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Los Angeles Based BIZFED Campaign Committee Supporting Cerritos Candidates Violated Election Laws

By Brian Hews

BizFed PAC (PAC), a political action committee sponsored by the Los Angeles Federation of Businesses (LAFB), recently sent out a very expensive City Council campaign flyer to Cerritos mailboxes supporting candidates Jim Edwards, Chuong Vo, and Naresh Solanki; a flyer that could put the PAC in the sights of the Fair Political Practices Enforcement Division (FPPC) for several reporting violations.

The flyer also places the three Cerritos candidates in a very uncomfortable position.

The LAFB does not list a single business within their 108 members from Cerritos.

Out of the 108 members, 45, or 42%, are Los Angeles County Chamber of Commerce organizations.

The list does not include the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Executive Director Scott Smith told HMG-CN, “we didn’t join as we are already involved in other like organizations specifically the Gateway Chambers Alliance – a group of about a dozen chambers in the Gateway area of L.A. County.”

HMG-CN also obtained documents from the Cerritos City Clerk’s Office showing that Edwards, Vo, and Solanki recently received $500 each from the PAC.



The donations raise serious questions of coordination between the committee and the three candidates, which would be a violation of state election laws.

Many political heavyweights in Cerritos told HMG-CN that they had never heard of the PAC prior to the mailing and were skeptical of its purpose.

The reporting violations stem from Chapter 11.13 of the FPPC Manual which states, “Committees that make an independent expenditure of $1,000 or more to support or oppose a single candidate during the 90 days prior to the local candidate’s election must file a separate Form 496 (24-Hour Expenditure Report) for each candidate supported or opposed. The report must be filed within 24 hours regardless of the day of the week and must be filed by fax, guaranteed overnight delivery, or personal delivery.”

The manual states for multiple candidates, “the cost may be attributed to each featured candidate calculating the prorated costs based on the amount of space allotted to each candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed in the mailer.”

Other FPPC regulations require all committees that receive contributions and expend funds in the run-up to an election to file separate pre-election reports, including reports covering specific pre-election periods, another for late contributions and still another for late expenditures. There is no evidence that the committee filed any of these required reports with Los Angeles County or the cities involved.

Cerritos residents received the flyer last Friday, Feb. 20. The flyer involves design, printing, sorting, and mailing, which, at the very least, takes at least one week.

The FPPC manual mandates that the Form 496 should have been filed with the Cerritos City Clerk on Feb. 13—possibly sooner—but certainly no later than the day it was dropped at the post office.

HMG-CN is in contact with the Cerritos City Clerk and as of today Friday, Feb. 27, a Form 496 has not been received by the office from the PAC.

The PAC is also mandated to file a Form 496 in Los Angeles County at the Norwalk Registrar’s Office. Once again, as of Friday Feb. 27, the form has not been received from the PAC.

The FPPC can fine up to $5,000 for each violation.

HMG-CN attempted to contact the treasurer of the PAC, Steve Bullock, CFO of Cerrell Associates, Inc. for clarification.

The email asked whether a small group of members paid for the flyer, using the PAC as their vehicle. The email also advised Bullock that under FPPC rules, disclosure of the ultimate sources of funding for the piece, not the PAC, is required by law. And finally, the email asked for the actual FPPC disclosure filings.

Bullock referred HMG-CN to Tracy Rafter the CEO of the PAC. Rafter was the Publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News from 2004-2006.

Rafter told HMG-CN, “BizFed PAC does not solicit nor accept contributions earmarked for any specific candidate or campaign. We are fully aware of an(d) are confident our activities reporting comply with the Political Reform Act. Our reports are available from each filing officer with whom we are required to file, which changes depending on our activities.”

Rafter did not volunteer to provide HMG-CN the committee’s FPPC disclosure filings.

Rafter went on, “the BizFed PAC is a “general purpose committee” and decisions about the PAC’s activities are made by a Board of diverse business leaders throughout the County.”

The PAC is actually “General Purpose County Committee” that is “sponsored” by the Los Angles Federation of Businesses. It is unclear whether members of the LAFB know their membership dues might be supporting candidates in different cities, candidates whom they might not agree with.

When asked who the PAC’s board members are, Rafter once again skirted the question.

When asked why they supported Edwards, Vo, and Solanki, Rafter said, “our candidates are chosen through interviews and a consensus vote (by the Board).”

Cerritos candidate Naresh Solanki told HMG-CN that he went to Pasadena for interviews, “in front of about 25 people.”

HMG-CN obtained from a source the one-page PAC questionnaire given to candidates prior to interviews, a document that contained very generic questions.

One question asked for the candidate’s background, “Tell us a little about yourself, your background in the region, and why you are interested in running for office? (One paragraph)”

Next up were “campaign” questions, “Who will vote for you – and why? Who do you consider your top endorsement – and why? What is your fundraising goal and actual funds to date?”

Last was “policy” questions, “What specific things would you do to create private-sector jobs? How would you increase revenues in your city? How do you view your city in the context of the regional economy?”

One Cerritos resident, who did not want to be identified commented, “so we have an organization that has nothing to do with Cerritos, that has a lot of money, summoning Cerritos City Council candidates to the mountain to fill out a soft-ball questionnaire.

He went on, “The candidates are then interviewed by people who we, as Cerritos residents, know nothing about, approved by a board that we know nothing about, after which the organization spends thousands on those candidates to get them elected. The question is what will the PAC demand if these candidates indeed do get elected, especially in light of the fact they also gave each candidate $500 each?”

One candidate, who declined to be identified said, “the interview process was a joke, very short, I did not get to say much.”

  • Jesus Garcias says:

    Vo-Edwards-Solanki, all belong to GOP- Republican Crappers, head by Battery Barrows. My hunch, 3 Chamber Personnel during that horrid SAID forum, were all ( R), bet none of the Chamber lived in Cerritos.

    Moderator for the Chamber was brain dead, mentor for local radio talk show, another conflict of interest, plus another Chamber person that night, lead Architect for most construction in Cerritos.

    Edwards made comment, his campaign signs are being trashed, take hint, public is tired of signs posted illegally all over the city and burned out on recycled politicians. Keep political signs posted on to personal dwellings; stop corrupting Cerritos Master Plan Landscape belts.

    Well PAC, another fat lard is (R) George Ray, one of Don Knabes appointee for decades to the LA Board of Supervisors incest survivors. PAC/ Janet Beach ( R) another died auburn brunette from ABC, who thinks she can editor newspaper after Sears Catalogs. Least Sears Catalogs were quality for bathroom usage.

    Solanki is stereo type of Battery Barrows, everything he says, is from Battery Barrows lips.

    Where is Cer City Clerk, thought her duty was to clear Chamber of Commerce, prior to being put on agenda for CCC approval to finance the forum? We need new city clerk. Clerk been sipping to much wine sauce.




    • Pam Woolworth says:

      Great Newspaper investigation.

      Don’t forget to mention, J U M B O Edwards sits on the Cerritos Chamber Board, Firemans Board and Lakewood Board, talk about conflicts.

      Hmmmmm, Cerritos City Manager, Assist City Manager, Bruce W. Barrows and Vida city Manager, all belong to same church. More Conflicts. If only Brown Act was doable for this house of worship. Like to see how the bookmarked pages are pre-set in their Saturday-Sunday bibles? Bet all start in chapter C.

      Why is the Cerritos City Manager and Supervisor for LA County both sitting on the Cerritos Auto Mall Board, as Knabe was former mayor of Cerritos and known principal in Cerritos both Auto Mall and CalMet Trash service.

      Another odd twine of roots, Mr. Jim Edward and worn out Mrs. T. Barrows, both used /retired ABC Teachers. Both have been feeding off pork roles for too long.

      Why is mamma Janet Beach hogging position for multiple times on the damnest lame Art Group in town; now her lovechild Brad Beach is sitting on the park and recreation association, sounds like mamma Beach has her claws down her sons vocal cords, compared to Grace Hu retarded camp of installing Mr. Bill Hu and sons to all of the boards in city & Manage dirty laundry from her out-of-site escrow, mortgage office/ multi-named real estate firms to hide escrow capitol.

      Solanki, read the Yelp public comments for his stores in Gardena, sounds like maze of mice, rats & turds are mixed in rice bins.

      MY God, My God I ask myself, when are the ( R) and chinese voters going to stop these political incest groups from taking hold?

      Pam Woolworth, HOA V-Pres.

  • FLFF says:

    Sounds exactly like Garcias is a dyed in the wool libturd liberal dumbocrap. If in doubt like his idol teleprompter barry o’vomit, dirty harry reid etc., always character assassinate FIRST and FOREMOST. Shout and scream to deflect all investigation of HIS corrupt candidates ..

  • Mrs and Mr Evan Dima says:

    Kaboom- Kaboom, the republican party has shrunk so much in Cerritos, only candidates to run are recycled used cronies, who will die in office. Give time, the well will run dry. City has democratic:

    LA Mayor
    and soon to be demo supervisor of this great county.

    Investigate deep, Cerritos staff and Cerritos republican players have screwed and violated laws and fairness, more then this read has time to print.

  • Amelia Montique says:

    Dirty Dancer, Political diva, Grace Hu is a real political succulent. She will only smear more blood on to all Remax realtors and California Assoc. of Realtors.

    She is make believing she is innocent from city crimes, so why did she resign from the economical commission & why did pull her real estate brokers license ?

    She is running to invoke more new real estate transactions from the lame dying Chinese seniors in the city. She is spending $100K on this campaign, but will reap millions and millions in commissions over the next four years. Then when next race come around, Yr 2020, she will give another pretentious donation to the ABC, and then re-run for another 4 years milking the seniors of millions of dollars in escrow commissions. She not only preys on Senior but the school age children.

    Queen of switch and bait the public, from school age to coffin.

  • Dr. George Reesewood, CPA says:

    No one has, walked precincts near my tracts of homes: Palo Verde/ Artesia, yup, Cerritos. We never have any candidates:
    • ABC Elections.
    • Cerritos Elections.
    • Bellflower School Elections.

    LCCN has pointed out few conflict of interests, like investigated by LA County Voters.

    Janet Beach, resides at 20140 Bauma, Cerritos, California. Google map search, shows that her property landscape is in violation of Cerr Property Board, as is mostly gravel yard. Don’t see organic ground cover, compared to the must have, by code enforcement. Ms Beach is one of the principles, for the other newspaper, Gateway, isn’t that a conflict of interest when she sits on the fine arts commission & writes about the city?

    Also another ghost principle of the gateway publising, is councilperson George Ray. Isnt this a conflict of interest, since he is elected official?

    Looking at google map search, George Ray home, 18504 Newbrock has over 40 percent of that property in hard scape, which is a violation the city municipal code. How is councilperson Ray able to recover the parkway in hardscape, when the property preservation commission has banned hardscape covered parkway? Seems like during 2014, Cerritos African American Attorney resident, was tarred and feathered, by both CCC and PPC, for having bricks on his parkway, where G Ray has brick pavers too.

    Ms. Anna Titus, black woman, why are you not helping your black 7% residents, of the city, seems like you want to make happy only the celebrity status Knabes part of your white-black folk party.

    Both Ms. Beach and Mr. G Ray properties are significantly better compared to the vast majority of homes in my Western section of Cerritos. We are hit with overgrown Jacaranda Trees, which drip flower sap all over everything. We have stray cars parking from apartments and condos. We are by name only affiliated to Cerritos, other then this, no one gives f….* about our sections.

    We are not residing in the ULTIMATE section of town, compared to sleepy Shadow Park inventory.

    Seems like have been reading local PAK here too:
    Edwards, Beach, Ray, Knabe, Edwards, Hughlett, Bowlen, Hu, Crawley, Chen.

  • Virginia says:

    I too found this article extremely interesting, well written and thought provoking. I thank HEWs once again. My only concern is that most of the commenters sound like they had a bottle of Vodka before typing their disjointed thoughts.