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WHITTIER CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES ARE RECEIVING MONEY FROM OUTSIDE OF WHITTIER

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

An investigation by Whittier 360 has found that at least one candidate in the District 2 Whittier City Council election has received at least 40% of her campaign funds from outside Whittier. Some of the money comes from state level politicians, the Democratic Party, and a Real Estate Broker in Pico Rivera.


During our investigation we looked at the campaign fundraising activity of all three District 2 candidates for the April 12 Whittier City Council Election. We found that Michael Kazarian has not filed an campaign finance paperwork at all. All he has filed is his declaration of candidacy.

In reviewing campaign statements filed by Octavio Martinez, we found he did not recieve any money from political parties or state level politicians. We did find that Mr. Martinez received money from Allstar Cable Products, a company based in Santa Fe Springs. The owners of this company say they are Whittier residents who have lived in Whittier since 1989 and they support both Octavio Martinez and Joe Vinatieri. They believe their relatively small contribution should be counted as coming from within Whittier rather than from Santa Fe Springs where the business is located. The issue is a border line matter.


In February the campaign received $4,000 from Henry Matson of Irvine. Mr. Matson owns a property development company and has long owned a storages facility in the City of Whittier. The property is located at 5900 Esperanze Ave and is under the name of Allstate Storage. Back in 2020 Mr. Matson gave over $1,000 to then District 1 candidate Jessica Martinez while he still had a pending lawsuit against to the city over, since cancelled, city plans to seize the property and turn it into a shelter for homeless people.


Since February, Mr. Martinez has received $1,000 from Grace Hu, the Mayor of Cerritos. He has also received $2,500 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee, FPPC # 890106.


In addition he received $200 from a Denise Guiterrez of Long Beach which is a small sum, relatively speaking.


In April his campaign recieved $250 from BizFed Pac based in Sacramento. And he received $200 from a Magdalena Bezerra of Hacienda Heights.


As of April 8th, Octavio Martinez raised $27,623 and spent $30,746. Of the funds raised, 15% came from outside of Whittier. If you choose to include the Matson contribution that goes up to 29.5% of campaign funds from outside of Whittier.

We also looked at the Mary Gorman Sullens Campaign and we found that a lot more of her campaign’s funds came from outside of Whittier. We found she received large infusions of cash from the Democratic Party, state legislators, and large PACS all located outside of Whittier. Forty percent of the funds Sullens’ campaign has raised came from outside of Whittier. She also received money from an outside real estate broker.

A quick note, the founder of Whittier 360 has issued a statement supporting Sullens for District 2, this investigation and report are separate from that. Whittier 360 is not endorsing any candidates this year.

In our investigation of Mary Sullens Campaign finances, we found she received substantial sums from a Pico Rivera based real estate broker by the name of Mike Oyuque. The first time he appeared he gave the campaign, $1,000. The next two times his name appears he is giving the Sullens campaign $2,500 each time. That is a total of $6,000 from a real estate broker who may have ties to the developments going on in Whittier with all the new housing construction.


On March 23, the Sullens campaign received $1,000 from DreamPAC based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. FEC number C00423079. The name is an acronym for Democrats Reshaping America. The PAC has apparently donated $2,000 to the Sullens campaign. According to Bloomberg, the PAC aggregates money from Democrats around the US to funnel into influencing local elections.


In a further sign of the partisan nature of the Sullens campaign, we found they received $300 from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. The Republican Party and Republican PACS, in contrast, have not injected any money into the District 2 election and have not endorsed any of the candidates. A Republican official said the party was taking a neutral stance on the Whittier District 2 election because “Republicans believe that local people should decide local elections.”


The campaign also received funds from at least 3 Democrat State legislators and their campaigns. State Senate Policy Advisor Kyle Miller’s La Habra Heights City Council campaign gave the Sullens campaign $100. State Assemblywoman Lisa Calderon who lives in Whittier gave $500. State Senator Bob Archuleta gave the campaign $2,000.


In addition to this, there was a $150 donation from the Sierra Club based in Los Angeles.


Based on this information we found that at least 40% of Mary Gorman Sullens’ campaign funds came from outside of Whittier from groups at the state and local level and in nearby communities that are seeking to influence the outcome of this years’ Whittier District 2 City Council Election. We also found a large-scale effort by the Democratic Party to interfere in the election through contributions and planting of false and misleading information about the other candidates which the Sullens campaign may not be aware of. The tactic is called mudslinging in political jargon and goes back to the nation’s very first political campaigns.

We determined that Mary’s opponent, Octavio Martinez received 85% of his campaign contributions from Whittier residents and Whittier based businesses.


In regards to real estate spending on the election, both Martinez and Sullens have received large sums of money either from real estate brokers or real estate pacs whose members stand to benefit from all the new housing developments currently going up in Whittier. The only person with clean hands in this case is Michael Kazarian. Neither has Kazarian recieved any money from outside of Whittier, from developers, unions, political parties, real estate pacs, or state level politicians. As a consequence, Michael Kazarian is the Clean Candidate of 2022 for Whittier City Council District 2.

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You do a miserable job presenting "facts". Kyle Miller, for example, is NOT a senator. He works for Bob Archuleta. You conveniently ignore publicly-available donation info and are clearly not bright enough to report on a campaign financial statement. You missed this- Henry J. Matson, a Trump bundler who lives in Long Beach but donates from Irvine, gave Knuckles Martinez $4,900 and Jessicas Martinez $5,000. That is a huge donation from outside Whittier. Mary Gorman Sullens has served the Uptown community mightily through volunteer service in public schools, the Whittier Conservancy, Historic Distrricts and helping property owner lower their taxes through the Mills Act.

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AllStar Cable is owned by me & my husband Kenny Venegas. We live in Whittier. I moved Whittier in 1989. This is now the second time you’ve made mis-spoke. We support Octavio & Mayor Joe Vinatier!! We are like minded people!! Please retract & correct. We are inside Whittier money!!!

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