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EXCLUSIVE: Central Basin Director Vasquez Trying to Illegally Gerrymander Districts

GERRYMANDER: (l-r) Central Basin Directors Leticia Vasquez-Wilson, Martha Camacho-Rodriguez and Juan Garza. Vasquez and Garza are attempting to force an illegal redistricting to benefit both Vasquez her and her board ally Camacho-Rodriguez.

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December 2, 2023

By Brian Hews

Central Basin (CB) Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson, who is facing a tough re-election campaign against her board ally Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, with dedicated support from her lap-dog-Director Juan Garza, is attempting to illegally redraw Central Basin voting districts to retain her seat in the November 2024 election.

The scheme began a few weeks ago when Vasquez-Wilson, with the support of Garza, demanded that an item related to “redrawing district boundaries” be placed on the agenda in September of this year.

CB attorneys were forced to contact an outside law firm to prepare a memorandum concerning redistricting law; Vasquez-Wilson and the others were told the memo would be ready by the November board meeting.

But that was not quick enough for Vasquez and her husband, Ron “Sweet James” Wilson, who filed a questionable contempt of court proceedings against CB – despite the fact they both knew the redistricting was illegal –  to force placement of the redistricting item on the October board meeting agenda.

At the hearing, CB attorneys informed the presiding judge the item would be placed on the November agenda; the case was moved until February 2024, when CB will spend aditional rate-payer dollars showing proof that the item was placed on the November agenda.

By early November, the outside law firm completed the memo, which was included in the Board Packet sent out weekly by GM Alex Rojas.

The memo was clear; if there were an attempt to redistrict, the action would be met with lawsuits challenging the maneuver.

Despite the memo, Vasquez-Wilson and Garza demanded the item be placed on the November agenda for discussion.

According to CB counsel,  California Water Code Section 71540 makes any redistricting subject to the rules found in the Elections Code for Special Districts.

According to the Code, redistricting can only occur after the census, which is every ten years, or when a “sufficient change in population” has occurred.

Census data are presumed to be accurate for ten years. Consequently, Vasquez-Wilson would have to prove a sufficient change in population using a costly tax-payer-funded analysis.

Research by LCCN found established SCOTUS case law in 1983 that mandates using an established methodology to prove the population shift. Vasquez-Wilson intends to “redraw district boundaries,” evidently without analysis, which would likely be challenged in court, again costing CB rate-payers thousands in legal fees.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Vasquez-Wilson and Garza insisted on discussing the item and were again advised by staff and legal counsel that they would be open to lawsuits if they proceed.

Unconcerned, Vasquez-Wilson motioned “to bring back the item as an action item to and redraw the district boundaries.” 

GM Alex Rojas responded, saying, “We can’t agendize an item that we have been advised is illegal and non-compliant with election law.”

In a reckless statement harkening back to the uber-corrupt days of Art Aguilar and Ron Calderon, Juan Garza snapped back, “We make the law, we can bring the item back even if it’s illegal.”

Vasquez-Wilson made the motion to bring back the redistricting item as an action item, which lap-dog Garza, of course, seconded; the motion failed with Vasquez-Wilson and Garza voting yes, President Art Chacon voting no, with the remaining board members abstaining; Rodriguez and Gualtieri were conspicuously absent.

According to sources, Vasquez-Wilson’s scheme will cost CB thousands in legal fees.