Big money in little city



Some people I talked to, both on and off the record, said that they were surprised that Rosemead Mayor John Tran has raised $100,000 for a local race. Tran says that he has done so because of his surprise two years ago that Wal-Mart contributed so much to back former Councilman Jay Imperial and Councilman Gary Taylor during a recall election.

“The last time I ran, Wal-Mart contributed over $400,000 to a local election and taht was an eye-opener. I want to make sure I have enough funds to get my point across,” Tran told me on Friday.

(As far as any speculation goes about Tran raising money for the Assembly, that can be put to rest right now, Tran said. He is now just focusing on the city council race, as well as on his family.)

Here’s my story that ran today:

Mayor outpaces all others in money for City Council race
By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 08/24/2008 07:07:36 AM PDT

ROSEMEAD – Mayor John Tran is leading the fundraising pack and has collected more than $100,000 for a City Council election that is seven months away, finance records show.

The city’s election will be held in March, and candidates will be vying for three open seats currently held by Tran, Councilwoman Margaret Clark and Councilman John Nuez.

Officials said they are surprised that Tran, who is seeking his second term on the council, has raised so much money so early.

“It’s outrageous,” said Clark. “We are a little city. It is outside money trying to buy power.”

Campaign finance records show that from January to June, Tran raised $102,218; Nuez raised $31,684; and Clark raised $1,969.

Also actively fundraising this period is Councilwoman Polly Low, whose seat is not up until 2011. She raised $37,407 this period.

Rosemead is a city of nearly 55,000 residents. Traditionally, candidates have raised no more than $50,000.

But a recall election in 2006 prompted by the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter heightened the bar for fundraising efforts.

During that race, Wal-Mart contributed nearly $400,000 to support the recall targets: Councilman Gary Taylor and former Councilman Jay Imperial.

Taylor and Imperial were not recalled.

Read more.

  • Reality

    Unfortunate reality of capitalist democracy. This is why we usually have to select the “the better of the worst” candidates. No wonder our taxes keep going up.

  • Anonymous

    Slick politician for sure!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t Mayor Tran the same guy who was out getting drunk with some crazy band group in LA? That’s the kind of mayor we don’t want. Sounds like Ernie Gutierrez of El Monte. Two losers! What is their problem?

  • Rosemead Watcher

    I can never see myself voting for any of the three, Polly, Tran and Nunez. They are all cut from the same cloth of dishonesty and lies as well as corruption. Not good for our cities image.

  • Rosemead Resident

    Tran will sent out some very expensive mailers. He will probably hire a consultant. No wounder residents do not want to run for office. It costs too much money. You think that Tran was running for something else other than city council. Slick mailers from a slick politician for sure.

  • The Truth Hurts

    It’s funny how some people only worry about the corrupting influence of money when it comes from dozens of Californians rather than just one big Arkansas corporation.

    It’s also funny how those same people can’t seem to manage a two or three line post without demonstrating their own illiteracy. No WONDER they are worried about our CITY’S image. People are going to think Rosemead residents and watchers are stupid.

  • John Tran Sucks

    Sounds like Rosemead Resident and Watcher are graduates of the Garvey School District when it was under Trans rule.

  • The Truth STILL Hurts

    Remember when I said some people can’t manage a two or three line post without demonstrating their own illiteracy? Well, congratulations, JTS: You managed to botch a one-sentence retort. As Homer Simpson might say, “You are so smart. S-M-R-T.” ROFLMAO! 😀

  • gilman

    Hmmmmmm….I thought this was a forum for ideas, opinions and information, not a spelling contest?

    Seems silly to me -why knock someone just because they might lack a command of the english language which you would like to see?

  • enonemous

    Just get your points across. That is all that really matters. We can’t all be “edjumacated scholars.”

  • Oh, poor you!

    I have expressed my ideas and opinions:

    I think it’s funny that someone who wants to criticize the educational performance of the Garvey School District (not with any facts, mind you, but just by claiming it’s lousy and it’s John Tran’s fault) can’t even write a single sentence without making a grade school punctuation error. My point is that if you live in a glass house, you shouldn’t be throwing stones.

    I also think it’s funny that when one group of politicians benefits from $400,000 in campaign spending from from one Arkansas-based company, their supporters think this is great. But when one of their opponents raisies $100,000 from dozens of Californians, including a number of Rosemead residents, this is somehow . . . What? Dishonest? Slick? Corrupt?

    If money is the measure of dishonesty, slickness, and corruption, then shouldn’t people be about four times more concerned about the politicians that got $400,000 (especially if it’s all from one company) than they are about the one who raised $100,000?

    So when I raised this question, what response did I get? “John Tran made Garvey School District graduates illiterate.” Is this the sort of high-minded exchange of ideas and opinions you all were looking for? If not, I think Homer Simpson was a perfectly reasonable response.

    Happy Labor Day.

  • Anonymous

    Home Simpson is a satire of life as we know it. If all you have to do is compare politics and the politicians in Rosemaed to that program, then thesituation regarding your elected officials are really pathetic in Rosemead.