AD-57 Vanessa Tyson vs. the Corrupt Dynasties


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It’s going to take me a little while to meander down to my main discussion of the race in AD-57, the district a few miles down the street from me. If you want to cut to the chase, go to the section  in blue below, or directly to the website of Vanessa Tyson, the “people’s power” candidate in a race also featuring two women from corrupt political dynasties trying to blowoff each other’s heads with an endless torrent of glossy mailers. Reject that! Vote Tyson!  Vanessa Tyson gets my final endorsement of the primary election!

N.b.: Why am I writing about the race in Assembly District 57 — not in Orange County — in the lead-up to Election Day?  I have two reasons, the second being more important.  (It’s so important that you can skip the next two paragraphs without missing much.)

First, redistricting is coming up, and my guess is that we’ll no longer see the Assembly district in northernmost OC cross the Puente Hills. Instead, more of San Gabriel Valley will be put together north of the Hills, and what is now AD-55 west of the 57 will extend west of La Habra into La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Colima, East Whittier, South Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, and maybe Whitter itself.  This takes us into Assembly District 57 — and therein lies the problem with my plan.  AD-57 has of late been turf competed for by two highly unappetizing political families — the Calderons and the Rubios — and nobody should look forward to being ruled or represented by either of them.

You’re probably more familiar (at least in these pages) with the Calderons — the original three of whom in politics were brothers Charles, Ron, and Thomas, of Montebello.  Ron and Thomas were convicted respectively for bribery and money-laundering; you’ll find most of the details in Ron’s link, just above.  (They’re why I sometimes refer to them as the Calderon Crime Family.)  Charles, a highly conservative politician, doesn’t seem to have gotten involved in no-good. His son, Ian Calderon, of Whittier — for whom Jordan Brandman and his sidekick Danny Fierro worked when Jordan faced his first exile from OC politics — has been the Assembly member for this district. He decided not to run for re-election, perhaps because he has eight more years that he can spend in the State Senate under the old term limit rules.

Second, the race is an ugly clash between the Calderons and the Rubio sisters.  Blanca is in the Assembly and Susan is in the State Senate.  On the good side, the sisters have sponsored legislation to more than triple the statute of limitations for many victims of domestic violence.  (Susan won a restraining order against her ex-husband, former Assemblyman Roger Hernández, whom she divorced in 2016 after allegations of several domestic violence incidents during their marriage, including “pushing, shoving, and choking” her.)  On the negative side, they are essentially the bosses of Region 15 of the California Democratic Party, and are deeply in the pockets of both Big Oil and the Charter Schools.

One Republican, Jessica Rodriguez, is running against eight Democrats.  (By historical standards,  she can pretty much count on 30% of the vote. That should be enough to make the runoff — until some of the major interests in the error wants to divert support towards the vendida of their choice.  The Calderons are represented by Ian’s stepmother, Charles’s wife Lisa.  The Rubios are represented by their third sister (who got them into the country after they were both deported for unauthorized presence after coming in from Mexico), Sylvia.

NOW HERE IT COMES!

But there’s one Democrat worth considering strongly: Vanessa Tyson.

Here’s part of a piece that Tyson has published about the race:

[Being] born and raised in Whittier, this district has always been my home. I’m deeply concerned by the role that special interests currently play in determining political outcomes. This race certainly includes two candidates from political dynastic families who have received almost all of their financial support from special interest political committees. Local media outlets falsely characterize this race as a battle between two high profile families, as if it’s a foregone conclusion that one or both will advance on March 3rd. Local voters, however, continue to witness two women publicly attacking each other through countless mailers and television commercials, reflecting the ugliest aspects of politics, and making us want to tune out politics altogether.

If the Rubio-Calderon feud sounds unappealing, that’s because IT IS UNAPPEALING. Not only do voters have seven other candidates to choose from, but to my knowledge the rest of us are neither related to members of the California State Legislature, nor are we riding any coattails. To the contrary, we’re running because we truly love this district — its diversity, its hardworking families, and its tight-knit communities that inspire us in so many different ways.

With my endorsement from the Whittier Democratic Club, I’m the only candidate to be officially endorsed by a Democratic club from within the district. My vision for both Assembly District 57 and the Great State of California has been endorsed by national organizations and local advocates focused on healthcare, environmental protections, and senior rights. Meanwhile, my grassroots support is showcased through my fundraising. I’ve raised over $80,000 of support from over 500 individuals, with no special interest or independent expenditure money. I’ve brought in the most individual contributions of any candidate in the race.

Okay, that’s pretty damn good.  She’s also been very involved in environmental justice efforts within the district!

I have to admit that I don’t know much about the other candidates Oscar Valladares, Josue Alvarado, Gary Mendez, and Dora Sandoval, but none of them seem to have much of a chance.  (I do know a bit about Primo Castro, who is reputed to have been put up to run by the Rubios to split the Whittier vote with Calderon.)

Wouldn’t it be nice to elect Vanessa Tyson — and get away from all of stinking squabbling power-mad rich folks?


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)