State Senator Tony Strickland is teaming up with Simi Valley City Council Member Barbra Williamson to raise money for charity.
He continues to hold scheduled public meetings, something Rep. Gallegly isn't doing.
State Senator Tony Strickland voted for the budget but thinks it is bad for everyone involved.
He finally helped eliminate one of those boards in Sacramento that pays politically connected people a high salary to for a few official meetings every month. I don't know what made Democrats defend them for so long but at least this talking point is removed from future budget negotiations.
Click on continue reading for the rest of the email update.
At the end of the update I posted an email sent in from a reader directed at State Senator Tony Strickland on prison issues.
(This image is from State Senator Tony Strickland's Twitter page.)
Coming after Conservative writer George Will ridiculed Republican Secretary of Transportation ( Click on the graph for an article that shows he doesn't appear to have researched his article enough.) for supporting more ways to convince people to ride their bikes to work State Senator Tony Strickland celebrated ride your bike to work month by setting an example.
State Senator Tony Strickland is effective at using technology to keep his constituents updated on what he is doing, including radio appearances, public events, and other routine legislative schedules.
That is unlike Rep. Elton Gallegly, who brags he is in the district every weekend but doesn't hold public events where people can go for free and ask questions that often.
When was the last time any of you saw Rep. Elton Gallegly holding a public forum that was free to attend and scheduled for him to appear at? I have called his local office but they always tell me they don't have access to his schedule.
Here is what he said in a recent article:
Rep. Gallegly, if you are really around every weekend to meet with the public why not have your staff post it on your website?
Click here for a page on a new blog that follows congressional elections with details on CA 24 that a reader sent in for me to post.
What is it that Elton Gallegly refuses to do? Release his schedule and host scheduled town hall events.
I have been calling his offices for months asking when the next town hall event is and they have transferred me, asked for my number, sent me to voicemail, and told me to call a long distance number to Washington DC. They even claim the local office doesn't get a copy of his schedule even when he is in the district.
Wouldn't it be easier and more friendly to your constituents to post your events online?
Here is an excerpt from State Senator Tony Strickland's website:
Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Location: Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, 28460 Ave. Stanford #100, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
State Senator Tony Strickland recently introduced legislation that would ban paying money to a spouse to be a consultant on a political campaign. In the past Tony Strickland took money from contributers and paid his wife to work for him. Elton Gallegly has been paying his wife to work on his campaigns for years.
Here is a quote from Timm Herdt's article on the legislation:
"When it's illegal to move money from Point A to Point B, and you move it from Point A to Point C and then move it to Point B -- that's money laundering," he said. "If someone took a check from Chevron and put it in his personal account, he'd go to jail."
The proposal isn't likely to become law but it does show there is a difference between Elton Gallegly and Tony Strickland on this issue?
Who do you side with on this issue? Tony Strickland or Elton Gallegly?
Do you agree it would be a decent idea to post events that are open to the public on a legislators website?
Our elected representatives should have to take tough questions, with follow ups, from the public.
In blog news The Star has enabled me to allow TrackBacks on my entires. I will be using them for most future posts.
Also, when you leave a comment use the URL feature to drive traffic to your favorite blog, business, or cause.
Here is a run down of some recent events he has attended, media coverage, and policy proposals from State Senator Tony Strickland.
Does the uniform look familiar? Click on the image. Click here for the details of State Senator Tony Strickland's upcoming basketball season. Click here for a recent story of him playing basketball against a radio DJ.
Rescheduling A Meeting with Education Leaders
Before the vote on the state budget Ventura County school district Superintendents held a meeting to discuss the impacts of different proposals on local schools. State Senator Tony Strickland, State Senator George Runner, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland did not attend. State Senator Tony Strickland was at a card table event meeting constituents, State Senator George Runner didn't release a statement on why he didn't attend, and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland had to deal with a family emergency. None of them sent staff to sit in the audience and take notes.
Local Democrats have been calling on State Senator Tony Strickland (R), State Senator George Runner (R) and State Assembly Member Audra Strickland (R) to reschedule a meeting. Democratic elected officials that represent Ventura County in the legislature attended the last meeting .
Click on continue reading for the latest email from the Ventura County Democratic Party on the issue. Their website uses new techniques to help organize grassroots activists. Even if you aren't interested in this story the technology they are using is very promising for online organizing.
Obviously the Superintendents are advocates for public education but their goals and policy priorities don't always line up with those of the California Teachers Association (CTA). Meeting with the local superintendents would allow them to listen to what exactly is going to be cut in local schools under different budget proposals, including the impacts of the May ballot propositions. I spoke with State Senator Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff and he said he was against Proposition 1A and is split on the rest of the proposals. He supports taking money from mental health for the general fund but hasn't announced his position on the lottery proposal yet. I expect we will see his opinion on all of the proposals soon.
Not going to meetings like this reinforces the public perception that Republicans aren't concerned with public education as much as Democrats are concerned. The trio should take this opportunity to bring their ideas for education funding and reforms and see if they can convince some local education leaders to support them.
I don't know why Assembly Member Cameron Smyth was not included in the email blast even though he represents a major portion of Simi Valley.
Tony Strickland's Chief of Staff said they were in the process of scheduling another meeting with the Ventura County Superintendents that State Senator Tony Strickland will be attending. One goal of such meetings is to inform elected officials of the impacts of their choices. With that in mind it would be best before he announced his position on all of the May ballot propositions.
Click here for a past entry from Making Waves blogger Marie Lakin explaining in detail the frustration from many over the failure for local Republicans to schedule a meeting. Marie Lakin is a progressive Democrat that supported Hannah-Beth Jackson in the last election. But she is also a leader and fundraiser for local education causes.
I didn't call and ask Assembly Member Audra Strickland's office but I assume the meeting will include other area elected officials like the last meeting did.
I reported here that Audra Strickland opened an account to run against Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Thanks to Timm Herdt for giving credit to me for breaking the story .
I don't expect her to run as Debra Bowen is a popular elected official without much controversy in the office of Secretary of State.
State Senator Tony Strickland does have time to ready his alternative energy proposals but the cynic in me wonders if they are going to go anywhere in the state legislature. If they are good ideas and can gain enough support to pass wouldn't the Democrats put up a slightly different version and pass theirs instead? Add to that highly limited budgetary options and the chances of passage don't seem strong. Am I too cynical?
Here is a video of State Senator Tony Strickland briefly explaining his legislation:
Speaking and tweeting at a Tea Party w/ Tammy Bruce in Santa Barbara
Tony Strickland spoke at a recent Tea Party protest where people were encouraged to send tea bags to their elected officials to complain over government spending and taxation. To see his Twitter page click on the images below.
The Santa Barbara Independent write a recap of the event. Here are a few key quotes:
"...believes the protest's aims should be seen without party bias. "It's the elites versus the masses," he said, articulating his reasons for protesting on Saturday. "It's not a partisan issue."
Among the speakers on Saturday were California State Senators Tony Strickland and George Runner; Carpinteria City Councilmember and head of Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association Joe Armendariz; Andrew Caldwell of COLAB (Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business); Lompoc Mayor Dick DeWees; screenwriter Andrew Klavan; and UCSB student Gabriela Murillo. Political singer Lloyd Marcus also contributed to the protest, singing songs attacking President Obama. "Mr. Obama," sang Marcus, "don't talk down to us!"
President Ronald Reagan was remembered and missed again and again as speakers cited him as the greatest president in memory. Reagan was quoted at the rally more than any other figure from American history.
So much for nonpartisan and aimed at bringing in people from across different political ideologies.
Click here for the rest of the story from the Santa Barbara Independent.
The Santa Barbara event was emceed by Tammy Bruce. Recently Tammy Bruce called Michelle Obama trash as she was ranting over Michelle Obama telling young African-Americans that she was ridiculed when she was young for trying hard in school.
Listen to the audio:
Sharing a stage with someone doesn't mean you agree with everything they have ever said. But that isn't the type of person he should associate with if he is serious on fulfilling his campaign platform of reaching across the aisle and working with the majority party to pass legislation. Bruce is bitter and will twist anything to make a nasty personal attack to sell a few more books or stay in the public spotlight for a few more minutes. Her appearance at this Tea Party shows that it really was a gathering of conservatives and far right activists, instead of the grassroots groups from all walks of life like they tried to pretend.
I remember people for the last eight years demanding civility and respect for President Bush because he was our president. Somehow many of those that demanded a high level of respect have lost their voices in less than a hundred days of a new presidency.
Tony, to show that you strongly disagree with the lack of class Tammy Bruce showed for the President you could let people know your feelings on this type of gutter politics. A press release, blog post, or news story might be too much, but could we get a Tweet on your Twitter account? If your basketball practice schedule is included I am sure you could find the time and room for a few supportive words for the first family.
You have more class than Tammy Bruce. Your Twitter update will be posted on my front page and will stay at the top for a week if you take me up on the offer.
Did any of my readers attend the Tea Party in Santa Barbara? How was it? Did you see mythical ACORN protesters? Who did you enjoy listening to the most?
On Friday State Senator Tony Strickland hosted an event in Camarillo at a Marie Calendar's to listen to his constituents and answer some of their questions. I posted a blog entry on it Thursday night, but some technical glitch made it disappear sometime on Friday.
Anyways, good job State Senator Strickland. I am glad when public officials make themselves open and accessible to the public by holding events like you did.
Why doesn't Rep. Gallegly hold more scheduled and open town hall type meetings?
If you see a comment you post disappear it might be the technical glitch. I might have already figured it out but I am not sure yet.
At the 4 PM News Break State Senator Tony Strickland was questioned over his opposition to removing the 2/3rds requirement to the state budget. He said something along the lines that without the 2/3rds requirement the tax increases in the state budget would have been even larger.
An Argument against the 2/3rds budget is that no party is held accountable. I would like the two parties to be competitive and offer the voters of California different visions that can create electoral coalitions. It currently seems like legislative Republicans are satisfied with their status in the legislature.
The Republicans against lowering the requirement seem to be speaking with the assumption that they are going to be in the minority. While that might currently be true, it isn't outside the realm of possibilities that they will retake the majority. If they do, they might have a different view on the 2/3rds requirement when they are trying to get a bunch of Democrats to vote for their budget when the Democrats are putting themselves out there as defenders of public safety or education.
It would be interesting to see a budget created by moderate Democrats that could attract the whole Republican caucus to cross over to support it. Most of this seems like an academic debate as the voters have expressed their preference for the 2/3rds majority vote many times. But with the frustration over the recent budget more people might be willing to listen to a convincing argument.
If you see any great arguments for or against the 2/3rds requirement leave a comment with a link. I am not convinced we need to change it, but I am willing to study the issue more. I have been reading some interesting posts on the subject over at Calitics.com.
Click on continue reading to see the provocative and controversial "Heads on a stick" graphic on John and Ken's website.
(In case you cannot read it the message at the top from DA Greg Totten says:
I am pleased to offer my strong endorsement of your campaign for State. Your infectious optimism and positive vision for California gives me hope that our best days are ahead. Indeed your independence and ability to reach across party lines to get the job done will make a difference in the partisan environment in Sacramento. )
State Senator Tony Strickland ran a campaign that included two themes that seem to be in short supply in Sacramento :
1. His ability to reach across the aisle and get things done.
2. He was going to stay true to his principles even under pressure from many groups.
I have thus far seen him defend passionately and seriously his position that taxes are already too high and that raising any taxes would be a major mistake. Here is a video from him on the floor of the State Senate:
He has stayed true to these principles and I don't think many people are surprised he hasn't voted for a budget to raise taxes. But another plank to his platform was his ability (not just his desire) to reach across the aisle and get things done.
I am thankful you made time in your schedule to come back to your alma mater and speak with our students last year. I know you have ideas on how to lessen the impact of the massive cuts that will happen to the state budget, but so far I haven't seen your ability to reach across the aisle in getting any of those ideas into the budget proposals. If there is too great of difference between you and the Democrats, just come out and say so.
Tony, it is time to either admit you can't work with the Democrats to get things done because of the vast differences in ideology between the parties or for you to find a compromise with Democrats as your campaign literature said you had the ability to do.
I don't envy State Senator Tony Strickland as he tries to reconcile those two basic promises. I fully expect him to vote NO on any budget deal, and I don't expect him to be able to attract Democrats to his position. State Senator Strickland's caucus isn't even united at this point, with Strickland hinting that there might be a coup against their caucus leader.
Strickland would be an interesting leader of the Republicans in the State Senate. I want him to sit down with Democrats and the governor and see if he can unite his own party and negotiate a budget that he will vote for. Republicans, what do you say? Which State Senator do you want representing your party? State Senator Abel Maldonado?
Here are some quotes from Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt's recent article on the budget delays:
Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, said Strickland's strident position in office is in sharp contest to the moderate he portrayed himself to be during the campaign.
"If he would have made a speech like that when he was running against Hannah-Beth, he'd have never won," said Pavley, citing Strickland's "Valentine's Day massacre" remarks.
"A real massacre would be a budget with $42 billion in cuts," said Pavley, whose district includes Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills. "It would all be to the schools."
Strickland said he made exactly the same arguments against tax increases last fall. "I would argue that's the speech that I campaigned on," he said.
Click here for the news report from Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt.
In other related budget news State Senator Abel Maldonado has put out he will vote for the budget deal, including tax increases, if a few conditions are met. Click here to see his conditions. But some of his conditions could cause some legislators that already support the budget deal to back away from the earlier position.
Click here for a great story from Timm Herdt that details what State Senator Abel Maldonado wants and the projects in Ventura County scheduled to be stopped until a budget compromise is passed. Some of the projects cost money to stop and to start up again, which means if the budget proposal is passed with minimal changes it will cost the state millions of dollars more. I don't mind if legislators keep working to improve the budget more to their liking, but if they delay it without making changes we are all going to pay.
Here is a quote from Timm Herdt's article:
Among the projects on the list are some big-ticket items in Ventura County, including a $3.3 million school construction in the Mesa Union School District, a $24 million watershed restoration project and a $3 million community college library reconstruction.
Peter Foy's Anti-tax group is rumored to be planning a recall of State Senator Abel Maldonado if he votes for tax increases in a budget deal. So far all they have done that I know of is register a domain name.
Ventura County Republican leader and State Senator Tony Strickland will be meeting with citizens in Goleta at a card table event. While State Senator Tony Strickland and I disagree on many issues I appreciate that he is willing to take questions from people directly. What would you tell him if you had a few minutes to sit down and discuss state issues?
I would ask him which Democratic leaders he has been meeting in his efforts to work with members of both parties to improve the economy and help the budget problems we are facing.
When was the last time you remember Rep. Elton Gallegly announcing he was going to be at an event and take questions directly from the public?
Click on continue reading for a press release from Tony Strickland's office.
( Thanks to Mike Chandler for the photoshop. Check out his blog by clicking here. His blog covers many Simi Valley issues in detail.)
The Santa Barbara Republican Party is throwing a country western themed party to raise money for their Young Republicans.
Guests include actor Christopher Mitchum, the Steve Woods Country Western Band, and newly elected State Senator Tony Strickland.
There is going to be drinks, music and an auction for a "beaver Ronald Reagan Stetson".
The best line:
"Our Saddle Up Shindig is pure Reagan Country and was inspired by the late President's optimistic, non elitist, pro America style," commented Heather Bryden, Event Co-Chair. "Our country could use more of that."
Which president didn't have a pro-america style? Which president had an elitist style? That line seems straight out of a Sarah Palin speech.
In related country themed news Toby Keith is a Democrat. Click here for the story.
Here are a couple of quotes that stand out to me:
State Senator Tony Strickland:
"Instead, it is time for Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve the situation"
But how is Tony Strickland going to do that when his caucus already signed a pledge to not raise any taxes? I understand State Senator Tony Strickland and many, many, others feel that no taxes should be raised to fix the state budget. But taking a firm stand and compromising to pass a new budget seem to be mutually exclusive here.
If Democrats were pledging to only raise taxes and not cut any spending I would point out that they weren't open to compromising either.
I'd appreciate it more if the politicians that aren't willing to compromise on principle would just say it instead of blaming the other side for not agreeing with their positions.
Looking over the article I would guess State Senator Tony Strickland would say he is unwilling to compromise on raising any taxes but he is willing to compromise on diverting funds from specific accounts created by voters passing propositions.
State Senator Tony Strickland:This is why I am co-authoring legislation to bring more accountability to state spending by requiring the state auditor to conduct performance audits on government programs.
Sounds good, but the chances the Democratic majority are going to pass legislation by a member of the minority who doesn't compromise with them on their bills seems to be rather minimal. If it was a good idea they supported I'd expect the majority to introduce their own legislation that does the same thing.
I'd expect pretty much every bill proposed by State Senator Tony Strickland of substance to be defeated unless he is willing to compromise on some other issues. Is there a Democratic co-sponsor? If not, what's even the point?
State Senator Tony Strickland:
"...We built upon cost-saving ideas first proposed by Democrats, Republicans, the governor and even the nonpartisan legislative analyst. We also looked at places where tax dollars are sitting idly in bank accounts and came up with a plan to have voters choose to redirect those funds for other important priorities."
This sounds more promising. At least this mentions areas where the parties can reach a consensus. But if it has to be put up to a vote by the electorate, when would that happen? June? This paragraph actually has some solutions in it that might work as a component of a budget fix.
Ventura County Star reporter Timm Herdt had a recent blog post that State Senator Tony Strickland is promising to make good on his campaign promises of pushing for green energy. Click here for the blog post.
Click on continue reading for a press release detailing his committee assignments.