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Illegal ‘Robo-Call’ Frightens Artesia Residents With Questionable Claims About Recall

By Brian Hews

An illegal and disturbing Artesia recall “robo-call” was sent to all Artesia residents this past Saturday recorded using the same urgent voice that is familiar to everyone when the state broadcasts a message over the Emergency Broadcast System.

Many Artesia residents were livid, as they thought the call was for an actual emergency.

Under California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) laws, “paid telephone calls” are required to have a disclaimer indicating the committee that paid for the call.

The FPPC site states, “paid for by [committee name] is the basic disclaimer required on most campaign communications.”

No disclaimer was given during the recording, which was recorded using an internet call service and a one-time phone number based out of Long Beach.

The call is an indication that some Artesia recall proponents, and their reported campaign consultants, are willing to do anything to reach their goal of recalling Mayor Ali Taj, and Councilmen Miguel Canales and Victor Manalo.

The main proponents of the recall are residents René Trevino and Dorothy “Dody” Kane who are receiving assistance from Cerritos residents Melinda Kimsey, her partner Jerry Bernstein, and Artesia businessman Gurpal Sood.


Melinda Kimsey at a Artesia City Council meeting with recall proponent Rene Trevino.

Facebook Group – Artesian’s for Artesia Now

The call did not try to conceal the sender saying, “this is a public safety announcement from Artesian’s for Artesia Now.”

On July 27 of this year, Kane invited friends to join “my Facebook group” Artesian’s for Artesia Now.







That statement could land Kane in legal hot water with the FPPC, and could warrant an investigation if a complaint was filed.

Either Kane gave the person or persons who recorded the call permission to use her Facebook group name, knowing who covertly paid for the call, which Kane would have to reveal under a FPPC investigation.

Or Kane initiated the robo-call herself, which would be a fine under FPPC laws for not revealing that she paid for the call.

Or Kane can deny she had anything to do with the call, which, if an FPPC investigation was held, she would have to deny under oath.

The recording started using the Emergency Broadcast System voice saying, “Saturday 4:27 p.m.”

There was a 4 second pause, then loud sirens with a message after saying, “this is a Artesia Public Safety announcement from Artesian’s for Artesia Now. The Los Angeles Fire Department..”

It was a full thirteen seconds into the recording before some residents recognized it was a political robo-call and not an actual emergency call.

“The Los Angeles Fire Department…. told the (Artesia) City Council a year ago do not remove lanes from Pioneer Boulevard because it will delay fire trucks and keep them from saving lives. The Artesia City Council did it anyway. Come to the city Council meeting on 9/11 and tell the City Council that they failed to protect us, let’s take back our City from greedy politicians.”

There is some question about the statement that the LACFD told the City Council not to remove lanes.

HMG-CN has learned from a high-level source that the City had 6 meetings with the LACFD in 2014-’15 prior to the Council’s approval of the Pioneer Boulevard project.

The LACFD made safety recommendations and the City made revisions to the Pioneer Boulevard plan.

HMG-CN called the LACFD last week and is awaiting response.

The response could come tonight as a representative from the LACFD is scheduled to attend tonight’s City Council meeting.

Emails into the proponents and Bernstein went unanswered as of the time of publication.

Cerritos resident Melinda Kimsey commented, “another request, stop sending me, Melinda Kimsey emails and text messages.”