News / AUDIO

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 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.
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: 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." 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:

  • Dr. Martha Flores Gibson (Repub)
  • Jack Guerrero (Repub) [Cudahy Councilman]
  • Leticia Vasquez Wilson (Dem) [Boardmember, Central Basin Municipal Water District]
  • Cesar Flores (Green)
  • Jose Solache (Dem) [Lynwood Mayor]
  • Thomas Jefferson Cares (Dem)
  • Ali Saleh (Dem) [Bell Councilman arrived a bit late, attended his city's scheduled Council meeting]

Candidates Flores Gibson, Guerrero, Vasquez Wilson, Flores, Solache, Cares [Saleh arrived later]

Those not present were Chris Garcia (Cudahy Councilman), Ana Maria Quintana (Bell Councilwoman/Vice Mayor) and Denise Diaz (South Gate Councilwoman) (all Dems.) provides on-demand audio of salient portions of the event. Self-introductions here. Salient Q & A here.



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 Port of Long Beach has major crude oil terminals, including those owned by BP Pipelines of North America, Chemoil Marine, Petro-Diamond Terminal Company, and Tesoro Refining and Marketing. Large numbers of automobiles are also imported through the port. Much of that oil is destined for the Carson Tank Farm and then processed by refiners like Chevron for distribution around Southern California. While the Carson Tank Farm and the Wilmington Oil Field are in the neighboring SD35 of Steven Bradford, make no mistake that oil is big business for the Port of Long Beach.

The race will likely go to a June 4 runoff after the March 26 special primary election and the successful candidate will be sworn in shortly after. If Senator Bob Wieckowski's SB 246 for an oil and gas severance tax moves, it will be in the Assembly by that point. However, the likelihood is that it would be coming back to the State Senate if it passes the Assembly. It needs a two-thirds vote, and the oil companies can use any friend they can get. I don't know if Gonzalez has a position on the oil and gas severance tax, but opponents certainly think they've got shot of a new ally in Sacramento...



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.

Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to incumbent Long Beach officials, development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really 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.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Recommend to your Facebook friends:

Follow with:




Return To Front Page

Contact us:

Adoptable pet of the week:

Carter Wood Floors
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050

Copyright © 2018, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use/Legal policy, click here. Privacy Policy, click here