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Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s Delegate Elections Tainted by Bullying, Intimidation and Cheating

BY BRIAN HEWS

The bullying and intimidation tactics used by 58th Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) are well-chronicled, with Garcia admittedly calling former Speaker John Perez a “homo,” making racially insensitive remarks disparaging Asians, sexually harassing and intimidating several staffers, and allegedly joining with Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) threatening retribution if a local politician hired her former staffer Danny Fierro for campaign services.

Observers can now count assembly delegate election and its candidates among Garcia’s intimidation and bullying exploits.

Delegate elections occur every two years, anyone who is a registered Democrat and lives in the district can run; the same applies to residents who want to vote for a candidate.

Fourteen delegates are elected by vote at a designated address, seven men and seven woman, with the top vote-getters earning a spot in the Executive Board also known as the E-board.

Those elected attend delegate conventions and endorse candidates at the state level.

This year newly elected 32nd District State Senator Bob Archuleta, similar to what former State Senator Tony Mendoza did two years ago, put together a slate of candidates for the 58th district to run against Garcia’s slate.

Archuleta’s slate included Artesia Councilmen Ali Taj, former Artesia Councilman Victor Manalo, Commerce Councilman Ivan Altamirano, Bell Gardens Mayor pro tem Lisseth Flores, Bell Gardens Councilwomen Jennifer Rodriguez , Montebello City Clerk Irma Barajas, and Frine Medrano.

Garcia and Archuleta’s slates were well-publicized, with each sending out full color flyers with the date, time, and location of the election, while urging residents to vote for their candidates.

The bullying started when Garcia obtained Archuleta’s flyer.

Garcia was not happy when she learned who was running on Archuleta’s slate, immediately going into bullying mode, the same type of behavior the Assembly Rules committee admonished her for and why Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon temporarily pulled her from several committees while ordering her to anger management classes.

Several sources are telling HMG-LCCN that Garcia and her supporters were “way out of hand, disrespectful and rude, and yelling at Archuleta candidates and supporters at the voting facility in Commerce.”

“They were yelling Cristina Garcia, Cristina Garcia inside the voting area and harassing Archuleta supporters while they were voting,” said one person who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution, “extremely rude and intimidating.”

Two people said they were asked who they were voting for as they entered the parking lot, if they said Archuleta, they were told to park down the street.

In addition, Garcia was accused of cheating at the election. Candidates were told they would not see the ballot, yet one Archuleta candidate sent a picture of a document that Garcia’s people were handing out prior to the election.

 

The Garcia ballot handed out by her supporters.

 

The Garcia document was identical to the delegate ballot.

But it is the alleged behavior of Garcia herself that might catch the attention of Speaker Rendon and the Assembly Rules Committee.

Sources said that Garcia texted Archuleta’s candidates, including Bell Gardens Mayor pro tem Lisseth Flores, berating them for running on Archuleta’s slate.

Apparently Garcia’s bullying and intimidation worked, with the source stating that after the texts, “Flores disappeared, she did not attend any candidate meetings after the call.”

Out of the candidates that ran, eleven of Garcia’s candidate won, with Archuleta candidates taking four spots.

But one of the coveted Executive Board seats, also known as the “E-Board,” went to Archuleta candidate Artesia Councilman Ali Taj, who garnered 277 votes, the most among all candidates.

Coming in second was Garcia candidate Artesia Mayor pro tem Miguel Canales with 267 votes.

Garcia candidate Blanca Pacheco had 252 votes and took her seat on the E-Board as the top female vote-getter.

Commerce Councilman Ivan Altamirano, former Artesia Councilman Victor Manalo, and Montebello City Clerk Irma Barajas rounded out the Archuleta winning candidates.

Other Garcia winning candidates were Tonia McMillian, Jason Stinnett, Melissa Bahmanpour, Matthew Scammahorn, Martha Estrada, Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, Carlos Avalos, Mary Ann Tipton.

One local elected official who did not want to be identified was livid at Garcia’s actions, “very vulgar and impolite bullies. The election was a reflection of Garcia’s leadership style, she bullies and intimidates people so her minions naturally do the same thing. Look, she had Jason Stinnette as one of her delegates, no wonder no one likes to deal with her in Sacramento.”

Mike Simpfenderfer who ran against Garcia in the November 2018 election did not mince words, “the Garcia drama continues. Former Garcia staffer Danny Fierro has endured her nonsense bullying we saw again Saturday. The first Assembly investigation documented the abusive, offensive, drunken language that is all too familiar. She’s threatened to disclose the names of men from the Assembly she was having sex with to get her way. The second Assembly investigation verified the continued drunken behaviors and the fact she was overly familiar with Danny Fierro’s body. One can only commend Sen. Archuleta’s leadership to nominate responsible delegates who reflect responsible values and behaviors.”

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