Ballot Box: Council District 1 mailer focuses attention on candidate’s spending habits

Gardea campaign mailer

The race to replace termed out First District Councilman Ed Reyes  has refocused attention on the spending habits of  one of the top candidates: State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo.  Not surprisingly, the issue was raised by Cedillo rival Jose Gardea, Chief of Staff to Reyes, in a mailer that arrived in voters’ homes in recent days.  The black and white mailer, a copy of which was provided to The Eastsider by a Highland Park resident,  proclaims:

Gil Cedillo has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money from banks, insurance companies, casinos and drug companies seeking his vote to support his lifestyle. For example, he spent more than $7,000 from special interests on clothes at Nordstroms. He spent $77,000 on restaurants around the world—including a twelve hundred dollar meal at a downtown L.A. restaurant.

The Cedillo campaign did not dispute those figures. But in the past Cedillo has said he has never spent campaign funds for personal reasons.

The information in the mailer is based on public records featured in a 2009 L.A. Times story, which was also excerpted in the Gardea mailer.  It’s not unusual or illegal for state lawmakers like Cedillo to spend unused campaign contributions as long as they are spent on “a political, legislative, or governmental purpose,” according to the story.  Cedillo, in the story, said none of those funds were ever used for personal reasons:

“None of it’s for me,” Cedillo said in an interview this week at his campaign headquarters in El Monte. All of the purchases were gifts for staff, legislators and “other people who are important to my campaign and my office,” Cedillo said.

When asked to respond to the Gardea mailer,  Cedillo’s campaign staff  instead redirected attention to Gardea’s impact, or lack of impact, on the district he is trying to represent. Cedillo consultant Derek Humphrey said in a statement:

It’s not surprising that lifelong City Hall bureaucrat Jose Gardea has opened his campaign by attacking Gil Cedillo. Gardea has worked for 20 years in a council district that has seen a larger decline in job growth than any other district in the city and also has one of the highest crime rates.

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  1. Campaign Headquarters in El Monte? The City of El Monte? Does Gil know that he is running for a seat in the City of Los Angeles….and his campaign headquarters is not even in the City he supposedly wants to represent? How messed up is that?

    And, if you believe that none of those expenditures personally benefited him, I have a bridge to sell you.

  2. Please folks, have a heart. If you don’t elect old Gil, what do you expect him to do with himself? How would he fill that very large hole in his soul?

  3. Am I reading correctly that his campaign office is in El Monte?

  4. The mailings being put out by his office are showing an address over in Koreatown on Wilshire but on his facebook page, he’s invited people to come and talk to him at Daly and Broadway at his office. One of his opponents is in the building with the two lions in Highland Park on Figueroa and Ave 53.

  5. Gil is receiving major contributions from Chevron Oil. Gil supports Wal Mart (good paying jobs?), better transportation (the extension of the 710 running thru CD1?) and after tireless years of serving the working people, he still hasn’t bothered to learn to speak SPANISH. Nice way to communicate with the majority of the people he wishes to represent. Just retire already Gil. You’re pushing 60.
    -Longtime NELA resident.

  6. If you want Jose Gardea to be CD1 Councilmember, you need to tell your friends and facebook buddies to vote for him. Gil has the advantage of some name recognition and union support from some of the worst of the worst. Anybody in Echo Park want the Barlow Hospital Project to move forward? A political action committee supported by Barlow is going to contribute to or make expenditures to make sure Gil is elected. Who wants the 710 Freeway to run through their neighborhoods? Vote for Gil — there’s a reason he’s silent about that project.

    I’m telling all my friends to vote for Gardea. I hope you do too. We can make a difference.

    • Ed Reyes’s staff is made up mostly of overpaid lazy relatives,cronies, and do nothing losers. That is why their district looks like crap. They have overpaid staff salaries. They are known as the laziest council district in the city.

  7. There are quite a number of people in CD 13 that would like to see Jose Gardea win.

  8. It is VITAL you vote for Jose Gardea if you care at all about Elysian Park and good planning. Gil is taking serious money from Chevron. He is being bought out and his interests lie with corporate desires, not us regular folk who want open spaces, no 710 freeway, and planning for the people WITH the people. Vote for Gardea!!!!

    • I would have to agree Alex,

      Cedillo is now 90.000 into Special Interest money Choi 77,000….both supporting the ill conceived Barlow Hospital 888 Unit Condo development…….if you live and vote in CD 1 Vote GARDEA……CD13 for O’FARRELL……Public Service not Politics….lets send a message loud and clear to the Special Interests….your money is no good here…..

  9. ALL of you Gil haters….you really wanna help? Keep talking to your neighbors. Go volunteer at his office. It’s over at Fig and Ave 54…a lot closer than EL MONTE!!!
    Gardea’s seems decent enuf.

    (I didn’t know Gil was 60 years old. Damn!!!)

  10. I have met Mr. Gardea twice and he is the most professional and kind man I have ever met! I have also met Mr. Cedillo and he wasn’t much of a humble guy.

    V O T E 4 G A R D E A ! He has made so many positive changes and is in the process of finishing even more if he get’s elected!

  11. Preservation Patriot

    Gardea, all the way! We really can’t afford Gil $edillo.

  12. OMG! “no way, Jose” accomplishments are speed bumps and traffic signals and crosswalks! Don’t vote for another 12 years of “do nothing, Ed Reyes” with his employee “no way, Jose”.

    Major streets have NOT been repaved. Look at San Fernando Road, North Figueroa and other areas like the Pico Union District on Alvarado and Union Ave. There are HUGE potholes that a car can fit into and be swallowed up. Recently the road on Cypress Ave was repaved and the street did NOT need it. San Fernando Road and North Figueroa streets need repaving but those streets did not get repaving. San Fernando Road has a million potholes going east from Fletcher to North Figueroa. San Fernando Road for 12 years has gone unpaved. Where was “no way, Jose”? No where to be found. He was never even in the district.

    Look at North Figueroa and see such a mismatch of run down buildings and ulgy painted buildings and buildings need some desparately needed paint. Look at the dirty sidewalks and the illegal dumping. North Figueroa and Alavarado are no Atwater (Glendale Bl) or Eagle Rock (Colorado Bl). You can see what “no way, Jose” was done, and that is nothing to improve the area. The area is still the most violent in the city. What has “no way, Jose” done? Nothing. We can not afford another 12 years of “do nothing, Ed Reyes” with his employee, “no way, Jose”.

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