them. It was very clear that he advocated either himself or Kelly for the job.
As the campaign went on, conflicting word started coming from the trail. People attending some of the events were coming back with the information that Jim was telling people that he would endorse Lykos if he didn't make the run off.
"Not so!" cried Candidate Leitner when he would speak to the ADAs as he made the rounds of court dockets. Even the infamous Bubba Joe 6 Pack (later strongly suspected to be Clint Greenwood) denied the Lykos endorsement rumors at Mark Bennett's blog, stating:
"Leitner did not say that, either publicly or privately."
Assistant District Attorneys were actually getting into heated arguments with each other over Leitner's true intentions. Many, whom he had given his word to that he would never endorse her, said whoever was making up such B.S. stories about poor Jim was just wrong. Others said they just didn't know what Jim was really up to. Jim endorsed Lykos in 2000, they told people. They are friends. He's going to do it again.
ADAs told Jim that they would lose their jobs under Lykos. She was mean. She was power-hungry. He would assure them that he didn't have any intention of endorsing her.
Some of the ADAs, Jim told that he wouldn't have even entered the race if he had known that Kelly was going to run. He acted like he was being virtually "forced to run" and it wasn't what he wanted, since Kelly was now in the race, and could capably look after the Office.
On March 5th, the day after the election, Jim Leitner publicly announced he was "voting" for Lykos. Not endorsing her, he justified to nobody but himself, "endorsing is telling people who to vote for."
The prosecutors who had defended him felt like fools.
Tonight, Jim's complete turn-around has come full-circle, as his voice is on the robo-calls out endorsing Lykos. According to Alan Bernstein's blog, Jim even says he's going to be working polling locations for her.
The words to express my disappointment in Jim fail me, now. Part of it is because of how highly I formerly thought of Jim.
Don't get me wrong and say that I'm just having sour grapes because he endorsed the opponent of the person I want to win. It's not just that.
It's the lying he told the ADAs.
It's the fact that he knows how many of the ADAs that considered him to be their friend will lose their jobs - people with families.
I'm sure that Mark Bennett will blast me with another one of his posts about how anonymous bloggers are cowards again, but I don't care. Jim did "put himself out there" when he ran for D.A., and he's "putting himself out there" again by doing public endorsements of the absolutely least qualified candidate for the Office.
And I would say all of this to Jim's face, actually.
But right now, I couldn't even look at him