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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Hell, this Gerry Manata has more experience and knowledge than Sarah Palin, and look how far she got with the Republican establishment!

The Christian God will be looking out for you, praise!

I’m a Katcho fan, but kudos to you for giving the voters a choice, Mr. Manata! It takes guts to throw your hat in the ring on any level these days. If you asked for my advice, I’d say start out by running for City Council or the BOS. Often times it looks a lot easier looking in than looking out.

Cindy beat me to what I was going to post.

So what is your agenda, how do you feel about carbs overzealous rules on the working man and the economy, where do you stand on illegal aliens, where do you stand on all the free govt programs, please feel free to come and give us a response.

I recently met with Katcho and he is for the working man, I’m not too impressed with polls, just facts.

Probably not a bad plan on mantas part.

We californians have this pre-disposition to electing politicians that are bent on making california the laughing stock of the nation.

Might as well have one more.

You lost me at Sierra Club

Good luck and sorry about your impending defeat

You gotta love the fact that one party majority controls both the state legislature and the Gov. office and yet, it is the minority parties fault?? He’s going to be different? Sorry same ol kind of political hack.

True. The blame game gets old. It was Bush’s fault…no Cheney. How about Arnold? Or even Reagan? Whoever it was, it was NOT those liberal Democrats who’ve long been in control here in CA!

Other highly-taxed blue states like MA, NY, IL aren’t doing much better…but let’s all just blame the greedy right-wing one percenters!

Where the “banksters” are concerned, it was Bush’s fault in my opinion and then Obama came in and sealed the deal by paying them off. I can’t stand either party, personally; I think they’re all crook’s.

Actually. Cindy, it started before Bush with a Republican congress working together (a rare moment) with Clinton. You are mostly right though. They are almost all crooks and the few that aren’t are kept from doing anything effective to change things.

If you want the wisdom of the Sierra Club, and their business acumen, to help CA turn around vote for this guy.

Congratulations for stepping up and offering to serve the people of your district. I’m more interested in exactly what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. You’ve spent a lot of time on what Mr. Achadjian hasn’t accomplished and pointed to a few of his votes that you don’t agree with but you haven’t really told me much about what you would get done. The 99% slogan is “catchy” yet ambiguous, even to the rest of us “99% er’s”

For instance, do you think the public’s safety personnel have really been cut because there isn’t enough taxpayer funds going into the coffers or do you think that cutting those services are an intentional scare tactic while our dollars are mismanaged and poorly allocated? What do you plan to do about people coming into California illegally while drawing off our scant coffers, accessing our ER services free of charge and over running our school systems? Do you think the taxes paid by Californian’s should be utilized to serve Californian’s or by everybody and anybody who claims, “they want a better life” and since they are here, we owe them our tax dollars?

I couldn’t disagree more. Katcho is probably one of the most honest people who is serving us in Sacramento. Katcho represents the working man and probably is one of the few politicians who has really worked to get where he is today. Katcho will vote for what is best for the public and not necessarily for the majority of the party which is refreshing to me. He is not just a tag along vote for the politicians who want to better their future.

As proof of his sincerity of representing the people and not himself Katch accepts no auto allowances and pays his own tab for his vehicle and his expenses (gas) to commute from SLO to Sacramento. I don’t know of any other person in Sacramento that can make that claim unless they might be located close to Sacramento. Mr. Manta will you sign a pledge not to accept any vehicle allowance should by chance you do go to Sacramento?