By Moses Breuer
Last Wednesday night six of eight candidates running for the state’s 4th Assembly District seat took the chance to introduce themselves at a Tea Party Patriots meeting at the Holiday Inn in El Dorado Hill’s Town Center.
The election to fill the seat vacated by now Sen. Ted Gaines is scheduled for March 8. If no one candidate receives 50 percent plus one, the top two vote getters will face each other in a runoff election. The 4th Assembly District includes Alpine, El Dorado, Placer and and a small part of Sacramento counties.
Candidates “Bo” Bodgan Ambrozewicz, Cheryl Bly-Chester, Mike O’Connor and Rob Matthews spoke to the crowd of about 80 people.
Candidates John Allard and Beth Gaines, wife of Ted Gaines, had other events to attend but sent representatives to the Tea Party meeting.
The main topics of the evening were saving local small businesses, reducing the bureaucracy and eliminating some boards and commissions.
“We have to get rid of overlapping commissions. In some cases there are 37 people, making $100,000 a year for doing the same job,” said Rodney Stanhope, who represented Beth Gaines at the meeting.
O’Connor, a former POW with a degree in economics, presented his plan against bureaucracy.
”All rules, regulations, boards and commissions have to be reviewed on a five-year basis. If they are not reaffirmed by the Legislature and the governor they will be gone,” he said.
Bly-Chester, an engineer, made another point about regulations and bureaucracy. She said because of all the regulations set up by the state, “They have to hire somebody like me, to go running off to the state to go report on how (the boards and commissions) are doing… We have no influence on these regulations. The only tool that we have is persuasion […] and I have the credibility, […] I’m the engineer who will look for the best fit answer.”
All of these six candidates are local small business owners, members of the Republican Party and describe themselves as common people. None of them is a career politician.
“That’s what the founding fathers wanted […] these lower houses of the legislature should be you, the common people,” said Matthews, a school district police officer who gave up his full-time position to “dedicate” himself to his campaign.
Furthermore he said, “Small businesses are the backbone of the state.”
On this point he agreed with Ambrozewicz, who runs his campaign with less than $1,000. He said, “We must avoid tax increases to keep the small businesses going, and to save jobs.”
On one point, all candidates agreed — By high taxes and too much bureaucracy the former Legislature and government have steered California into the wrong direction.
On the Tea Party meeting Stanhope said, “I can find you thousand people who will tell you what the problem is with California. The problem is to find the person who can tell you how to fix it.”