Coachella Politics in Turmoil Threats are becoming Rampant
Politics in Coachella have always been on the nasty side; controlled by a few high profile candidates proud of the well earned nickname of “Macholandia”. In the 60’s politics were worse, I can remember counter rallies and pickup trucks with rifle carrying men ready to defend their honor. The rise of the Chavez farm-worker’s movement gave impetus to defensive behaviors.
In today’s Coachella we have politically entrenched men who have carved out political territories and NO ONE is admitted without their approval. This is the dilemma of a well qualified candidate running for Mayor, Maggie Zepeda, Democrat. She has faithfully served on the council has excellent credentials and has run head on into the Macholandia buzz saw. More than once she has been told by the ruling “powers” it is “not your turn”. It is doubtful it will ever be her turn since she does not condescend or lower her head in the presence of “real macho men”. Previous women council representatives have had their turn with the buzz-saw and they are no longer there.
When asked about Maggie’s candidacy, Mayor Eduardo Garcia, Democrat, exclaimed “Maggie will not get a dime from us”. Whoops, what happened? “It is not her turn” was the terse response. In Coachella it is based on turns proclaimed by the God-fathers, not qualifications.
Desperation reached by Maggie’s insistence on being a valid mayoral candidate has led to many confrontations which became nastier and nastier. After a council meeting in late August, on cue, Maggie was left alone in the interval before a closed session with her rival Steve Hernandez. Hernandez had strong words with Maggie who was shaken by the event and what she considered “threats, bullying and implied reference of harm”. Maggie brought this complaint to the headquarters of the newspaper and was told to contact authorities if she felt the threats were real.
She obviously took the threats to be real and on September 15th after worry and sleepless nights she contacted authorities and filed a Sheriff’s report, # Y142590013 to document the incident. The video of the minutes between the regular session and the closed session when the incident occurred have been wiped off the screen. Only the filing out of the chamber can be seen.
Five days later councilman Steve Hernandez, Democrat, running for Mayor was given the “endorsement” by The Desert Sun. Are they ignoring bullying or simply do not care? It goes to show #1 how a West Valley all English newspaper has no real knowledge about East Valley politics and 2) what good control these politicians have of outside media.
Eduardo Garcia, the Mayor, was approached on this escalating situation by La Prensa Hispana. He said he would have “words” with Mr. Hernandez and we truly believe he did. It is evident “words” did not work. The fact Garcia and none of the other council members were present during the altercation could be coincidental they all filed out of the council room as shown in the video at the very same time leaving Hernandez with Maggie alone. It could also be a sign they all knew what was coming. Having the audacity and the Macholandia mental capacity to bully a woman who is only asserting her rights as a citizen is at best disgusting and at a higher level “dangerous”.
This article is written with the simple intent of informing the community of events which are unfolding, under investigation and not in the best interest of the city. Macho exists in the Latino culture but once it becomes “bullying,” and infiltrates the election process affecting a viable, extremely well qualified, educated candidate who can help the city move forward, WE HAVE A REAL PROBLEM! If the city and other media turn a blind eye, Coachella will be noted as a regressive not progressive city.