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National City clerk’s job up for grabs in big money campaign

Laborers kick in $60,000 for one of their own

Javier Alvarado has picked up $60,000 from three labor unions.
Javier Alvarado has picked up $60,000 from three labor unions.

When voters in National City turned down a ballot measure to make the city clerk's job no longer an elected position in March, they set off a big-money November battle for the formerly low-profile seat, funded by the same labor union tied to a big-time San Diego scandal.

Disclosure records as of October 1 show that the city clerk candidacy of Javier Alvarado has picked up a total of $60,000 in $20,000 contributions from each of three union sources: Laborers International Union Local 89 of San Diego; Laborers Pacific SW Regional PAC of Sacramento; and the SoCal District Council of Laborers PAC of Los Angeles.

"I have a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design and Media Science. For the last 10 years, I have served as a Business Representative with The San Diego Labor's Union Local 89," says on the website VotersEdge.org.

"I am also an experienced auditor who is responsible for financial reports, a pension Trust Fund Trustee and I volunteered as a member of the National City Traffic and Safety Committee."

Local 89's business manager Valentine Macedo got a $224,757 salary in 2019.

According to the website NonProfitLight.com, Alvarado's 2019 salary at the labor union is listed as $97,639. The labor union's business manager Valentine Macedo got $224,757, with recording secretary Christopher Betancourt receiving $122,037.

Luz Molina, Alvarado’s opponent in the National City clerk's race who has been endorsed by National City mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and the San Diego Democratic Party, got $99,325 in total pay and benefits as a research administrator at UCSD, per the website TransparentCalifornia.org.

Luz Molinagot $99,325 in total pay and benefits as a research administrator at UCSD.

"My qualifications include 20-plus years in compliance, regulation, contract administration, and legislative analysis," says Molina's statement on VotersEdge.org. "As a Governor-appointed member to California’s Board of Accountancy, I hold the public’s trust and protect consumers’ rights as they related to accounting services." Molina's campaign has reported raising $8060, including a loan of $1800 from the candidate herself.

Local 89 has been politically busy in National City's neighbor to the north.

Campaign contribution disclosure reports posted online by the San Diego city clerk's office show that on August 26, the Laborers Local 89 PAC gave $100,000 to an independent committee backing Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria's bid for San Diego mayor. Another Gloria-supportive independent committee got a total of $52,000 from the local.

An ex-staffer for San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, Barrios subsequently became Laborers Local 89's community outreach director.

An independent committee calling itself San Diegans for transparency and accountability in support of Kelvin Barrios for City Council 2020, sponsored by the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 89, raked in a total of $106,687 between October 2019 and June of this year.

Barrios announced he was suspending his council campaign following revelations regarding a criminal investigation of his handling of contributions for the San Diego County Young Democrats political committee from 2015 and 2017 when he was treasurer of the group.

"The leadership of [Laborers] Local 89 has concluded that it is in the best interest of the labor movement to withdraw our efforts for Kelvin Barrios," said a statement by the union's business manager Macedo cited by the Union-Tribune October 2.

An ex-staffer for San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, Barrios subsequently became Laborers Local 89's community outreach director.

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Javier Alvarado has picked up $60,000 from three labor unions.
Javier Alvarado has picked up $60,000 from three labor unions.

When voters in National City turned down a ballot measure to make the city clerk's job no longer an elected position in March, they set off a big-money November battle for the formerly low-profile seat, funded by the same labor union tied to a big-time San Diego scandal.

Disclosure records as of October 1 show that the city clerk candidacy of Javier Alvarado has picked up a total of $60,000 in $20,000 contributions from each of three union sources: Laborers International Union Local 89 of San Diego; Laborers Pacific SW Regional PAC of Sacramento; and the SoCal District Council of Laborers PAC of Los Angeles.

"I have a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design and Media Science. For the last 10 years, I have served as a Business Representative with The San Diego Labor's Union Local 89," says on the website VotersEdge.org.

"I am also an experienced auditor who is responsible for financial reports, a pension Trust Fund Trustee and I volunteered as a member of the National City Traffic and Safety Committee."

Local 89's business manager Valentine Macedo got a $224,757 salary in 2019.

According to the website NonProfitLight.com, Alvarado's 2019 salary at the labor union is listed as $97,639. The labor union's business manager Valentine Macedo got $224,757, with recording secretary Christopher Betancourt receiving $122,037.

Luz Molina, Alvarado’s opponent in the National City clerk's race who has been endorsed by National City mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and the San Diego Democratic Party, got $99,325 in total pay and benefits as a research administrator at UCSD, per the website TransparentCalifornia.org.

Luz Molinagot $99,325 in total pay and benefits as a research administrator at UCSD.

"My qualifications include 20-plus years in compliance, regulation, contract administration, and legislative analysis," says Molina's statement on VotersEdge.org. "As a Governor-appointed member to California’s Board of Accountancy, I hold the public’s trust and protect consumers’ rights as they related to accounting services." Molina's campaign has reported raising $8060, including a loan of $1800 from the candidate herself.

Local 89 has been politically busy in National City's neighbor to the north.

Campaign contribution disclosure reports posted online by the San Diego city clerk's office show that on August 26, the Laborers Local 89 PAC gave $100,000 to an independent committee backing Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria's bid for San Diego mayor. Another Gloria-supportive independent committee got a total of $52,000 from the local.

An ex-staffer for San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, Barrios subsequently became Laborers Local 89's community outreach director.

An independent committee calling itself San Diegans for transparency and accountability in support of Kelvin Barrios for City Council 2020, sponsored by the Laborers International Union of North America, Local 89, raked in a total of $106,687 between October 2019 and June of this year.

Barrios announced he was suspending his council campaign following revelations regarding a criminal investigation of his handling of contributions for the San Diego County Young Democrats political committee from 2015 and 2017 when he was treasurer of the group.

"The leadership of [Laborers] Local 89 has concluded that it is in the best interest of the labor movement to withdraw our efforts for Kelvin Barrios," said a statement by the union's business manager Macedo cited by the Union-Tribune October 2.

An ex-staffer for San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, Barrios subsequently became Laborers Local 89's community outreach director.

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Comments
3

Having read through the article more than once, it isn't obvious just why this minor elective position in a minor city should be a big, expensive fight. Anyone care to make it clear? I'm not disputing Matt's (this was Potter's reporting, wasn't it?) description: it's just the motivation that I can't discern.

My suspicion is that it involves somehow the usual sort of So County politics and corruption that we've seen and read so much about in the past few years. Just why three laborers unions should care who is the National City clerk I can't discern. And why those same three union entities care who is elected San Diego mayor is a mystery, too.

But what I do detect is some "musical chairs" between the unions and city government. But again, why is that? Should we walk away assuming that the laborers union want to see crooks elected in any office that's up for grabs? Looks that way.

Oct. 15, 2020

All this BS for a city clerks job in National City. Please.

Oct. 15, 2020

Yes for sure, but WHY???

Oct. 15, 2020

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