Frank Stoltze Crime and Politics Reporter

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Frank Stoltze was born and raised in Santa Barbara, where his father taught him how to body surf and golf and his mother showed him how to tell a good story.

Frank graduated from Southern Methodist University with Doak Walker and started his radio career in San Luis Obispo, cutting his teeth covering Diablo Canyon and the Monarch Butterfly grove. He went to work for KLON (now KKJZ) in Long Beach in 1991 and covered the riots before becoming news director at KPFK, where he learned who Noam Chomsky is.

Frank joined KPCC in 2000 and loves its downtown bureau, a stone's throw from Central Market tortas.

Stories by Frank Stoltze

LAPD Officer Disclosure Requirements Hit Stumbling Block

One of the last federally-mandated reforms of the Los Angeles Police Department has hit a stumbling block. The City Council is considering whether to block a provision that would require extensive financial disclosure by officers in the narcotics and gang units. It's intended to root out corrupt officers. KPCC's Frank Stoltze says there's a debate about whether that requirement would even work. (Note: Connie Rice, who was interviewed for this story, is a member of the board of Southern California Public Radio.)

Democratic Candidates Woo Latino Voters

Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both going after California's Latino voters. They represent one in five voters in the state. One survey puts Hillary Clinton 40 percentage points above Barack Obama and some ascribe this to Latinos' racial mistrust of blacks. Cal State Fullerton political scientist Raphe Sonenshein told KPCC's Frank Stoltze that there's a lot more at play than race.

USC Conference Examines L.A.'s Criminal Justice System

USC's Institute for Justice and Journalism convened law enforcement leaders, activists and academics this week to examine the Los Angeles criminal justice system. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports many in attendance conceded that the system is broken. They say it's too punitive and offers little hope for rehabilitation (Note: Frank Stoltze is a fellow at USC's Institute for Justice and Journalism, which sponsored the conference.)

Campaign Strategists Turn Focus to California

County clerks across California today begin mailing absentee ballots for the February 5 presidential primary. That means voters could begin casting ballots later this week. That's focusing some campaign strategists on California even as Tuesday's New Hampshire primary approaches. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports.

Underground Drug Economy Generates Billions in Southern California

Experts estimate the underground drug economy in Southern California generates several billions of dollars. That's a small fraction of the region's economic activity; but in some neighborhoods, buying and selling illegal drugs makes a big impact. As part of KPCC's examination of the underground economy, Frank Stoltze looks at illicit drug sales.

Former House Leader Gingrich Says Governors Hold Key to Progress

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was in Southern California last week. He spoke at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports the conservative iconoclast called on governors to become agents of change.

Study Looks at Ways to Increase Voter Participation

Many analysts say voter turnout will surge in next year's presidential election. Turnout increased in 2000 and 2004, but the United States lags behind many democracies in voter turnout. Voter participation remains especially low in poor and minority precincts. The result is that the the electorate is substantially whiter and wealthier than the population, but KPCC's Frank Stoltze says one California initiative is trying to change that.

Civil Rights Activist Complains of LAPD Harassment on Skid Row

Civil rights attorney Carol Sobel is suing the city of Los Angeles over the LAPD's crackdown on "quality of life" violations on Skid Row. Sobel claims that the LAPD is illegally targeting poor African American men. Many political and business leaders have hailed the policing approach as a success.

LAPD Defends Plan to Map Muslim Communities

Police in Los Angeles are defending a plan to map where large concentrations of Muslim Americans live in the city. They say it's an effort to reach out to Muslim Americans and prevent terrorism. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports Muslim American leaders and civil libertarians question the department's intentions.

South L.A. Voter Says African Americans Need to Think More Broadly About Party Politics

"Black" and "Republican" are two words you don't see in the same sentence very often, especially in South Los Angeles. KPCC's Frank Stoltze has a profile of one South L.A. man who doggedly promotes the Grand Old Party to anyone who will listen.

Dodgers Introduce Torre as New Manager

The Dodgers' great New York hope arrived in Los Angeles Monday. The team introduced famed Yankees manager Joe Torre as the man who'll turn the struggling team around. But KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports that Torre was more reticent about the idea.

Writers Announce Monday Strike

The Writers Guild announced Friday that its members will begin a strike at midnight on Monday unless a last-minute deal can be brokered. A federal mediator is asking both sides to take part in a Sunday bargaining session.

More Indictments Against South L.A. Gang

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles Tuesday announced a second round of indictments against Florencia-13, one of the biggest gangs in South L.A. The gang allegedly ran drugs over a wide area south of downtown and east of the 110 Freeway. It also allegedly targeted African Americans for attack. One hundred and two members and associates of the gang are under indictment. Eighty are in custody. In an interview with KPCC's Frank Stoltze, lead prosecutor Peter Hernandez said the latest indictments targeted associates of Florencia-13.

Head of State Firefighters Association Criticizes Lack of Fire Funding

The president of the State Firefighters Association says the blazes burning across the region should convince Californians to invest more in firefighting resources.

FEMA Chief Tours Wildfire Areas

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, David Paulison, was in Southern California Wednesday to see the wildfire situation firsthand. While he was outside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Paulison spoke with KPCC's Frank Stoltze, and explained why President Bush changed the designation of the crisis from a disaster to a major disaste