Why Am I Running?

April 2, 2012

OPINION By GERRY MANATA, Democratic for Assembly District 35

Why me? I ask myself this every few days when I wake up in the morning. I am almost sixty-six years old and have never held a public office, although I have been a homeowners’ association president and a college club president. I am always reminded, however, when I read the morning paper what a mess this state is in. Something has to be done, and by somebody.

Of course, it is not like I am new to politics. I have a degree in political science and have been an activist ever since my University San Diego State days. I have been part of a lot of campaigns, been paid staff in two of them, and been on the executive committee of the Sierra Club. Still, in the places where I have lived — Chicago and Santa Barbara – there were always plenty of people to do the running.

Unlike those places, however, my new home – Paso Robles and its Assembly district – is predominantly Republican. This year nobody else wanted to try to repeat what, in the recent past, have been failed efforts to win here. After making a case with the Democrats that we should run somebody to challenge K.H. Achadjian this year, I soon found myself being the somebody.

I jumped in for the following reasons. The state is in terrible fiscal shape, as is the nation. Polls are showing that the public is blaming the Republicans more than the Democrats for this. As a result, Democratic registration is increasing in the state. That still wouldn’t have been enough for me except that our Assembly person is such an extremist. That is becoming the norm with his party.

The Republican leadership has become blatant about its party being about money and power and concentrating it in as few hands as possible (the 1 percent). Mr. Achadjian’s voting record on the environment, consumer rights and labor, like that of his comrades in Congress, is awful.

The following can sum this up:

Mr. Achadjian received only a 35 percent rating from the California League of Conservation voters for his votes in the Assembly on environmental issues.

He received a composite score of only 31.6 percent from the Sierra Club for his votes on the environment while on the Coastal Commission.
He received only a 23 percent rating from the Consumer Federation of California for his voting on consumer affairs in the Assembly. This includes his no vote to ban BPA from baby bottles or cups (AB1319) and his vote against authorizing state insurance regulators to approve, deny or modify any proposed rate of change by a health insurance provider (AB52).

He received a zero percent rating from the California Federation of Labor on his votes in the Assembly on legislation benefiting working people. Just two examples include denying family care workers the right to organize (AB101) and denying overtime pay and good working conditions to domestic workers (AB 889).

He also has signed the Grover Norquist no-tax pledge, a fiscal solution that can only benefit the rich. At budget time, this will mean more cuts for schools, police, firefighters, and many hard working citizens.

We workers, students, middle-class Americans, small business owners, the poor and disabled have taken a real hit in the last few years. Mr. Achadjian’s solution seems to be that the same groups should suffer even more.

If voters are tired of this, they need to have an alternative. As a member of the Assembly, I would represent the majority of us, the now famous 99 percent of us.

I will support a combination of cuts and tax hikes that are as fair as possible to balance our budgets, foster an economy of “green jobs” that don’t destroy our health and climate, leave a safety net for those who – through no fault of their own – need one, and restore our schools. When our children grow up, I would like them to be able to thank us for leaving behind a state that is prosperous, healthy and practicing democratic values, not one that is in a shambles and run by a wealthy few.

Email at gmanata2003@yahoo.com or call (805) 238-3669.

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Only an idiot would point out the environmental vote by Katcho. Voting against the Air Resources board is correct in that they are a runaway agency that is passing regulations based on bs science.

How disappointing, MSNBC talking points.

I’ll be voting for the guy with the 0% rating from The California Federation of Labor.

What particular strain of fascist are you alluding to ?

I don’t know if anyone sent an email to see what this guy is up to, but he hasn’t responded on here nor to e-mails sent, he must not want to talk to the people that would pay his wages.

Oh, just talk to yourself, and amuse yourself in the mirror…just like a good egomaniac.

We all suffer from this delusion that if we change the party majority in government things will change, It won’t.

I recently heard, Shannon Grove, a state assembly member from Kern County speak.

She explained how government really works, explained to us things the majority of us don’t know any thing about.

It is astounding what these criminal lawmakers get away with in our government.

If more of us would take the time to educate ourselves , to see how corrupt our state government is and how it works, WE would be looking for other ways to effect the change that needs to happen to keep our state, our home, from going off the cliff we are heading for.

Shannon and a few other state legislators have started to try to get a measure on the ballot to limit the time our legislators can have to destroy our home every year.

To turn our legislators into part time. No more politicians that are completely devoid of reality.

Only there for the control and bellying up to the public trough.

Our legislators would be from our communities firmly rooted in reality. They would go to Sacramento for a limited time, take care of business, then go back home. I am sure our new style of legislators would refrain from making a bunch of rules and regulations that put us all out of work or business.

This is not a radical idea, only 6 state in our nation have full time legislatures, Not surprisingly these 6 states are the most screwed up states in the nation.

Please, go to http://www.shannongrove.org and sign here petition to get this measure on the ballot so we have the opportunity to vote for something that will actually help fix our state.

Katcho Achadjian is personable, genial, and will listen to people of all viewpoints.

The best thing that can be said is that he is not KOOKOONUTS or that terrible shrew from Santa Maria .

However, he is STILL a Republican that folds like a cheap plastic lawn chair when it comes to party line politics.

Nice guy, poor politician.

Sounds like Mr. Manata will more appropriately represent this district.

I find myself in the middle on this one. I disagree that Katcho is an extremist and don’t think that he is particularly corrupt. I disagree with him on some issues on a philosophical level but think that he mostly votes for what he believes to be right.

I, too, find your close association with the Sierra Club worrisome. They are “intolerant extremists’ in my view even though I agree with a few of their views. You will have to convince me that you have some ideas that are both positive and fiscally practical to get my support.

If you all want to see our public schools destroyed, well-paying jobs slashed and more cities in bankruptcy just watch what happens if Republicans ever get in charge. Right now all they can do is say no to a decent budget. As our representative in the Asssembly, Mr. Achadjian has wholeheartedly joined the no-no chorus.

By the way, whatever happened to that local bank which he led as a board member? If I recall correctly, it disappeared in the Bush-inspired deregulation debacle. I guess that experience qualifies him to serve on the Assembly’s banking committee.

The public schools are being destroyed, well-paying jobs slashed and more cities in bankruptcy with the Democrats in charge. Where do you think the money comes from to fund government programs? It comes from a thriving economy, something the Republicans know how to support, not from spending money we don’t have and more taxes from people without jobs.