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My Sunday Column: A Question of Legislative Grease — The Truth About Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s Incredible Boast

There are no angels in politics, at least not for long.

Power corrupts, even a little power, even the illusion of a little power can corrupt. That’s why everyone who gets in the political game becomes tainted to one degree or another or they wouldn’t be a player for very long. It’s only a question of time.

Politics is a dirty business, from the big time in Washington to the medium time in Sacramento and Los Angeles, even in the small time in suburbia. Nothing gets done without the grease that dirties the hands of everyone involved, even the ones who try hard to be honest.

I bring this up because of an eye-catching assertion Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) made in a debate last month with Republican challenger Greg Krikorian in the heavily Democratic district that includes Glendale, Burbank and surrounding communities.

Gatto was able to raise $998,069.53 this year, well over five times as much as his challenger and was so sure of victory he gave some 25% of his campaign money to the Democratic Party and other candidates — and still kept $600,000 in the bank for future political uses.

According to official records at Cal Access, Gatto spent only $173,929.92 in the campaign — just $224.97 more than Krikorian was able to raise in total.

Money clearly did not make the difference. That’s why it is so hard to understand the statement that Gatto uttered during the League of Women Voters debate barely a week before the election:

“I am the only legislator out of all 120 who has never taken a sponsored piece of legislation. So I hear all this talk about special interests and with all due respect it’s a bit of, a little bit of a whopper. I have never taken a bill from a special interest. I have never taken a sponsored bill. All of my bills tend to be the, dare I say, wonkish, dare I say a little bit, a little bit, you know, they’re not the necessarily sexy ones that garner the headlines.”


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4 Responses to My Sunday Column: A Question of Legislative Grease — The Truth About Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s Incredible Boast

  1. teddy says:

    Classless! Nothing to brag about is he? Is he typical of the average age of voters today? How could such a a bum get elected? Shame, shame, shame.

  2. El Quixotian says:

    Gatto seems a nice enough guy, and one would hope 2xBob’s budgets keep passing the lowered bar as to what can be considered a ‘budget’, so Mike doesn’t have to be deprived of his paycheck which feeds him and his lovely family.

    All that good money, going to waste. #MoneyIsFungible, but laundering extra contributions into the Party’s campaign kitty doesn’t put kibble in the kitchen.

    No doubt, in due time (when is Krekorian termed out?) he’ll be opting for the home cooking, bigger bucks, and better benifits without wasting his time on accounting for per diems for commuting to Sacramento. Even President Herb was gloating on KNBC News conference last night how glad he is to be blessed with a local throne!

  3. Wayne the Independent-Liberal says:

    On Black Friday, the City of L.A. should raffle off a council seat! All 15 are for perpetual sale anyway, how about give one away to some schmuck for 12 years of living like a Kardashian for FREE! Of course, the rules would be: ONLY WALMART shoppers would be eligible for the Council Seat Raffle. I notice Downtown how Ed Reyes all of a sudden found the money to pave all the streets in Downtown L.A. that haven’t been paved in 2 decades! Can anyone say “Office Holder Account” splurge?

  4. teddy says:

    Gatto raising ab0ut a million dollars????? I am sure that is for services rendered – like expensive contracts. Our system is definitely haywire, isnt it?

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