News & Updates

Hecho en Mexico

By Emilio, on Feb 11, 2017

The American people spoke. They elected Donald Trump our 45th President of the United States. And he won fair and square. We can whine all we want that he didn’t win the popular vote, but that is not the mechanism which we utilize; the Electoral College is.

Considering Trump coming across as crude, rude and a buffoon, many people that I know had little concern that Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to kick his ass like a rented mule. Not me. Every morning over coffee and several newspapers with my wife Kathleen, I would repeat my belief that Trompas Trump had a good chance of winning. And each morning Kathleen would, in a nice way, indicate I was delusional. But, considering Trump’s promise to address illegal immigration from Mexico with a wall and punishment of Sanctuary Cities was quietly resonating here in Santa Cruz County, it was becoming obvious to me that we had a considerable number of closet Trump supporters. Also having read Bill O’Reilly’s “Hitler’s Last Days: The Death of the Nazi Regime” and “Detroit: An American Autopsy” by Charlie LeDuff  my belief was bolstered that Trump wasn’t the dark horse in the race.

The people who voted Trump into office were obviously fed up with illegal and legal Mexican immigrant’s refusal to assimilate and their wanting to turn some of our cities into a Mexico Chico. Ruben Navarrette, a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post Writers Group, recently wrote:  One Dreamer’s Missed Lesson in Good Character. In it he writes that 22- year-old Indira Esparza proudly unfurled the Mexican flag as she walked across the stage to accept her diploma during commencement at UC San Diego. Navarrette asks readers: “What in the world did Mexico have to do with the education of this young woman?” Esparza, according to Navarrette, entered the U.S. illegally with her parents when she was a toddler. He cites that no doubt Esparza’s success is a credit to her mom and dad, to her hard work ethic, and to UC San Diego. But not to Mexico because: “When you think about it, the only contribution that our southern neighbor made to this success story was in forcing Esparza’a family to migrate to the north by not providing enough economic opportunity to keep them from leaving home.” And, “Mexico’s failure indirectly led to her success. That’s nothing to be proud of.”  I wholeheartedly agree.

But the waving of the Mexican flag may not be the only infuriating factor. Here in Watsonville, for example, it took voters passing a Measure to allow some Anglos the opportunity to be mayor. And a controlling contingent of Latino council members led by Luis Alejo turned a blind eye to the critical lack of transparency in our city government orchestrated by former City Manager Carlos Palacios and former Assistant City Manager Marcela Tavantzis. It took a Superior Court ordered Audit to determine our city was in a financial dilemma bordering on bankruptcy; not our elected officials whose duty is to assure that taxpayers are kept well informed. And I don’t believe that Watsonville is the exception in California.      

Many of us may not like it, but Trump may be the needed slap-to-the-face type reality check our country needed. Take for example Trump’s “war” with the news media. When he said that “They are the most dishonest human beings on Earth” it was about time the media was knocked for its sacrosanct mentality, especially considering that the media could be held accountable for the lowest voter turnout in twenty years. But, on the flip side, Trump attempting to control the press is critically dangerous. But, I somewhat emphasize with him because when I ran for a county supervisor seat and when I uncovered questionable conduct by some city officials, the Santa Cruz Sentinel resorted to misleading headlines and withholding facts from readers to silence me.  Oh, and did I mention the old spin factor, a real specialty of our Sentinel.  Instead of just tweeting, I created this blog. The Watsonville Fishing Report may have been one of the reasons former Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Donna Jones, former City Manager Carlos Palacios and former Assistant City Manager Marcela Tavantzis walked or may have been forced to walk, although it took four years of my time pounding out the truth for all to read.  With this said, today, more than ever, we need the news media to stand up and deliver with the actual facts because Trump seems to be a Corona shy of a six-pack. Transparency is the responsibility of journalists and we need to be kept well informed so it can be determined if Trump should be forced-fed a double dose of Clozapine and placed in a straight jacket should he decide to take-on China.     

Then there is the Great Frijole Wall, Sanctuary Cities, and a twenty percent tariff being proposed by Trump. Well, we gave President Barrack Obama 8 years to do something about immigration reform and, to be blunt once again; he lacked the huevos to do anything. Trump, on the other hand, has the huevos, but his gray matter is scrambled. The Wall, deporting Mexicans (aka cheap labor) and a twenty percent tariff has a better chance to collapse our economy than keeping a cheap work force out of the country.     


Are you aware that some “American Made” products are now made in Mexico?

Mattel, Levi’s Jeans, Wranglers Jeans, Converse Chuck Taylors, IBM Personal Computers, Rawlings Baseballs, NBA Uniforms, Fender Stratocaster, Brach’s Confections, Etch A Sketch-Ohio Art Company, and some Budweiser Beer are all made in Mexico. And, that around 60% of the fresh produce we consume is grown in Mexico much of which is grown by American companies? According to the L.A. Times (12/ 7/14), “Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors, and retailers”. The 4-part investigative article highlighted that half of the tomatoes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico along with avocados, jalapenos, and green inions. All that guacamole consumed during the Super Bowl probably came from Mexico.


Additionally, Worldstop Exports reported (Nov. 2016) that according to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database, exports from Mexico amounted to $380.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. Production of vehicles ($90.4 billion) and electronic equipment ($81.2 billion) were the top two exports. The database also stated that 84% of Mexican exports are delivered to the U.S. and Canada via NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and that Mexico’s unemployment rate was 4.2% as of January 2016.  If jobs are plentiful in Mexico, why do Mexicans want to come to America?

Then there is the vehicle industry. Ford, Nissan, General Motors, Audi, Kia, Volkswagen, Toyota, Cadillac, BMW and Chevy are manufacturing cars in Mexico not to mention automotive parts. According to the National Auto Parts Industry, Mexico is the sixth largest auto part producer. Production has grown from $41.2 billion in 2009 to over $76.8 billion in 2013 with production exceeding $85 billion in 2015.

Finally, the majority of your electronics probably were manufactured in Mexico. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Tyco, JVC, Sanyo, Bose, Kyocera, Plantronics, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Skyworks, Furukawa, and Mitsubishi are some of the electronic manufactures that employ over 92,000 people in Mexico. Additionally, according to the Tecma Group (An electronics consulting firm in Mexico assisting start-ups) “Progress is even being made in the manufacture of products used for brain scanning and 3D animation.” And that “Investment in the electronic components segment of Mexico’s manufacturing sector has reached up to $5 billion per year.”

American companies, some foreign companies, and a select few Mexicans, are grossly enriching themselves with billions upon billions of dollars, yet only compensating Mexican citizens barely enough to feed themselves and their families? And some of the farming industry has been accused of the gross mistreatment of workers. Here at home compounding our problem is that we are hurting for unskilled workers (cheap labor, illegal and legal). According to recent articles in the Wall Street Journal, companies and restaurants throughout the U.S. are either shutting their doors or losing business. In Texas a large roofing company had to turn down $20 million worth of projects due to lack of employees and in Florida orange harvesters are also in need of people. Locally, the San Jose Mercury News reported (1/25/17) that at least 60 restaurants in the Bay Area have closed their doors since September largely in part because they lack unskilled workers. Some of the restaurants have been in existence for over 20 years. Here in the Pajaro Valley, as well as most farming communities in California, farmers are dependent on illegal Mexicans for the majority of their workforce.

There is no doubt that Mexico’s illegal immigrants financially burden U.S. tax payers. The Federation American Immigration Reform has estimated the costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be around $113 billion per year. That was back in 2013, I bet it is much more today. Therefore, immigration reform is needed, but is a wall and deportations a viable and economic solution? I would not be surprised if us tax payers will be additionally burdened with the cost of the wall, and the 20% tariff Trump is threatening to impose on American companies operating in Mexico. Do you really believe these multi-billion dollar companies are going to eat the tariff and Mexico pay for the wall when they won’t even pay their workers a living wage? Somebody is going to take it in the shorts, and I would wager it’s going to be me and you.

Let’s hope that Trump’s slap-to-the-face awakening is a lesson learned including never again voting a maniac into office whose propensity to push buttons may just lead him to pressing the wrong one. But, I predict he won’t last 2 years before he is either impeached, or he picks up all his loose marbles and quits after finally realizing he’s going to spend the majority of his time as president in a court room.

Measure D the Tax for Dummies?

By Emilio, on Nov 1, 2016

Santa Cruz County is one of the 18 California counties (nearly a third) which will be asking voters to approve a transportation tax in November. If Measure D is approved, we will be expected to pony up a half-cent sales tax increase to purportedly repair roads, construct auxiliary lanes to reduce traffic congestion/commute time, rail studies, and bicycle options.

I will be blunt. I will not vote for and/or support Measure D because already we are witnessing the typical carrot and stick trick. It’s the same type of tactic which has left Watsonville with both the highest sales tax rate (9 percent) and poverty level in the county. The trick this time is that we are being promised a reduction of a whopping 15 minutes in commute time (Highway1) with Auxiliary Lanes and…..drum roll please….the standard heartstrings pulling trick…jobs.  Ironically the same promises (underline “promises”) are being made by the majority of all the other counties in the state seeking voter approval for a transportation tax. And what about the costs for the 15 minutes reduction of commute time? A mere $125 million! The cost for the Maintenance of the Auxiliary Lanes once completed you ask….well that could be another tax altogether.

But there are legitimate findings that question the claim of reduction in commute time and jobs.  For example, according to an article by the United States Public Interest Research Group (01/19/16) one of the reasons states and the federal government may have reduced funding for highway expansion projects is because after spending billions of dollars, traffic and commute time were not reduced. The article cited Texas as an example: “A $2.8 billion project widened Houston’s Katy Freeway to 26 lanes, making it the widest freeway in the world, but commutes got longer after its 2012 opening: By 2014 morning commuters were spending 30 percent more time in their cars, and afternoon commuters 55 percent more time.” And in Los Angeles: “A $1 billion widening of I-405 in Los Angeles that disrupted commutes for five years – including two complete shutdowns of a 10-mile stretch of one of the nation’s busiest highways – had no demonstrable success in reducing congestion. Just five months after the widened road reopened in 2014, the rush-hour trip took longer than it had while construction was still ongoing.”

In regards to job creation, Professor Susan Handy of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis wrote the Brief “Increasing Highway Capacity Unlikely to Relieve Traffic Congestion” (10/2015). In it she wrote; “Job creation are often cited as compelling reasons for expanding the capacity of roadways. However, most studies of the impact of capacity expansion on development in a metropolitan region find no net increase in employment or other economic activity….” under the caption “Capacity expansion does not increase employment”.


Another concern is the difficulty of obtaining readable annual accounting reports from the county. Measure D is expected to create around $500 million, yet just recently the county was criticized by the 2015-2016 Santa Cruz County Grand Jury who wrote in their report: “The current reporting does not provide an easily accessible, clear, and understandable annual accounting of the totality of Santa Cruz County retirement costs and obligations……” Hmm…imagine that.


Closer to home, here in Watsonville we are having a similar problem with Measure G funds, the half-cent sales tax increase for our police and fire departments. The city’s website of Measure G meetings, Agendas, and Minutes are clear as mud. First we are led to believe that we hired 3 additional police officers when it seems that the officers hired with Measure G dollars were replacements. And, try to determine the number of officers we have today vs. how many we had before Measure G. Buena Suerte. It’s also not clear if we purchased or leased 5 new police vehicles. Then there are the expenditures of $79,016.00 for the Fire Dept. and $77,972.00 for the Police Dept. for “Operations” which we’re left to guess what that means unless this money too is for pensions.  


So, in summary we are going to be taxed to possibly (no guarantee) shave 15 minutes off commute time that can be better used to:

A) Stand in line at the DMV with some of the 605,000 undocumented workers who received their driver’s license this year?

B) Attempt to determine what will happen first, lanes will be widened in North County Highway 1 or that Freedom Blvd. will be repaved?    

Finally, how can we disregard the racial profiling, or is it stereotyping, in the “Measure D Will Get Us Home Faster To Our Families” mailer? It has former councilmember Eduardo Montesino pictured with his family sitting in what some may believe is the typical Latino home with a bright colored room and curtains, a crucifix, rosaries, and of course a picture of the Virgin Mary. First, who’s idea this was, is probably in support of Proposition 64, because he or she got it all wrong. Where’s the painting on velvet of President Kennedy?  And what about the standard 2 liter bottles of Coke and Fanta on the dining table?  Although I do have to admit that in our home my mom replaced my picture with a 3 foot by 2 foot picture of Maggie, her beloved dog.

How many more times do we have to be led with a nose ring through the garden path before we say No to more taxes like Measure D?

Fishing for Dollars?

By Emilio, on Sep 24, 2016

Diamond Lane

They’re gone. Former City Manager Carlos Palacios, former Assistant City Manager Marcela Tavantzis and numerous city employees mostly from the Community Development Department finally hit the road after Grand Jury investigations, a Grand Jury initiated Audit, State Audits, and a former councilmember-now blogger (yours truly) shed enough light to send them scrambling for cover. Even if former Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter Donna Jones was still around, she couldn’t have used her historical bush league spin tactics to conceal the obvious…..that at the end of Palacios’ 20 year reign, Watsonville was left on the verge of bankruptcy. Did corruption and cronyism finally take its toll?

But one of the most asked questions by some members of the community is how and why Palacios and Tavantzis were rewarded with jobs by the County (Palacios as a Deputy County Administrator and Tavantzis as an Assistant Director of Public Works) considering their performance or lack thereof. A conceivable conspiracy theory is that Palacios and Tavantzis, with the assistance of some council members and other city and county administrators, made a deal with the County to build the majority of low-income housing, over 2,500 units, in a flat area with easily accessible utilities…..the airport. And although the attempted feat was foiled by the Watsonville Pilot’s Association (led by the late Mr. Dan Chauvet) by winning two legal battels in both Superior Court and the State Appellate Court, could it be possible that some county officials felt obligated to reward Palacios and Tavantzis for their efforts? Or, was it also possible Palacios handed over the city’s Buena Vista landfill methane gas to the County who sold it to produce green electricity? Both the County and the City own adjacent landfills on Buena Vista which produce methane gas. The gas creates “green” electricity according to a 12/29/2004 Environmental News Network article which also included that Palo Alto’s  utilities department “has inked a deal to buy "green" electricity created by the methane gas that seeps out of the buried, decomposing garbage in the Santa Cruz County landfill”. Did Watsonville, or just the County, profit from that deal? Sounds like a Public Records Request to me.

Regardless, Palacios and Tavantzis were forced out of their comfort zone just prior to their golden years, and now face bosses who expect them to work after a brutal commute. I can’t help but smile while driving leisurely to the harbor to hop on my boat to go fishing knowing that Carlos and Marcela are grinding their teeth trying to clock in on time, stuck in a sea of slow moving headlights wishing for a Diamond Lane.    

The Irresponsible Culprits

But who are the ultimate culprits who disregarded Palacios’ continual questionable conduct even after the 2012 Grand Jury found:

“The City of Watsonville had not been conducting its business in a professional way; one that is transparent in all its dealings, and one that gives all relevant information needed by elected officials to be able to make informed decisions.”

And that:

“……. the 2011-2012 Grand Jury decided to investigate issues that are “illustrative of a laxity of process and controls” in the Watsonville City Government, both those identified by the prior Grand Jury and new relevant concerns:

  • · Issuance of a $225,000 check in April 2008 for a fire truck, more than three years prior to its delivery. Nearly a year after its delivery, its operational status remains unclear.

  • · Continuing concerns about the process by which Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds were used to purchase the fire truck.

  • · Cash handling procedures for the Strawberry Festival

  • · Citywide cash handling policy and procedures

  • · Difficulties obtaining complete, accurate, and timely information, which suggests a lack of transparency.”

 The answer may lie in a quote by Andrew Jackson: “The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the government, the sovereign power.” If you and I are in fact the government and councilmembers are our agents, we are the ultimate culprits for our failure to vote, to vote responsibly, and/or hold elected officials accountable.

Well most of you are more responsible for our city’s pitiful reputation and financial devastation than I am because as some of you may recall I was the city council member who determined the whereabouts of the fire truck in question and that it was a lump piece of sheet metal, and also questioned at a city council meeting why $20,000 cash was floating around during a Strawberry Festival which instigated the 2 Grand Jury investigations and the Superior Court Ordered Performance Audit. And I did it without any support from fellow Latino council members (and two wannabees) who also misled the tax paying public to believe that Palacios was doing a good job regardless of what was determined by the Grand Jury and Audit.

So here we are again with 3 city council seats up for grabs in November and we have another opportunity to elect council members who will represent our best interests, not theirs or special interests groups they support. Thus, this brings up to question why Oscar Rios once again is seeking a city council seat. Rios, President of the Non-Profit organization, La Alianza Del Valle Pajaro (Which is the money engine for Mexican Independence Day and Fiestas Patrias here in Watsonville) may have an underlying motive.  Rumors are that councilmembers Felipe Hernandez and Karina Cervantez-Alejo are not pleased with newly hired City Manager Charles Montoya and may want to oust him already. Four votes are needed by the city council to hire and fire the city manager, city clerk, and/or city attorney and at this point in time the Alejoite contingent do not seem confident that they have the votes to rid themselves of Montoya.

What did Montoya do that irked Hernandez (who was Best Man at Luis Alejo and Karina Cervantez’s wedding) and Cervantez-Alejo? Seems one of the reasons is that Montoya had the audacity to hire Anglos for the Assistant City Manager and Deputy City Manager positions. What the….? How dare he hire on the basis of competence because after all, we’ve endured incompetence for around 20 years. What’s another 20? And it also seems that Montoya has voiced concern that the Strawberry Festival is a financial liability therefore another location, possibly the Fairgrounds, would be the solution and/or a location where an entrance fee would off-set the costs.   

You know, I’m baffled that some of our populace still eat up the BS that we need the likes of Rios on the city council once again. This is especially true considering his documented history of racially divisive tactics on his previous stints as a councilmember. Surely we can’t believe that he is concerned that almost 90% of the city’s population will not be appropriately represented. I mean, how many white people do you see while driving around town? The wide-eyed ones, mouth agape, looking lost and speeding on the wrong side of the street towards Highway 1 don’t count. Fortunately Rios is being opposed by David Hermosillo, a former Watsonville fireman. I have not personally met Mr. Hermosillo although I did have the opportunity to read about him and also had a conversation with him. He is well informed of the issues facing Watsonville as he has lived in the community for the majority of his life. And unlike Rios, he will not cater to a racially divisive agenda which creates an us against them mentality, but rather focus on needed short term and long term remedies especially considering our police and fire departments.  

In District 1, unfortunately we have current mayor Felipe Hernandez running unopposed.

My concern with Hernandez along with his pal Luis Alejo and cohorts is that they are, in my opinion, most responsible for rendering Watsonville a stigma in the Monterey Bay area. Hernandez has the political experience to create the illusion that he is inclusive with dog walks (“Excuse me sir but I believe that the pit bull clamped onto your leg is my dog”) a Bike Ride (“Gee I thought there we would be more than just four of us following Felipe down Main street…”) and a Food Truck Party which was an idea I presented to the City back around 2008 along with a Sports Complex. Although, he is almost professional when it comes to photo-ops; I would bet that he would appear at the unwrapping of tamale if it got him print. The only other councilmember that might give him some competition is Lowell Hurst.


Then, there’s Hernandez’s list of bunkum. In a publication, he was quoted that his campaign will highlight his accomplishments over the past four years, which he cites as “job creation, economic development, housing, parks, downtown revitalization and a better quality of life for all residents.” He creates jobs but he doesn’t have one? And, Watsonville still ranks as the city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state as it has for at least the previous 10-15 years. Additionally, in regards to him being part of the downtown revitalization, do you recall the last movie you saw at the Fox Theater or the last time you shopped at the Gottschalks building? But the best illusion he has created is that he is inclusive. Does he really believe that we have forgotten Measures H, I and J? Had Felipe been inclusive why did it require a Measure (Measure I) which dictates that the Mayor is chosen on a rotating basis? Instead, he adhered to his buddy Luis Alejo’s agenda which included exclusive self-serving actions such as voting for his replacement on the city council, helping to prevent councilmembers (especially Anglos) from being appointed mayor, and his attempt to name the City Plaza after Dolores Huerta all of which were the instigating factors for the Measures. All three Measures were resoundingly approved by voters. No we don’t need Hernandez on the city council but he is running unopposed. If people could vote for “Other” I wonder if “Other” might stand a chance.

District 6 councilmember (My District) Trina Coffman-Gomez is being opposed by Doreen Martinez (No relation). Coffman-Gomez, in my opinion, is a fortitude-lacking weathervane. Early on she voted on the side with the most votes until Councilmember Jimmy Dutra called her on it. But, my concern is that Doreen Martinez has an agenda which would include creating another Bloc whose underlying intent is to either control or oust City Manager Montoya. Montoya, who is on miraculous tract of making chicken salad out of chicken shit, should not have to answer to a contingent of politicians whose records are reflective in one of the entrances to our city: the embarrassing 20 year old eyesore, Freedom Blvd. What I want to know from both of these candidates is their plan for City Manager Montoya. Possibly Ms. Martinez may come knocking on my door, while walking the District, allowing me the opportunity to ask the question. Coffman-Gomez? Let’s hope Rios doesn’t win because she is not an independent thinker and could side with that group at the sight of a changing wind.  

Hey remember Daniel Dodge (aka T-Boned)? He is the former city council member who attempted to hoodwink us with Measure T. I read that he is running for a seat on the Cabrillo Community College District Board of Trustees. He is running against incumbent Leticia Mendoza whose credentials include a B.A. in Economics from UCSC, two M.A.s in Public Administration and Philosophy from Columbia University, and a lengthy list of Community Involvement Awards and Fellowships. Daniel? I believe graduated from high school but I don’t know if he could spell Trustees if you spotted him “trust”. But he may have received a Proclamation for Best Baggage Handler of the Decade from Assemblyman Luis Alejo who has since left his beloved Watsonville for Salinas.

Mo Money Mo Free Lunches and Mo Disneyland Tickets?

Good ole free-money chasing Little Louie Alejo supposedly has been living apart from his wife Karina, a City Council Member and Assembly candidate, for around 1 ½ years? That would be the case if truly she is still residing here in Watsonville at the Carr St. residence to meet city council residency requirements while Luis resides in Salinas to comply with residency requirements in his running for a Monterey County Supervisor seat. Ah….their dedication to helping citizens’ best interest…. or theirs?

But, I am of the opinion that Karina Cervantez-Alejo’s chance of winning against her opponent, Ms. Anna Caballero, are about as good as Luis skipping a free Hawaiian Convention sponsored by special interests groups. Oh…I forgot….Karina also went on the Hawaiian vaca…er….convention. Do we really need more special interest group supported politicians in our Assembly and County?      

My Choices

Assembly:              Ms. Anna Caballero

City Council:

District 1:         Other

District 2:         Mr. David Hermosillo

District 6:        Depends How the Wind is Blowing

 Cabrillo College Board of Trustees:   Ms. Leticia Mendoza.

For Congress:     Ms. Casey Lucius

For President:     As a friend said, and I quote, “We’re F#@ed either way!” I replied, “Hey we’re from Watsonville so we know how that feels!”

 Well off fishing again because as always something smells fishy in Watsonville. 



The Illusionists and their Tricks of the Trade?

By Emilio, on Jun 1, 2016



(First, I want to explain the absence of the Fishing Report for the past few months. Of course, and as usual, the fishing season began in April. Then our good friend Mr. Dan Chauvet passed away. That took the wind out my sails. It has been difficult to write knowing that the two previous Fishing Reports were about Dan and that they would be replaced with a new one. But, here it goes.)  

I began conducting some research and a background investigation on the two candidates pictured above, Luis Alejo (for Monterey County Supervisor) and his wife Karina Cervantez (now Alejo-for State Assembly). But in the initial phase of my research (plain ole Googling) the Watsonville Fishing Report kept popping up. Boy, we can all be thankful that I decided to take up writing the Fishing Report back in 2008 because possibly many of you would still be sucking it up….hook, line, and sinker.

Their Definition of the Truth?

Karina and Luis Alejo have taken exception to a mailer (paid for by the Govern for California Action Committee) that Karina became Mayor of Watsonville “Though a Backroom Deal”. Luis came out swinging, defending his wife. In the May 14th Californian news article, Luis was quoted: “These Trump-styled lies are deplorable and false and should be rejected. I am calling on Anna Caballero to publically denounce these by her supporters.” Caballero is the Assembly candidate who will most likely send the Alejos packing to a central valley city like Turlock to reinvent themselves. But, come on Luis…Trump? You’re reaching, and desperately too.

And I am not surprised with Luis’ selective-memory-finger-pointing defense either. What, he doesn’t recall back in 2008 when he attempted to become mayor in his first year as a councilmember? That also was a backroom deal. I had been elected to the city council the same year as Luis and learned quickly how things worked in Watsonville. Then Mayor Antonio Rivas called asking to meet with me. I sensed that something wasn’t right and declined. Rivas, at least having my attention on the phone, couldn’t contain himself and said that the fix was in to select Luis as Mayor. Apparently Luis already had plans to run for the Assembly and the Mayor title would further enhance his credentials. Rivas wanted to be Mayor for a second term and proposed that if I voted for him instead of Luis, he in turn would vote for Dale Skillicorn as Mayor Pro-Tem. Skillicorn had never been selected for either Mayor or Mayor Pro-Tem although had served on the city council for years.  And now Luis is pretending that the Alejos don't participate in backroom deals in good old Watsonville?? Now, here we are today with the allegation that Karina Cervantez-Alejo was selected mayor in a back room deal. I don’t know if she was or wasn’t, but there is an ole fisherman saying (well I just made it up) if it smelled fishy yesterday, it will still smell fishy today.

Luis Alejo creating the illusion that Caballero is somehow responsible for the mailers scorching Karina Cervantez-Alejo is laughable considering his role with some mailers sent by his camp when he ran for Assembly against Janet Barnes. Boy, those were some scorchers.  The FPPC’s (Fair Political Practices Commission) Enforcement Division found that Joaquin Ross, Alejo’s campaign manager at the time, was also the principal officer for the Committee of Voters for a New California which paid for all 3 or those mass mailings, costing $28,892.00, in support of Alejo’s Assembly candidacy. Remember there isn't supposed to be a connection between the "independent committee" and the candidate (who is subject to all kinds of donation and expenditure limits) under the FPPC rules.  Well the FPPC didn't buy that the Committee of Voters for a New California was independent.  So although Luis attempted to downplay his role,  the FPPC found that he was responsible for the mailers.  Alejo claimed the FPPC “requested” he repay the $28,892.00, but I found a Memo from the Enforcement Division that they “Notified Assemblyman Alejo of his duty to “pay down” the over-the-limit portion of the contribution from Voters for a New California by making payment to Voters for a New California in the amount of $21,092 (which was the amount over the limit). And that: “On October 4, 2013, the Enforcement Division received proof of payment in this regard from Assemblyman Alejo.”  Now, does that sound like a “recommendation” as the illusionist claimed? Sounds to me like Alejo had his hand caught in the pot, and his campaign was fully responsible for those flyers against Barnes.  Must be his own "ethics" that tell him that Caballero must be behind the flyers exposing the truth about Karina.  Thus his self-serving tirade.   


Living Apart for the People or for Personal Gain? 

According to a January 17, 2016 Monterey Now column Luis and Karina have been living apart for 7 months since November 2016 because Luis had to establish residency in Monterey County in his quest for a Supervisorial seat and Karina because she has a legal obligation to reside in Watsonville as a councilmember. Karina claims she still resides in the same political flop-house on Carr Street that Luis claimed to have lived in when he ran for city council. If it had not been an easy District to win, I doubt Luis and/or Karina would have “moved in” to the Carr Street address. Additionally, public records indicate that Karina was residing at 162 Rio Del Pajaro Ct. in Watsonville up and until July 2012. So how did she, seemingly convenient, “move into” the Carr St. address with Luis when she ran for city council? Of that's right-where you "live" maybe not be where you "reside" in the ever famous world of Watsonville politics.    

Then there is the commute from Salinas to Watsonville and vise/versa which can be grinding and time consuming. I say this because Luis is claiming to reside at a home on E. Curtis St. in Salinas (to meet his candidacy requirement) but Karina’s name also pops ups (according to public records) as residing at the same address. Maybe that’s why, according to the Govern for California Action Committee, that “In less than one term on the Watsonville City Council (Karina Cervantez-Alejo) “Skipped at least 9 Council meetings”, “Missed 60% of County Transportation Commission Meetings”, and “Failed to show up at nearly 1/3rd of Metropolitan Transportation Board Meetings”. Has the commute from Salinas to Watsonville affected Karina’s duties as a council member? And, then there is a possible violation of the City Charter which should not be ignored by the District Attorney.  

So where do these two possible carpet baggers vagabonds actually live, or is it reside? Your guess is as good as mine, but they may be living at another Salinas address altogether. One possible way to find out is to hire a good surveillance private investigator, but then what do I know? 


The Gravy Train Express Stops with Your Vote

Why do you think that Karina and Luis want so desperately to remain in politics? In my opinion they are in it for the freebies, and as we all know there are no free lunches. Luis has a documented history as one of the Assembly’s highest gift recipients. A 2012 Report by Common Cause, “Gifts, Influence and Power” (Gifts given to California’s Elected Officials) lists Assemblyman Luis Alejo 5th on the list. That’s 5th out of 80 members.

Luis’s Form 700 state gifts received that range from free Disneyland tickets ($300.00), movie tickets, boxing tickets, flights, concert tickets, AT&T Pebble Beach Golf Tournament tickets, free airport parking and thousands upon thousands of dollars in free meals, to mention just a few.

A March 3, 2015 L.A. Times news article identified 25 state lawmakers who flew to Maui “to attend a conference that was partly funded by a group of special interests, but it was not until Tuesday that all of their identities were made public when they were required to file annual gift reports.” Assemblyman Luis Alejo and his wife both attended the conference. (Bet you are not surprised). And that “The nonprofit Independent Voter Project, the sponsor of the conference, pays an average of $2,500 in expenses, including $350-a-night hotel cost, for each legislator attending its conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea.” Additionally, “The group gets its money from interests including Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Western State Petroleum Assn., Eli Lilly & Co., the Altria tobacco firm, the California Cable and Telecommunications Assn., the state prison guards union and the California Distributors Assn., which represents distributors of tobacco and other products.”


In my humble opinion, Luis and Karina are self-serving opportunists who spin the truth for a free meal ticket. The time has come to send these two packing to Southern California.  So let's get out and vote!  

New Wings in the Forever Sky

By netboots, on Apr 26, 2016

Dan Chuvet


Mr. Dan Chauvet earned his forever wings on Thursday April 21st. Mr. Chauvet was a gentleman and a warrior with grit, integrity, and rightfulness. With these traits he took on City management, mayors, and some city councilmembers to protect our Airport from eventually being turned into a housing development. He prevailed with dignity, transparency, and accomplished it fearlessly.


Rest and Fly in your beloved Sky, Dan

Your Smart Feller friend, 



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