Getting Fiscal With Avakian

Regardless of whether or not [Brad] Avakian's fiscal issues ["Not Paying His Dues," WW, Sept. 14, 2011] are or are not the same issues many of us private citizens regularly face, it is a cop-out to say, "Oh, well…we've all done it too."

As an elected official, we *SHOULD* be able to hold him to a higher standard than the rest of us bear, that is part and parcel of seeking an elected office. 

That [University of Pacific political science professor] Moore recognizes Avakian's issues as a “pattern” is even more troubling... 

And finally that Avakian himself does not see any ethical problems with using his state office job to seek private employment and/or gain is perhaps the most telling (and troubling) statement of his character.


It sounds like he is just like Kurt Schrader was about paying his property taxes: I will pay them when I get around to it. Politicians are not expected to follow the rules like the rest of us.

—"Triumph 65"

To clarify the finances discussed here, Avakian ran into financial trouble when he left private practice and went into a state legislator's position, [a] capacity he served in for six years earning less than $22,000. It's ridiculous to keep state legislators on poverty wages. This invites them either going into debt or finding some deep pockets to dip from.  Avakian went into debt (and not even big debt).

We're a grown-up state now. We need a full-time annual Legislature, and legislators should be paid enough money to keep them solvent and—if they have it in them—honest.

As for his approaching lobbyists for jobs—he says he sent out résumés to EVERYONE. He was not soliciting a specific agency, nor for a specific job.  I see no ethical breach there. 

As to the complaints that he is  spending many of his daytime hours campaigning—I will take them seriously when he has been shown to be derelict in specific duties as labor commissioner. He says he's been working double-time.  I see no reason to disbelieve it.


No, Brad…we DO care about how you take care of your personal finances. How can we trust you to "care" about OUR money if you're so irresponsible with yours? How can you get away with not paying your bills? A collection agency? Seriously? Voting GOP this time around, not going from Wu to a deadbeat.

—"Kitty Hogan"

Laughter From the West Hills? 

The Right's current nationwide strategy is to divide and conquer ["Public Paydays," WW, Sept. 14, 2011]. Seems from the look of most of these comments, it's working. I don't work for the government, and I really don't care what these employees' benefits are. Why don't we strive to bring everyone up in wages and benefits, rather than bring everyone down? Ooo, look at what he got, I want it too... no fair! Really? Is that what our country has come to? The rich are in their mansions high atop the hill laughing at all of us. Leading us like sheep to fight with one another. They're laughing at us, you know. They're getting their tax breaks and laughing at us. Don't be sheep! Don't be distracted as to what REALLY is going on!


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