By Randy Economy and Brian Hews
Montebello Unified School Board Member Gerri Guzman was the target of a campaign mailer just days before voters head to the polls on Tuesday that disclosed that she was arrested in September of 2012 on charges of inflicting injuries on a former boyfriend.
The mailing arrived in voters mail boxes over the weekend and was paid for by a campaign committee calling itself “Voters For Good Government” located at 3700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1050 B in Los Angeles. The mailing also lists a campaign identification number of #133426, and is overseen by veteran political campaign treasurer David Gould.
Guzman was never prosecuted in the case by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office due to lack of evidence.
The mailer was obtained by Hews Media Group-Community News on Monday morning and shows a copy of a Los Angeles County Booking and Property Record as well as a black and white mug shot of Guzman.
The mailer, which is on slick card stock with bright yellow and black ink states: “Leaders choose to settle disagreements without resorting to violence. School Board Member Gerri Guzman chose to settle a disagreement with her ex-boyfriend with violence and got arrested!”
The mailer also states: “Leaders lead by example. Our children deserve Board Members who choose to settle disagreements with dignity and respect. Gerri Guzman is not a Leader. Make your vote count; our children’s future depends on it!”
The mailing also contains personal information about Guzman, including her California Driver’s License number, her home phone number and address, as well as stating that she suffers has “asthma.”
Guzman said she was “outraged” by the mailing.
“Domestic violence is a big issue, I know because I was involved in a very dangerous relationship in the past,” Guzman said.
She called the mailing “a direct assault on all women who are victims of domestic violence.”
“The people behind this mailing are hiding in the shadows, and are using a trumped up phony campaign committee called ‘Voters for Good Government’ to attack me hours before the polls open,” Guzman said.
“This is nothing but a vicious game being played against me, and someone will be held accountable after this election,” Guzman said.
The veteran elected official is also a former Treasurer for the City of Montebello, and is also a current Field Deputy to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia who represents a large swatch of Southeast Los Angeles County including Cerritos, Artesia, and parts of Norwalk.
Guzman said the experience has turned her “into a champion” for victims of domestic violence. “I understand how domestic violence can destroy families and especially our children,” Guzman said.
“We need to tell our children that domestic violence is not accepted, and that it affects people from all segments of our community and society,” Guzman said.
Peter Mathews, a professor of Political Sciences at Cypress College said that “the use of ‘hit pieces’ is a reflection of our political campaigns wallowing in the gutter of Dollar Democracy.”
“They are enabled by the raising of huge amounts of private campaign money from wealthy special interests. The candidate is out to win at all cost so he can serve his donors’ private interests, not the public interest. Public financing of elections (Clean Money Elections as practiced in the state of Maine) is needed to combat dirty elections and dirty hit pieces,'” Mathews said.
HMG-CN contacted the offices of David Gould and Associates in Los Angeles for comment about the contents of the mailing, and who was responsible for funding the “Voters for Good Government.”
Gould did not return calls to the newspaper.
More details to follow.
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