Outtakes from the CD Hipster 13 Election Proceedings
According to a spokeswoman for L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, prosecutors are trying to determine whether backers of one candidate illegally filled out mail-in ballots for dozens of voters in the Armenian enclave in East Hollywood. The May 21 election will decide who succeeds Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor.In a complaint sent to Lacey's office, an attorney for candidate John Choi accused backers of Choi's opponent, Mitch O'Farrell, of "widespread voter fraud and illegal electioneering activities."The complaint alleges that O'Farrell campaign workers filled out voters' ballots for their candidate while telling them they were voting for Sam Kbushyan, a candidate of Armenian descent who ran and lost during the primary election.
Why would the Choi Campaign want to target Kbushyan and his supporter?
Both campaigns are looking for votes in Little Armenia, in large part because Kbushyan and his supporters registered nearly 3,000 new voters there in the March 5 primary.Kbushyan surprised many in the political establishment when he came in third, placing higher than several other contenders with more money and City Hall support.
Then lets also consider how the other CD 13 candidates have chosen sides in the runoff and the trend must be disturbing to the Choi Campaign as noted by the LA Weekly.
One litmus test may be checking out who's endorsing Choi and O'Farrell. More specifically, the endorsements from Choi's and O'Farrell's one-time rivals, who campaigned against the two men for months leading up to the March 5 primary.Former CD 13 candidates who backed O'Farrell are Sam Kbushyan, Josh Post, Alex De Ocampo and Mike Schaefer.De Ocampo is a neighborhood success story who grew up poor and was raised in CD 13, but applied himself in school and ended up working for billionaire Haim Saban's charitable foundation. He's not closely aligned to power brokers Villaraigosa or Durazo.Post is a former law professor who also worked for L.A. Mayor Jim Hahn, the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, and a federal judge. He was also elected to a neighborhood council in Mid-City and worked in after-school programs for L.A. students. He's not in the loop with the Villaraigosa/Durazo crowd.Kbushyan is a Hollywood community activist with strong ties in Little Armenia, and Michael Schaefer is a small business owner. Neither of them are tight with the dominating forces in L.A.'s Democratic political world.Choi, on the other hand, has the support of Matt Szabo, Robert Negrete, Jose Sigala and Emile Mack.Szabo is a deputy mayor to Antonio Villaraigosa, Negrete is an aide to California State Senator Alex Padilla (a definite player in L.A. Democratic politics), and Mack is a City Hall insider as an assistant chief in the Los Angeles Fire Department.Sigala has some street cred as a neighborhood council member in Echo Park. (and BTW, a staffer for CD 2/7 City Councilman Richard AlarCON)Choi, a former public works commissioner, once worked for both Villaraigosa and Durazo.What does it all mean? Well, L.A.'s rich and powerful crowd are clearly lining up behind Choi. ** But the vote total from the March Election clear favors the O'Farrell backers.
Thus, what does the Political Machine do when someone like O'Farrell get in the way of the anointed choice for office? Lets revisit a 2003 CD 14 City Council Election for a historical, teachable moment brought to you by S G & A's Consulting Elder Parke "Parque" Skelton as regurgitated from Parke talking points, in a formerly "LA Antonio Times" Editorial and an excerpt from a letter, via the target of the baseless allegations.
September 23, 2003
To: Open Letter to all concerned
Fr: Juana B. Gutiérrez, Co-Founder and President Madres del Este de LosAngeles – Santa Isabel (MELASI)
Re: Antonio Villaraigosa’s attack on Juana B. Gutiérrez and MELASI
I am writing to set the record straight and to clear my name. Several monthsago, unwarranted and unsubstantiated accusations were made against me byAntonio Villaraigosa (crafted by S G and A) during his campaign to become Los Angeles CityCouncilmember of the 14th District.
Antonio’s attack on my integrity and on my record as an activistwas initiated for the sole purpose of denigrating me personally and theorganization I helped to found because I endorsed his opponent.
In addition to sharing with you the sequence of events regardingfabrications and allegations made against me by Antonio Villaraigosa, I amincluding a text copy of the City Ethics Commission memo below thatexonerates me and the Madres del Este de Los Angeles – Santa Isabel from anywrong-doing.
This flashback leaves us to ponder whether ten years later, S G and A is using the same baseless smear tactics to paint Sam Kbushyan and his supporters, as the 2013 incarnation of Juanita Gutierrez and Madres del Este de Los Angeles? Maybe, now Mayor Antonio Villar, has some 2003 tales of Ethic Violations he can retell, to answer that?
Your thoughts ..................
Scott Johnson in CD 14