State Candidate Gonzalez's Silence On Our Straightforward Newsworthy Questions (Re Bills To Tax Big Oil, Override Local Zoning To Incentivize Low Income Housing, And Former Sen. Lara's Record) Has Become Independently Newsworthy; Since She Hasn't Answered For Over Ten Days, We Went To A "Meet Lena" Event, And... 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.
(Mar. 9, 2019, 9:55 p.m.) -- State Senate candidate Lena Gonzalez is in our view creating a newsworthy issue by failing to answer straightforward newsworthy questions that were posed to other candidates at a Feb. 27 candidate forum. Since candidate Gonzalez didn't attend the forum (we learned after the event that she was in Vancouver, BC with a LB delegation promoting business ties with Canada), offered her an opportunity to answer by email. (now in our 19th year of independent news online) sent three emails with the questions over the past ten days: three to Gonzalez's campaign manager, one of them cc'd to the campaign's consultant with two of them cc'd to candidate Gonzalez personally.

With no answers forthcoming, we decided to stop by one of candidate Gonzalez's "meet Lena" events. At a March 9 event at a Lakewood business, a woman representing the campaign intercepted us at the business' front door and told us the event wasn't for press; a person speaking for the business added that we could come inside as a community member but not as press. (We had a visible press tag on.) photo

Rather than push things, we informed the Gonzalez campaign staffer that we want to ask the candidate three questions that other candidates faced at the Beer and Politics event; the staffer nodded and we waited for the event to end outside the business' front door, which opened onto a parking lot. Candidate Gonzalez left via the business' back door that opened onto an alley with no parking.

Here are three questions that composed that were asked (with only a few words changed) of other candidates at the Feb. 27 forum that candidate Gonzalez hasn't answered.

  • Will you vote Yes or No on SB 246 for an oil severance tax?
    Background: SB 246 would create a CA oil severance tax. This is likely an anathema to big oil. As separately reported by, an independent political committee recently spent over $1 million in an independent campaign (not run by the Gonzalez) to support electing Gonzalez to Sacramento office.

  • Will you vote Yes or No on SB 50 that would offer housing developers incentives that override local zoning on density, height and parking to promote building low income housing along transit routes and in "job rich" more affluent areas?
    Background: SB 50 is authored by state Senator Scott Wiener (D, SF) who's endorsed Gonzalez. SB 50 is a re-introduced version (with some tweaks) of Wiener's SB 827 that stalled last year in a state Senate committee. It was opposed by (among others) the City of Long Beach, with Gonzalez joining the LB City Council in voting to oppose SB 827.

  • Can you name votes by Senator Lara with which you disagree [and if so, which ones]?
    Background: Ricardo Lara (now Insurance Commissioner) is the immediate past state Senator for the district and has endorsed Gonzalez.

When someone seeking public office chooses not answer straightforward questions like this, they're not snubbing us; they're snubbing you.

State Senate candidate Gonzalez could answer have answered these questions days ago. She could answer them in the next few minutes or never. The fact that she hasn't done so (coupled with her clumsy backdoor exit) in our view makes her silence on these matters increasingly newsworthy.



Related coverage: Follow the Money: Big Oil + Big Labor Big Bucks Both Back LB Councilwoman Gonzalez For State Senate. Does That Explain Silence Of LB Mayor/Council In AQMD Proceeding On Potential Mass Casualty Issue?




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