As a long time community activist, newly elected Assemblywoman Patty Lopez is familiar with taking elected officials to task.
Now as an elected official herself, with less than two months in office, she is finding out what it feels like to be on the receiving end of biting criticism and accusations.
What first began as a “whisper campaign,” generated by her opponents shortly after she took office, a recent article for the online political blog CityWatch lists a slew of accusations about the newbie legislator. She is called a DINO (A Democrat In Name only, accused of firing her Chief of Staff for being Gay, failing to disclose personal income and double dipping by still being on the government dole as a home care provider for her elderly mother while now being paid a lucrative salary.
“These false attacks on my character will not stop me from putting my constituents first in everything I do,” said Lopez, in a statement released by her Sacramento office. “I will not let those responsible for these statements distract me from serving my community.”
Lopez recently hired Loudes Jimenez this week as her new Chief of Staff. She replaces Alfonso Sanchez who was fired after holding the position for less then a month. Sanchez has not granted media interviews since being terminated and has not responded to formal requests for information. Sanchez, a political veteran represented various legislators since he was 18 years old and told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol during a previous conversation that he strictly adheres to “supporting the House and the [Democratic] Party” .
While the scathing CityWatch article, accuses Lopez of failing to be transparent, The author of the article, Rosemary Jenkins failed to disclose that she was and is currently a Bocanegra supporter. She also describes herself as the chair of the Northeast Valley Green Alliance.
Jenkins calls Lopez’ staffers “incompetent” and “unorganized as she is.” She criticizes her for “surrounding herself with Tea Party Republicans” and told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol Lopez is “unable to communicate in the English language and requires a translator.
“I guess a lot of us took for granted that Raul Bocanegra was going to win because of the disparity [of votes] during the primary and I was really shocked as many people, so I started investigating her background and different people started sharing things with me,” Jenkins said. “I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back for her the firing of [Lopez’ chief of staff] for being gay. When you are Gay, although things have changed a lot and you still have to consider your employment possibilities and a lot of us were appalled when he was released from his position and a lot of people thought she should be recalled.”
Jenkins told San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol that she didn’t speak to Alfonso Sanchez directly and the claim that he was fired for being Gay was given to her by “other people.”
When asked why she didn’t disclose her political alliances, she said that “she didn’t want it to distract from the information. Jenkins also said that while “recall” is in the wind, there has been no formal action taken.