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Senator Tony Strickland

Proactive Leadership in Sacramento, No More Political Bow Taking

California is at a crossroads. We have reached a level of government in our state that is completely unsustainable. We have reached a point where our taxpayer dollars, yours and mine, are being so frivolously spent that there are billions upon billions of dollars in waste within government programs. We have reached our breaking point as a state. Things must change.


Californians are tired of false hopes, gimmicks, phony rhetoric and politicians taking bows for simply doing what we elected them to do. We need leaders in Sacramento who will speak straight and act proactively to better our state.


This coming Tuesday it should be clear, we need to make a real change. And that change should start at the state’s Controller’s Office.


Many aren’t aware of what the Controller’s Office actually does, but its importance can’t be denied. In layman’s terms, the Controller is more or less the chief financial officer of the State of California and controls all expenditures made on behalf of the state. In a time of major budget shortfalls and the growing necessity of stretching every dollar, this office has become, in many people’s opinion, the most important office under the Governor.


Our current Controller, John Chiang, has helped keep California afloat, but just barely. We have billions of dollars in waste within the state government that he has failed to tackle. Just look at Bell, California where we have public employees making ten to twenty times more than the average household income in our state. How is this possible? 


It’s possible because of a lack of oversight on the part of politicians like John Chiang who have become comfortable sitting in office in Sacramento as the pawns to special interests and public service employee unions. The Board of Administration at CalPERS, the state’s public service employee pension agency, which Controller Chiang sits on, knew about the outrageous salaries in Bell as early as 2006.


This week, Controller Chiang released a database of public employee salaries. But why now? Why less than a week before Election Day? There is no question that it reeks of political motivation and not visionary leadership, especially from a politician who has fought to keep public service employees earning six-figures instead of complying with court orders to allow them to be brought down to the federal minimum wage.


We don’t need leaders in Sacramento who defend politics as usual and refuse to comply with the law.


I am running for Controller because I recognize that Sacramento needs to treat Californians like customers, not a source of income to fund wasteful projects or pay ludicrous salaries. I want to be a pit bull in Sacramento and scour the state for waste.


I have a record of protecting Californians’ wallets. While serving in the State Assembly, I famously sued Governor Gray Davis on behalf of California energy ratepayers which revealed outrageous secret contracts the Governor negotiated. That saved Californians $6 billion, and that’s exactly the same tenacity that I will bring to the office of the Controller.


California has faced many crossroads, but this one could be the most important. We truly have a chance to finally put a stop to the out-of-control spending in Sacramento and restore millions of Californians to prosperity, but we can’t do it without your vote.


The change we can bring about on Tuesday can’t come soon enough for California.