Rafu Shimpo of Los Angeles has recently endorsed LA County Prosecutor and Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) Board Member Al Muratsuchi for the 66th Assembly District, a seat which comprises most of the South Bay. Instead of respecting and evaluating our political candidates based on their ethnic background, when will pundits consider his policies and the politicians and interest groups that are backing him? I wish that media outlets spent more time discussing his ties with public sector unions, because voters deserve to know more about Muratsuchi’s record and supporters.
The TUSD School Board member wants to run on his record of his performance for the district. Declining budget solvency, hiring out long-term substitutes practically as indentured servants, forty kids in a class, at a minimum – these are not remarkable stories to share with voters. Instead, he touts providing a decent rainy day fund while instituting balanced budgets. Understandably, Muratsuchi blames Sacramento’s crippling budget cuts for the dwindling resources hurting the district, but why is there so little money in the first place? How much of Torrance Unified’s budget goes toward pensions and benefits which the district, the taxpayers, and the students can no longer afford at the expense of a quality education?
Muratsuchi claims to work across the aisle on issues, yet the dynamic in Sacramento has been “work for the public sector unions”. The recent Sacramento pension reforms failed the litmus test of reform and recovery for major city leaders as well as local editorial boards. These reforms will do nothing about current obligations. The reforms have also done nothing to free up cities, who cannot negotiate for more fiscally sound terms because of uncooperative public unions. How can the voters expect Mr. Muratsuchi to work across the aisle when the same unions that intimidate our legislators are paying his way in this election?
Before further exploring Muratsuchi’s union backing, the voters should evaluate Muratsuchi’s wisdom in accepting the endorsements of Congressional Reps. Henry Waxman and Maxine Waters. Waters has been under investigation for years about steering TARP dollars to shore up institutions connected with her financier husband. Congressman Waxman is one of the most hyperpartisan and unaccountable legislators in Congress. Financed by special interests, Waxman is the poster boy for term limits and the dangerous consequences of the Washington D.C. entitlement mentality of tax and spend” and then “deny and apologize”.
Now let’s focus on Muratsuchi’s more infamous endorsements, including the incendiary SEIU California, a heavy-handed union accused of intimidation and corruption; the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which has defended bad teachers at the expense of students, who filed a successful lawsuit against the union; and the California Teachers Association. Muratsuchi continues to stand by the last endorsement, which pulled strings to kill the bipartisan SB 1530, a bill which would expedite the dismissal of teachers accused of abusing students in the classroom. Even the alternative periodical LA Weekly exposed union power behind the Assemblypersons who were intimidated not to support the bill.
Unlike Al Muratsuchi, who appears to be in the pocket of the public sector unions, his challenger Craig Huey is receiving money directly from residents of the 66th Assembly District voters. Huey has run his own business, he has lived through the ups and downs of recessions and recovery, and also unlike Muratsuchi, he has invested his own money in his own projects while balancing and maintaining his own budgets. Unlike Muratsuchi, Huey does not have to buy supporters, and he does not have to rely on donations from outside the district to get the word out on his rallying candidacy. Craig’s endorsements include South Bay city leaders, businessmen and women, and supporters from both parties.
Despite the empty hues and cries of “Tea Party extremism” against Huey, all of which is hollow hammering at best, the only real extreme in California is the Sacramento spending frenzy which is pillaging our state coffers while running businesses out of the state. The extreme taxation and regulation will only get worse if Al Muratsuchi gets the Assembly seat and votes the "union" line.
The evidence has been laid out, Muratsuchi’s supporters have been exposed. So far, the county prosecutor cannot make the clear and convincing case that he will represent the voters of the 66th Assembly District. However, there is one way, beyond a reasonable doubt, by which the prosecutor can ally voters’ fears and prove that he will represent the interests of this district. If he repudiates the endorsements of the public sector unions and return their donations, Muratsuchi can undo this perception.
So, what do you say, Al? Our schools, the 66th Assembly District, and the state of California deserve better than a puppet-politicians whose strings are pulled by the very interests intimidating our leaders and tying up the legislature from limiting government, lowering taxes, and lessening the regulatory burden that is killing California’s private sector. Prove your political independence and reject the backing and financing of the public sector unions.
Give back the money, Al, or get out of the race!