The Fix is In (Santa Ana Edition)
Remember my post yesterday, where I theorized out loud about how SanTana councilmember Carlos Bustamante could greatly benefit if Cordoba Corporation (headed by major contributor and fellow Santa Ana Business Bank director George Pla) ever got a contract with the city to develop a mass transit system? It's already happened--and what's more, they're actively trying to influence SanTana's transit strategy.
On October 15 last year, the SanTana City Council held a special work study regarding the city's master transit plans. Giving a presentation was Jim Ross, executive director of SanTana's public works agency. Following him was one Jose de Jesus Martinez. Mayor Miguel "Times Almost up on our Nickname Poll!" Pulido gushed as he introduced him, telling councilmembers and the public Martinez was "under contract working for the city, assisting our staff from the private sector...he's with a firm that's under contract with the city...[Martinez] is a resource to all of us to try and put this together and make it successful."
Martinez began his presentation by stating he has a "love for transit" and talked about creating a system that would connect SanTana's Rail Depot to Garden Grove, saying it would be an "economic catalyst to develop something really nice" for SanTana. See the city council meeting for yourself at Santa Ana Insight--forward to around minute 38 for the October 15 meeting.
What no one ever disclosed that day is Martinez is Vice President of Transportation for Cordoba and head of its regional office. But wait, there's more!
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On July 27, Ross traveled to Portland along with SanTana city manager Dave Ream, director of planning Jay Treviño, and City Engineer George Alvarez to attend a conference held by Reconnecting America, a nonprofit that promotes mass transit. A couple of months later, the Orange County Register published an article stating "Santa Ana has come under the streetcar spell."
Guess who also traveled to Portland with the four SanTana staffers? Jose de Jesus Martinez, and two other Cordoba employees--senior project manager Roberto Rodriguez and Sandra Cuevas. Did they travel on the city dime or on their own? We'll be placing a call to Martinez and will update the post once we get a response--plus, we're going to get Cordoba's contract with SanTana as well.
Regardless of that, though, we're through the looking glass, people. SanTana is paying Cordoba money to assist its transit future--Cordoba, the company that donated $4,500 to Bustamante's failed Supervisorial race and whose president is running a bank alongside the councilmember. See? We weren't that crazy with our conspiracy. BEWARE. BEWARE. And don't forget the Illuminati!
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