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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.

  • Commerce Resident says:

    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!!

  • Frank Villalobos says:

    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.

  • Lee Irvin says:

    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.

  • Oscar Magana says:

    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 that Aguirre himself is currently campaigning. It’s irresponsible “reporters” like you Mr. Hew, that allow scum like Aguirre to go around acting like they are credible people. At this point, I would love to know what your affiliation to Mr. Aguirre is? In fact, why don’t you give me a call. You can reach me at 323.761.9817.

    • Randy R. Economy says:

      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 says:

        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??

    • Wayne Carter Sr. says:

      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, according to the piece, Mr. Stinnett holds steadfast against speaking to this newspaper. So my question is Mr. Magana, how did you become the defacto spokeperson for these four individuals? My suspicion is that none of them won’t to make a statement that can be disproved?

      In respect to this paper incorrectly referring to Councilman Aguirre as Mayor Pro Tem, opps! Even the LA Times makes factcheck errors once in a while. That’s hardly a Cardinal sin in anyone’s book (Revelation: I find errors often in this publication).

      The one part of Mr. Magana’s comments that summed up his credibility for me was his unfortunate jab at Councilman Aguirre when he referred to him as scum. As a result, I tend to believe the accuracy of this newspapers as well as the testimony given by the Councilman. Mr. Stinnett is obviously an embattled individual and I am of the opinion that he should stay out of Maywood’s election (unless he is a resident) and should certainly abandon his quest to run for Central Basin Water. In my opinion, Mr. Stinnett would not be an acceptable alternative for Director Chacon and this publication has done a wonderful job of notifying voters why.

    • We have fixed the title, and posted a correction.

      • Angel Senderos says:

        Mr. Hews,you made a correction to Mr. Aguirre’s title, how about making a correction to the inaccuracies you reported? Did you ever bother reaching out to the candidates you helped Mr. Aguirre, smear? In your “investigation” you mention you reached out to Mr. Stinnett, did you make any attempts to collaborate Mr. Aguiirre’s claims? Did you try to contact Ververa, De La Riva or Varela before you helped link them to an unsavory character? Are you aware of Mr Aguirres history? Are you aware of the FBI investigations? Are you aware of the claims of corruption against him and his cronies? If you aren’t aware of all these allegations, then you may want to find a different line of work. Perhaps you are aware of them but chose to ignore them because you are one of his cronies! Either way, I think your readers deserve better than this!

        • We have called Stinnett several times. I asked Magana for phone numbers no response. Ask yourself why they have not commented on our website… we will post it. You are likely a friend of theirs, please pass our request on. We Await your response.

    • chewy says:

      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:
      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 his business is making fake ID”s in his house while your were living with him.

      With you and Veronica s blessings he charges vendors like ice cream trucks and people pushing shopping carts to sell corn and stuff for a so called “protection fee” otherwise you send your boys to cite the vendors and impound their truck or shopping Carts.

      What is your alleged relationship with disgraced LA county assessor Juan John Nuguez? How much did you collect for his bail money so he could hash up for illegal votes he helped collect for you guys through out the past 3 or 4 election by busing people in from other cities?

      By the way how dose it feel to be city manager Lillian M’s alleged lackey. She rides you guys like her Burro . i hope she shares with you “burros”. is nt that what Andrea D and Liliann call you guys behind your backs Mayor Loser.

      You know what Loser now you have got yourself under Los Cerritos radar. Enjoy HeHe

      • Angel Senderos says:

        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!

  • Frank Villalobos says:

    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.

  • Commerce Resident says:

    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 working residents. It is because of this great News Agency that the PANDORA’S BOX is opening on all the crooks in Commerce City Hall. Who is this GARDEA character. Is Jason, ” Beers of Paradise”, ” Save Commerce.org” trying to reinvent himself. It is News organizations like HEWS that expose the filth and unaccountable government employees like Mr. Stinnet. Great work. Can’t wait for next weeks articles.

    • Randy R. Economy says:

      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