First Latino Councilman in Compton Under Fire

Isaac Galvan, the first Latino councilman of the city of Compton, CA, is coming under scrutiny because he has not filed the required campaign disclosures for his primary and runoff elections. His first act as councilman was to hire his former campaign manager, who had a record of felony conspiracy in 2002, and he has been evasive about where he has actually lived.

Jose Torres, editor of La Voz de Compton said, "I'm not against him, but I'm not really happy like I wished to be." Galvan’s campaign manager, Angel Gonzales, whom Galvan gave a $47,500 city job as his community liaison, was convicted in 2002 of releasing attack ads that used fake official documents as well as misleading campaign fliers. Gonzales also worked for former South Gate Treasurer Albert Robles, who is in federal prison for bribery.

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

But Galvan said in an email that Gonzalez "has the right education and experience as a bilingual community advocate" to serve Compton. He continued, "In little time, I will prove through my actions that I will always act in best interest of the residents of Compton."

Galvan has not answered questions about the cost of his campaign or who was responsible for its funding. His campaign finance disclosure forms have not been filed, which could lead to fines or criminal prosecution. Galvan said in early July that he had filed them "yesterday." He told the Los Angeles Times that he would give them a copy, but he hasn’t to date. Last Thursday, he told the Times that his treasurer was "in the process of filing" and that he was unaware of the costs of his campaign.

Gary Winuk, head of the state Fair Political Practices Commission's enforcement division, said, "It's really a pretty cut-and-dried rule. The public needs to have information about any public official or potential public official's personal financial interests."

Although Galvan claims he grew up in Compton, his address was registered in East Los Angeles until last October.

Alex Leon, pastor of the Victory Outreach branch in Compton, was worried, saying, "We've been praying to eventually get some Latino in office. Our prayers were answered... (but Galvan is) young and ambitious and that can get in the way. If he doesn't walk the line, he could mess it up for all of us."

Photo credit: La Opinión


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