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Mario Beltran PAC Influencing Huntington Park Council Race

BY BRIAN HEWS[email protected]

HMG-LCCN has received a mailer slamming Huntington Park Councilwomen Graciela Ortiz and Marilyn Sanabria for electoral fraud, fiscal fraud and money laundering; the mailer also implicated Efren Martinez in the alleged plot.

Both Ortiz and Sanabria are up for re-election, with Jhonny Pineda recently dropping out to “pursue other interests.”

The mailer, paid for by the Protect Local Jobs PAC (PLJ), alleges that the three are using Huntington Park cannabis money to pay for their campaigns, but offers no evidence.

Sources told HMG-LCCN recently that disgraced former Bell Gardens Councilman Mario Beltran is attempting to take over the Huntington Park City Council so he can control the cannabis licensing process but could not confirm.

Those same sources also implicated Cudahy Councilman Chris Garcia as an associate of Beltran’s.

Garcia, along with Jose Gonzales are also up for re-election.

Now, the PLJ mailer provides proof that Beltran is involved in the Huntington Park race and brings under suspicion Pineda’s motives for his departure from re-election to “pursue other interests;” Pineda is Beltran’s brother-in-law.

PLJ’s Corrupt History

In late 2015, HMG-LCCN exclusively reported about the PLJ PAC that was spending thousands to help Jack Hadjinian win his Montebello City Council seat.

The PAC received $10,000 from a company owned by Jason Kashanian, a.k.a. Jason Kachan, son of Sam Kashanian a good friend and business associate of Hadjinian.

Hadjinian approved a controversial Montebello development owned by Kachan in July 2015, a lot where the French Café once stood.

One month later, the Kashanian company donated $10,000 to PLJ.

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PLJ’s past and present associations read like a Who’s Who of Los Angeles’ most corrupt figures.

The list includes indicted former Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, who swore Hadjinian in as Mayor.

Also included was Kindee Durkee, who embezzled $10.5 million in campaign funds and was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison.

Additional associations with PLJ included convicted former State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom Calderon.

And convicted felon Ricardo “Ric” Mayer and his political partner, felon who plead down to a misdemeanor, Angel Gonzales, were also associates of PLJ.

Finally, the list also included Beltran.

PLJ was created in 2014 from another PAC called Saving Local Jobs; Yolanda Miranda was its treasurer.

Miranda herself had a very checkered past in East Los Angeles politics going back many years.

Miranda was the long-time treasurer for both Ron Calderon and Tom Calderon.

Miranda was also the treasurer for current Central Basin Municipal Water District (CB) President Robert “Bob” Apodaca, who was sued for sexual harassment and settled the case for $670,000 in rate-payer funds. 

Apodaca was also recently implicated in another sexual harassment incident involving an employee at the Metropolitan Water District, exclusively reported by HMG-LCCN.

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Immediately after Miranda’s hiring, the PAC turned its sites on the Montebello City Council campaign, with Saving Local Jobs giving $8,000 to PLJ in February of 2015.

At the time, sources told HMG-CN that Beltran was running Hadjinian’s City Council campaign and that Beltran helped steer money into his election coffers.

The HMG-LCCN article tied Hadjinian to PLJ, to the Calderons, to NASA, and finally to Beltran.

And Beltran’s past is much like his associates in PLJ.

Beltran was accused by prosecutors of embezzling campaign funds from Ron Calderon to pay for his legal defense in a 2006 criminal case. Beltran pleaded guilty to four counts.

Seven counts of grand theft, one count of perjury and one count of failing to deposit cash was dismissed at sentencing as part of Beltran’s negotiated plea agreement.

In addition, Beltran was accused of filing a false police report when he solicited a prostitute at a seedy hotel in 2013. The prostitute reportedly beat Beltran up and stole his Bell Gardens police badge.

Beltran is bringing his corrupt political baggage to Huntington Park in an attempt to wrest control from City Council and control the lucrative cannabis market similar to his exploits in Commerce with current Mayor John Soria and in South Gate with Mayor Belen Bernal, Vice Mayor Denise Diaz and his support of candidate Melissa Peralta-Alvarado.

MARIO BELTRAN (l), seen here with Commerce Mayor John Soria (center) and Commerce candidate Carlos Maravilla, is also influencing the Commerce City Council race.

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And he is using dirty tactics, including using phony endorsements according to current South Gate Council candidate Gil Hurtado.

“He pretends to support or endorse a candidate, then he sends out a hate-filled mailer against himself talking about his convictions.”

Hurtado claims that Beltran did that to him in his South Gate race, when a “robo-call” went out, with Beltran and identifying himself and  endorsing Hurtado.

“I am not associated with him in any way, he is endorsing other people and supporting them with money,” said Hurtado. “Don’t be surprised if you see a hate-filled mailer with Beltran as the subject in the next few days.

Sure enough, a mailer was sent out by Voters for a Good Government, a PAC run out of David Gould’s office, located at 249 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, to avoid scrutiny.

The mailer slammed Beltran and his brother in law Jhonny Pineda.

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One Response to Mario Beltran PAC Influencing Huntington Park Council Race

  1. virginia Johnson Reply

    March 1, 2020 at 10:23 am

    This is the same PAC “Protect Local Jobs” PLJ that is on the South Gate Campaign Flyers of Marissa Peralta Alvarado and Pilar Maria Avalos. They are the one’s going door to door telling people ugly things about the other candidates except their friend Belen Bernal. Marissa and Pilar Avalos are scary people and watch out if they get elected to South Gate City Council. They are friends with Denise Diaz on Council and Robert John Montalvo who I call the Gestapo guy. Diaz’s parks and rec. Commissioner.

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