BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
This time, in exposing some of Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s reprehensible actions, I am indebted to a blog called “Mayor Sam” The folks writing this website have been doing excellent work documenting his errant behaviors ever since he was first a candidate. You might enjoy reading some of the reporting they have done.
From Mayor Sam we learn of Mike’s insensitivity to the mentally handicapped. It seems a few years ago, Mike, like many others, was trying to make money by registering domain names on the internet which he thought might be desired by someone in the future. No harm in that. But among the names he grabbed were RightTarded.com and LeftTarded.com. This is clearly a political word play on “retarded” combined with the left and right ends of the political spectrum. This is just one more example of why many Democrats have trouble stomaching Gatto.
Mayor Sam also exposes Gatto as someone who abuses the public trust. How else would you describe what follows? In 2002, Mike was working, according to Federal Election Commission records, on Congressman Brad Sherman’s reelection campaign. Of course, high-season for this kind of work is after Labor Day, September-October-November. Yet somehow, on October 9, Mike Gatto managed to claim 227 hours’ worth of work when he billed the City Of Los Angeles, based on a six-month “personal services contract.” The contgract was signed on September 19. It was only officially approved on October 2. Pretty impressive, isn’t it, how in just 19 days (about three weeks), Gatto was able to work 227 hours (about four-and-a-half work-weeks), all while simultaneously campaigning for the Congressman he was working for? Is this the kind of person we should have in the state legislature in these tight financial times?
But Gatto’s duplicity and unpleasant tactics don’t end there. Shortly before Greg Krikorian, Gatto’s opponent in the race for the 43rd Assembly seat, filed his papers to run for the position, he started getting phone calls. At the time, Greg’s parents were going through some health issues, and Greg was busy helping them. Yet Gatto was “persistent,” even telling Greg’s wife Christine it was “an old friend calling” when he phoned Greg’s home fairly late at night. When they spoke, Greg was left with the impression that he was being threatened.
And speaking of Christine, it turns out she had some financial problems which the Glendale News Press decided to report on, making it seem, inaccurately, that Greg was involved, too. Aren’t you curious as to how this newspaper, short-staffed as it is, came up with this story? Does anyone doubt it was Gatto’s minions that planted the seed of that hit piece with the paper?
Of course, all of this might be considered normal campaign antics. But because it involved people other than the candidates, their actions and comments, it bears some scrutiny. I might have even thought nothing of this, but for Mike’s reaction to something I’d written during his first campaign, in 2010, for this Assembly seat.
During that campaign, Mike’s first child was born. As a campaign mailer, he sent a picture of himself, his wife (still in a hospital bed), and their newborn. I had observed that this was tacky and exploitative. Mike was incensed that, as he saw it, I had involved his family in the campaign. Yet he has no problem doing exactly that to someone else. Just another example of his double standards…
You have probably already received your absentee ballot. Make sure to vote, and vote soon, and most importantly, vote for Greg Krikorian so we can be freed of the embarrassment of having Mike Gatto representing the 43rd Assembly district.