Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Proxy War: Obama Vs. The Holden Machine

Ask not what Pasadena can do for you ...
During my now distant memory of a Christmas vacation a dear friend stopped by with what she believed was a pretty hot story for the blog. A lot of people come to me with what they think are good stories, and sometimes they are. But this story, like quite a few others, well, I doubted I would ever want to use it. My friend (if I used her name here she would likely kill me) falls in on the liberal side of the varied ideological rainbow of folks that participate on this blog, and she had been toiling for the Obama campaign last fall in Pasadena. And while doing so she had met and worked with what she proclaimed was a very fascinating and accomplished African American family with the very Democratic Party name of Kennedy. "How accomplished?" I asked. "John," she breathed in her usual emphatic way, "These are lovely lovely people. They even talk on the phone with the Obamas."

As impressive as that surely is, like I said I wasn't quite sure what to do with this information. She then informed me that John J. Kennedy was going to be a name I'd be hearing a lot of, and soon. "And why?" I dared to ask. "Because he is going to run for Pasadena City Council, and he is going to win."

All I could think of at that time was why should I care? I now know that I was wrong to view it that way. My very smart friend was absolutely right. It is a big story.

Recently on the always perky Pasadena Now website a rather fawning article appeared about another candidate aiming to take the vacated Pasadena City Council seat of now California State Assemblyman Chris Holden. Titled, "Ishmael Trone Launches District 3 Campaign, Chris Holden at His Side" (click ye here), it would appear that yet another powerful political apparatus was taking a keen interest in this opportunity.

Assemblymember Chris Holden said Saturday much of his success during his time on the Pasadena City Council was achieved with District 3 Council Candidate Ishmael Trone at his side. “He and I worked very closely during much of my time in office (City Council),” said the assemblyman while standing next to Trone during an event that launched Trone’s campaign for the now-vacant seat. “He’s been able to see how we’ve accomplished things along the way.”

“As the campaign continues and as more people don’t know him connect with him, and understand what he’s already been able to contribute,” Holden said. “I think they’re going to find it be a rather easy decision (to elect Trone).”

That sentiment was shared by many of the 150 in attendance at the Eden Garden Restaurant where Trone’s 81-year-old mother and two daughters basked in the light of appreciation from supporters.

“He’s always involved in all aspects of the community and what beautifies the community,” said Pasadena business owner, architect Charles Bryant. “Despite all the work he’s done, he wants to do more work. Let’s give  it to him. He’s the right one for the job.”

If you are looking for incisive and hard hitting political news, you really can't do much worse than look for it on Pasadena Now.

The Holden Political Machine, spawned nearly fully formed from the loins of the Hahn Political Machine many years ago, gave to this imperfect world the L.A. City Hall LotharioNate Holden. Nate begat Chris, a gentleman of modest ambitions who sat on the Pasadena City Council for over twenty years. Something that would seem to indicate a stunning lack of imagination. But patience is its own reward, and Chris Holden now finds himself in Sacramento representing us all in the Assembly, despite everything we did to try and prevent that. But, and as you can imagine, after sitting in that same City Council seat for two or so decades, Chris had come to see it is as family property. And now he wants to anoint an heir.

In a powerful broadside titled "Ishmael Trone & the Holden Machine" (click here), posted on his blog The Detective Story, civil rights advocate Jan B. Tucker confirms this political passing of the torch:

Another scandal that engulfed Chris Holden involved “god-squad” former LAPD Assistant Chief Robert Vernon, a right wing religious fanatic, in unlawfully releasing confidential police intelligence files about one of Holden’s opponents, Michael Zinzun, for Pasadena City Council, “outing” his activities with the Black Panthers and the Peace & Freedom Party.

Now, the Holden machine is putting forth Ishmael Trone as candidate to replace Chris on the Pasadena City Council. In the last election, Chris was elected to the California State Assembly. What inquiring minds want to know is, “where exactly is he living” and is it because he’s separated from his wife or is it all just a scam to run in a district that he doesn’t live in.

So what do I see? Two notable political organizations are now squiring their respective candidates out onto the field of battle. The candidate of the Obamas, John J. Kennedy, versus the Holden Machine's very own Pasadena District 3 chosen one, Ishmael "Altadena" Trone. To me this is shaping up to be no mere City Council dust up, but rather a true proxy war between a regional political powerhouse and the ultimate national interest, an interest that apparently recognizes no boundaries.

This certainly is going to be good. And it appears it may have already begun.

Jan B. Tucker drops a very big bomb on Pasadena - and the Coleman Stove explodes

When you take all of the above into account, the bomb that Jan Tucker dropped on the Pasadena political scene takes on an exciting new significance. And while he has in no way recognized the scope of what is going down here as we have here on The Tattler, the Pasadena Weekly's Andre' Coleman did take a hearty swing at the story (click here). This is part of what he had to say:

Hitting Home: Private Eye posts "incriminating" mailing address as DA investigates District 3 candidate's residency - Recently, people began talking about a private investigator who’d come to town and was secretly snooping into the backgrounds of certain people. Not long after that, a Pasadena City Council candidate’s estranged wife complained about her mail being tampered with.

But as all that was happening, operatives for one candidate started claiming their political nemesis lied about his residency. That’s when the District Attorney’s Office began taking a keen interest in what has been going on.

What sounds a little bit like a storyline from a Lifetime or USA Network melodrama, or an example of Nixon-era campaign dirty tricks, is actually a condensed update of what’s been happening in the red-hot race for the City Council District 3 seat between John J. Kennedy, Ishmael Trone and the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Benson. The three men are competing to replace former Councilman and now state Assemblyman Chris Holden in the March 5 municipal election.

On Thursday, LA County Deputy District Attorney Anne Ingalls confirmed her office is looking into a complaint filed against Trone, alleging he lied about his residency when he filed papers at City Hall to run for the seat left vacant by Holden, and that Trone is actually living in Altadena with his wife, from whom he is legally separated.

“There is an inquiry regarding Mr. Trone’s residency,” Ingalls told the Weekly Thursday. “We will look into it and review whatever we need to review.”

Now you'd think that Andre' would be as excited about this story as we are. It isn't everyday that the product of a rather dicey local political machine gets nailed in such a classic crime noir fashion. I personally found Tucker's story to be so cool that I wrote an article about it (click here), one that sat in the #1 position on the Tattler Top 10 for almost an entire week.

However Mr. Coleman, long rumored to be deep in a crowded sack with the Holden Machine, worked very hard to find a conspiracy lurking somewhere beneath what appeared to be a rather inspired act of revenge for past trespasses against Jan Tucker's longtime political home, the legendary Peace and Freedom Party.

Here is Coleman's rather tepid conspiracy theory:

“Legally I can’t say if I have been hired or working a case on this,” Tucker told the Weekly. The private investigator also would not reveal if he had gone through Juanita Trone’s mail to scan or copy the pieces posted on his blog.

Tucker is loosely connected to Pasadena Unified School District school board member — and Kennedy supporter — Ramon Miramontes, through membership in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Miramontes said he knows Tucker, but did not hire him.

Although Ingalls declined to say who wrote the complaint about Trone, and no other newspapers have reported on the DA’s inquiry, Miramontes seemed to know all about the investigation, according to a series of text messages he sent to his friend, local restaurateur Robin Salzer, a former District 1 candidate rumored to be considering a mayoral run in two years.

According to Salzer, who also supports Trone, Miramontes wrote “Ish is going to lose dude.” Another message from Miramontes reads “The DA is going after Trone. There is an investigation on him for not living in the district. I’m no longer backing U for mayor and NW [Northwest] Latinos will not back you.” 

Miramontes said he knew nothing about the DA investigation and said he was not working with Tucker, whom he described as a “well-known private investigator.” Miramontes also refused to say whether he sent any text messages to Salzer, who shared them with the Weekly.

None of this should come as any surprise. Andre' Coleman's animosity towards any school board member that does not bear the imprimatur of PUSD wrecker Peter Dreier branded somewhere on their backside is a commonly recognized certitude in these parts. And honestly, if Coleman is so desperately casting about for someone to blame for Ishmael Trone's present embarrassment, why is he aiming so low as to blame it all on Ramon Miramontes? Shouldn't he also be considering the President of the United States?

After all, if you want to play the conspiracy game, why not go for all of the gusto?

One more thing before I go

Much of what Andre' Coleman asserts about Jan Tucker and Ramon Miramontes is factually in error. Here is a list of those errors per Jan Tucker:

"Tucker is loosely connected to Pasadena Unified School District school board member — and Kennedy supporter — Ramon Miramontes, through membership in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Miramontes said he knows Tucker, but did not hire him."  [Emphasis added]

1.  I am not a member of LULAC.
2.  I was formerly a LULAC member but have not been one in years.
3.  I was formerly National Commissioner for Civil Rights of LULAC and held various posts at Council and State levels as well.
4.  LULAC had a split some years ago at the national and state levels.  Jaime Martinez was defeated for national President (he was outgoing Secretary Treasurer) due to unlawful manipulation by the then-governing political party of Puerto Rico involving expenditure of about $1,000,000.  Jaime split and formed the National League of Latin American Citizens.
5.  The first State Director appointed by Jaime was me as California State Director for NLLAC, so I am state director of CALLAC, California League of Latin American Citizens.
6.  Mr. Miramontes is a member of LULAC, not NLLAC or CALLAC.
7.  There is no love lost organizationally between LULAC and NLLAC as litigation has been raging between the two organizations since the split.  That does not mean that everybody in LULAC hates everybody in NLLAC or vice versa, but we have no organizational ties whatsoever in California between the two organizations.

It would seem to me that perhaps Andre' Coleman might want to put in for a college intern to do some of that always bothersome fact checking for him.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

66 comments:

  1. TB where do you get all this stuff? I have come to the conclusion that it is all a big conspiracy. Between the City Council elections and the PUSD Board with District 3 sandwiched in the middle, who needs the reruns of the West Wing. I am inclined to write a book about the whole thing, would you mind being the ghost writer? We will make millions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one is actually me. But I accept the compliment.

      Delete
    2. This one is all John. Half the stuff I get I don't even understand. Mary is the researching machine over here. I will be at the BOE meeting for public comments at 6:30 though. A couple of changes to Board Policy are sliding through which will effectively silence the voice of parents completely. and there is still that other ugly business .....

      Delete
    3. Let us know how it goes, Tony. And thanks.

      Delete
    4. We're going to let the Board know that the internal complaint process is corrupt and that we'll be sharing info on how parents directly file with the state/fed govt.
      ~Mary

      Delete
    5. That sure is the truth! Thanks TB & MB That is much needed info.

      Delete
    6. It is like the fox look after the chicken coop. I always have a problen when agencies investigate themselves. It has conflict of interest written all over. I remember, on one occassion, the same attorney handling a special education issue for me, was the same attorney handling the Uniform Complaint Procedure I filed. I told them about the conflict of interest and that they have to bring another lawfirm, which they did. When I settled the case with the district, they asked me,as part of the settlement, to drop the Uniform Complaint Procedure.

      Delete
    7. Of course they asked you to drop the UCP.

      They also ask that you absolve them from any prior and FUTURE wrong doing associated with the situation.

      Funny thing is that they stall, delay and hide evidence so that when you finally figure things out, you've signed away your rights for a measly settlement. The going rate right now in PUSD can be found in their monthly purchase orders of what is paid out to parents for due process complaints. It doesn't cover even half of the legal expenses. And this is so that students can get the supports that the district should already be providing. So wrong.

      Delete
  2. I love our local LULAC chapter and have gone to a couple of their functions, but I am not a member. The people are wonderful. I went to the national website to join last week but I found no link in Pasadena. I was confused and thought the error was mine. I think I understand why now. Thanks John. It is not the meat of this story, but it helps me with a minor detail in my day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks to me like the Sacramento labor machine butting in again via PUSD using a questionable candidate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. State development surrogates versus federal development surrogates. Look mommy, they're fighting!

      Delete
    2. I'm thinking the way these Pasadena politicos fight is something to experience. They get nasty.

      Delete
  4. So why do the Obamas not get involved in Sierra Madre politics? Do the Morans talk with the Obamas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The O'Bamas and the O'Rellys came by but the Morans werem't "home"

      Delete
    2. Are they in England?

      Delete
    3. I got a form letter from Obama when I wrote to him about my kid being bullied by adults at Sierra madre school. David Dreier personally responded though...

      Delete
    4. Not that any of these people will intervene. Gee, we can't even get PUSD to commit to protecting students from adult community members. That came straight from the guy in charge of PUSD Child Welfare.
      ~Mary

      Delete
    5. Moran came from Monrovia and was "installed" here, as a what do you call him? "Resident" of Sierra Madre to be on the City Council. It would not surprise me he was not "home" in Sierra Madre.

      Delete
    6. I think !2:10 if you think the Morans came from Monrovia you do not know much about Sierra Madre , He may have lived in Monrovia for a time but the family has been in Sierra Madre for a long time and he was brought up there

      Delete
    7. That is a relief. Thank you for posting this.

      Delete
  5. So Miramontes sent a text to Salzer telling him he's not going to back him in the mayor run he's going to take up in the future. That's when he to Coleman and betrayed Miramontes? It's obvious, and Salzer just made sure he lost a lot of potential Latino votes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder who told him that was a good idea? Somehow they must have convinced Robin that their victories are inevitable, and if he doesn't get on board he will lose out.

      Delete
    2. Good point 8:32. I'm not a politician so my alliances are based on respect and loyalty. I keep forgetting politicians have an altered perception of morality.

      Delete
    3. Looks like Miramontes needs to learn that special code.

      Delete
    4. I agree with 9:14

      Delete
  6. Sounds more like cooked goose than pulled pork to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stick the fork in. The Robin is done.

      Delete
  7. I am a resident of District 3 and, I don't know who to support for City Council. If Throne doesn't live in the district, why then he is still pretty much in the running and showing his face around town. How about Kennedy, he boasts that he has gone to the bathroom with the Obamas, sleep with them and baby sit each others kids. He also claims that he has their cell phone and home address at the White House, hell I have that too but, I am not boasting about it. How about this Benson guy, he is the underdog, is he any good? Not much being said about him. Does he have any skeletons in his closet? Inquiring minds want to know. What a mess the politics of District 3 has turned out to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure, let me research, but in typical bureaucratic fashion if you are District 3 for city council voting, that is NOT the same as District 3 for BOE voting. Isn't it great that we have so many attorneys looking out for our cities?

      Delete
    2. Benson is an evangelical minister. I'm finding these Pasadena clergy guys have a hard time separating church and state.
      I'm curious as to why Israel Estrada unexpectedly dropped out if the race.

      Delete
    3. It could be worse, 9:26. Here in Sierra Madre they took away our right to vote in the 2013 Board of Education election altogether. And we had three lawyers on that commission supposedly looking out for us.

      Delete
    4. One of those lawyers is funding Hueso's campaign. I can't imagine why....

      Delete
    5. Follow the money. That is all they care about. The PUSD land rush is on.

      Delete
    6. When Mosca took off for England, he left his spot on the redistricting task force to Doyle. Now that's a friend.

      Delete
    7. Having gone to the men's room with the president is probably a far better reason to elect someone than having gone to the men's room with Holden. This sounds like an important issue and I hope it comes up in the debates.

      Delete
    8. 10:43 - good one. Yeah, that Joe always took good care of the kids.

      Delete
    9. http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/the_call_to_lead/11827/

      Delete
    10. Hunh. Both Kennedy and Trone have had run ins with the law over guns. Maybe they could settle this race with a duel?

      Delete
    11. So are we electing felons for City Council? Things at District 3 BOE are not that good either. Ms. Duncan is AWOL, Mr. Hueso is sleeping with the enemy, Mr. Hampton is not mature enough for the job and Mr. Arce is trying to fight the enemy but, the "kingmaker" deserted him because he had no money and no organization that is supporting the status quo at PUSD is supporting him. It will be like, in your face, kind of deal if he wins without spending a dime. How I will love to see that!

      Delete
    12. Am I the only one to see the irony in both Ishmael Trone and Tim Donnelly being arrested for the same thing? Carrying a gun in their baggage while trying to get on a plane? With both claiming they forgot it was there?

      Delete
    13. Donnelly was elected when he goofed. Trone did his weapons violation in anticipation of being elected. More efficient, don't you think?

      Delete
    14. Getting caught at the airport with a loaded revolver is a cheap political stunt.

      Delete
  8. I'm sure Robin will continue to get catering orders from those special pasadena people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin is a good sport. He can take a ribbing.

      Delete
    2. as long as he's not all saucey

      Delete
    3. What's he smoking?

      Delete
    4. Have you ordered the medicinal herb baked chicken yet? First time I ever saw a dead bird fly.

      Delete
    5. yes, I brought it to the cobbler, but it still didn't fit on my foot

      Delete
    6. I whacked it, sacked it, and snacked it, but it really isn't all that it's sliced up to be

      Delete
  9. What ever happened to the non career citizen doing his/her citizen's duty in office, and going home to his/her job. You know, like all these political hacks pushed by the "Central Party"? Do you think they are in it for the money embezzeled from the tax payers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Money. The last thing these guys want is independent voices speaking on behalf of the taxpayer.

      Delete
    2. Don't forget the meeting stipend$$ as well as the free buffets.

      Delete
  10. They no longer exists. Politicians are in this arena for the only purpose of enriching themselves and their friends. There is no altruism in politics nowadays sad to say. Those candidates that really care don't get the support they need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or worse, they are vilified and smeared by well funded political machines. Sean Baggett comes to mind.

      Delete
    2. Scott Phelps is non partisan and pushes for accountability and transparency. He gets called a "micro manager" by the Honowitz camp, but really is calling people out on waste. Guess who didn't get endorsed by ACT?

      Delete
    3. Yes 12:25, what they did to Baggett was disgusting. Too bad he pulled his lawsuit.

      Delete
    4. It would have been nice to have seen Selinske in Court trying to explain some of that crap.

      Delete
  11. Get your flu shot. Inyo and eastern Kern County have run out of vaccine.

    If you recall: the shot takes approximately 2 weeks to get your immunity up to 62%. If you don't get the immunization you are at 0%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just up your vitamin D intake. Studies have shown it to be just as effective as the flu shot (and sometimes more effective) in preventing the flu.

      Delete
  12. Star News has an article up about Nick "COG" Conway's trial. Preliminary hearing was today. 5 hours, 4 witnesses called. One was Tom King. No news on whether Nancy Walsh was called to testify about the yumminess of the banquets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it's progressing. Will be even gladder when he is soundly punished.

      Delete
  13. I remember a time when Pasadena was the bastion of Republicanism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moneyed Pasadena was.
      The servants - not so much.

      Delete
  14. Just up your vitamin D intake: to how much? It is a fat soluble vitamin and toxic in large amounts. Get out in the sun would help. Winter-time problem? Internet search leaves lots of information unclear...H1N1 relationship to low levels of vit D3.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ...and Mr. Arce was NOT invited to the PUSD Union Forum at Blair High School today at 6:00 p.m. I wonder why!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Magnesium is a micronutrient found in bones, tissues
    and organs. After trying nearly every natural remedy imaginable, none
    of which worked, I finally solved my high blood pressure problem with slow breathing -
    on my own, exactly as described - and I've since witnessed many others enjoy even more dramatic results.
    It would be advisable that you get at least 400
    milligrams a day. Like most things in life that really work, slow breathing is actually very
    simple and practical and all it takes is 15 minutes a day.
    High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a preventable
    cause of heart disease.

    Here is my blog post - what is high blood pressure

    ReplyDelete