Candidates Circling State Sen. Mendoza, Central Basin Generosity

Montebello mayor says she is ‘seriously considering’ run against embattled Sen. Tony Mendoza

With state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) on a leave of absence pending a sexual harassment probe, Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado said Tuesday that one reason she is considering a possible election challenge to the incumbent is that there is no one standing up for the Senate district with him absent.

Other names being bandied about for SD 32 (the southern part of SGV) are former Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, Cerritos College trustee Sandra Salazar, and Angela Acosta-Salazar, a former Rio Hondo Community College trustee. March 4 is the filing deadline, unless Mendoza either resigns or doesn’t run again. Then the deadline is March 9.

He worked at a water district for just seven days. But it ended up costing $1.5 million

By last fall, Beilke had found work at a company that operates a solar farm in El Mirage in the Mojave Desert. It’s run by a former Central Basin executive.

His job involved finding local governments willing to do business.

Will Mike Eng Bring Back Redevelopment Program To Create Affordable Housing?

Mike Eng held a popular “Coffee With Mike” event in Covina this week. Despite the State of the Union Tuesday night, and the acrimony toward President Trump, Eng had more than 50 people attend, first giving a short speech and then answering questions. One interesting topic he mentioned was bringing back redevelopment agencies to fund affordable housing.

Redevelopment was killed in 2012, criticized as a giveaway to developers. Legislation passed in 2015 bought back portions of the program, but apparently it’s not doing enough. We’ll track where this goes. Eng is running to replace state Sen. Ed Hernandez for Senate District 22.


Two-way free speech and retirement perks of public service

Pico Rivera Councilman Salcido must face the music after his anti-military rant: Breaking View

Free speech has its downsides — for the speaker. When you say something — many things — crazily inappropriate for the moment, as is your right, don’t be surprised when you then have to face the music in the concert hall of public opinion.

Pomona councilwoman wants to put public art fee funds to use

The city has about $1 million accumulated in the public art fee fund, Carrizosa said, and perhaps some of those funds could bring more art to the city and improve its appearance as well.

In 2011, the city council adopted an ordinance that required private development projects with a building valuation of $750,000 or more to have a public art component. Criteria were established to address residential, commercial, institutional and remodeling projects.

(What they should do is use the money for affordable housing for artists.)

San Marino school board member Chris Norgaard under investigation for battery, sexual harassment

San Marino police are investigating school board member Chris Norgaard for battery, officials said Tuesday, while the school district is investigating him for sexual harassment.

Norgaard said in a phone interview Tuesday that he has not been told what the allegations are.

“You know as much about these allegations a I do,” Norgaard said. “I have no idea what this is about, which is very frustrating to me.”

More than three years after retiring, former Congressman Gary Miller still enjoying the perks of public service

Former CA31 GOP congressman Gary Miller’s campaign still paying out thousands of dollars for travel expenses, dinners at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and monthly payments to his wife, Cathy.

California’s ‘jungle’ primary system could blow up in the Democratic Party’s face

Without an incumbent on the ballot, they believed, one of the many Democrat challengers who’d already declared their candidacies would surely emerge victorious in each district.

Well, maybe…

Latinos, Misconduct and a San Gabriel Valley Senate Race

Published in the Pasadena Star News

It’s early in the 2018 political season, but not too early to ask if the tumultuous climate at the state Capitol and energized Latinos in an age of Trump will decide who may win the San Gabriel Valley Senate seat to replace Ed Hernandez. Hernandez is term-limited out and running for lieutenant governor.

Without an incumbent, these races are usually about local issues, endorsements, who has the most campaign money and who knocks on the most doors. But this season will be different.

California Latino and Latino voters should be motivated to vote in numbers that reflect their majority. And the eruption of sexual misconduct allegations in the Legislature, and across the country, could create a “Year of the Woman” movement in California politics, but also may turn voters off disgusted by the misdeeds.

Some candidates are already considered frontrunners for the 22nd Senate District seat that includes Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Industry, La Puente, West Covina, Azusa, Covina, Temple City, Arcadia and surrounding neighborhoods.

Former Assemblyman Mike Eng, term-limited out in 2012, has long been viewed as the engodds-on favorite to win. Married to Congresswoman Judy Chu, Eng, a former Monterey Park councilman and recently an LA Community College District trustee, has long-standing ties with local and state officials and raised more than $1 million in campaign money.

Among his many endorsements are high-profile names that include Sen. Hernandez, current Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, former state Senate leader Kevin de León, now running for U.S. Senate, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Solis is especially important because of her connection to the SGV Latino community. This is a critical base for Eng, a Chinese-American in a district with a small Asian population, who will need crossover votes to win in majority Latino district.

Baldwin City Councilwoman Susan Rubio may prove to be the most formidable casusan rubiondidate in an unprecedented era for woman in politics and an energized Latino base. The strong candidacies of Ed Hernandez and Antonio Villaraigosa, running for governor, may also help.

An elementary school teacher, Rubio was first elected in 2005 as Baldwin Park city clerk. Since 2009, she has served on the council. She has $135,000 in her campaign fund and her endorsements include Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the state’s Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus and numerous state Senate and local officials.

But she has also emerged as the state Legislature is engulfed in accusations of blatant sexual harassment and abuse. Elected officials have been forced to resign with others expected, and women leaders have condemned the “pervasive” culture of misconduct.

Unfortunately, Rubio has experience confronting similar behavior. In 2016, Rubio, in highly publicized court documents, said that her then-husband, former Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, had been violently abusing her. She obtained a restraining order and later divorced him. He later lost a congressional bid.

In addition, if she needs any advice on how to beat a party favorite, she just has to call up her sister, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, who beat a candidate with major endorsements in the 2016 primary.

The tumult in the Capitol has nothing to do with Eng but he may be hurt if voters demand more female political representation.

In addition, while Eng has the state experience, financial strength and endorsements, winning in a majority Latino district in this election may be a challenge. Yet he can look at another candidate’s history for guidance as well – his wife’s.

Chu beat a Latino candidate in a similar district to win a seat to congress in 2009, albeit a special election. That district closely matched the 22nd.

As I said, it’s early. Also in the race are Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Monica Garcia, El Monte Councilwoman Victoria Martinez, union organizer Ruben Sierra and Michael Adams. The landscape could change.

Trump Blame for Puerto Rico Tragedy Is Lazy Reporting

I’m certainly no Trump apologist. As a long time New York, I’m well aware of Trump and his destructive narcissism. But, while he bears some blame for the current tragedy in Puerto Rico, he’s nowhere near the top of the list.

Corporate greed and government leaders in the U.S. and on the island for decades have manipulated and neglected the island’s needs and its people. The storm just exposed this.

Today’s example is the role Wall Street played in wiping out the savings of unsavvy investors.

“To have this type of carnage being born on this small of a population in this small of a geographic territory is something that we’ll likely never see again,” said attorney Jeffrey Erez, who has filed hundreds of securities cases on behalf of Puerto Rican investors. “You have the complete investing class on a very small island having lost 50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent of their retirement savings within a few years.”

And among the many factors that contributed to this was this: 

Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 10.47.23 AM

San Gabriel Valley Senate Seat Up for Grabs

The prevailing wisdom is that former Assemblyman Mike Eng, husband of party favorite Congresswoman Judy Chu, is the frontrunner and the party anointed successor to Ed Hernandez for state Senate District 22 seat.

But while Eng still has a large money advantage, other strong candidates, especially Baldwin City Councilwoman Susan Rubio, have announced.

Rubio, the ex-wife of former (and disgraced) Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, has ridden the rising tide of women fighting back against sexual harassment and also reined in endorsements.That, and an overwhelming Latino voter advantage, could help her in the 2018 election. Also helping is that her sister, Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, has a track record of beating the prevailing wisdom.

2010 Census Demographics for SD22





Citizen Voting-Age Population




Total Population




Campaign Finance and Declared Candidates 


Nothing Reported


Eng, Michael



Trustee, LA Community College District

Garcia, Raquel “Monica

Nothing Reported


Councilwoman, Baldwin Park

Hernandez, Roger

$128,731 (Assembly/Senate)


Not Running…

Martinez, Victoria



Councilwoman,     El Monte

Rubio, Susan



Councilwoman, Baldwin Park


Nothing Reported


Union organizer




A Missed Pension Story in Monrovia?

When people talk government pension details, eyes roll back. But the latest at on Monrovia is interesting – and frightening – for a few reasons. The city’s current unfunded liability is $112 million. This, by the way, in a city of 36,000.

Here’s a show stopper:

“In fact, if we do nothing, current financial modeling indicates that the costs associated with the pending CalPERS UAL repayment schedule will strain our General Fund to the point of rendering the City insolvent in either FY 2021/22 or FY 2022/23.”

Despite this, the city’s plan has no staff or service cuts. Employees took a minor pay cut across the board, but the larger bite will be paid with a bond, which the city will have to pay back with interest. And more taxes. One potential stumbling block:

But in a system that expects to pay 60 percent of future pension costs with a risky stock-laden investment portfolio, a plunge in a record-high market could quickly add new debt.”

Have to wonder what the rest of the cities in the San Gabriel Valley are facing. 

You should read the whole scary story: