I feared the worst for Jack Guerrero, the lone Republican on the Cudahy City Council.
The big money pouring into the district in favor of corrupt Chris Garcia worried me. Would he be able to fool enough residents so that they would re-elect him and throw out the one honest councilman in Cudahy?
Then there was Valentin Amezquita, the only member who rejected the appointment of two illegal aliens to city commissions in Huntington Park. Would he have the resources to take on the corruption throughout the region and set Huntington Park on a proper path?
There was a lot of anticipation and excitement leading up to March 7. 2017.
The pro-Chris, anti-lawlessness phalanx invaded the Cudahy City Council on February 27.
They tried to shame Guerrero.
Teachers even belittled this Ivy-league educated account executive!
It was unbelievable to see the level of hatred manifested in the room.
Here are some scenes of what happened in the city council chambers that evening.
The level of animus reached a pretty fevered pitch:
Guerrero announces his stern opposition to corruption:
When a teacher shamed his extensive academic background, Guerrero responded in turn:
In spite of nasty Trump attacks, race-baiting, and big money from outside of the city, Guerrero was the top vote getter!
Then there's Valentin Amezquita in Huntington Park.
He spoke out many times on the corruption in the city and the need for attention to serious matters. The financial picture for Huntington Park is abysmal for example. There is no code enforcement on the streets.
It's a huge mess of lawlessness, nacro-thuggery, and outright corruption.
Valentin spoke out in meetings many times.
He received massive support from charter school organizations and individual residents in the city, too.
So, how did such different outcomes emerge?
Guerrero, the conservative Republican in the bluest city of the bluest county of the blue state in the union won re-election.
Valentin, who had advocated for amnesty for illegal alien youth (whom he called "DREAMers) and connected intimately with the voting public on his opposition to marijuana dispensaries and moratoria on charter schools, lost.
Let's focus on a few principles.
1. A team of volunteers/activists
Before he had run for office, activists had been pounding the corrupt city council prior. Two of them ended up in jail, along with the city manager.
The mood was very strong in the region to reform local government.
And a group of activists had already coalesced to fight back and take down the wicked people running the city government into the ground:
In contrast, Valentin did not have a solid and vocal team of activists from Day One supporting him in office.
To the best of my knowledge, he had run for office in 2013 following the John Noguez scandal, and the city was rife for change in the area.
This is an important lesson for anyone who runs for office--if there is no team of volunteers and activists behind you--it's not going to work out very well.
2. Interventions/warnings from federal and state officials
Huntington Park has received a number of complaints regarding Brown Act violations
The state controller and federal authorities have put pressure on Cudahy to get their finances in order.
The federal pressure and warnings alarmed residents more effectively.
3. A base of PRINCIPLED support from outsider the district.
From records I have read, Guerrero received some support from GROW Elect--- a Republican group that helps local Latinos get elected to office. Guerrero did not rely on special vendors and special interests to fund his campaign.
Guerrero is an open conservative Republican and worked with a network of fellow Latinos--both Republican and Democrat--who were fed up with the corruption.
In contrast, Valentin is a Democrat who had rebuked the party for their collusion of corruption within the Southeastern LA County cities.
4. Guerrero and his team used earned media better.
Following a massive complaint from the district attorney's office regarding numerous Brown Act violations and heavy fees and taxes on residents, La Opinion reported on the abuse and demanded answers from the city leaders.
Guerrero also received positive press on Univision when he talked about federal and state policy, especially focusing on the destructive elements of the Affordable Care Act.
In contrast, Valentin Amezquita, who served as an informant to the FBI for the bribery scam enacted by HP Tow, made little out of this announcement. When the Los Angeles County Public Integrity Division announced their own investigation into pay-for-play influence peddling from Karina Macias, that disturbing headline also received little attention from residents.
5. Guerrero's messaging was consistent. Amezquita's not as much.
The Cudahy city councilman never wavered on the rule of law, and he was emphatic on enforcement of our laws. He openly shared his contacts with state leaders about the financial mismanagement of the city, too.
Amezquita opposed the appointment of two illegals, but then he supported immigration "reform." It seems a little confusing.
He was a Democrat seated with fellow Democrats, and yet he vocally opposed their actions. Perhaps this public disconnect did not resonate well with voters.
6. Guerrero was a "guerrero" -- while Amezquita was more of a "boy scout."
Newt Gingrich was spot-on when it comes to politics:
I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don't encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but are lousy in politics.
Ironically enough, the Republican was more "nasty" than the Democrat.
At every meeting, Guerrero had no problem calling out the corruption of his colleagues. He frequently interrupted them when their motions and rulings were out of order.
He routinely informed the audience what bills and proposed amendments would do to the residents of his city. He had no problem re-iterating a point about the corruption of his colleagues.
Too many city councilmembers go to great lengths to present a field of congeniality to the public. City council members do not sit in elected office to make nice with their peers. They get elected to do what is best for the citizens of their cities.
7. Voter fraud.
I received at least three statements from people in and around Huntington Park vocally alleging voter fraud. That's pretty disturbing, to say the least.