West Covina council members start campaigning

In case you missed it…

Candidates decide to get an early start
Fundraising kicking off for 2009 W. Covina City Council election
By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 09/20/2008 10:57:06 PM PDT

WEST COVINA – Campaign contributions are rolling in for a City Council election that is more than a year away.

Records show fund-raising efforts among the council members vary in ranging from the amounts generated to types of donors.

The top fundraiser so far this year is Mayor Sherri Lane, who has raised nearly $32,000. Councilman Mike Touhey has raised almost $27,000.

Reports from the remaining members of the five-member council show considerably smaller amounts of campaign cash was picked up during the reporting period.

Councilman Steve Herfert raised $8,660 this year, and Councilman Roger Hernandez raised nearly $3,000. Each has three years remaining in office.

Councilwoman Shelley Sanderson, who is up for re-election in November 2009, has raised nothing.

“I haven’t had time to fund-raise,” she said.

She said she typically does not start fund-raising until the year of the election.

She added her empty campaign fund is not an indication of whether or not she will be seeking re-election.

“I would like to run again, but we will have to see how everything is going,” Sanderson said.

Herfert and Lane did not return calls.

It may appear early to begin campaigning for an election in November 2009, officials said, but lingering debt has motivated most to continually raise money.

Touhey remains $40,000 in debt from the previous election and needs to raise money to bring the balance to zero, he said.

According to campaign records, Touhey has raised $26,349 so far this year, with $16,500 applied toward repaying personal loans from his private business to his campaign. Hernandez has raised nearly $3,000 this year, and half of that has gone to repaying a nearly $10,000 loan.

Sanderson, Herfert, and Lane have outstanding loans, records show.

West Covina is one of the few cities in the San Gabriel Valley that has campaign contribution limits.

Businesses can give no more than $1,000, and an individual cannot donate more than $500 to any one candidate, Deputy City Clerk Sue Rush said.

Records show some contributors have sidestepped the city’s campaign contribution limit laws by contributing thousands to council members.

Touhey, Lane and Herfert have received money from individuals or companies associated with Athens Services, the company that has West Covina’s residential and commercial garbage collecting contracts.

Touhey got $7,000 from Athens-associated donors, including Dennis Chiappetta, executive vice president of Athens, and nearly a half-dozen companies owned by Ron Arakelian, the CEO of Athens.

Lane received $4,000 and Herfert received $1,000 each from donors linked to Athens.

Another common donor that appears in the campaign records is the McIntyre Cos., a Covina-based development, management and real estate firm that is a client of Touhey’s personal consulting business.

Those affiliated with the McIntyre Cos., including Canyon Water Company, Andrew McIntyre and William McIntyre, contributed $3,000 to Lane and $3,000 to Herfert.

No matter where the money is coming from, Touhey said it does not influence his politics.

“I am very much a business person, and a lot of people that support me have that same type of mind-set,” Touhey said. “But my votes are my votes are my votes. (Contributions) do not have an affect on me.”

Hernandez, whose term expires in 2011, has collected nearly $2,000 from affiliates of developer Ziad Alhassen.

“One can make the argument that contributions don’t influence them, but the bottom line for me is that the money trail is pretty telling,” Hernandez said. “Those that support the projects get the money.”

  • WC Resident

    I wonder why these companies donate so much? This year Athens not only got a rate increase from the residents, they also received a retroactive increaase! Donate to the Councilmembers campaigns and you get what ever you ask for! As far as McIntyre, anything you want NO PROBLEM! Your wish(McIntyre) is our command(Council).

  • Dirt nap

    Have some cheese with that wine!

  • West Covina Watcher

    Does Anyone know what the outcome was for Roger Hernandez friend on the voter fraud? (see old story below)

    Registering at a location other than one’s place of residence is illegal under federal election laws, said Marcia Ventura, a spokeswoman for the registrar’s office.

    Oliverez, who is listed on Hernandez’s campaign disclosure forms as a consultant, gave police her Leland Avenue address in Los Angeles when officers responded Oct. 26 to a neighbor’s call of possible domestic violence at the councilman’s Kauai Street condominium.

    Hernandez was hostile and threatening to officers responding to the nonemergency call, police said.

    One officer reached for his Taser when the councilman attempted to close a garage door on the officer, according to the police report.

  • WC watcher

    Yes! Roger Hernandez is under investigation by the DA and FBI for being an accomplice in voter Fraud. His campaign manager was arrested and charged with fraud.

    According to sources, Hernandez is being probed for misuse of public monies.

    Also, Hernandez is being sued by his campaign committee for creating a hostile work environment and making advances to fellow coworkers.

  • Anonymous

    Roger Hernandez can is raising meager amounts of money from shady characters.

  • WC0123

    If you’re going to make these comments about Roger, post a link to prove it. Do something to prove this up. Andhe is being sueed by his campaign committee? Roger controls his campaign committee. He’s suing himself? Last time I checked people didn’t really do that. If he is being sued then you can find the case numbers. Come on people prove your comments. Let the Tribune write some articles on it.

    But from this seat, I don’t believe everything I just read.

  • The Commish

    WC Watcher, which I don’t think you are.. You’re an fn idiot! I know Roger’s campaign manager and she has never been arrested for anything.

    Making advances to fellow co-workers? OMG, this is so ridiculous I can’t even stop from laughing! I think the funniest part of that whole thing is the FBI is investigating him. Yes, because the FBI is always SO OPEN about whom they’re investigating and for what, that they’d be happy to have a yahoo like you post it on a public blog. That’s how they work: Full disclosure to losers who post untrue, libelous statements for poops and giggles.

    Listen, there’s a word for people like you, and I don’t think it would be fair to the Leftover Ladies to post it, but I would say “D.B.” Figure it out.

  • http://westcovinawatcher.blogspot.com THE REAL West Covina Watcher

    Yes! I am the REAL West Covina Watcher, not to be confused with the Real Slim Shady.

    Dude, seriously. Stop stealing my handle. Get your own!

    Secondly, I have to agree with The Commish (for once). I don’t know how it is you people call Roger Hernandez’s 3K “shady” when a Councilmember’s PERSONAL CLIENT is bank rolling everyone else, and Athens, which has made the city its B*&^%, is just emptying cash on their desks.

    Lastly, I did some investigating myself: Hernandez was never charged with anything. For anything, and neither was his campaign manager. I could easily say certain officers were “investigated” by the Sheriff’s department for their conduct that night and leave it at that, but I’m not that type of idiot. They were investigated and nothing happened, just like nothing happened with Hernandez.

    And “Dirt Nap,” I think you mean “whine.” Get a dictionary; it would do wonders for your unoriginal puns.

    And The Commish, what’s a “D.B.”?

  • West Covina Watcher

    The real truth is Roger Hernandez’s “friend” and campaign manager (the women his neighbors say he violently yelled at)was registered to vote at his home and this was against the law.This was reported in the tribune and is fact the other “west covina watcher” is only looking out for Roger and not for west covina.

  • TAXPAYER

    Its true Roger Hernandez can not raise money because of his shady political dealings with sketch characters.

    Roger Hernandez is under investigation by the DA and FBI for being an accomplice in voter Fraud. His campaign manager was arrested and charged with fraud.

    According to sources, Hernandez is being probed for misuse of public monies.

    Also, Hernandez is being sued by his campaign committee for creating a hostile work environment and making advances to fellow coworkers.

    He was also caught with a reporter from the tribune in a compromising position.

    About his campaign manager, “Hernandez was hostile and threatening to officers responding to the nonemergency call, police said.

    One officer reached for his Taser when the councilman attempted to close a garage door on the officer, according to the police report.

    Hernandez and Oliverez have denied any argument occurred in the residence…”

    They denied it because Olivarez is the mother of his illegitimate son.

  • Watching too

    Hernandez’ quote – “One can make the argument that contributions don’t influence them, but the bottom line for me is that the money trail is pretty telling.”

    Hernandez, haven’t you ever heard the saying – You point your finger at others and you have three pointing back at yourself?

    Who did you get your donations from? Alhassen. Yes, in 2008, 2007, 2006 in your reports.

    YOU signed a declaration on behalf of Alhassen AGAINST THE CITY YOU REPRESENT.

    YOU have received monies from Athens AND McIntyre. Making statements as above, do you really think the voters are that clueless? Were not.

    YOU voted to support Alhassen so he did not have to pay his taxes. Your council voted to make him pay and they were sued by your friend Alhassen. And in fact Alhassen owes the city over 2 million dollars. If Alhassen would pay his debts like all the others that donate to campaigns, our city would not be facing a deficit.

    YOU make it very clear that you work alone and cannot get along with anyone. You are rude to your staff and to your fellow council members and it shows. Remarks like you made in this paper above and remarks in a previous paper; comments you made about your council not putting you in as Mayor because they were racist! That is just tacky and unprofessional…. and the madness continues…

  • WC Resident

    I see the Touhey and Herfert machine is chugging right along with their slanderous fabrications trying to smear Councilman Roger Hernandez. If the people doing the blogs actually thought about what they are saying they might realize how ridiculous they sound! If as the person who said that everything that they allege was true why hasn’t it been in the paper? It only seems to come from their warped and perverse mind.

  • http://westcovinawatcher.blogspot.com West Covina Watcher

    And how much money over the years did Alhassen give Herfert and Touhey? It might not have been lately, but he has in the past and Herfert and Touhey were happy to give him everything he wanted until Alhassen decided not to play the Good Ol’ Boys game when Herfert leaned on him to overlook a debt he was owed by one of of Herfert’s good buddies. But whatever.

  • Watching too

    WC Watcher, you point your finger too? hmmm

    And I read “your” blog site where you support Hernandez… Talk about good Ol’ boys. You continue to defend and protect Hernandez but state you are just pointing out the facts?? We buy that.

    It’s *was not* Alhassen that chose not to play, it was the Council… They told Alhassen pay his taxes… so do you think Alhassen would GIVE money to those who he is suing and mad at because the Council wants him to pay his bills? Of course not.

    It’s Herfert and Touhey that would not play the game of letting Alhassen slide and lets not forget how HERNANDEZ’ friends Wong and Miller chose to give Alhassen 4 million dollars… Good ol’ boys is right…..

  • Watching too

    WC Watcher, you point your finger too? hmmm

    And I read “your” blog site where you support Hernandez… Talk about good Ol’ boys. You continue to defend and protect Hernandez but state you are just pointing out the facts?? We buy that.

    It’s *was not* Alhassen that chose not to play, it was the Council… They told Alhassen pay his taxes… so do you think Alhassen would GIVE money to those who he is suing and mad at because the Council wants him to pay his bills? Of course not.

    It’s Herfert and Touhey that would not play the game of letting Alhassen slide and lets not forget how HERNANDEZ’ friends Wong and Miller chose to give Alhassen 4 million dollars… Good ol’ boys is right…..

  • Watcher

    West Covina Watcher all the companies mentioned in the blog have given money to all the current council so whats your point. You tend to never mention that Roger Hernandez got money from McIntyre, Athens also. The problem when you mention history of campaign donors you only mention the history of Lane, Sanderson, Herfert and Touhey. I thought after the 2003 election which Touhey lost, he helped raise $25,000. for Hernandez? Check the records, thats the problem when the West Covina Watcher only mentions some of the facts that helps his arguement. Alhassen owes the city from what I have read $2 Million dollars and is suing the City of West Covina. I don’t think anybody should take money from someone suing the city. How much has the Ziad Alhassen cost this city and his buddy is helping him Councilmember Roger Hernandez. 95% of all Roger’s campaign money the last two years is from Ziad Alhassen Companies and Families. Plus how many car deals in between Ziad and Roger? Roger in the article said money influences the votes whats scary is thats how Roger believes. So the question Roger answered for all residents in his own believe is, he sold out the city to Ziad Alhassen for $12,500.00 in donations the last 2 years! The city could solve its finanical problems by having Ziad Alhassen pay his 2 Million debt.

  • WC Resident

    Watcher, you need to look at the 460 forms for the last 2-3 years. The McIntyres only give to the Councilmembers that give him everything that he wants. Therefore Hernandez does not receive donations because he does not give McIntyre a blank check to do as he please. The same goes for Athens, when they wanted the rate increase as well as the retroactive increase the vote was 4-1, only Hernandez voted no.

  • WC Resident

    Watcher, you need to look at the 460 forms for the last 2-3 years. The McIntyres only give to the Councilmembers that give him everything that he wants. Therefore Hernandez does not receive donations because he does not give McIntyre a blank check to do as he please. The same goes for Athens, when they wanted the rate increase as well as the retroactive increase the vote was 4-1, only Hernandez voted no.

  • Watcher

    WC Resident so your point is that Ziad Alhassen gives money to Roger Hernandez because he supports his projects or causes, you need to look at the 460 Forms the last 2-3 years! Ziad only gives money to Councilmembers that give him everything that he wants, even sworn statements on Ziad Alhassen’s behalf for court against the City of West Covina. Roger supported the 5.1 Million dollar gift of public funds to Ziad Alhassen plus refuses to collect the 2 million dollars owed by Ziad Alhassen. The other Councilmembers did receive legal Campaign donations. However, Roger got a $12,000. gift/discount from his donor who benefitted from his vote. The DA couldn’t prove he knew it was a special deal it didn’t change that it was still a gift of $12,000.the gift limit is $390.00 per year that was on top of selling a car to Ziad Alhassen brought 4 days before on the internet for another $2,500. profit. The car purchased at a $12,000. discount/gift was sold 8 months later for another $2,500. profit. How many of you other residents have ever brought a new car drove it for 8 months and sold it for more then you purchased?

    Now to the subject of your response. You missed the point the West Covina Watcher went back further in time its been almost 8 years since any donations from Alhassen to other current council members. The West Covina Watcher brought up the past between 8 to 12 years ago of donations given to other current Council members regarding Alhassen but Roger’s donations only 2-3 year history. You should compare equally, but after all you in charge of misinformation.

  • The truth

    WC Resident…. YOU need to look at the projects that the McIntyres have “done” in the city. They are good projects (oh wait, IT is a good project – The Nissan dealership).

    Lets see YOU PROVE the Council Members give the McIntyres everything they want!

    That’s right, those Council Members don’t go running around accusing police of harassing them when they are caught drunk driving or abusing women. Those Council Members don’t do shady car deals with the guy that wont pay his taxes and wants the city to give him 4 million dollars. Those Council Members don’t yell and curse at the city staff people. And those Council Members are not rude and nasty to the developers that do come to the city….

    (I wouldn’t give a person donations either if I thought they were an incompetent idiot.) But lets see your proof.. Yeah, that’s what I thought, just your tainted Hernandez supporter opinion….

  • WC Resident

    Watcher and the truth,
    Since you have a very limited english capacity and would not understand this any other way, you need to take your heads out of Touheys and Herferts butts so you can breath!

  • The truth

    Okay WC resident, good excuse. – NOT

    No proof of course! Avoiding the TRUTH by saying someone has a limited English capacity is quite telling.(the word English should be capitalized by the way)…

    You and your friend – The West Covina Watcher’s tainted Hernandez supporter opinions are completely laughable.

    The excuses you continue to make for your friend Hernandez and the lies you make up about the people on the Coucnil are falling on deaf ears. (the good people of West Covina are on to you).

    You will never see the truth or ever speak it!

  • West Covina Watcher

    WC Resident aka Else Messmen since you are a English expert, Touheys and Herferts should be Touhey’s and Herfert’s. You need an apostrophe, that’s a punctuation mark used to indicate the possessive case.

    Maybe you should go back to college and have the City of West Covina pay your tution, just like your favorite Council Member Roger Herandez has done. How many Council members have had their college tution paid in the history of the city? One, Council Member Roger Hernandez! How many of you out there would like the City of West Covina to pay your College tution?

  • West Covina Watcher

    WC Resident aka Else Messmen since you are a English expert, Touheys and Herferts should be Touhey’s and Herfert’s. You need an apostrophe, that’s a punctuation mark used to indicate the possessive case.

    Maybe you should go back to college and have the City of West Covina pay your tution, just like your favorite Council Member Roger Hernandez has done. How many Council members have had their college tution paid in the history of the city? One, Council Member Roger Hernandez! How many of you out there would like the City of West Covina to pay your College tution?

  • West Covina Watcher

    WC Resident aka Else Messmen since you are a English expert, Touheys and Herferts should be Touhey’s and Herfert’s. You need an apostrophe, that’s a punctuation mark used to indicate the possessive case.

    Maybe you should go back to college and have the City of West Covina pay your tution, just like your favorite Council Member Roger Hernandez has done. How many Council members have had their college tution paid in the history of the city? One, Council Member Roger Hernandez! How many of you out there would like the City of West Covina to pay your College tution?

  • Anonymous

    What other cities pay for councilmembers to attend college. Tribune can you please find out who, and get the amounts. Is that money budgeted and where on the cities annual budget can we find that information. Or is it hidden? Thank You.