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Commerce City Council Candidates Diaz, Rebollo, and Rodriguez’ Campaigns Managed by Ex-Felon

Angel-Gonzales

Long time political operative and convicted felon Angel Gonzales is managing three Commerce City Council campaigns.

 

By Brian Hews

Hews Media Group-Community News has learned that Commerce City Council candidates John Diaz, Oralia Rebollo and Sonia Rodriguez’ election campaigns are being managed by long-time political operative and convicted felon Angel Gonzales.

In addition, according to sources, several campaign pieces have been mailed to residents of Commerce containing out-right lies about the three candidate’s qualifications.

Two weeks ago, Hews Media Group-Community News exclusively reported that the three candidates were employing  Yolanda Miranda as their treasurer, who has ties to ex-State Senator Ron Calderon and his family.

State Sen. Ron Calderon was indicted in a sweeping corruption case, accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes. A legal defense fund was set up immediately after the indictment and Yolanda Miranda was appointed treasurer of the fund.

Miranda was also the treasurer for Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) Director Robert “Bob” Apodaca, who recently was sued for sexual harassment. Apodaca settled the case for $670,000 using CB funds and has been implicated in two additional sexual harassment lawsuits.

Her company, Yolanda Miranda and Associates, also had a long association with former Bell Mayor George Cole convicted in the now-infamous Bell scandal.

Meanwhile, Angel Gonzalez is the owner of Pyramid Printers, a company that specializes in hard hitting political attack pieces and who has a long list of clients throughout Southeast Los Angeles County.

In 2002, Gonzales was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of sending out misleading campaign fliers.

That same year, Gonzalez was convicted of a felony conspiracy charge — reduced to a misdemeanor at his sentencing — for sending out attack mailers with copies of fake official documents.

Gonzales was also the one time political operative for former Southgate Treasurer Albert “Big Al” Robles who is serving time in federal prison for his part in a wide- ranging bribery scandal.

“My knowledge of Angel Gonzalez is all bad. His history in Southeast Los Angeles talks for itself,” longtime South Gate Councilman Henry Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Times in 2013.

Gonzalez also worked with convicted felon Rick Mayer coordinating current Central Basin Municipal Water District Director James Roybal and Director Leticia Vasquez’ campaigns.

After their election, the two owed Gonzalez and Mayer over $45,000 and sources told HMG-CN that Mayer was expecting contracts from CBMWD for helping in the elections.

But, the criminal history of Gonzales is apparently of no concern to Diaz, Rebollo, Rodriguez, or their major supporter, Citadel Outlet owner Steve Craig.

Craig has donated $40,000 to an Independent Expenditure Committee called the California League of Voters, reportedly run by Gonzales, to oppose Commerce City Council Candidates Hugo Argumedo and Denise Robles.

Also of no concern to Diaz, Rebollo, or Rodriguez is the out-right lies on their campaign pieces mailed out by Gonzales and company.

Several Rebollo mail pieces obtained by HGM-CN tout her as a teacher proclaiming, “from classroom to city hall she works to create opportunities.” Another states, “teacher Rebollo is a principled advocate and leader.” A third asserts, “I know Commerce, I am a lifelong resident and pre-school teacher.”

Trouble is, Rebollo is not a teacher.

Sources tell HMG-CN Rebollo is a “Recreation-1” part time employee in Commerce and does not possess any type of teaching credentials.

“Rebollo checks in kids to the recreational center, she is not a credentialed teacher,” the source told HMG-CN.

Candidate John Diaz is running similar fabrications about his qualifications.

Several mail pieces proclaim Diaz as an “Engineer,” suggesting that he has a degree in Engineering, when in actuality Diaz is a heavy equipment operator/engineer.

Also it was revealed yesterday that Diaz has a criminal past, arrested for domestic battery in March 2006.

See story click here.

Candidate Sonya Rodriguez is following suit saying she graduated from University of Southern California; Rodriguez is an employee of USC.

And finally, John Soria, who sources tell HMG-CN is als0 receiving assistance from Angel Gonzales, touts himself in his campaign mailers and on the Commerce Election Website as a “law enforcement professional.” HMG-CN has learned that Soria is a radio dispatcher with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

City activist Leonard Mendoza commented at last night’s rancorous Commerce City Council meeting about the election.

“Steve Craig is running our city,” Mendoza lamented. “He donated over $40,000 to major Republicans in Sacramento in the past. Commerce is 90% Democratic and he just donated $40,000 to three Democrats?”

Ex-Commerce Mayor Sylvia Munoz spoke and later on was shouted down by a finger-waggling Mayor pro tem Lilia Leon.

“Dirty politics once again,” Munoz said. “Dirty politics happens all the time in this city, and now we have Steve Craig giving Leon’s candidate $20,000? This is ridiculous. All of you (pointing at Mayor Baca Del Rio, Mayor pro tem Lilia Leon, and Councilman Ivan Altamirano) can be seen endorsing Diaz and Rebollo on the campaign mailers, that’s because of Steve Craig.”

Munoz went on, “people have called me about the moving of the polling places fiasco, they are very angry. Seniors who used to walk across the street now have to go across town, and some don’t drive. You blamed it on the county, well I called the county they said it was not their mistake it was the City Council’s. Dirty politics once again.”

HMG-CN broke the fact that Commerce’ polling places were unexpectedly moved last week, click here to read story.

Another speaker who needed a translator was extremely angry.

Speaking directly at the council he said, “we want an election that is clear and transparent this March, we live in a democratic country, for that I urge you for a clear and transparent election.”

He accused the council of buying votes in the last election.

“The votes were bought last time. You gave away books, pens, and food at the polling places; to me those votes were bought. We want witnesses at the polling places and inspectors to check the ballots this year.”

The man’s statement, as well as Mendoza’s and Munoz’, generated loud applause and yells from the audience.

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