Compton’s First Latino Councilman Inspired Pride, Now Draws Concern

Abby Sewell and Angel Jennings, Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2013

On a scorching July afternoon, Compton residents gathered to celebrate the inauguration of the city’s first Latino councilman. A nine-piece mariachi band played and families cheered at the event many had been awaiting for decades.

But just a few weeks into Isaac Galvan’s term, some are already having misgivings about the councilman.

Galvan, 26, has failed to file any of the required campaign finance disclosures for the primary and runoff elections. As his first official action, he hired an aide with criminal convictions for political misconduct. And he has declined to answer detailed questions about his residency in the city.

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Latino activists have been working for years to break into city politics. Even though demographics have shifted over 20 years from majority black to nearly two-thirds Latino, African Americans maintained a hold on the Compton’s power structure—until the election of Galvan.

Although Galvan was a new face to many in Compton, some in neighboring southeast L.A. County cities recognized him as a protege of his campaign manager, Angel Gonzalez, a printer and onetime political operative for former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles, who is serving time in federal prison for his part in a wide-ranging bribery scheme.

Galvan met Gonzalez through the Boyle Heights branch of the Victory Outreach evangelical church and later worked for Gonzalez’s printing and political consulting business. Immediately after taking office, Galvan hired Gonzalez to a $47,500 city job as his community liaison.

“My knowledge of Angel Gonzalez is all bad. His history in South Gate talks for itself,” said longtime South Gate Councilman Henry Gonzalez. “I would question whether or not he’s still got those bad habits.”

In 2002, Angel Gonzalez was convicted of a felony conspiracy charge—reduced to a misdemeanor at his sentencing—for sending out attack mailers with copies of fake official documents. In a separate case, he was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of sending out misleading campaign fliers.

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Galvan gave the job to Gonzalez after initially proposing to hire Richard Mayer, another familiar face in southeast politics with a checkered past. Mayer was convicted of felony perjury in 2001 for lying about his address so that he could run for a South Gate City Council seat.

Galvan said Mayer was not involved in his campaign.

{snip}

When questioned about the missing forms in early July, Galvan said he had filed them “yesterday.” He also said he would provide a copy to The Times, but never did. On Thursday, he told The Times that his treasurer was “in the process of filing” and that he did not know how much he had spent on the campaign.

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  • Spartacus

    And this is a surprise… For whom ?

    • China_Rising

      Compton: 65% Hispanic and 33% Black (US Census Bureau, 2010).

      Must be a racial paradise.

      Edit: How come they have yet to file for bankruptcy? I am quite impressed.

      • Puggg

        And when you hear someone either cheer or fear the “great Hispanic vote tidal wave,” ask yourself this: Compton CA is two-thirds Hispanic and one-third black, and they just recently got its first Hispanic city council member? (The rest of the city council is still black).

        The reason I say this is that a lot of Stupid Party open borders types are cheering over a Republican winning a CA state senate seat in Bakersfield in a district that’s 60% Hispanic in population. (“See, we can appeal to Hispanics!”) Except as QD said, and I agree, the people who cast votes in that special election weren’t 60% Hispanic, probably not even 30% Hispanic, maybe not even 20% Hispanic. It was just a matter of white people shifting heavily and Hispanics not voting, even less than they usually vote.

        • China_Rising

          True.

          Voter turnout is lower amongst Hispanics, and a highly disprop. amount of them are below the voting age anyway (due to lower median and mean age’s for Hispanics).

          Whites were still 72% of the voters in the 2012 Pres. election, with Hispanics only consisting of 10% of the total voting population, and Blacks 13%. So in reality, the future of the USA will be decided by a coalition of Hispanics, White liberals, and Blacks.

          Conservatives were only 35% of the voting population in 2012.

          • LAFCD

            What will ultimately depend on whether or not whites survive on the North American continent or Europe or Canada or Australia or South Africa will depend upon two groups of whites: the ones who think like us and the ones who work against us, whether out of self hate (antifa types) or guilt (neocons, liberals) or financial compensation (cops, soldiers, ‘anti racist’ activists, etc). Just like with blacks, their problems isn’t us; it’s with each other. The Mexicans, blacks, muslims, “jews” or any other group only have their power because of the traitors amongst us and those who have been too scared and quiet all these years.

  • roadgeek

    Anywhere Hispanics gather and attempt to govern themselves this happens. In Texas we call this Valley politics, after the Rio Grande Valley. In the RGV the first thing any politician does after election is compile the list of unemployed family members. Past graft and corruption allegations are no bar from office in South Texas. It’s all about taking care of your friends.

  • YourMOMA

    The shift of demographics is helping Latinos with elections. Is that a surprise? They’ll vote for one of their own knowing full well that once in the office, a fellow Latino will take care of their own.

  • JackKrak

    Where there are Mexicans, there is Mexico. And a huge mess.

  • Romulus

    It will take a few days to “come up with” the documents. All who come vote in their own representation until they have enough power to effect ” change”