Los Angeles Elections: 2015
One of the hats I wear, figuratively as well as my literal hat collection (consisting of everything from a Basque Beret to a Capone Fedora), is that of coordinator of the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition. The SPC is a joint process for vetting candidates. Some of the participating organizations make endorsements; others participate solely for the purpose of neutral voter education and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.
This year we just completed the SPC vetting process with candidate interviews (following their submission of extensive responses to the longest and most difficult candidate questionnaire on the planet, or at least in the State of California). Each of the SPC participating organizations contributes questions and issues for candidates to be jointly vetted on which is why it is so long. The participating organizations are: San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women (SFV/NELA NOW), Miss Revolutionaries, Bring Hollywood Home Foundation (BHHF), California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC), United For Education Coalition (UFE), L.A. Progressive, Todos Unidos, and the California LULAC Institute (CLI).
While I’m factually reporting the outcome of the organizational endorsements that have resulted, the opinions and reasons I’m expressing in the following are mine alone for why I’m endorsing these candidates (and opposing others). The beauty of the SPC is that each group makes it’s own decision after the joint vetting process which in the long run saves both the individual associations and the candidates a lot of time and energy, even if our questionnaire is so long and so detailed, it tends to scare off most people running for office….and that’s just the way it should be. If you want to run for office you should expect and be prepared to be raked over the coals, not given a cake walk by the voters or grassroots organizations that make endorsements to educate and sway the voters.
Andra Hoffman for Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees, Seat No. One
Andra Hoffman is being endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries. Some may wonder why Andra is being supported by CALLAC as opposed to the apparent front-runner amongst some bourgeois Latino circles, Francesca Vega, of CSUN (my Alma Mater). My mentor and intellectual jefe Dr. Rodolfo “Rudy” Acuna put his view (and mine) of Francesca succinctly when he wrote on January 7:
When I raised this issue criticizing the candidacy of a Latina for the LA Community College Trustees, some people went berserk saying I was anti-Latina. I knew of no instance where she advocated for Latino students or Chicana/o Studies on the California State University campus. Indeed, in a controversy with the CSUN president she sided with the administration.
In other words, en otras palabras, Francesca is a Vendida: a sellout.
Andra on the other hand and to her credit, has a consistent and courageous record of advocacy for the most oppressed, repressed and generally fucked over Latino/Chicano students: Dream Act students. Not only did she participate in efforts with the late great Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh to craft and pass AB 540, the original Dream Act, she then bucked the administration at her own college (Glendale Community College) to implement it and educate students about its benefits and protections. At peril to her own employment, she resisted efforts to truncate and restrict the Dream Act’s applications and that is a record of involvement that deserves applause and support.
Filiberto Gonzalez for Los Angeles Board of Education, District No. Three
SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries are endorsing Filiberto Gonzalez along with the BHHF. Filiberto was raised by his mother, a single parent, in Salinas and went to a school that was right next door to a United Farm Workers organizing office. An activist at an early age, he majored in Chicano Studies (as I did in a double major) at CSUN and by 19 was already being personally targeted for abuse by the racist anti-immigrant organization, Voices of Citizens Together because of his activism on the issue of a young Chicano who’d been gunned down, shot in the back, in my old barrio of Arleta/Sun Valley by a white racist. This is a background like my own; a life time of commitment to La Causa.
Filiberto is well versed in the policies and politics of the Los Angeles School Board, has identified specific areas where it needs to be changed and how the LAUSD needs to adapt to the challenges of the coming years and decades. He has the requisite experience to make that happen.
Cindy Montanez for City Council 6th District
Cindy is endorsed by SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries. I think that this is the fourth time that Cindy Montanez has earned my endorsement for public office. One big reason is that when I wrote AB 1617 in the 2002-3 legislative session, then-Assembly Member Montanez introduced and fought for it in an effort to put teeth into laws against discrimination and sexual harassment in California.
While I personally like her opponent, Nury Martinez, Nury just didn’t perform when she was a member of the School Board. SFV/NELA NOW vetted her on very specific issues. If she’d done anything to implement her promises during her tenure on the Board of Education, believe you me, I’d have heard about it. The comparison between Cindy’s record and Nury’s record is simple: for Nury, it is the Biblical writing on the wall, “Mene, Mene Tekel Upharsin,” (It has been counted and counted and found wanting) and that is very disappointing.
Aside from that, a quick read of Nury’s campaign disclosure forms indicates that she received a contribution from a certain individual who is part, parcel of, and owes his soul to the Jerusalem Network of the Israeli Mafia. As Bob Dylan sang in two of his songs (Subterranean Homesick Blues and It’s Alright Ma) “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” What does this guy expect to get for his money? Mobsters do not contribute money to politicians without expectations that have been very carefully considered.
Nadine Momoyo Diaz for City Council, District Fourteen
Nadine is endorsed by BHHF, SFV/NELA NOW, CALLAC, UFE, and Miss Revolutionaries. In the Fourteenth District voters have a choice between business as usual and politics as unusual, the latter being represented by Nadine Momoyo Diaz. A long time activist and community organizer who has often represented the people on land use issues, she has always bucked the established trends and refused to sell out. Let me start by contrasting that with the record and campaign contribution record of the incumbent, Jose “the Weasel” Huizar.
Before he started running for office himself, Huizar made a campaign contribution to anti-semitic City Council Candidate Woody Fleming who ran against Jan Perry. Woody, a one-time member of Social Democrats USA, which supported the CIA inspired fascist-military takeover of Chile by Augusto Pinochet in the early 70s, denounced Jan Perry as being married to a “white, wealthy Jewish Westside lawyer who is coming to take their land” referring to a fabricated allegation that her husband wanted to buy up black neighborhoods. Anti-semitic accusations tend to be really unreasonable and stupid, but that one takes the cake. Jan is Jewish so how or why Woody thought it was reasonable to denounce her marriage to another Jew is really weird, unless what he’s complaining about is that a Black Jew was married to a White Jew……Woody….Negro Please!
More recently Huizar accepted $700 from a bar that was once the center of extreme controversy for refusing service to Gay patrons and posting anti-Gay leaflets up to make it a hostile environment for LGBT people.
He’s taken repeated contributions over the years from the perennial CEO of one of the notorious poverty-pimp 501(c)(3) “non-profits” in East Los Angeles who have been targeted in my investigations for all kinds of mis-guided uses of public monies and by “mis-guided” I’m being very polite so as not to belabor the very obvious corruption that can be gleaned just by reading their publicly available IRS 990 tax returns.
Over the years one consistent contributor to Huizar has been labor exploiter and capitalist pig Bruce Corwin. To see why I have no problem saying this and without mincing words, just read my blog at: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2010/12/23/holding-my-breath/ Huizar is supposedly proud of his immigrant roots. If he really is and if he had any self-respect he’d call out Corwin as the pig he is for what he did to his immigrant work force at Film Processing Company. Incidentally, the doctor who diagnosed the workers there that Corwin’s company chemically poisoned is now endorsing and supporting Nadine Diaz. Similar to Corwin is another Huizar contributor who got nailed and went to jail for dumping perchlorate in Playa Del Rey, on a property bought by the family of a man presently in federal prison for ripping off a bank for around $40 million and who incidentally are associated with a cabal of contributors to John Noguez who benefited from favorable tax rulings……
In 2010, the “Elect Noguez Committee,” run by then County Assessor and now charged criminal John Noguez gave a campaign contribution to Huizar. Of Noguez, who also personally contributed to Huizar in 2005, Wikipedia reports:
On October 17, 2012, Noguez was arrested on 44 counts of conspiracy, bribery and corruption, with bail set at $1.36 million. Also arrested were key conspirators Mark McNeil, Noguez’s chief appraiser and Ramin Salari, a campaign contributor and Arizona tax consultant. Between February and September 2010, Noguez allegedly accepted $185,000 in bribes from Salari and used his influence to lower the appraised property values for Salari’s clients, to help the clients save millions of dollars in property taxes. In total, the property tax scam deprived the Los Angeles County of at least $1.16 million in tax revenue. Improper tax breaks were granted to more than 100 wealthy Westside property owners. If convicted, Noguez faces more than 30 years in state prison.
EVOQ Properties Inc. gave Huizar money in 2014. Here’s what I have to say about EVOQ: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/06/22/mount-kelletts-new-litigation-nightmares/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/16/romneyizing-los-angeles/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/04/06/will-mount-kellett-ever-learn/ and http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/03/20/mount-kelletts-war-on-workers/
Another of Huizar’s campaign contributors (and his wife, daughters, father, and entire extended family) along with his company that made consistent contributions to Huizar’s legal defense fund (when he was fighting a lawsuit by his former campaign staffer of sexual harassment charges) was described to me by one of my reliable confidential sources as “Partner in Forever 21, pays people for illegally converted storage facilities, not up to fire code, building and safety codes.”
Ken Spiker, the Los Angeles Parking Association and some of the more sordid companies involved in oligopolizing the parking industry in Los Angeles have made contributions to Huizar. For that background, see http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/09/09/parkmaggedon-for-los-angeles/. Richard Ullman, one of those contributors along with his campany Five Star Parking, is also featured in that article along with the story of his family’s questionable contributions to then City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. One utterly despicable company that has contributed to Huizar’s current campaign is United Valet Parking: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2014/02/09/united-parking-ripping-off-workers/.
It has been said for centuries (http://janbtucker.com/blog/2012/01/11/birds-of-a-feather/) that “birds of a feather flock together.” Maybe that is why former Senator Richard Polanco, for whom the taxpayers footed a $117,000 plus settlement for sexual harassment, has been a campaign contributor to Huizar, who likewise was sued for sexual harassment by one of his former aides.
Contributions to Gloria Molina over the years have been suspect as well.
Amongst her contributors are the CEO of an East Los Angeles for-profit medical firm that helped to run Huntington Park’s Mission Hospital out of business (http://janbtucker.com/blog/2011/01/21/re-open-mission-hospital-in-huntington-park/), attorneys in a firm closely associated with now convicted felon ex-lawyer Terry Christiansen who were up to their eyeballs in the Tony Pellicano case, and now disgraced former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But one of the most interesting past contributors, and the timing of the contribution, were large last minute contributions to Gloria’s unopposed June 8, 2010 re-election to her final term on the Board of Supervisors.
Gloria was the only candidate on the ballot, so you’ve got to wonder exactly why she had to make reports of last minute “late contributions” just days before the election. On June 3, 2010 two unions gave her $1,000 each and the next day, Occidental Oil gave her another $1,000 on June 4??????? Maybe it had something to do with the fact that a couple of years later, Occidental would attempt to start fracking for oil in the City of Carson with 200 wells right near Cal State Dominguez. It helps to have bought and paid for politicians to grease the wheels of your company’s political operation, but Oxy had to back down in the face of massive community opposition from that plan.
Aside from her contributions, Gloria was behind the shakedown of the Bobcats Youth Football and Cheer leading program and its expulsion from its home at Salazar Park where it had been instrumental in a vigorous positive campaign to keep children off the streets and out of gangs since the late sixties: http://janbtucker.com/blog/2013/03/11/save-the-bobcats-youth-football/.
Other Candidates to Vote Against
In a couple of races where the SPC (or myself) hasn’t made an endorsement, be attentive to voting against a couple of degenerates running for office.
Thankfully, Melvin R. Snell did not qualify for the ballot in the 10th City Council District, but he did qualify as a write-in candidate. Snell, and his wife Birgitta Croil, have twice been involved in lawsuits involving the ripoff of assets from the elderly. In one case the woman died and the autopsy results showed burns on the bottom of her feet after Croil was supposed to be taking care of her. Snell and Croil operate the so-called LOS ANGELES HUMANITY GROUP FOUNDATION which purports to be a non-profit but which has failed to file with the California Department of Justice Registry of Charitable Trusts….and which ignored my written request that they comply with IRS regulations and federal law which require them to provide me with copies of their IRS form 990 tax returns…..gee, I wonder why they wouldn’t want me to see them??????
Homophobic Anti-Semite Lydia Gutierrez is a right wing fanatic running for Los Angeles Board of Education in the 7th District. She’s an evangelical protestant associated with such lunatic fringe groups like Focus on the Family and once accused myself and another Jew of supporting “baby killing” while we were trying to offer a family free criminal defense services in a meeting at a Catholic Church, apparently because our Jewish views on abortion somehow disqualified us from defending their son on a criminal charge that had nothing to do with abortion or politics.