Long Beach Cops Flood City With Slate Mailers, Including For Notorious Drug Trafficker's Ex-Lobbyist

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If there's an invisible hand guiding Long Beach's April 8 primary election, its true color is blue.

More than any other entity in the city, the Long Beach Police Officers Association (LBPOA) is flooding local candidates with cash, most notably incumbent city attorney Charles Parkin. Last year, Parkin replaced outgoing city attorney Robert Shannon, who managed the city's benighted medical marijuana lottery, which led to a successful lawsuit against the city filed by Parkin's competitor, city attorney candidate Matt Pappas.

Despite the fact that Parkin was never elected as city attorney, campaign literature created and funded by the LPBOA boldly (and incorrectly) urged voters to "re-elect" him to the seat. This has led to yet another lawsuit by Pappas, this time against Parkin himself. (Pappas, who was denied a business permit by the city, also claims that local prosecutors have stated in open court that his law firm, which represents various cannabis collectives suing the city, is currently under investigation for drug trafficking, which he claims is an unfounded smear tactic).

Seemingly deliberate claims that Parkin is an elected incumbent aside, the sheer amount of cash that the LBPOA has spent so far is stunning. Campaign statements reviewed by the Weekly show that the cops have spent a whopping $186,376.03 in the race so far.

According to the LBPOA's March 21 report, the group paid out $1,536 each to fund slate mailers for Parkin, as well as city council candidates Lena Gonzales, Suzi Price (an Orange County homicide prosecutor), Roberto Uranga and Carl Kemp.

If the name Carl Kemp sounds familiar, it should. He is the former lobbyist for the Long Beach Collectives Alliance, a group of marijuana dispensaries that sought to operate in the city, and specifically for Belmont Shore Natural Care, which turned out to be part of a multi-county network of collectives owned by John Melvin Walker, aka "Pops," who will spend the next two decades in federal prison for drug trafficking.

On March 11, LPBOA reported slate mailer payments of $596.80 and $564.33 to Kemp, a payment of $4,481 and $2,089 for Price, and a payment of $1,708 and $3,637 to Parkin.
Before that, on Feb. 26, the LBPA listed slate mailer expenditures for Price ($1,932), Kemp ($1,656), Uranga ($1,260) and Richardson ($924). And then on 2/13 their report shows expenditures for Parkin at $924, $1,260 and $1,656.

Besides the fact that the cops are funding slate mailers for Kemp, what's also odd is that Parkin, Price, Uranga and Kemp apparently haven't contributed a dime for the mailers. Yet, as required by state law, asterisks that appear next to their names indicate that the candidates both approved and paid for the mailers, which would appear to be illegal to say if not true.

At least one candidate has so far sought to distance herself from the shady tactics: homicide investigator Price.

In a recent email obtained by the Weekly, Price said the following:

It has been brought to my attention that a slate mailer was sent to voters entitled "Republican Voter's Guide".

My campaign did not authorize the mailer and we did not pay for it. I was not aware that the piece had been mailed to voters until I heard about it from our colleague Stephen Bello on Friday.

You can confirm that my campaign did not pay for this slate (or any other slate mail) by looking at our financial reports on the City Clerk's website.

I wanted to make sure you had accurate information from me in case you were asked to comment about this slate over the course of the next weeks . . . Have a great rest of your Sunday.

Best, Suzie

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Email: nschou@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @NickSchou. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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12 comments
18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

And Jim McDonnell's Long Beach PD are assholes who obey illegal orders to harass a person and his wife on the day they are celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Not to mention the asshole stunt as I arrived at my cousin's home for a two week stay last year. My cousin and her spouse told me they had never seen such police commotion on their block before that night.

Long Beach Police chief Jim McDonnell- just following orders harassing imbecile. And while we are at it you can officially toss in the Huntington Beach police chief as well due to today's traffic stop stunt complete with racist comment about me leaving the country.

In your racist wet dreams OC law enforcement.

freetainted
freetainted

Do not vote for Pappas. He is terrible. The cannabis community DOES NOT support him. 

Nicholas Schou
Nicholas Schou

And the headline is completely accurate. If you are a cop in Long Beach you are paying for these mailers. I used to work for a union so I know how it works.

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

The headline says, "Long beach cops flood city..". This ISN'T EVEN true!

Nicholas Schou
Nicholas Schou

Of course we mean the Police Officers Association. Read the story. The POA acts on behalf of its members, who are cops. Hence the headline.

Robert Simmons
Robert Simmons

The cops are? I think you mean their association. Big distinction. I would be SHOCKED if Long Beach officers are actually dispensing this material.

roman_archer
roman_archer

This is a great example of just how shady Police Officer Associations are. The only criteria that POA's look for in potential candidates is how friendly that candidate will be to that cities police department. What irks me about this is that the vast majority of POA members don't even reside in the cities they work in, yet they pump out huge amounts of cash to influence the political landscape of those cities. It seems to me that POA's have only two functions: protecting corrupt cops and unfairly influencing local politics for their own personal gain. Remember that the next time you get a mailer from your local POA looking for donations.

CleanGovernment
CleanGovernment

@freetainted  Pappas is a breath of fresh air but some people just want the status quo.  As for me, I'm tired of government corruption and would like to see a change.  So, if you don't want to support Pappas at the very least: Vote for Johnson. 

CleanGovernment
CleanGovernment

@freetainted  Pappas is a breath of fresh air but some people just want to maintain the status quo.  Long Beach needs to rid itself of corruption and cronyism.  If you don't want to Vote for Pappas, at least vote for Johnson.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

The morally bankrupt average California police association with help from legal instruments like the CA police officers bill of rights (POBR) has turned Southern Califonia law enforcement into one of the most dangerous police communities in the United States. A cesspool of criminality and corruption that makes Bernie Madoff look ethically superior.

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