The drama heats in up LA's 14th Council District race
?Hola Raza! ?How?s it going?! I hope that everybody is doing well throughout LA. Well, I?m back giving everybody my thoughts and reflections on the city of LA's 14th Council District race and all the tarugadas that are going on.
Published on LatinoLA: February 27, 2003
For those of you who haven?t followed the race as of late, here are the highlights of the controversies that have surrounded this campaign these last few weeks:
With the last two weeks, major endorsements were announced for Antonio Villaraigosa, former Speaker of the California State Assembly. He's received the endorsements of Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick, State Senator Gil Cedillo and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. Villaraigosa also received the endorsements of The Los Angeles Times and La Opinion.
In regards to Councilmember Nick Pacheco, The Los Angeles Times recently reported a link between Madres of East Los Angeles-Santa Isabel, a non-profit led by Juana Gutierrez, and Mother for Nick, an organization that was resurrected to support Mr. Pacheco, which is based out of Juana Gutierrez?s home, and the suspicion that funds were funneled through Madres to be used in Pacheco?s re-election campaign.
Around the same time that the Councilmember gave $36,500 to Madres, Mothers for Nick reported to City Ethics that they were planning an independent expenditure of $36,085 in support of Pacheco?s campaign. An investigation has been opened by the District Attorney?s Office to look into the matter. Pacheco denies any knowledge of the link between Madres and Mothers for Nick.
What gets even more interesting is that Mothers for Nick was formerly La Colectiva, a group that was led by Juana Gutierrez?s son, Martin GutieRuiz, which was shut down after they were linked to the infamous "Gloria Marina" calls that were placed on behalf of Congressman Xavier Becerra?s campaign. Coincidently, La Colectiva used phone equipment owned by CAL, Inc., a non-profit founded by Nick Pacheco. Since then, both La Colectiva and CAL, Inc. were shut down and the phone equipment used to make those calls was sold.
When La Colectiva was shut down, the Los Angeles Times reported that there were dozens of local youth who were owed extreme amounts of money for their work on behalf of La Colectiva and Congressman Becerra. Now that it is back in operation (under a different name, obviously to remove any connection to it?s past), don?t you think that those youth deserve to get paid what they are owed, rather than Mothers for Nick spending over $36,000 on a political campaign???
Please, if you feel as passionate about this as I do, I suggest that you call Madres of East Los Angeles at (323) 269-9898. Although they say that they are not associated to Mothers for Nick, I?m pretty confident that the message will get to the right people (since they will probably be next to the person answering the calls).
At the least, Juana Gutierrez can tell her son to finally pay those kids.
Also, call Nick Pacheco?s campaign office at (323) 258-5118 and ask them why the Council member has not come out publicly to condemn the group for spending such huge amounts of money on his campaign when youth from the area are still owed tens of thousands of dollars. He can always give the typical ?I am not associated with that group? speech, but the fact of the matter is that anybody who has no control over his close friends, who he has known for years, doesn?t belong in office.
Also, reports of Villaraigosa signs being removed illegally from residences and businesses and replaced by Pacheco signs have been coming from all over the district, in particular in Boyle Heights and in El Sereno. When I contacted Pedro Carrillo, Pacheco?s Campaign Manager and former candidate for the 46th Assembly District, he denied the campaign?s involvement in any removal of Villaraigosa signs. This was hard to believe because I had seen two youth (both who had Pacheco t-shirts on), driving around El Sereno in a truck with giant Villaraigosa signs in the bed of their truck.
The main question that all of us need to ask ourselves is: With the history of campaign treachery associated to Nick Pacheco, is there anything that he says that we can believe???
I don?t think so.
What I do think is that if I run into any young kids who have Pacheco t-shirts stealing more signs from myself and my neighbors, I?m going to give them the worst beating of their lives, and then I?m going to take their asses down to the Police Station and file charges. I encourage all of you to do the same.
Ok gente, take care everybody and make sure to go out and vote on Tuesday, March 4th. Just make sure to go get some tacos on your way to the polls.
It?s always bad to vote on an empty stomach.