|Notes from the Editor:
The #1 Reason Mayor John Noguez Will be Reelected in 2007
Quid Pro Quo, Anyone?
Posted May 15, 2006, 7:00 am
Huntington Park, CA - The 2007 political fundraising campaign season has kicked off with a bang, folks.
Actually, it's been underway for a while, since the 2003 campaign got off the ground with a visit from
Assembly Member Fabian Nunez when he personally showed up at Noguez's slate campaign kickoff
held in January 2003 at Leonardo's Restaurant.
Last week, on Thursday night, John Noguez held his reelection political campaign fundraiser at the
Sizzler Restaurant on Florence Avenue at Alameda Boulevard, also known as the Alameda Corridor. This
is right next to the submerged railroad corridor built exclusively for cargo trains, which brings "...a
steady stream of diesel-belching....trains bringing in cheap imports and blanketing the air with toxic
pollution", according to an L.A. Weekly report, "Ports of Cough" (9-22-05).
Campaign donors filed in to give their respects and kiss the hand of Huntington Park’s self-acclaimed
By all accounts, Noguez emptied out some pretty prominent check books. The public record can attest
to the fact that Noguez is a prolific political fundraiser. Most donors are local yokels trying to curry the
Other donors are out of towners trying to get in on the ground floor of opportunity and on the good
side of Mayor Noguez for good measure and for many reasons. I do not believe it is speculation here to
say that none of those reasons have to do with the public benefit.
The public benefit is not even on the table, folks. It never is, it seems, when it comes to political
campaign donations for Noguez.
Some donors give willingly; others give grudgingly. Some give because they have to; others give
because they are told to.
Take for example the engineer who owns the company that contracts with the city to run Huntington
Park's Department of Building and Safety. His monthly billings are currently at approximately $80,000
per month, according to the city's warrant drafts.
In 2003 the engineering company dolled out $5,000 in campaign contributions to the slate of Noguez,
Hernandez and Gomez. Noguez's campaign manager then was the city's Mayor, Edward Escareno.
Escareno plead guilty to "Grand Theft" in Los Angeles Superior Court on 12-20-05, on charges
presented by the D.A.'s Public Integrity Unit (although the conviction was kept very quiet by the D.A.'a
office and by Escareno's buddies in HP's city council).
There are other engineering companies just salivating to take over the Building and Safety gig in
Huntington Park, which is a powerful carrot, or stick, used by the incumbent candidate in control of the
council's majority vote to shake up city contractors for campaign contributions.
Did the engineering contractor willingly donate $5,000 to the Noguez campaign in 2003, or was he
coerced? If the District Attorney's office ever gets of the butt of Cardinal Roger Mahoney, perhaps it can
focus back on this kind of campaign contribution shakedowns here in Huntington Park.
All give campaign contributions because they want something in return. The only public benefit that
matters in these kinds of gatherings, it seems, is the benefit each donor hopes to receive from giving to
John Noguez and his lackey slate.
They all want something out of John. And Noguez has a proven track record of delivering, according to
the public record, as reported by WatchOurCity.com.
Quid Pro Quo, Anyone?
Then, as if the Noguez fundraising event needed a real live donor to give credible testimony to the fact
that Noguez will pay back the favor and fire up the enthusiasm to loosen the checkbooks, in walks
George Cole, city of Bell councilman and Director of the Oldtimers Foundation.
Cole managed to get a multi-million dollar HP transportation contract out of Noguez and Escareno,
despite the fact that an independent firm rated Cole as the least prepared to comply with contract
terms. No problem. Escareno fixed it by rigging the contract. Noguez helped by giving Cole a cool
$100,000 in startup costs, approved in a special city council meeting with one agenda item. The
Request for Proposal (RFP) for the transportation services contract made no mention of such city
assistance. It only applied to George Cole, it seems. And Human Resources helped, at the behest of
Victor Caballero, by firing a city staffer who questioned the legality of issuing such a contract. The icing
on the cake: They were not even the lowest responsible bidder. Southland Transit submitted a bid that
was $22,000 less, and they didn't need $100,000 from the city in upfront costs like Cole's Oldtimers
Then, Noguez claimed in an interview in Adelante, a leading Latino gay/lesbian magazine, that he
helped bring transportation services to the city, improved the meals on wheels lunch program to
seniors, and helped bring in funding for an AIDS clinic.
Not mentioned in the article, was that all those contracts were given to George Cole's Oldtimers
Foundation. Not only that, but George seemingly started getting greedy and the Noguez-Escareno
team obliged him by awarding Senior Housing Management contracts left and right.
WatchOurCity.com did some digging and discovered that Noguez and Cole just happen to share the
same political fundraiser, Conrado Terrazas, who also wrote the glowing interview of Noguez in
So, if anyone doubts that Noguez can deliver the goods in Huntington Park, just ask George Cole and
Victor Caballero about Quid Pro Quo.
George Cole knows first hand that there is a Santa Clause in HP that delivers special favors, and multi-
million dollar city contracts that pay handsome dividends once or twice a month. The city’s warrant
drafts are a public record which attest to the rich monthly billings by Cole’s Oldtimers Foundation, and
other Noguez campaign contributors.
George Cole managed to show up at Sizzler on Thursday evening, it seems, to thank Noguez for all the
city contracts awarded to Cole courtesy of Noguez and his lackeys in city council.
In 2003, some of the most unusual campaign donors to Noguez all happened to be owners of historic
building properties in the historic core district of Downtown Los Angeles (which California Assembly
Speaker Fabian Nunez represents, along with Huntington Park). A group of these contributors with
interests in these Downtown properties gave $3,750 to John Noguez, yet they had no apparent
business interests in Huntington Park. Why did they give so much money to Noguez without an
apparent interest here? It turns out that their interest was not so much in John Noguez the HP
councilman, but in John Noguez the L.A. County Assessor. Noguez has a hand in assessing property
taxes in the Downtown L.A. Historic Core District (see WatchOurCity.com's report from 8-16-04).
A campaign contribution to Noguez yields astronomical financial returns on investment. In the case of
city Attorney Francisco Leal, he donates a total of $1,000 to John Noguez and $3,000 to Ofelia
Hernandez for their 2003 campaign. Once they are elected, their campaign manager and fellow
councilman Edward Escareno proposes to hire Leal as city attorney in a closed door session without
competing bids, according to a published report in the Wave Community Newspaper. Leal's contract
stipulates a "not-to-exceed" amount of $25,000 per month in billing fees, which is equivalent to
$300,000 per year.
Leal's original investment of $4,000 landed him a 7,500% return on investment. City attorney Leal's
billings have now reached 3 times the contractually stipulated cap, according to the latest city warrant
drafts reviewed by WatchOurCity.com.
The City Council majority led by Noguez has no problems with that, evidently. And besides, Noguez,
Leal and California Assembly Speaker Nunez are good buddies.
Leal and Speaker Nunez could pave the way to an assembly seat for HP's Mayor Noguez, just like
Speaker Nunez and Villaraigosa are doing for Assembly candidate Kevin De Leon, a Nunez childhood
friend, vying for termed-out Jackie Goldberg's Echo Park Assembly seat, according the L.A. Weekly
report from 5-12-06. Noguez can only smell the power and allure of a Sacramento Assembly seat calling
him. Terrazas himself was once an unsuccessful candidate for an L.A. City council seat. Jackie Goldberg,
a stalwart progressive liberal her entire political career, herself played a "cameo role in a pay-for-play
probe" (see L.A. Weekly report by Robert Greene, April 29, 2004). Conrado Terrazas, the fundraising
consultant shared by Noguez and Cole, was a Goldberg Assembly staffer and one-time would-be
successor to her assembly seat. Conrado can now kiss it good bye thanks to Fabian and Antonio, and
instead hitch his wagon to wherever Noguez promises to take him.
In the case of George Cole, his 2003 contribution to John Noguez yielded even more phenomenally
astronomical returns on Cole's investment. On August 2, 2004, WatchourCity.com reported that "The
combined contributions by Fiesta Taxi and Oldtimers Foundation to the campaigns of Gomez, Hernandez and
Noguez is $3,500. The transportation contract is worth approximately $3.9 Million. Their combined original
investment of $3,500 potentially lands them an astronomical 111,428% return on investment."
Even Wall Street can’t beat such gains.
Noguez and his lackey slate will sure have a fat campaign piggy bank, to spend on lawn signs and slick
printed brochures where he will proclaim himself as a politician of Honesty, Integrity and Experience.
And everyone will believe that the man will do something for them. Just don't ask the families and the
children of Huntington Park what he's done for them.
That's why Noguez will easily be reelected in 2007.
Quid Pro Quo, anyone? Air with toxic pollution, indeed.
Quid Pro Quo
From Wikipedia, the
"Quid pro quo (Latin for
something", many times
understood by English
speakers as "what for
what" or "tit for tat") is
used to mean, in the
English speaking world, a
favor for a favor (in other
linguistic contexts, such
as Portuguese and
French, it means a
confusion - to take the this
for a that and quid pro
quo is quoted as do ut
des, Latin for "I give, so
that you give"). Quid pro
quo is a legal term for the
transaction of valued
items or favours, in return
for giving something of
value. For a contract to
be binding, it usually
consideration, that is, the
exchange of something of
however, quid pro quo is
widely used in the context
of describing political
favours, as given in
apparent exchange for
money. It is also widely
known as a legally
recognized type of sexual
harassment in some
"For democratic public
officials with special
powers of government,
favours given in quid
pro quo constitute a
breach of the public trust
and a dishonest
circumventing of the
democratic process for
special interests. In the
context of political
favors, quid pro quo,
being secretive, may
find widely varied
avenues for how such
quid pro quo) might take
place. Among these are
straight favours for cash
and related assistance,
and favours for favours
(quite common in
government). The last,
favours for favours,
refers to officials of
each in league with
special interests, similar
based on an estimated
equality of their value.
Dictionary of the English
Edition), and the New
Dictionary of Cultural
Literacy (Third Edition)
all define the Latin
expression "quid pro quo"
to mean "something for
something." Its definition
is cited as an equal
exchange or substitution
of goods or services.
"This phrase was used
famously by Hannibal
Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
in the popular 1991
movie, The Silence of
the Lambs. It was also
used in Austin Powers in
Goldmember by Dr. Evil
(Mike Myers), in a parody
reference to Lambs, to
which Austin Powers (also
Mike Myers) responded,
"Yes. Squid pro row."