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Commerce Candidates Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Leon Paid East Los Angeles Political Operative Luis Alvarado $35,000 to Manage Campaigns


Luis Alvarado took $35,000 from three Commerce candidates. Photo from Alvarado’s Twitter account.


By Brian Hews

An examination of campaign documents by Hews Media Group-Community News related to the city of Commerce City Council race shows incumbents Tina Baca Del Rio, Ivan Altimirano, and Lilia Leon paid a staggering $35,000 to long-time Los Angeles Republican operative Luis Alvarado to manage their respective campaigns.

It is an eye-opening amount given the election winners will likely garner only 300-400 votes.

In an interview with HMG-CN in his Whittier office, Alvarado confirmed he is working for the three and that he was paid $35,000 to “advance the interest of the incumbents and move the city of Commerce forward.”

Alvarado said that he was aware of the corruption, as reported exclusively by HMG-CN since 2012, perpetrated by all three incumbents on the City and its residents during their tenure saying, “that is not pertinent to their current respective races.”

Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Leon’s time on the Commerce City Council have been marked by a multitude of corrupt actions including embezzling campaign funds and a reported FBI investigation.

Their time on Council has also seen Baca Del Rio convicted of over 25 violations of the Political Reform Act governing campaign finance laws while garnering a record $104,000 fine.


HMG-CN Expose Results in $104,000 Fine Levied on Commerce Councilwoman Tina Baca Del Rio


One of the violations was the aforementioned embezzlement of campaign funds.

Altamirano racked up 22 violations of the Act and was fined $15,500.




HMG-CN also learned that Altamirano, Baca Del Rio, and Leon were paying for each other’s campaign expenses.

Their tenure has also included abusing the City’s car policy, approving what was called by some observers “no bid contract amendments” to the Washington Blvd. project which is $1 million over-budget, and voting to give themselves a 35% raise.


Commerce City Council OK’s Its Own 35% Pay Raise


The raise boosted their pay $371 to $1,434 per month and cost taxpayers $22,300 a year.

The state guideline for Commerce City Council compensation is $12,191, but the raise took their total pay to $17,208.

Adding other perks, such as health benefits and payment for sitting on special boards, total pay increased from $26,000 to over $31,000.

In contrast, council members in the neighboring city of Norwalk, a city 15 times the size of Commerce, earn only $1,000 per month.

But all that did not bother Alvarado who walked the company line in justifying why he decided to manage the campaigns of Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Leon.

That is until HMG-CN questioned Alvarado on his current relationship with the three.

When questioned, Alvarado did not deny reports that he is no longer working for the three candidates.

The revelation confirms what other sources are telling HMG-CN, that long-time political operative Angel Gonzalez is assisting Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Leon with their campaigns.


Angel Gonzales.


Gonzalez was involved in the Commerce election two years ago and helped current Council-woman Oralia Rebollo win a seat.

Rebollo used Gonzalez and his ally Yolanda Miranda as her campaign treasurer; Miranda managed convicted felon and former State Senator Ron Calderon’s campaign finances.



Commerce City Council Candidates Diaz, Rebollo, and Rodriguez’ Campaigns Managed by Angel Gonzalez


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 served time in federal prison for his part in a wide- ranging bribery scandal.


In other questionable entries that could indicate campaign money laundering, the campaign documents also show  another $12,000 in payments to other “consultants” related to the candidates.

$3,000 in payments by Altamirano went to an Ernesto Madueno for “campaign consulting.”




Madueno’s address is shown as 3612 Pickering Ave. in Whittier, an Internet search of the address reveals that 3612 Pickering does not exist.

Altamirano also gave a man named Oscar Castillo $5,000 for “campaign consulting.”

Castillo’s business address is the same as Alvarado’s, 12501 Philadelphia St. in Whittier.





Finally, Baca Del Rio, Altamirano, and Leon each contributed $1,333, for a total of $4,000, to a man named Andrew Yanez for various campaign services, including telephone and print advertising.



Yanez’ business address is the same as Alvarado’s, 12501 Philadelphia St. in Whittier.

Altamirano’s complete campaign statements, click here

Baca Del Rio’s complete campaign statements, click here.

Leon’s complete campaign statements, click here.






  • sweep sailor says:

    Politics in the city of Commerce etc., seem to be mimicking those of Mexico!! Wonder why? LOL These politicians BANK on citizens paying NO attention to anything going on in local government. This is where graft, corruption, and vast left wing liberal democrat criminal conspiracies exist!