Mysterious Bell Gardens

Oooooh boy. The Mario Beltran scandal just won't go away. CityBeat has an intense story about Beltran, his phone call with colleague Castro, and how that connects with a convicted felon/tow truck company/drug launderer named Shayesteh.

The story hints that Gil Cedillo may have something to hide.

There's a lot of crap to look at with these gateway cities.

For one, cops in Maywood have been accused of selling impounded cars, or giving them as gifts.

Youth activists reported recently that an "insurance checkpoint" had been set up on Olympic, near Garfield, down near Commerce. Cars were being towed away.

There may be city-gang connections. There may be some tow-gang-city-cop connections. The residents are desperate for reform.

The corruption is spreading like a cancer, inching its way up toward us, if it's not already here. Sunshine is the best antiseptic against mold and disease.

Beltran's link to Rosemead

Did a quick review of the FPPC forms in Rosemead.  $500 in campaign contributions from Beltran and his election committee to Jim Clouet in 2006.  Over $9000 in spending from Clouet's campaign to Beltran's consulting firm.

Five-hundred dollars isn't a lot, until you consider that virtually all of his campaign money came from a loan from himself.  Other than that, it was maybe $2000, of which $1000 was from Alvarez-Glasman's law firm, and $500 was from Beltran.

Mysterious Bell Gardens

Beltran's interesting. He was (and may still be) considered a rising star. People are still taking his endorsement. But he's got two big scandals under his belt already, and has been dropped by Chu. OTOH, Calderon is backing him up, as is Cedillo.

Sometimes, I wonder if politicians understand how regular people think about these things. Politicians seem to like to party a lot, stay out late, do a lot of lunch and dinner meetings, have affairs, etc. They work hard at it, but most don't seem to have worked hard at actually doing what people consider "work." They like to use their power to make things go their way. They probably think this stuff is "normal," and it's just the degree to which people behave this way.

It's kind of like stoners. They think most people smoke pot. Or churchgoers - they think a lot of people go to church, and really believe in God. Or college grads - they think everyone goes to college.

Then again, I could see some politicians doing all these things, and thinking that most people are pot-smoking, church-going, college grads, who party late at night, avoid real work, and push their political weight around. Oh yeah, and solicit anonymous sex with cops, in bathroom stalls, and then grope their secretary's breasts.

Which Beltran gave to Clout?

Zebra 24610, are you sure that you have the right Beltran? 

I would not be surprised if City Attorney ARNOLDO Beltran had given money to Clouet or any of the other candidates.  City Attorneys Arnoldo Beltran, Arnold Alvarez-Glasman and Francisco Leal have given substantial contributions to candidates or incumbents in cities in which they are the City Attorney or want to be the City Attorney.  Rosemead City Attorney Bonifacio Garcia has also given a number of campaign contributions to boardmembers of his school district clients over the years. 

On the other hand, I would be surprised in MARIO Beltran (the councilmember with a criminal record) would have given money to Clouet.  I can't see the connection there.

Which Beltran gave to (Clouet)?

Well, unless Arnoldo spells his name, "M-A-R-I-O," then, no, it's not Arnoldo's name on the FPPC forms. :D

Mysterious Bell Gardens

All the Rosemead election stuff happened before these scandals popping up on citybeat and laweekly. Or, for that matter, the new understanding about attorneys that the bloggers have created. So even if Clouet took the money, it's not like he had any reason to say "no" to it.

Also, there's a whole other problem, not related. People at large aren't aware of these scandals. Most people don't read blogs, or even the newspaper. And of those who are aware, they don't always care. Beltran is unique in that he's got two big embarrassing scandals, and they're getting connected to the Tony Bravo/Maywood/Maywood PD situation, which is worse than what Beltran's going through.

BTW - The situation in the gateway cities is bad, but it's these situations that are fertile ground for new politics to emerge.

Mario Beltran

It's common knowledge that Jim Clouet had Mario and Denise as his Campaign Managers so the $9,000 would not only be for the management of his campaign but for a lot of the expenses as well.

Was the $500 before or after the $9,000
Whatever- not unusual

Mario and Denise both worked for Judy Chu...

Mario has been helpful in the past (While working for Judy) to the People of Rosemead
Time for some of our younger politicans to get their acts together
and for others to lear from their examples and keep squeeky clean.
And Apologise ASAP, me culpa immediately
 The Cover Up is ALWAYS worse than any offense

Mysterious Bell Gardens

There's been no coverup. It's just hanging out there, blowing in the wind. The thing is, there are two scandals practically back to back, and one is really trashy. The latter (the tow truck contract) might be more serious, but it's less shocking, and I get the sense it'll blow over.

Right now, there's some folks distancing themselves from Beltran, and others holding ranks. IMNSHO, it'd be easier to apologize, join Alcoholics Anonymous, lay low for a while and clean up, and come back. These cities are small enough that people can make a comeback if they do something great.

Maybe that's just the Asian attitude or something coming up. You have to repent for your sins and be formally disgraced by losing your title. (Uh, or maybe this is a Christian thing.) But you can be redeemed through good works.

You almost *have* to resign, because leaders are supposed to be an extension of the community. (Granted, in American politics, this isn't the norm. Probably the same for Latin American politics.) So, if the leader screws up, it reflects poorly on the community, and vice versa. There's no way to keep it together, at least not at that moment.

That could by why Chu has distanced herself from Beltran. Similarly Furutani recently distanced himself from Fabian Nunez, who's had some bad press in the LAT. I don't see Furutani really getting that far away from Nunez -- if anything Nunez has distanced himself from his own base more -- but the public pronouncements are for the Furuwatchers. (I'm not saying it's intentional on Chu's and Furutani's parts - but I see some pattern.)

Of course these things can be read differently. Calderon's and Cedillo's support of Beltran could be interpreted as a sign of loyalty and solidarity against adversity. That's the most positive spin possible, and not my own.