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Councilwoman Pearce Used Her Contributor-Funded "Officeholder Account" To Legally Help Re-Elect These Three LB Council Incumbents

Pearce exploited controversial change in LB law that she initiated, her receipients voted to approve and Mayor Garcia didn't veto is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 19, 2018, 7:51 p.m.) -- Long Beach City Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, named by Robert Garcia to chair the Council's "Elections Oversight Committee," exploited a controversial change in LB law she initiated in her Committee and advanced to Council majority approval, to legally contribute sums from her "officeholder account" to help re-elect three of her Council colleagues: Councilmembers Roberto Uranga, Lena Gonzalez and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.

All three of the Council incumbents who received re-election campaign sums from Pearce's officeholder account voted in April 2017 to support the change in Long Beach law that enabled the action, enacted by Council majorities (details below) and not vetoed by Mayor Robert Garcia.

At the time Pearce contributed $400 each to the three incumbents' re-election campaign committees, it wasn't known how many if any of them might face re-election challengers. Gonzalez ultimately faced no filed opponents by the Jan. 12, 2018 deadline. Richarson faces no serious opposition now after a single challenger filed papers but dropped out after a campaign "dirty trick" in which some person(s) (not yet identified) set up a bogus website in the challenger's name. Councilman Uranga faces three re-election challengers in the April 10, 2018 election in which vote by mail ballots begin flying in March.

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On April 11, 2017, the Council voted 6-1 (Supernaw dissenting, Peace and Price absent) and on April 18, 2017 voted 5-3 (Supernaw, Price, Mungo dissenting, Richardson absent) to enable Councilmembers, the Mayor and other citywide electeds to use "officeholder" accounts to support candidates favored by the incumbents running for other LB, state or federal offices.

Mayor Garcia -- who didn't veto the April 2017 change in LB law -- used his "officeholder account" in the first half of 2017 to give $1,000 to the campaign that elected Jimmy Gomez (D, Los Angeles) to Congress and gave $500 to the campaign to elect Signal Hill City Council candidate Kier Jones (who lost the election by one vote.)

In the first half of 2017, Councilwoman Pearce and Mayor Garcia both used their officeholder accounts to make contributions to Housing Long Beach, a non-profit that at the time verbally supported enactment of a LB ordinance with unspecified "just cause" eviction and rent control provisions (and began earnest in the second half of 2017 to pursue such provisions via a now-ongoing petition initiative drive that would effectively avoid Council action. Pearce gave $400. Garcia gave $1,000.

Garcia, Pearce and all other Council incumbents have since said they don't support rent control in Long Beach.

Councilwoman Gonzalez was the only other incumbent to use her "officeholder account" to help elect/re-elect politicians now actively seeking other offices. In the second half of 2017 she gave $500 to the campaign to elect state Senator Ricardo Lara (D, Long Beach-Huntington Park) statewide Insurance Commissioner. (If Lara wins, it would free up a state Senate seat stretching from Long Beach to Huntington Park.) Gonzalez also gave $500 each to the campaign to re-elect Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D, LB-west OC) and elect Mike Levin to the SD-area Congressional seat being vacated by Cong. Darrel Issa (R, N SD county)

Vice Mayor Richardson used his officeholder account to retire $4,000 in campaign debts amassed by his former boss, former 9th district Councilman Steve Neal, who fell short of making it into a 2014 runoff for an Assembly seat.

Mayor Garcia and some Council incumbents (not itemized here) also used their "officeholder accounts" to give sums to various Democrat political organizations that (obviously) support favored candidates.






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