Stoked on Stoker

My name is Joshua Klein and I have been a small business owner here in Santa Barbara for the last eight years.

Lately, my company, Absolute Cab, has been having a very difficult time hiring new drivers. Unfortunately, for the last year or so the police department, which administers the taxi industry here in Santa Barbara, has been taking an increasingly long time to process new drivers’ applications to receive their permits so that they may drive a taxi.

It has been very frustrating for me, as a business owner, to have to tell applicants that it will take 8 to 12 weeks for the police department to process their applications so that they may start working. I understand that the police department has been recently asked to carry an increased work load with less people to handle that work. I am very sympathetic to our overworked officers as well as the civilian employees who are doing the best that they can for our community. However, I still would like to be able to give good applicants a job. This is where Mike Stoker comes in.

My business partner, Thomas Rhyne, and I, contacted Mr. Stoker to see if there was any help that he could provide our company and those we would like to hire. Not only did he take the time to talk to us personally at length, but he put us in contact with several of our city council members. Within three days we had spoken to three different council members who are looking into the situation and are doing what they can to enable more Santa Barbara residents to find jobs. All of this is due to Mike Stoker’s efforts on our behalf.

We are very thankful to Mr. Stoker for doing what he can to help our small business. It is refreshing to not only personally speak with a public servant, but to also see an immediate action taken to better the community. Mike Stoker has earned my vote in the upcoming election by taking concrete action in assisting more Santa Barbara residents to find work.—Joshua Klein, S.B. (owner, Absolute Cab)



As the 35th District Assembly Race starts to get ugly and the airwaves become overwhelmed with the overblown attributes of Republican Mike Stoker, I would like to set some of the boasting straight.

Mike Stoker lost the race for second district supervisor to Tom Rogers in 1990, so he moved to Santa Maria where he found like-minded anti-environmental individuals in the 5th district. Stoker then proceeded, with the help of his North County majority on the Board of Supes, to shake up the county government—with efforts such as combining the fire and sheriff departments under another of his cronies, then-Sheriff Jim Thomas, which ended Thomas’s early retirement due to health and stress issues.

Stoker also, along with then acting 3rd District Supervisor Willie Chamberlin and 4th District Supervisor Tim Staffel, approved the Bacara Hotel and the Arco Golf Course on the Gaviota Coast. I’m sure some of the TV airtime is being paid for by some of those same developers.

His receiving of the state’s County Supervisor of the Year Award was promoted by Staffel, and in return Staffel received a judgeship. [Following his tenure on the Board of Supervisors, Stoker went to work in Washington D.C. and Sacramento.] Mr. Stoker now has moved back to Santa Barbara to run for the 35th District Assembly seat and is posing as an environmentalist with his slick ads at Ledbetter beach with all his old cronies, a number of whom can not even vote in this election because they do not even live in the 35th Assembly District.—Keith Zandona, S.B.


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