Here’s this week’s installment of Leftovers from City Hall column:
Leftovers from City Hall: Local politicians show interest in 2010 Assembly race
The June 2010 primaries are still far out, but a few local pols have already thrown their names in as potential candidates for the 57th Assembly District race.
La Puente Mayor Louie Lujan, West Covina Mayor Roger Hernandez and West Covina Councilman Steve Herfert have all filed statements of an intent to run for the seat, according to documents filed with the California Secretary of State.
Assemblyman Ed Hernandez – who lives in West Covina and has an optometry office in La Puente – currently holds the seat.
Herfert and Roger Hernandez could not be reached for comment Friday.
Lujan said he decided to file the intent after supporters and colleagues around him encouraged him to run.
“I’m interested but I haven’t made my mind up yet,” Lujan said, adding that if Ed Hernandez were to run again, Lujan would drop his bid.
“I thoroughly enjoy public service,” he said. “If I have the opportunity to serve the public on a different level, I’d be honored to do so.”
Baldwin Park mayor’s name cleared
Mayor Manuel Lozano is off the hook on a 2007 all expense-paid trip he took to China – at least for now.
The District Attorney’s office has concluded its probe and found that Lozano did not have to report his trip on his statement of economic interests because the Chinese government paid for it – not a local businessman like Council critic Greg Tuttle alleged.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission is still doing its own investigation.
Tuttle isn’t too happy about the DA’s decision, and criticized them for relying only on witness statements for proof.
“The DA dropped the ball … Unless I do everything except file the charges and put them in the courtroom, then they don’t want to mess with it,” he said.
Lozano called Tuttle a “congenital liar” and said he’s consulting with attorneys about suing Tuttle for defamation of character.
“He has a major axe to grind,” Lozano said. “Tuttle will go on any little thing and he runs with it … He needs to know he will be held accountable.”
Lozano also said he knew all along the Chinese government foot the bill – even though Lozano said in previous interviews that a Rowland Heights bank paid for the trip.
“I guess I just didn’t explain myself,” he said.
Tuttle said he has no hidden agenda, his complaint was all about Lozano’s travel to China and nothing more.
Pleitez staffer offends West Covina council
A campaign staffer for Emanuel Pleitez got a bit of a tongue lashing from West Covina council members last week after he used an emotional discussion about potential employee layoffs as a campaign pitch for Pleitez, who is running for the 32nd Congressional seat.
JC Stiassni spoke on behalf of Pleitez during the public comment portion of a meeting, following the testimony of employees who were upset over a proposal by Mayor Roger Hernandez to protect only public safety employees from layoffs.
That’s where Stiassni came in with a story about Emanuel’s own plights growing up. Councilman Mike Touhey wasn’t amused. He lambasted the staffer for wasting public comment time, and said it was insensitive for Stiassni to use that time to campaign.
Pleitez’s Press Secretary Emily Dulcan said speaking at public meetings is a campaign strategy. But in hindsight, she said, it probably wasn’t the best timing.
“I want to express my apologies for the insensitivity that may have been portrayed,” Duncan said. “In no way did we mean to offend the participants.”