Assembly Race in the west San Gabriel Valley.

I've been contacted by two public opinion survey takers, trying to figure out how I'll vote in June. There's obviously some serious early money going into this race.

This is for the seat currently held by Mike Eng, who is termed out at the end of 2012.

One interesting thing I learned is that Alhambra Mayor Luis Ayala, a Democrat, is going to appear on the ballot as an Independent (Or as a "No Party"; I don't remember the exact wording they used, nor if he actually changed his registration prior to the filing date to claim "independence). Kinda clever, since it's a "top two" primary, so I guess Ayala is hoping to get some crossover votes to make it into the runoff.

Of the names in the survey, he and frequent candidate, Democrat David Siegrist are the only non-Asians in the race. Eng and wife Judy Chu have endorsed Montebello School Board member Edwin Chau (Dem). San Marino Mayor Matthew Lin is the only Republican declared in the race. Monterey Park Councilmember Mitchell Ing (Dem) is also in the race.

Tran's out

I thought there'd be something on this site about John Tran, but I guess not since he's withdrawn after pleading guilty to charges of shaking down developers.

The fight will be between Chau and Lin. Lin's said he's throw down a lot of his own money to buy the seat.

I think Ayala is being a gentleman and not competing with Chau for Dem votes, and might draw Rep Latino votes away from Lin. This is an Asian district and an Asian-Latin contest would probably result in an Asian victory.

Chau's backed by Chu and Eng, the power couple.

I hope this San Marino dynamic doesn't rear its ugly head in the congressional races. I seriously preferred the older district, where a class-coalition had to be made, and it was a solid progressive (and usually female) seat. It seemed most amenable to people who were active in the community.

Tribune Story

SGV Tribune "It's Politics" story on the 49th Assembly District race is here. Ayala apparently decided to drop out of the race some time after the surveyors called my house. I will assume either Ayala paid for the polling, or someone showed him the numbers, and it became obvious he wouldn't have a chance of winning.

I chose not to post about John Tran because I know there are some haters just waiting to pile on. However, the obvious question to ask is, who is/was the FBI *really* going after? They don't get involved in "mere" bribery cases involving city council members. I'm inclined to think the developer made the offers, then got mad when she didn't get what she thought she deserved, then went to the FBI with a story big enough to interest the Feds, which would have to go beyond John Tran.

I hope there's no bigger

I hope there's no bigger story. That would just mean more bad news.

FWIW, I've heard stories of bigger bribes in other cities, in the distant past. This 10k was scandalous, but seems rather small compared.

More on Tran's situation

More details here.

Tran's getting busted, but it looks like a deal gone sour with a developer who isn't entirely on the up-and-up either. The developer got caught by the real-estate meltdown, and also hit by a change in the political winds.

While mixed-use is getting popular around LA, it's also being attacked nationally by the libertarian faction of the right-wing thinktanks. I suspect they are interested in property rights, and get some support from other Reps because mixed-use residents are going to be split between condos and apartments. Thus they're more likely to be Dems, while suburban SFRs are more split or tilt Rep.


But whose dollars were corrupting whom?

And who people who stand by and do nothing

Margaret Clark said she's been offered bribes. If so, isn't she under some obligation to report these bribes?