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Jaimes, Bermudez, Ian Calderon debate turns into a two man show

57th State Assembly Candidates Rudy Bermudez and Noel Jaimes took center stage during Monday's debate in Whittier.

57th State Assembly Candidates Rudy Bermudez and Noel Jaimes took center stage during Monday's debate in Whittier. Randy Economy, LCCN Photos/Vids for YourCityTV

By Brian Hews
A much anticipated debate between the three candidates running in the newly created 57th Assembly District turned out to be a two man show due to the absence of candidate Ian Calderon on Monday night.

Sponsored by the Whittier League of Women Voters and the UCLA Center for Public Policy, the event was billed as a Candidate Forum and promoted the attendance of the three would-be assembly members during a two-hour, televised forum between ex-lawmaker Rudy Bermudez, Businessman Noel Jaimes, and Calderon.

Nearly 100 people attended the Monday night event at Whittier City Hall attendees munched on finger sandwiches, imported meats and cheeses as well as Italian pastries after the debate.

Event organizers announced that Calderon called one half hour prior to the beginning of the event and said that the 26 year old candidate would not be able to attend “due to the illness of a family member.”

But, Calderon campaign spokeswoman Leslie Rodriguez told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that her candidate had no intentions on attending the forum and was attending a long time scheduled commitment with supporters in a private residence.

“We told the organizers that we would not be attending well in advance,” Rodriguez said in an interview on Tuesday, and “to state that Ian was not going to attend at the last minute is just plain false and misleading.”

Nonetheless, Bermudez and Jaimes talked openly about a wide ranging list of pressing issues including how to tackle the large unemployment rate, the ongoing state budget crisis, the new California Open Primary, legislative term limits and the recent elimination of the city redevelopment agencies.
“I plan to introduce a bill that will immediately bring back redevelopment agencies to our cities,” Bermudez said.

“Public education has been hit hard during the economic downturn. “When you look at our communities we need to prioritize as Legislators in Sacramento. We need to focus in on things that are going to stimulate the economy, and embrace those items,” Bermudez remarked.

Jaimes was direct and said “we have 27,000 people out of work. Every one of you here tonight can point to a friend or a family member who have been looking for jobs for three months, six months, or one year. “

Jaimes also said it is time for Sacramento to address the massive foreclosure crisis in California by keeping the “politicians out of our district.” The La Mirada real estate executive said the mandated regulations from lawmakers have made the foreclosure business “worse, not better.”

“If you elect me, I will keep Sacramento out of your pocket books, and that I can promise,” Jaimes said.
This was the last scheduled candidate forum scheduled before the election that will be held in three weeks.

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