I've lived in the city of West Covina for many years now, but up until the end of last year, I didn't really pay attention to what was happening at city hall. Like most people, I lead a busy life. I have a full-time job, spouse, kids, etc. While I did what I believed was my due diligence by voting in every election, I could honestly say I cast my vote without really being educated on the candidates.
Who has time?
It wasn't until about October 2007, I started paying attention. I got one of those political fliers in the mail about Roger Hernandez, a city council member, from the West Covina Senior Citizens Taxpayers Association. It said all this stuff about him with these graphics of newspaper headlines on it. But at the time, I didn't know this so I said to myself: "Self, don't vote for Roger Hernandez."
Soon after receiving that flier, a woman came to my door and said she worked for Hernandez's campaign. The fact that I didn't close the door on her speaks volumes of my innate morbid curiosity. I grilled that poor woman, but she was calm and informed me that the West Covina Senior Citizens Taxpayers Association was a bogus front for Hernandez's opponent, Steve Herfert. She showed me a form that proved the only people who made up this organization were Steve Herfert, his family and some random people who didn't even LIVE in West Covina. I still wasn't convinced and I went to City Hall myself, which also speaks volumes to my constant need to always be right.
Well, I was wrong. Steve Herfert was the main contributor to this "organization." Still, I wasn't convinced. I looked for those newspaper articles that were posted on the flier. I found them. Yes! I thought. Retribution!! It's all there in black and white....
But then there was more. Turns out every last charge on that flier was embellished, there was so much more to the story. Defeated, I turned my energy toward finding out more about City Hall, and I found a whole lot. I started reading the local paper more and I had this bright idea to send everything I learned about the West Covina Senior Citizens Taxpayers Association to them.
Have not since read one word about this phony organization -- even after Steve Herfert boasted his endorsement from the association at the Candidate's Forum. OF course he's endorsed by them. I'd endorse myself, too!
Anyway, I decided to start a blog to let people know about it. Turns out Steve Herfert is no longer the biggest contributor to this "Association." They went on full attack mode toward the end of the campaign, and I thought "Who could afford this?" Turns out many, many big developers with whom another council member has financial ties. But that's a story for another day.
City Hall is chock-full of drama and I am proud to say that I have given up reality TV to bring it to all of you. I mean, like a few of you since this is brand new and I still don't know how to advertise it.
Please don't hesitate to send me messages and tips!
**Disclaimer: I don't love or hate any of the members of the City Council. In fact, I've never met them. As far as I'm concerned, they're all politicians and therefore all susceptible to scrutiny.