"Former Boyle Heights resident, now 50th Assembly District Candidate Ricardo Lara
" "Convict felon and former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles"
Long-time South Gate City Councilman Henry Gonzalez is the point person within the working class city, for any young aspiring politico, who seeks his blessing for any future political endeavors. But leave it to Councilman Gonzalez to be "straight forward" in his assessment of your political attributes as the likes of 50th Assembly District Candidate Ricardo Lara
and convicted ex South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles
found out in the recent past.
Gonzales is well known in the Southeast Los Angeles County Community, for his stance against the political corruption that was the M.O. of the Robles Machine's "reign of political terror" in South Gate during the early part of the 21st Century. For Gonzalez, the price he paid in standing up to the Robles Machine, was almost fatal, in a physical sense, as he nearly lost his life in a unsolved shooting, where he was shot in the head.
But while Robles sits in the federal prison somewhere, the likes of Gonzalez, De La Torre and numerous political activists in the Southeast, are concern about a new machine that seeks to impose its wills upon the small cities that comprise the 50th Assembly District. And if you look closely, you will find the same cast of political insiders, that enable the likes of Albert Robles to loot the city coffers of South Gate.
The 50th Assembly District has become ground zero in a political power play that could have statewide implications, but most important to ethical political observers, are the possible legal ramifications on how Ricardo Lara came to become the "chosen one" of the Latino/ Labor Coalition., that doubles as a potent political machine.
If we go back in recent political time to the 2007 46th Assembly District Race to replace former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, the likes of State Senator Gil Cedillo Staffer Auturo Chavez, Mayor Antonio Parkervillar Cousin John Perez, and Lara, all were ready to compete for the Assembly seat.
But "political divine intervention", in the form of County Labor Federation Leader Maria Elena Durazo and her longtime political soul mate Mayor Parkervillar, gave their blessing to John Perez as the anointed candidate in the 46th. But the "political consolation prize" for Ricardo Lara (Chavez has the misfortune of working for Mayor Parkervillar political nemesis Cedillo, thus no political capital to parley at the Getty House gathering noted in the Weekly article.), is causing some to question whether federal laws were violated, with Lara's appointment to a paid position on the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission.
Now in 2010, is Lara asking the voters in the 50th Assembly District, to endorse the "LA Latino/Labor Coalition Way", of selecting the best candidate to represent the interests of Southeast LA County voters? How will the voters of the 50th respond to the looming machine on its borders?
But for the voters in the 50th who fight so hard to reject the Robles Machine, they may want to consider these facts. One of Lara's endorsers is Montebello School Board Member Hector Chacon, who ran against Hector De La Torre in 2004. During that campaign, the LA Times reported that Chacon hired an indicted associate of the Robles Machine Ricardo Hernandez, to help with his campaign.
Further, it was a open secret that Chacon half-brother Commerce City Councilman Hugo Argumedo and another council ally Ray "Gordy" Cisneros, wanted to hire Albert Robles as the City Administrator in Commerce. They went as far to promote this at the Grand Opening of the Paseo Shopping Center in South Gate. A story that Henry Gonzalez told to me.
Then lets remember who was the "political mentor" of Albert Robles. That would be none other than former Assemblyman and Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre confidant Lou Moret, who was sued by the City of South Gate, for his dubious dealings with Robles.
Alatorre and the usual associates like Richard Polanco, LA City Councilman Jose Huizar, LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia and Alatorre, are all united in supporting Lara for the 5oth.
But in ending, Henry Gonzalez may speak for the majority of the 50th Assembly District voters, when he recounts what he told Lara, in response to his feelers regarding running for office in South Gate as a pit stop, on the way to Sacramento.
Gonzalez, who still serves on the council, says that about four years ago, he was paid a visit from another young man interested in running for South Gate City Council: Lara.
At the time, Lara's goal was to establish himself on the local level before running for the Assembly.
"I said you ought to stay in your own district and run there," Gonzalez says. "He's a carpetbagger. Everything that man's doing reminds me of Albert (Robles)."
Some may agree with Gonzalez on this assessment of Lara, after all if Lara will take money to stay out of a race for office. How much will he take to get elected?
BTW, where is Ricardo Lara having his "victory celebration"? Try the J Lounge in Downtown LA,
........... within the 46th Assembly District.
Scott Johnson in CD 14.