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Who Is Xavier Becerra?

- July 28, 2016

Xavier Becerra Brings A Record Of Residency Issues, Extremist Connections, Drug Dealer Advocacy, And Backstabbing


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Rep. Xavier Becerra was under consideration to be Clinton's running mate, but despite Becerra even pouring her water, Clinton could not even pronounce his name correctly.
  • Becerra lives in a +$1 million house in Maryland and owns several properties despite his district being filled with the working poor.
  • Becerra's wife Carolina Reyes was a leader in the "radical Latino student organization" MECHA.
  • Becerra lobbied for the commutation of a convicted drug traffickers' sentence.
  • Becerra's mayoral campaign sent out "incendiary" calls impersonating an elected official attacking his former friend Antonio Villaraigosa.

CLINTON CONSIDERED BECERRA TO BE HER RUNNING MATE BUT COULDN'T EVEN PRONOUNCE HIS NAME CORRECTLY

Becerra Was Under Consideration To Be Clinton's Running Mate. "Beyond the Massachusetts senator, other prospective candidates include Labor Secretary Tom Perez; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Cory Booker of New Jersey; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Reps. Xavier Becerra of California and Tim Ryan of Ohio, several Democrats said." (Laura Meckler and Colleen Nelson, "Bernie Sanders Not Being Vetted As Hillary Clinton's Running Mate," The Wall Street Journal, 6/15/16)

Becerra Even Went So Far As To Pour Clinton's Water For Her During A Capitol Hill Visit. "The Clinton campaign had no comment on who she might be considering, while Becerra has repeatedly said he has no knowledge of whether he's being vetted for the post. But that didn't stop his colleagues from teasing him. At a press conference after the closed-door meeting, Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York joked about how carefully Becerra poured water for Clinton and joking that he is near-sighted. (Lissandra Villa, "House Democrats Tease Potential Hillary Clinton Running Mate After Capitol Hill Meeting," Time, 6/22/16)

But, Clinton Could Not Even Pronounce Becerra's Name Correctly. "She's known Rep. Xavier Becerra since she was first lady and likes him, has had several group dinners with him over the last year, but still mispronounces his name with an extra emphasis on the vowel in the last syllable." (Edward Isaac Dovere, "Clinton's New Friend - And Maybe VP," Politico, 7/11/16)

BECERRA LIVES IN A +$1 MILLION HOUSE IN MARYLAND AND OWNS SEVERAL PROPERTIES DESPITE HIS DISTRICT BEING FILLED WITH THE WORKING POOR

In 2009, Becerra And His Wife Caroline Reyes Purchased 5406 Center Street, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 For $1,020,000. ( Maryland Department Of Assessments And Taxation , Accessed 6/16/16)

  • According To His 2014 Personal Financial Disclosure, Becerra Incurred A $500,000 To $1,000,000 Mortgage From Sun Trust In 2009 To Finance The Purchase Of His Home. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)

Becerra Indicated That His Property In Chevy Chase, MD Was His "Principal Residence." ( Maryland Department Of Assessments And Taxation , Accessed 6/16/16)

According To Zillow As Of June 2016, Becerra's Home Is Currently Worth $1,395,719. (Zillow, Accessed 6/16/16)

( Google Maps , 5/2014)

Becerra Also Owns Three Properties From Which He Earns Rental Income

Becerra Owns 1005 Mooney Drive, Monterey Park, CA 91755. (Nexis, Accessed 6/16/16)

  • According To Zillow, Becerra's Property At 1005 Mooney Drive Is Worth $514,934. (Zillow, Accessed 6/16/16)
  • According To His Personal Financial Disclosure, Becerra Earned $15,001 To $50,000 In Rental Income From The Property In 2014. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)

Becerra Owns 1633 Hill Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90041. (Nexis, Accessed 6/16/16)

  • According To Zillow, Becerra's Property At 1633 Hill Drive Is Worth $957,455 And Was Last Rented Out At $3,750 Per Month. (Zillow, Accessed 6/16/16)
  • According To His Personal Financial Disclosure, Becerra Earned $15,001 To $50,000 In Rental Income From The Property In 2014. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)

Becerra Owns 101 North Carolina Place, SE Apt. H, Washington, DC. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)

  • According To His Personal Financial Disclosure, Becerra Listed The Value Of The Apartment At $100,000 To $250,000. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)
  • According To His Personal Financial Disclosure, Becerra Earned $15,001 To $50,000 In Rental Income From The Property In 2014. (Xavier Becerra, Personal Financial Disclosure, 6/15/15)

Becerra's District Has The Nation's 4th Largest Concentration Of The Working Poor

Becerra Represents California's 34th Congressional District Which "Has The Nation's 4th Largest Concentration Of Working Poor." "The nearby 34th Congressional District of Xavier Becerra has the nation's 4th largest concentration of working poor. It runs east and west of the Pasadena Freeway and includes Westlake, Chinatown, Elysian Park and Montecito Heights. Oxfam estimates 29% of those in the district would benefit from a higher minimum wage." ("Nation's Biggest Pocket Of Working Poor Is In SoCal," KPCC, 6/16/14)

"Half The Households In Becerra's District Are Living Below 200% Of The Poverty Line." "Half the households in Becerra's district are living below 200% of the poverty line. Yet, the percentage of households receiving food stamps in the district is just below the nation as a whole." ("Nation's Biggest Pocket Of Working Poor Is In SoCal," KPCC, 6/16/14)

BECERRA'S WIFE CAROLINA REYES WAS A LEADER IN THE "RADICAL LATINO STUDENT ORGANIZATION" MECHA

Becerra's Wife Carolina Reyes Was A Leader Of "The Chicano Activist Organization MEChA." "When his girlfriend--now wife--Carolina Reyes was downstairs in the lounge of the Casa Zapata dorm leading meetings of the Chicano activist organization MEChA, Becerra was more likely to be upstairs studying. Friends encouraged him to take a greater leadership role on campus, but Becerra was intent on getting into law school. (He did, graduating from Stanford Law in 1984.)" (Matea Gold, "Congressman Tests His Winning Streak," Los Angeles Times, 3/12/01)

MEChA, The Movimiento Estudantil Chicano De Aztlan, Is A "Radical Latino Student Organization." "The suggestion came about because Mr Bustamante, a Latino who enjoys huge popularity with Spanish-speaking immigrants, was a member of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), a radical Latino student organisation." (Chris Ayres, "Rival In Separatist Row," Times Online, 8/8/03)

MEChA Supports "Reconquering" California For Mexico And "Urges All Latinos To Resist Assimilation With White Americans"

"MEChA Supports 'Reconquering' California For Mexico And Urges All Latinos To Resist Assimilation With White Americans." (Chris Ayres, "Rival In Separatist Row," Times Online, 8/8/03)

MEChA Continues To Support "Reclaiming" Chicano Nation And Resistance Of The Chicano People To "A Foreign Culture." "In March of 1969, at Denver, Colorado the Crusade for Justice organized the National Chicano Youth Conference that drafted the basic premises for the Chicana/Chicano Movement in El Plan de Aztlán (EPA). A synopsis of El Plan stipulates: 1) We are Chicanas and Chicanos of Aztlán reclaiming the land of our birth (Chicana/Chicano Nation); 2) Aztlán belongs to indigenous people, who are sovereign and not subject to a foreign culture; 3) We are a union of free pueblos forming a bronze (Chicana/Chicano) Nation; 4) Chicano nationalism, as the key to mobilization and organization, is the common denominator to bring consensus to the Chicana/Chicano Movement; 5) Cultural values strengthen our identity as La Familia de La Raza; and 6) EPA, as a basic plan of Chicana/Chicano liberation, sought the formation of an independent national political party that would represent the sentiments of the Chicana/Chicano community." (National MEChA Website, Accessed 6/20/16)

MEChA's Slogan Can Be Translated To "Within The Race, Everything; Outside Of It Nothing." "Starting with the name (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán, "Aztlán" referring to the mythical Aztec homeland that prophecy held was north of Mexico and would be repopulated by descendants of the People of the Sun), continuing with slogans like Entre la raza todo; fuera de la raza, nada (Within the race, everything; outside of it, nothing) and concluding with that tribalistic clapping circle, the average MEChA meeting might look to outsiders like a gathering of brown-skinned brownshirts." (Gustavo Arellano, Op-Ed, "Raza Isn't Racist," Los Angeles Times, 6/15/16)

MEChA Members Have Dismissed The Importance Of Brown Vs. The Board Of Education And Destroyed An Entire Run Of The Campus Newspaper. "It doesn't help MEChA's case that Semillas del Pueblo Principal Marcos Aguilar, a former UCLA Mechista, once dismissed the importance of Brown vs. the Board of Education during an interview, adding that "the white way, the American way, the neoliberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction." Or that members of Pasadena City College's MEChA chapter recently destroyed an entire run of the campus newspaper because they considered the paper's coverage of one MEChA event inadequate." (Gustavo Arellano, Op-Ed, "Raza Isn't Racist," Los Angeles Times, 6/15/16)

BECERRA ADVOCATED ON BEHALF OF A DRUG DEALER

Becerra Lobbied For The Commutation Of A Convicted Drug Traffickers' Sentence

Becerra Urged President Clinton To Commute A Donor's Son's Drug Trafficking Sentence. "President-elect Barack Obama's offer to make Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) the next U.S. trade representative makes him the second Cabinet-level candidate to have been involved in President Clinton's controversial 2001 commutation of a Los Angeles cocaine dealer's prison sentence. The dealer, Carlos Vignali, was convicted in 1994 for his role in a drug ring that delivered more than 800 pounds of cocaine -- worth about $5 million at the time -- from Los Angeles to Minneapolis. He was released after serving less than half of his 14 1/2 -year sentence. Becerra was one of a number of Southern California political leaders who urged Clinton to consider commuting Vignali's prison term in response to a campaign by Vignali's father, Horacio, a Los Angeles businessman and developer who contributed to Becerra's political campaigns." (Josh Meyer, Tom Hamburger and Peter Nicholas, "Cabinet Picks Put Focus On Drug Case," Los Angeles Times, 12/5/08)

Drug Dealer Vignali's Father Was "A Major Political Donor," And Becerra Defended His Actions Against Accusations That He Had Pulled Strings For A Donor. "Vignali's father, Horacio, a major political donor, persuaded various public figures--including Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg, county Supervisor Gloria Molina, former Rep. Esteban Torres, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and state Sen. Richard Polanco--to write letters to the White House on his son's behalf. Becerra, one of the last officials to add his voice to those seeking an evaluation of the younger Vignali's case, spent last week repeatedly defending his actions in newspaper, TV and radio interviews, worried that the perception that he had pulled strings for a donor could taint his clean-cut image." (Matea Gold, "Vignali Case Casts Shadow Over Mayor's Race," Los Angeles Times, 2/20/01)

Vignali Donated Over $15,000 To Becerra And Hosted A Fundraiser For His Mayoral Race. "Both Becerra and Villaraigosa have said that they were moved by Horacio Vignali's passionate pleas to help his son, adding that the parking lot owner's donations to their campaigns did not sway them. Over the years, Vignali donated $2,795 to Villaraigosa, $2,475 to Becerra, and an additional $10,000 to Becerra's political action committee. Vignali and his family have given $3,500 to Becerra's mayoral campaign and co-hosted a fund-raiser for him last June." (Matea Gold, "Vignali Case Casts Shadow Over Mayor's Race," Los Angeles Times, 2/20/01)

Becerra Claims That He Had Only Asked For More Information Regarding Vignali's Conviction But Eventually Ended Up Writing A Letter On His Behalf. "The congressman insists that he was merely seeking a review of the facts of Vignali's conviction, and never pushed for a presidential commutation, even though he did make a phone call to a White House counsel Jan. 19, in the waning hours of the Clinton administration, to ask about the case. That phone call was merely to get information for a worried Horacio Vignali, he said. 'What I wanted to know was, 'Can you give him some information?,' he said. 'If I was going to try to put pressure on, I would have tried to call the president.' Becerra said he resisted writing a letter on Vignali's behalf until he learned that Mahony had written one in July 1996. (Mahony said last week that he made a mistake weighing in on the case.)" (Matea Gold, "Vignali Case Casts Shadow Over Mayor's Race," Los Angeles Times, 2/20/01)

Becerra Continued To Insist That He "Didn't Push For A Commutation." "Even then, Becerra said, he refused to push for presidential clemency as Vignali urged him to do. The congressman eventually wrote to Clinton on Nov. 21, asking him to evaluate the case. 'I thought . . . if Cardinal Mahony has written a letter, I can ask for a review as well,' Becerra said. 'I didn't know whether the guy was innocent, so that's why I didn't push for a commutation.'" (Matea Gold, "Vignali Case Casts Shadow Over Mayor's Race," Los Angeles Times, 2/20/01)

BECERRA'S MAYORAL CAMPAIGN SENT OUT "INCENDIARY" CALLS IMPERSONATING AN ELECTED OFFICIAL ATTACKING HIS FORMER FRIEND ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA

A Becerra Campaign Phone Bank Sent Out "Incendiary" Calls Attacking Antonio Villaraigosa During The 2001 Los Angeles Mayoral Race. "The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has concluded that a phone bank run for the unsuccessful mayoral campaign of U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra sent out the incendiary calls last month attacking rival Antonio Villaraigosa, according to sources familiar with the investigation." (Nicholas Riccardi and Greg Krikorian, "D.A. Traces Bogus Calls To Firm Tied To Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/23/01)

  • The Calls Impersonated Supervisor Gloria Molina Urging Voters To Oppose Villaraigosa For His Alleged Opposition To Increased Penalties For Rapists And Child Molesters. "At a news conference today, Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley is expected to announce that prosecutors found that no crime was committed in the prerecorded calls, in which a woman posing as county Supervisor Gloria Molina alleged that former Assembly Speaker Villaraigosa opposed legislation increasing penalties for rapists and child molesters. 'Please, on April 10, say no to Antonio Villaraigosa,' the message concluded. 'The safety of women and children in our community depends on it.'" (Nicholas Riccardi and Greg Krikorian, "D.A. Traces Bogus Calls To Firm Tied To Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/23/01)

Becerra And Villaraigosa "Were Once Friends." "The tensions between Villaraigosa and Becerra--and their staffs--run deep. Although the two men were once friends, community leaders had feared that their competing candidacies would divide Latino support and that neither would make it to the June runoff." (Nicholas Riccardi and Greg Krikorian, "D.A. Traces Bogus Calls To Firm Tied To Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/23/01)

The Calls Against Becerra "Were Ordered--And Paid For--By The Becerra Campaign." "Although details of the probe were carefully guarded Tuesday, interviews show that investigators uncovered evidence that Becerra's campaign manager knew of the calls and that the voice on the recording is a female aide to the congressman. Martin GutieRuiz, director of the La Colectiva agency, which issued the calls, told The Times they were ordered--and paid for--by the Becerra campaign." (Nicholas Riccardi and Greg Krikorian, "D.A. Traces Bogus Calls To Firm Tied To Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/23/01)

The Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Denounced Becerra's Tactics As "Dirty Tricksterism." "In the calls, a woman impersonating county Supervisor Gloria Molina said that former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa's record on crime made him a bad choice for women and children. On Wednesday, Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said a seven-week investigation showed that the calls were generated by Becerra's campaign. Although no crime was committed, Cooley denounced the tactic as 'dirty tricksterism.'" (Matea Gold and Greg Krikorian, "Becerra Knew of Hit Calls Long Ago, Two Say," Los Angeles Times, 5/25/01)

LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina Who Was Impersonated On The Calls Felt "Personally Abused And Personally Hurt By Xavier Becerra And His Campaign." "Although Becerra said he had no involvement in the calls, Molina said Wednesday that she felt 'personally abused and personally hurt by Xavier Becerra and his campaign.' Molina told reporters that the congressman could not hide behind his aides and that, even if he did not personally authorize them, had to accept responsibility for the calls. Molina's strong statements could hurt Becerra, who has benefited from her support and enjoyed a squeaky-clean image." (Greg Krikorian and Nicholas Riccardi, "Phone Ad Blamed On Staff Of Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

Becerra's Campaign Not Only Spread The Bogus Calls Deleted Them After They Prompted An Investigation

Becerra Was Informed Of His Campaign's Connection To The Villaraigosa Attack Calls And Waited To Inform The District Attorney's Office For Weeks. "Two political associates of Rep. Xavier Becerra said Thursday that they warned the congressman weeks ago that his campaign was apparently responsible for an anonymous hit phone call campaign against one of his mayoral opponents. The revelations raise questions as to why Becerra waited until last week to tell the district attorney's office he had heard "rumors" that the calls may have been linked to his campaign." (Matea Gold and Greg Krikorian, "Becerra Knew of Hit Calls Long Ago, Two Say," Los Angeles Times, 5/25/01)

  • Cooley: "Being Responsible Means Asking The Tough Questions And Getting The Straight Answers, Not Just Buying The First Nice Answer You Get And Averting Your Eyes." "'The responsibility was to come forward right away, not weeks later to report that he heard 'rumors,' Cooley said. 'Being responsible means asking the tough questions and getting the straight answers, not just buying the first nice answer you get and averting your eyes.'" (Matea Gold and Greg Krikorian, "Becerra Knew of Hit Calls Long Ago, Two Say," Los Angeles Times , 5/25/01)

Becerra's Campaign Deleted The Incendiary Phone Calls Made On His Behalf After They Prompted An Investigation. "U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra's mayoral campaign not only produced a scandalous telephone ad in the Los Angeles mayoral race but later erased the message after it had prompted an investigation, Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Wednesday. Although the actions did not constitute a crime, the district attorney's report could spell political trouble for both Becerra and Los Angeles Councilman Nick Pacheco, a Becerra supporter connected to the telephone bank that issued the calls." (Greg Krikorian and Nicholas Riccardi, "Phone Ad Blamed On Staff Of Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

Becerra Campaign Officials "Stymied" Investigators Attempts To Discover The Origin Of The Calls. "Over the course of the probe, investigators found themselves stymied by some of the Becerra campaign's top officials, prosecutors said. Monserratt initially denied any knowledge of the controversial calls. Several days later, Cooley said, investigators tried to reach Monserratt but were unsuccessful until an attorney representing him contacted the district attorney's office. But on May 1, under oath, Monserratt explained La Colectiva's role in making the controversial calls." (Greg Krikorian and Nicholas Riccardi, "Phone Ad Blamed On Staff Of Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

The Los Angeles Times Slammed Becerra For His Underhanded Campaign Tactics

Los Angeles Times' Editor Frank Del Olmo: "Smart As Becerra Is, He Will Never Again Be Able To Pass Himself Off As A Stanford-Educated Boy Scout." "The letter from Cooley to Molina recounting the investigation, and subsequent revelations that Becerra had been warned about political trickery before the April primary, suggest that these protestations of innocence are so much political tripe. Smart as Becerra is, he will never again be able to pass himself off as a Stanford-educated Boy Scout. That's bound to hurt. And just when he could use that comforting bowl of menudo, he may not be able to get it." (Frank Del Olmo, Op-Ed, "Becerra Has A Lot Of Explaining To Do," Los Angeles Times, 5/27/01)

Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez: Becerra Is Having A "Biblical Fall From Grace." "People keep telling me there's no interest in local politics in Southern California, and I have to say that I just don't get it. In Los Angeles alone, a Mexican American is running for mayor as a non-Latino, his white opponent, is running as a black man despite falling asleep at the wheel during the Rampart scandal, a Boy Scout congressman is having a Biblical fall from grace, and half the city wants to secede." (Steve Lopez, Op-Ed, "The Shocking Truth About Political Pranks," Los Angeles Times, 5/25/01)

The Los Angeles Times Slammed Becerra For The Impersonation-Centered Smear Campaign. "Shame on Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), a losing candidate in last month's mayoral primary. How could he not know that his campaign paid for the outrageous phone calls--made in a voice sounding like Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina's--that smeared former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa? If Becerra didn't know what his campaign was doing on his behalf, he should have. In the end, the dirty trick didn't help him much. He polled barely 6%. In contrast, Villaraigosa won a spot in the June 5 runoff. That's justice." (Editorial, "Face Up to It, Rep. Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

The Los Angeles Times: "Becerra's Campaign Paid For The Calls. Voters Shouldn't Forget That." "A bill, AB 690, by Herb Wesson (D-Culver City), would rightly criminalize unethical behavior of this kind and require identification of whoever paid for automated phone calls. A similar measure, AB 3, introduced by Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga), is scheduled to come before the Senate Appropriations Committee today. Both bills should be approved. Becerra's campaign paid for the calls. Voters shouldn't forget that." (Editorial, "Face Up to It, Rep. Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

The Los Angeles Times Also Noted That Becerra's Actions Should Be Prohibited By State Law For Misleading Voters. "Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley says there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges, even against the campaign manager who, according to a phone bank worker, approved the hit piece. State law prohibits the impersonation of a public official in an attempt to mislead voters. In this case, the caller said she was 'Gloria Marina,' which is close to Supervisor Molina's name but apparently not close enough to be illegal." (Editorial, "Face Up to It, Rep. Becerra," Los Angeles Times, 5/24/01)

 


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