Serving the people, my ass

Shit is going down in Cudahy in the name of keeping the political status quo.

Since 1999, Cudahy did not have contested elections until 2007, when two newcomers, Daniel Cota and Luis Garcia, ran for positions in the City Council and lost by a few dozen votes. A third newcomer, Tony Mendoza, was forced out of the race after receiving death threats against him and his family.

A year after that election, Cota and Garcia decided to run for office again and set up their 2009 election website a few weeks ago. Last week, Garcia’s house was firebombed (video taken by a security camera), burning the outside of his home and one of his trucks. Below is a picture of Garcia and the damage done to his truck, from the L.A. Now blog.

What’s incredible is that this is the SIXTH time since the past election that he has been vandalized at home. His truck has been showered with gallons of paint four times and two weeks ago, a brick sailed through his window.

In May, Cota’s car was showered in red paint, imitating the sight of blood and sending the chilling message that if he continued, this would be his future. “I’m not afraid,” rightfully says Cota to the L.A. Times.

Cota and Garcia have no reason to be afraid. They should keep the fight up to clean up Cudahy and keep the city responsive to its constituents. In this NBC 4 report, Cota says there are entrenched political interests that don’t want to see him or Garcia elected but chooses not to name people. I doubt it’s a publicity stunt by Garcia and Cota to get more votes. It’s way too early in the campaign to get any votes out of this.

Huntington Park went through the same thing last year, when Efren Martinez ran for a seat in the City Council. He was walking down the street when he was confronted by three men in dark clothing. One pushed him against the wall and said, “Whatever you’re doing with John Noguez, let it go.” Martinez had recently made an issue that City Council member John Noguez’s real name was not John Noguez, it was Juan Renaldo Rodriguez, as it is on his birth certificate.

There is a reason why the L.A. Weekly dubbed Cudahy, “The Town the Law Forgot.” It’s a town where the police do nothing about gangs or homicides but spend all their time looking for the next ticket, where I can’t walk down the street to T & A to get a meal because I fear catching a stray bullet, where I feel forced to send my kids to school in Bell Gardens, where drug runners and gangs are king.

What to do? Cota and Garcia shouldn’t be stopped by these tactics. Cota has the right attitude: “I’m not afraid.” Though their campaign website asks you to call the Maywood Police Department with any information about what happened at their homes, go to the FBI or Department of Justice and let them know of what is going on in the city. Make sure Cudahy, like South Gate a few years ago, is cleaned up before Cudahy is bankrupt. Prosecute corrupt politicians to the full extent of the law, like Albert Robles, for their unlawful actions.

Most importantly, make noise to everyone you know until the Public Corruption Unit, the same unit that successfully investigated corruption in South Gate, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is reinstated. It was illogically disbanded earlier this year. Cudahy is the reason it should be brought back. Get these sleazeballs out of office as soon as possible.

I contacted the admins of this blog and asked to contribute this post.

17 thoughts on “Serving the people, my ass

  1. The greed-bug is infecting all our eastside and south-east neighborhoods. Our so called civic leaders, who were voted in to defend our communities and our ideals, play the shell game with us in public— while actively leaving the back door open for every sneaky white collar thief they can get into bed with. Money and power are drugs worse than meth or crack. Some days it seems as if there is not one honest person left in this city’s council.

  2. Chimatli, same worries here about East LA. The only ones that would benefit from the incorporation are the politicians and company.

  3. This is indeed disturbing. I feel that folks on “the other side ” of this shit, the good guys (are there any left?), whom I HOPE outnumber the sleazeballs, should come out, organize, and make some moves of our own.
    It saddens me to see my beloved East Los, SGV, and now the SFV openly going downhill with the rest of the political garbage WE have allowed to gather, fester , and now spread.
    The ancient Mayans predicted the World would end in 2012, the only publicly recorded dissenter of the original U.S. Declaration of Independence once said “Democracy will only last until public officials learn they can gift themselves richly from the public treasury…”, and the bible states that “bad things shall be sighted” towards the end…
    …and yet some idiots were allowed to remove the cross from the L.A. County seal, prayer & reference to GOD is being avoided or removed in school, and recently the ending of President Roosevelts monumental ‘Day of Infamy’ that states “So help us GOD” was left off a recent WW II memorial.
    I’m not a holy roller, but things seem to go better when GOD was in the picture, know what I mean?

  4. I’m concerned about the slanted news presented in small newspapers to La Opinion. I understand under times of financial distress people like to scapegoat a group or blame the situation on external factors and make them internal(Cudahy-specific…gangs, poverty..etc). I do not believe the tactics Cota and Garcia are using are correct. There is no mention of their agenda other than general comments that appeal to the masses (such as world peace). Lets look at the reality…building a campaign on slander and liable is not correct. Let’s look at community involvement…in the last two years what have they done? I can’t support a candidate who’s political career is defined by the negatives of another. Stand on your own and support it with actions. I understand there is corruption but look at real reason why it exists and who is involved. I truly hope the community will analyze the situation and decide on their own what is true and not use flashy articles, videos or the creation of victims as a tool to decide who to vote for. Please get involved and decide for yourself.

  5. The idea that “things are going downhill” implies that things were “up” before. They weren’t. When cities started out, they weren’t exactly “clean” to start with. Those gateway cities were “whites only”, and discriminatory. The SGV was more integrated, unless you were Black – then you had your “place”, so to speak.

    The founders weren’t exactly do-gooders either – mostly land speculators so full of themselves that they named streets, and even entire cities after themselves (that’s Baldwin Park). Many of these cities have “City Council Members for Life”, who stick around forever, and “carpetbaggers” who move in to run for office. Two extremes that, at the very least, are embarrassing.

    Maybe there appeared to be less political chaos in the “good old days” – but that peace was built on a weak foundation of exploitation and paternalism. Look at the Missions – they were built with Indian labor. The White House was built with slaves too. I just read about a film about the WW2 Poston camps – they put people in there to work the land, as captive labor. Now, today, we incarcerate a million guys, and “let” them work.

    That’s the system that L.A. has in its history.

    It’s just easier to turn a blind eye when Europeans do it, because we’re all used to that pattern, we don’t even see it.

  6. Cynthia,

    I am a bit off topic here, but it seems like you have a bit of background on the officials and contenders. I am interested in the current city manager. I was on the Cudahy website and could not find any background information on Mr. Perez. I understand that in the majority of the cases a city manager has to have at least a Masters in Public Administration or Urban Planning and/or a combination of years as a planner. Where did Mr. Perez go to school, what experience did he have, and how many others where in the pool of applicants for that position?


  7. Not at all. The only background information I have was collected from the past campaigns and at city meetings/functions. I am not aware of the specific internal workings of the city. For example, resumes of applicants or background information on certain employees. Currently, I am studying to obtain my master’s in public administration and throughout my education and life experience, I have learned to see the whole picture and not focus on distraction tactis of the media (as we know can be slanted). I think what would be useful for the residents is a city government 101 presentation on how a city functions. Once informed we can target the correct issue and hopefully solve it. I’m curious to know the reason why you specifically targeted the city manager and not other employees or council members? I appreciate the fact that your question/comment was not aggressive or instigating. Thanks!

  8. Cynthia, my background is in city planning, but I don’t practice in the public arena. I find it very disgusting that someone without credentials is appointed rather than selected from a pool of candidates. I think that was the same issue with the City of Bell Gardens. I was an intern years ago (1994) in one of those communities and one time I opened my mouth to defend a homeowner and the planning director chewed me out for trying to help the people. Who the hell are we supposed to serve as public employees? That’s when I got out of the public sector.

  9. I am sorry to hear that you lost faith in the public sector. There are other venues to help the public within the public sector such as nonprofits. I agree public officials have the responsibility to serve the public and thus have the public’s best interest on hand. It is a very tricky slope to manage this but it can be achieved. I believe a true public official is the one that talks less and does more…really gets their hands dirty working along side the community that placed him/her in that seat. Maybe I am still an idealist but I see myself still working in the public sector even though I have had several setbacks.

  10. This public official (Perez) seems to have been fascinated by Niccolo Machiavelli and more specific his writings — “The Prince”. It seems that he’s operating the city the way Machiavelli would have adviced him.

  11. I do government contracts from time to time and I have saved the State a few millions of dollars in settlements. (Would be a lot of money if I would have been paid on contingency). That is how I serve the public for now.

  12. Well is this really a surprise to anyone? Los Angeles is quickly becoming Tijuana del Norte, with mexican style politics and corruption. Search the name Hector Marroquin, and you will se how EME gang members are social with the politicans. Welcome to the new Tijuana, and thank you elected officials who pander to illegal immigrants.

  13. Exposed: John Noguez Fails to Secure Donor’s Credit Cards

    LA County Assessor Candidate John Noguez doesn’t believe in protecting his own donor’s credit card information at his political web site at! I was floored and astounded too see the disrespect, irresponsibility, and sheer neglect from John Noguez’s part in failing to secure his own donor’s credit card information.

    John Noguez believes he can better appraise real estate and calculate property taxes in LA County, but he fails at appraising the value of privacy and identity theft of his very own donor’s credit card info! How can we trust some one that doesn’t even protect his own donors? After more then 15 years of inexpensive secure internet technology, there is no excuse for this type of behavior. He was ill advised to hire (the kids) at Blue Icon Media ( for this level of politics. Shame John! You lost my my $100 donation and now my vote!. I’ll vote for the other John (John Y. Wong) better.

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