Why voters need to reject slush fund politics

May 31, 2010

By Matt Kokkonen

All over America, voters are rejecting the lies and half-truths of politicians. They are rejecting “business-as-usual” politics, secret political agendas, and the influence of Big Money on our elections. They are demanding greater transparency and accountability from public officials. They rightly believe that America’s legislative chambers are controlled by special interests–-be they Big Business or Big Labor or any number of others–which demand favors in return for campaign contributions. They truly believe America’s political leaders are up for auction to the highest bidder.

This corruption of our political system is being played out right here in the 33rd Assembly District, although the local media tries to ignore it.

One candidate has received over $86,000 in funding from a dummy political committee (which until a few days ago was not even registered with the California Secretary of State!) established primarily for the purpose of evading campaign contribution limits ( limiting contributions to Assembly candidates to $3,900 per person ) and pumping tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign indirectly to pay for slick television ads.

The group in question calls itself the “California Taxpayers Advocate” and the candidate involved is 33rd Assembly District candidate Katcho Achadjian. There is no information on the Internet about “California Taxpayers Advocate.” Nor does this “organization” have a website. Its address is a UPS Store in San Diego. Its media buyer is an ex-California State Senator.

Sound fishy? Certainly.

By law, committees such as this must legally file paperwork with the Secretary of State when they spend money in support of or in opposition to a political candidate. This is the only way we can determine who is paying for “California Taxpayers Advocate.” The most recent filing deadline was May 27 and this is what we find:

Among the contributions to this group is $31,000 from the California Dental Association PAC, $25,000 from the California Medical Association PAC, $10,000 from PG&E, $15,000 from the California Building Industry Association, and $20,000 from the giant grocery chain, Food4Less.

Why exactly do these special interests want to elect Katcho to the Assembly? Why do Big Medicine, Big Utilities, Big Developers, and Big Grocers need Katcho in the Assembly? Why do they need to be funneling tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign through surreptitious means? Sure, it may be legal (if everything is properly reported), but that isn’t the point.

Do Big Business interests, public employee unions, and other entities — which spend millions of dollars every year lobbying our legislators–make large political contributions simply out of charity or because they have nothing better to do with their money?

Of course not. They are buying access. They are seeking special consideration. Frankly, they are buying votes. It has not been unprecedented to hear of legislators who actually skimmed through their contributor lists to determine which visitors to their hallowed offices they would choose to meet with. This is simply wrong and it is unethical. Our legislators are elected to represent the voters of their districts, not PG&E, the CMA, or Food4Less.

Katcho Achadjian has been a county Supervisor for a decade. He is an expert politician and the master of the kind of closed-door, back-room deal-making that the people are increasingly fed up with. In this campaign, he had an opportunity to break with his long-standing image as a political wheeler-dealer and opt instead for a fully transparent campaign. He has chosen not to do do so and the voters of the 33rd Assembly District are undoubtedly the losers.

Matt Kokkonen is a candidate for the Republican state Assembly nomination in the June 8th primary.


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7 Comments

  1. SanSimeonSam says:

    Matt you almost got away with it. You came in third place in this primary by riding the latest radical agenda…the Tea Party movement. The intelligent voter who has seen your tactics over the years realizes that all you want is to be elected to an office, any office, so that you can use it as a soapbox to peddle your filth, hatred and sadistic self serving agenda. You are the worst kind of politician and the worst kind of human being. You crave power to use power for personal gain. You have no interest in serving the public or even listening to those you would represent. What scares me is that you actually came across as a legitimate candidate and not the hack that you are. With the likes of Sharon Engle of Nevada and Glenn Beck gaining credibility i really fear you might actually come in second next time you run for office. Go back to Finland where you belong…

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. ladywho says:

    matt – you lost, again. maybe this time you’ll understand that the way to win a campaign is to be honorable, truthful, positive, hardworking, and have some experience and intelligence behind you. you slung so much mud at katcho, and you fogged up the facts. june gloom is now on you. we, the people of the coast, know how to see through this stuff, matt, and definitely saw you for what you are.

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  3. utube says:

    KATCHO IS NO BETTER! GOOD OL BOY CRONY POLITICS-OLD ALLEGIANCES AND TIES TO BIG $$$
    HE IS BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY LOCAL DEVELOPERS AND FELLOW BUDDIES-SOME ON THE BOARD WITH HIM OF SANTA LUCIA BANK AND ELSEWHERE…WE NEED NEW BLOOD!
    WHO IS PAYING FOR ALL THOSE TV ADDS FOR KATCHO? CHECK IT OUT!

    (-4) 8 Total Votes - 2 up - 6 down
  4. Spectator says:

    And here you go again Matt! Shame on you! Jealous? You tried the same hit tactics on Blakeslee and they backfired. And you wonder why you do not get support from the republican community. It is because of you, the perpetual candidate with no support. Certainly not your ideas or policies which are straight forward. Did you ever stop to think that Katcho is well regarded and well liked by most republicans; and we are not stupid and bought by false promises like the dems.?

    Cindy: Whether on not you like it or not, money is the mother’s milk of politics. Don’t be bitter, reconsider.
    Just follow the Union donations. Talk about dummy political committees.

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  5. shellbeachkid says:

    God! What a blowhard!! Matt is mostly self serving and his endorsement of anyone should be warning to stay clear of it.

    (4) 10 Total Votes - 7 up - 3 down
  6. Cindy says:

    Sounds like another typical Bordonaro/McCarthy dummy political committee. Katcho has been bought.

    (0) 16 Total Votes - 8 up - 8 down

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