LASD's Paul Tanaka Files For 3rd Term as Gardena Mayor, Then Withdraws

An interesting story just popped up in the Daily Breeze regarding Paul Tanka, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s second in command,
who has evidently pulled the plug on running for a third term as mayor for the city of Gardena. According to the Breeze’s Sandy Mazza, Tanaka filed papers to run last month, then yanked them in the last few days.

Here’s a clip from the story:

Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka announced this week that he is dropping his bid for a third term and will support his main challenger in the March election.

Though Tanaka’s name will still appear on the ballot, he plans to cede the office to three-term Councilwoman Rachel Johnson.

If elected mayor, Johnson would be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post.

Tanaka, who is facing some major controversies in his professional career as second-in-command of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, had previously said he would not seek re-election because of his demanding work schedule.

But he filed papers to run last month when it appeared no one else on the City Council would seek the office. Resident Philip J. Dent-Ferrell is also vying for the seat.

Tanaka said he had encouraged Johnson to run but she declined. In a letter addressed to her this week, he said he was surprised to learn she filed nomination papers.

The position of Gardena mayor is a four year term. Tanaka was elected for a second term in 2009.



Over the holiday weekend, LAIST’s Emma Gallegos decided to cruise through some just released FBI docs relating to the monitoring of the Occupy movement, and turned up this curious concern that was evidently keeping the feds up at night.

(File under #WorryingAbouttheWrongThing)

Here’s a clip:

The nonprofit Partnership For Civil Justice Fund obtained redacted documents through a FOIA request. The group’s executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said in a statement, “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity.”
We took a look at some of the documents that dealt with local groups affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The FBI took note of the disturbing reports that sheriff’s deputies were beating inmates at the county (p 72). In this report, however, the FBI’s concern wasn’t about the inmates, but how news reports of these beatings could be riling up citizens who were riding public transit.

Anyway, there’s more, so read on.

Okay, I’m now going back to my undisclosed location.


  • Well, if no one was going to run then go ahead and take it. However, once Tanaka saw a little competition he wasn´t going to take any chances on a loss. Too much of a hit on his ego not to mention a loss would seriously hinder a run for sheriff. I guess the FBI could be his election manager!!??

  • I have an idea and am wondering if anyone would help with me putting together a campaign group and encourage Jerry harper to run for the mayor position.

    Second to Block, he was a leader with vision, integrity and knew how to keep LASD on track and the straight and narrow.

  • FTF: I would support your vision but Jerry will need to learn when to pull back and allow others to do their own work. Of course, Jerry (like all of us) has issues that he may not not want to be public. But, who knows!

  • And just think, all of those donations by LASD personnel who just wanted to see a better Gardena. Now how are they going to buy promotions and job assignments?

  • Harper was great when he was on the department. He had great visions when he was on his psych meds. A couple of times they found him holed up in his office wearing nothing but pumps and sobbing into a diaper. He left shortly thereafter on a medical retirement. Even before the “stress” problems no one could understand him. He spoke out of the side of his mouth like he had a stroke.

  • JB, if a guy has an obvious mental breakdown then we all know he’s a loon. He won’t be leading the LASD because he’s a loon for all to see. It’s when the LASD has a leader that is an undercover loon that it becomes a problem. It’s when the loon speaks gibberish and those who surround him are able to protect him and pass him off as an intellectual to the casual observer that the situation becomes sad. For example, when asked why he didn’t take corrective measures sooner concerning the problems in the jail, Sheriff Baca replied:
    “A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing. And I’m one who tries to see more than is able to be seen”.
    Those around him say “See how brilliant and progressive the Sheriff is”.
    Only none of them even bother to try and interpret what he said, because they can’t. They just wink at each other and nod, smiling knowingly that it doesn’t matter if he’s a loon, because he’s not running the LASD anyway.
    JB, perhaps you could enlighten all of us and interpret the above Sheriff’s statement for us. I doubt you can, simply because I doubt that the man himself could tell us, in plain English, what it is he was trying to say lol.

  • John, aka JB is out of touch, shouldn’t havea flight medical, and at the least needs to be rolled up like the rest of the whirleybird slugs.

  • Has anyone considered that maybe Too Tall isn’t running because the feds finally figured out what was in the trunks of those surplus radio cars that were going overseas from the LASD, and how it connected back to certain city bond ratings? Or was it in the oil pans?

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