Today, the Metropolitan Daily news, an Los Angeles daily newspaper focusing largely on law and the courts, endorsed one of four candidates in the race for an open seat on the LA Superior Court. What was more notable than their endorsement was their condemnation of one of the other candidates, Craig Gold:
Craig Gold is a deputy district attorney. His ballot designation—which he chose—is “Criminal Trial Prosecutor.”
There’s a problem with that designation. He does not handle criminal trials. He does not prosecute criminals.
He handles civil forfeiture cases, and that’s been his assignment for about 10 years.
Put differently, Gold is a liar.
Coen pointed out the deception to the Registrar-Recorder’s Office. To its discredit, it allowed the designation. Regrettably, Coen chose not to seek a writ.
The impermissibility of the designation is beyond dispute. Elections Code §13107(a)(3) permits use on the ballot, under a candidate’s name, of “[n]o more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.”
Within the past two years, Gold has engaged in no activity that would conceivably justify the ballot title.
“I have been a career Deputy District Attorney with over twenty two years of extensive criminal trial prosecutorial felony and civil in rem asset forfeiture experience.”
Whatever experience he had in handling felony trials which was not within the statutorily relevant period means nothing so far as legitimacy of the ballot designation is concerned.
His “civil in rem asset forfeiture experience,” on its face, does not support the ballot designation.
Rule 1-700 of the Rules of Professional Responsibility incorporates Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Ethics. That canon, in ¶B, declares: “A candidate for election…to judicial office shall not… (2) knowingly, or with reckless disregard for the truth, misrepresent the…qualifications, present position, or any other fact concerning the candidate.”
Based on Gold’s deceptiveness and other negative traits, including a lack of communication skills, we do not believe he would be a sound choice for a judgeship.