|Ask not what Pasadena can do for you ...|
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 Lothario, Nate 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.