UPDATE LB Councilwoman/State Senate Candidate Gonzalez No-Show At Beer & Politics [UPDATE: Her Campaign Mgr. Responds] As Other Candidates Seek To Break-Out Of Multi-Candidate Pack (AUDIO: Hear Them, You Decide); Gonzalez Is Endorsed By L.A. County Fed'n of Labor (AFL-CIO); Committee Funded By Mainly Oil Cos./Related Firms Spends $1 Mil In Indie Campaign To Elect Gonzalez; Her Campaign Swiftly Moves To Announce Endorsement of California League of Conservation Voters
|UPDATE: Lena Gonzalez's state Senate campaign manager, Kristina Bigdeli, emails this about the candidate's absence at the Beer and Politics event: "Lena did not change her mind about attending. She had a schedule conflict with an economic development trip to Vancouver, Canada. You can verify and read more here: https://mobile.twitter.com/LBEconDev We were in contact with Mr. Clements about the schedule conflict and explained why. This was about a week ago. When I spoke to him last night, he recalled." LBREPORT.com replies: "Thank you for this info. We accurately what was stated to a roomful of people, including other reporters." We've updated our text below.
(Feb 28, 2019, 7:50 a.m., text updated 3:58 p.m. consistent with above) -- State Senate candidate (LB Councilwoman) Lena Gonzalez didn't attend (was part of a LB Economic Dept. delegation to Vancouver, Canada) while seven candidates (four Dems, 2 Repubs and 1 Green) sought to break out of a pack of eleven active candidates for a LB-Huntington Park state Senate seat spoke/fielded questions at a Feb 27 forum presented at this month's Beer and Politics session at Liberation Brewing on Atlantic Ave. in Bixby Knolls.
Those taking part were:
Those not present were Chris Garcia (Cudahy Councilman), Ana Maria Quintana (Bell Councilwoman/Vice Mayor) and Denise Diaz (South Gate Councilwoman) (all Dems.)
The event took place amid fast breaking developments. Within the past 48 hours, Councilwoman Gonzalez received the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (unions representing roughly 800,000 L.A. County AFL-CIO workers). In addition, an independent expenditure committee -- the "Coalition to Restore California's Middle Class, Including Energy Companies Who Produce Gas, Oil, Jobs and Pay Taxes" -- which over the past year has collected large contributions from oil companies and related firms -- has in recent days spent over a million dollars of it in an independent campaign to support electing Gonzalez.
Sac'to based political commentator Scott Lay commented (Feb. 27) in his daily "The Nooner" mass email:
That's a hell of a lot of money for a safe Democratic State Senate seat. But, if you know the district, you likely know that it is only a handful of Democratic seats with significant oil business.
The Gonzalez campaign moved swiftly to blunt the news, stating on its its Facebook page that the California League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Gonzalez, with Gonzalez issuing a statement stating:
I am proud of my record championing environment policies on the Long Beach City Council, where I have the most progressive environmental record in the 7th largest city in California. I led on protecting our environment for the Los Cerritos wetlands project and fought to limit coal exports from the Port of Long Beach. I championed the ban of Styrofoam that pollutes our waterways and endangers wildlife, and renewed the city’s Green Business program. I am proud to serve on the environmental committee to clean up the LA River...I look forward to working with the CLCV to advance strong environmental policies for our communities. I care deeply about protecting our environment and will continue to lead efforts to preserve our coast, expand green space, fight climate change and clean up our air and water. As a candidate for State Senate, I will not accept oil company contributions. I am proud that my campaign is supported by environmentalists, progressive leaders and organizations representing working men and women.
Gonzalez's carefully worded statement about not accepting oil company contributions to her state Senate campaign is accurate; the large oil company sums didn't go to her state Senate campaign but to the "Coalition to restore California's Middle Class" which has independently spent $1 million to support her election to the state Senate. (State law forbids the two political committees from coordinating or cooperating in their actions.)
Amnesia file: LB attorney Tracy Egoscue was active in the CLCV at its board level when Mayor Robert Garcia chose her in 2014 to become a LB Harbor Commissioner.
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