Here is this week’s installment of Leftovers from City Hall
Leftovers from City Hall: Race for Solis’ seat starts to take form
Posted: 01/11/2009 07:09:32 AM PST
The race to fill Rep. Hilda Solis’ seat is setting up nicely.
Solis was appointed Labor Secretary on Friday by President-elect Barack Obama. As a result, there has been much talk as to who will fill her seat in Congress.
The top contenders were Sen. Gloria Romero and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu – that is until Romero dropped out of the running late last week. Now, San Gabriel Valley politicians won’t have to split hairs over who they will endorse – they can back Chu as she seeks Solis’ spot, and can support Romero when she runs for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
That’s not to say, of course, that all local politicians will be supporting Chu. Romero threw her endorsement to state Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Other contenders include Emanuel Pleitez, a relatively-unknown 26-year-old financial analyst from El Sereno.
There’s also been speculation that state Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, and his brother state Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Montebello, may also take shots at the seat.
Mayor Manuel Lozano
That trip Mayor Manuel Lozano took to China in 2007 is stirring up more debate.
The District Attorney’s office is reviewing allegations of conflict of interest, stemming from a complaint received in September, said Dave Demerjian, head of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Division.
He wouldn’t say who filed the complaint, but City Council critic Greg Tuttle seems to think the DA’s review comes from a grievance he filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission in August.
In that grievance, Tuttle alleges businessman Nelson Chu paid for all of Lozano’s expenses during the trip – including hotel and airfare – but Lozano never claimed the trip on his statement of economic interests.
Chu, who once owned an industrial warehouse in Baldwin Park, denied paying for the trip. Lozano said expenses were paid for by a bank in Rowland Heights. He also called Tuttle a “congenital liar.”
Tuttle argues his complaint is rock solid.
Council district debate continues
The debate over whether West Covina should form council districts continues to drag on.
It’s been a hot topic since December when a community group started collecting signatures to put the issue to a vote of the people.
Now, Councilman Mike Touhey is considering his own districting measure for the November ballot.
The discussion dominated last week’s council meeting, which ended abruptly when Councilmembers Sherri Lane and Shelley Sanderson walked out while Mayor Roger Hernandez was talking.
Hernandez had accused his fellow colleagues on the dais of ignoring portions of the city where they don’t live. That didn’t sit well with any of the council members.
Lane was the first to walk out. Then Sanderson, but only after she asked Hernandez several times to stop making “speculative” accusations without having all the facts.
Councilman Steve Herfert left prior to Hernandez’s comments. He had a prior commitment.
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