COUNCIL WANTS MAILER INVESTIGATED
By Eugene Tong, Staff Writer

Los Angeles Daily News, CA
June 29 2006

GLENDALE - City officials are asking state Attorney General Bill
Lockyer to investigate a negative campaign mailer in the 43rd Assembly
District race that offended members of the local Armenian community.

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night
requesting a state investigation but stopped short of holding its
own inquiry.

"Unless something dramatically changes, we would be going on a fishing
expedition," Councilman Ara Najarian said.

Councilman Frank Quintero, who lost to Burbank school board member Paul
Krekorian in the June 6 Democratic primary, has denied any connection
to the mailer, which was financed by an independent committee, the
Oakland-based California Latino Leadership Fund. A report in Capitol
Weekly, a political publication, traced the group's financing to the
state Latino Caucus in Sacramento.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Quintero pressed for an inquiry that
could clear his name.

"I will either make the motion or second that motion," he said. "I've
condemned the mailer when it first came out, and I've followed up
with a letter to the attorney general and the secretary of state. ...

We absolutely had no idea that was taking place."

The mailer attempted to link Quintero's Armenian-American opponent
to terrorism by way of the Armenian National Committee of America,
which endorsed Krekorian. A former ANC leader no longer tied to the
advocacy group was convicted in 2001 of possessing stolen explosives
and assault weapons.

"It's easy to deplore these acts," said Zanku Armenian, an
ANC Western Region representative. "But it's important to have
accountability. ... We the citizens of Glendale are waiting for real
answers, but we can't wait forever."

The flap damaged Quintero's standing with the Armenian-American
community, in which he had cultivated political ties for decades.

Councilman Bob Yousefian, a member of the council's Armenian-American
majority and a Krekorian supporter, still faults Quintero for the
mailer.

"It came out on a Friday night," he said. "On Friday night and
Saturday, not once did Mr. Quintero come out and say he had nothing
to do with it. If it was me, I would've been on TV Friday. ... Maybe
the attorney general can get to the bottom of this."

Some speakers at the meeting, including several Armenian-Americans,
flocked to Quintero's defense.

"I do not believe whatsoever the mailer would've come from his office,"
Glendale resident Aram Kazazian said. "This is a mailer that came
without his knowledge."

Resident Larry Cole said Quintero has no reason to apologize. "Since
when does somebody who has no culpability take responsibility
anyway?" he said.

Laurie Collins, president of the Glendale Democratic Club, asked the
community to withhold judgment and not to pit the Armenian community
against local Latinos.

"Two wrongs don't make a right," she said. "This issue is very
important, and it's a cloud on our election process."