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Op-Ed: Commerce Employee Runs Political Machine On Taxpayer Dime

By Brian Hews, Publisher

It is election season, the time when candidates running for local city council offices and school board seats jaunt around to seek out endorsements from other elected politicians, powerful union bosses, and other self-proclaimed political king makers.

These “kings” help deliver neophyte candidates large bags of campaign cash, guarantee vast amounts of votes, and bring in endorsements from other politicians who hold powerful offices like Congressional Members, Assembly Members and State Senators.

Jason Stinnett, Interim PIO for the CIty of Commerce is apparently running campaigns out of Commerce City Hall.

Jason Stinnett, Interim PIO for the CIty of Commerce is apparently running campaigns out of Commerce City Hall.

These kings can make or break a candidate’s chance of winning.

Hews Media Group-Community News has learned, and takes issue with, an apparent local political “king” here in Commerce, Interim Public Information Officer Jason Stinnett.

We have never spoken to Mr. Stinnett, and not for a lack of trying on our part.

The main job of a Public Information Officer is to talk to members of the media and to serve as the official spokesperson for the public agency he or she in employed with. Stinnett has never returned a phone call from this news organization. Not one.

We take issue with the Mr. Stinnett who is attempting to build a political empire while on the city’s payroll; he should be doing the work on behalf of the people of Commerce.

Stinnett is paid a lofty salary that includes full medical, dental, retirement, and other perks. He applied for the PIO position that will pay over $100,000
HMG-CN has learned that within the past few weeks, Stinnett has played king and met with elected officials or attended meetings during regular business hours that have nothing to do with the business of the City of Commerce.

One such meeting was with current Maywood Councilman Felipe Aguirre.

In an interview with HMG-CN Aguirre said, “it was at South Gate Farmers Market, around 11:00 a.m. I met with him because he was backing Ishmael Ververa, a candidate for Maywood City Council who is a police officer in the City of South Gate. Ververa recently moved into the city of Maywood to run for city council.

Aguirre went on to say, “I wanted to find out why Ververa was running. Mr. Stinnett was representing Ververa and his campaign, and he said that he was running the campaign for Vervara as well as appointed City Councilman Edward Verela, and challenger Eddie DeLa Riva.”

Aguirre said Stinnett repeated that he was running their campaigns in their conversation that lasted around 30 minutes.

“I have no idea if Jason is running these campaigns out of Commerce City Hall, but I do know that he is indeed running these campaigns here in Maywood,” Aguirre said.

“Jason did not threaten me during our conversation. I don’t even know the guy, but he was telling me that he is running against Art Chacon next year for Central Basin Water District, and that he was doing whatever he could to build up support for his campaign.”

“This does not surprise me,” said one city employee who declined to be identified, “He is never here at work, in fact, I called him once, left a message on his city machine, and he told me that I never answer that machine call me on my cell.”

HMG-CN has obtained records of Central Basin Water District meetings that show Stinnett’s signature on the attendance sheets. Most of those meetings occur at 10 AM.

When informed what Stinnett was doing, long-time Central Basin Municipal Water Director Art Chacon commented, “as a resident and taxpayer in Commerce, we should expect our city employees to be dedicating their work time to city business and improving our community, not to exploiting their position to promote their own political agendas. City Staff and Council need to hold their employees accountable, especially those in upper management positions.”

Recently, Stinnett declared his candidacy for the CBMWD’s Division 3 seat currently held by Director Chacon. Stinnett is actively raising money for his campaign and has already raised $1,200 in contributions, including a $1,000 donation from the local AFSCME (Commerce city) employee union he controls.

More recently, Stinnett traveled to a meeting of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to argue to the powerful political wing not to support current Montebello Unified School District President Hector Chacon. Stinnett did this during business hours when he should have been at Commerce City Hall. Sources tell HMG-CN that Stinnett and one of the union leaders, “almost went to blows,” over Stinnett arguing not to endorse Chacon.

After the argument the union employee got up and left the meeting and the union eventually voted not to endorse Chacon. Stinnett is putting his political clout behind Loni Cupchoy to beat Chacon in the upcoming November 5, 2013 election.

Cupchoy is also being supported by well-know Calderon lackeys Mario Beltran, Sergio Infanso, Carlos Illingsworth, and Julian De La Torre; so now it is official, Stinnett is a Calderon minion.

Yes, it is election season, and Stinnett is in full campaign mode. We would like to remind Mr. Stinnett that the people of Commerce and the media are paying attention, especially in these times when political corruption is out of control in Southeast Los Angeles County.

Correction: We inadvertently named Mr. Aguirre Mayor Pro Tem, when he was not, we apologize for the error.

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15 Comments on "Op-Ed: Commerce Employee Runs Political Machine On Taxpayer Dime"

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Commerce Resident
Guest
I have been reading the articles about Jason Stinnet and I might say they are pretty factual. However I do not think he works in City Hall. Everytime I drive by City Hall he is in the front of City Hall. He spends more time outside on his personal phone than he does inside of city hall doing his job. As interim PIO he ran the Campaigns for Tina, Lela and Ivan Baca Del Rio out of his garage, He also ran the Measure AA out of his garage and using city employees to raise the taxes on our hard… Read more »
Randy R. Economy
Guest

Thanks, Commerce Resident…..
We have been thrilled by all of the positive responses we have gotten from the RESIDENTS of COMMERCE during the past several weeks. We will continue to work hard and to cover what’s really happening in our community!

Randy Economy

Frank Villalobos
Guest

Oscar Magana, you love Jason Stinnett so much, tell your boys running for city council to hire him. Granted he’s a worthless employee here, but given the way Maywood has operated in recent years, he’s probably qulaified to be city manager for you guys. Either way, Commerce wants nothing to do with a ghetto like Maywood and even less to do with a gangster, thug employee like Stinnett who will be gone as soon as his low-life friends on the council are recalled.

Oscar Magana
Guest
Brian Hews, As an alleged reporter I would expect you to at the very least do some research about the material you choose to post as “news.” First of all, a quick trip to the Maywood City website would have informed you that Felipe Aguirre is in fact not the mayor pro-tem of our city, even if he likes to act like he is. Second, I can assure you that Varela & De La Riva have no affiliation to either Ververa or Jason Stinnet. Of course, you took Aguirre’s word for it while at the same time failing to mention… Read more »
chewy
Guest
Oscar Magana is a loser and criminal. He is a loser because does not mention that Felipe Aguirre to many was the hero and the leader whom stopped the Check-points in Maywood. Mayor “Loser” Magana lives in a illegally converted garage and sends his boys to write citations to other illegal garage conversions. The allegations are: 1) Your criminal step-Daddy Carlos Hosman who’s is in this country illegally and order of his deportation was issued in state of TX by US justice deportment, that’s when he decided to move to California and live under a new alias Carlos Hosman. That… Read more »
Angel Senderos
Guest

Aguirre a hero? WOW! Now I’ve heard it all, a known thief and corrupt councilman being labeled a “hero.” What about all the money he and his band of crooks took from the city? He misses more council meetings than he attends, he never participates in city events unless it’s time for re-election. Chewy, are you sure your name isn’t Felipe Aguirre?
Felipe is such a hero, he is now running for office with a carpetbagger and the man who sat on the council while hard working residents where having their cars impounded at police checkpoints!

Wayne Carter Sr.
Guest
I would like to comment on Mr. Magana’s interesting yet questionable response to this newspaper’s Op-Ed piece on Mr. Stinnett. I would first like to mention that I have become quite fond of following articles that appear here and the inconsistencies that always put a smile on my face. I find it interesting that the writer disputes Councilman Aguirre assertion that Mr. Stinnett claimed to be involved to varying degrees with the Maywood campaigns of Ververa, Varela & De La Riva, yet neither of these three gentlemen nor Mr. Stinnett have wriitten to this paper to dispute this? In fact,… Read more »
Randy R. Economy
Guest

We will be calling you on Monday. Thanks for the note. You can also call us at 562 407 3873.

Hews Media Group – Community Newspaper

Angel Senderos
Guest

No response to the posting by Mr. Stinnett? Can’t say I’m surprised that neither Hews nor Mr Economy have responded or corrected the falsehoods in their “reporting.” Are you sure you guys aren’t in bed with Mr. Aguirre??

Lee Irvin
Guest

Time to watch the cockroaches scurry about. Usually the water district draws little attention during election time. I have a feeling a lot of us will be voting to exterminate the roaches and their spawn. Keep up the good reporting. The public has a right to know who these less than desirables are and to keep their asses out of the house. Cuz nobody likes Cockroaches.

Frank Villalobos
Guest

Why does this guy think he should run for Central Basin Water? Why would he think any of us in Commerce would vote for him? If trying to become some local political power broker is how he thinks he’ll get elected to a water agency is simply pathetic. Why wouldn’t he just run on his own merit? Because he’s unqualified and a total hack. I want Stinnett to know that I would never vote for him, no matter who else was running.

Commerce Resident
Guest

As a longtime Commerce resident and taxpayer, I demand that the City Council fire this individual before he drags the city into another embarrassing scandal!

The Jason Stinnet’s of the world are like political cockroaches that reappear time after time after time. They always crawl in and infest a city, usually before the exterminators catch on and have to tent the place. NOT IN THIS CASE. Thanks to this excellent newspaper we are not blind and therefore we must act. Send this rodent to Maywood if he loves it there so much!!