2012 Election: Grimy Gatto IV

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
It’s time again to study the malefic doings of our least-favorite member of the California State Assembly, Mike Gatto. This should remind everyone of why it’s so important to vote in the November 6 election, and, if you live in the 43rd Assembly district, to vote for Greg Krikorian over Gatto.

Let’s start with an example of Mike’s public pronouncements being not quite consistent with one another as he pursues undeserved credibility. Regardless of what your position is on the I-710 extension, you’ll see how Gatto trips up over his own insecurity.

In March of 2010, when asked his position on the 710 issue, Mike told the Glendale Sunroom Desk that he was still researching the matter of the 710 tunnel proposal. Yet in a letter-to-the-editor Gatto wrote regarding an article that he said misrepresented his position on the 710 question , he claimed “I have been, and continue to be, opposed to the extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway in any form.” Really? That wasn’t his position a short time before, as proven by the first article I cited.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with holding off on taking a position until you’ve properly studied an issue. There’s not even anything wrong with changing your position on an issue when exposed to the facts or a majority of your constituents’ desires. But there is something wrong with pretending to have always held the given opinion when that isn’t the case. This kind of disingenuousness is a highly undesirable trait in an elected official. Straightforwardness and integrity are far more important, but the likes of Mike don’t get it.

Another version of this “slickness” manifested itself when it took some four months to set up a meeting with Assemblymember Mike Gatto to address Armenian community needs. A January appointment had been made to for numerous Armenian organizations to meet with the Assemblymember to discuss community needs and how to address them. This got postponed at Gatto’s request. No problem, things like this happen. So it went to February, but was delayed again to later in the month, then to March. Finally, a meeting did take place with Gatto’s office, but on the ANCA’s Sacramento lobby day, in April. The nature of that meeting was unavoidably different, shorter, and more specific-issue-oriented than broad-community-needs-oriented. This is disrespectful, at best. It also demonstrates a fundamental disregard for what amounts to approximately 1/3 of this particular assembly district’s population. So because Gatto doesn’t care about the Armenian community, except when he has to sow discord within it for his electoral purposes, what could have been a very meaningful discussion, even an opportunity to improve a tense relationship, became a downgraded meeting.

You can see how Mike Gatto is always trying to play people to suit his needs. You may argue that all politicians do that. There’ some truth to that notion. But, they don’t do that to the exclusion of productive engagement with their constituents.

It’s time to rid the 43rd assembly district of Mike Gatto and his shenanigans. Make sure you vote in the upcoming election, and you vote with this necessity in mind.

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One Comment;

  1. Alek said:

    Garen – your own references serve to discredit the very points you try so hard to make. I hope readers realize this.

    The first reference (as you mention yourself) is from March 2010. What you fail to mention is your second reference is from August 2012, well over two years later. I wouldn’t consider that a “short time”. More striking is your claim that Mike Gatto says himself that he has “always” opposed the 710. I read over Mike Gatto’s statement in your own 2nd reference and nowhere does he mention that he has always opposed the 710 extension. In fact, he uses words like “I have been, and continue to be” and “long held position of” opposing the project. One thing that you and I agree on is that we would hope that lawmakers take the time to assess issues like the 710 before taking a position. I would hardly call that the changing of a position. How is this disingenuous exactly? How is that not straight forward or undesirable? Your argument is lost without substance.

    My second point is – could you elaborate on your claims about Gatto’s meeting with Armenian constituents as not being “broad-community-needs-oriented” ? Your jump from postponing a meeting to not staying on topic to blatant disregard for an entire subgroup of a community is shallow and disorienting. What makes you say that the “relationship” is tense? Its the first I am hearing that Mike Gatto is not serving the needs of its Armenian constituents, of which I am one of.

    Mike Gatto does not play people to suit his needs. Mike Gatto has been representing the people of California and he has been doing it well, and people like yourself will have to do a darn better job of convincing people like me otherwise.

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