A week before the primary election, the Oakland, Ca., police officers union demanded that California attorney general candidate Rocky Delgadillo stop an advertisement that blames Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown for a murder increase in his city. Robert Valladon, Police Officers Assn. president, told Delgadillo, the Los Angeles city attorney, it was “unethical for a law enforcement official like you to deliberately distort facts about crime to get votes.” Valladon called it “tragic that you would choose to slander” the department’s rank and file “to advance your political career.”
Delgadillo refused to pull the ad and said his beef was with Brown, not Oakland police. “I’ll always support those who put on the badge,” Delgadillo said, saying the ad is “targeted at leadership, or a lack thereof, and a lack of courage” by Brown. In the ad, Delgadillo says, “My opponent, the mayor of Oakland, proposed cutting the police budget and eliminating the narcotics unit. Now murders have doubled.” Despite increased funding recently for the narcotics unit, Oakland’s homicide total since the start of this year has been nearly double that of 2005, with 56 murders as of Tuesday compared to 31 at the same point last year.