We here on the Central Coast are very fortunate to have Senator Sam Blakeslee representing us in Sacramento! Also, everyone in California is fortunate to have Blakeslee doing yeoman’s work in the State Senate to stop the good old boy, special interest, union controlled, political status quo.

For decades we have seen this group do the same old smoke-and-mirrors tricks with the budget, at the expense of the California people. Senator Blakeslee and the “GOP 5” have stepped forward and are offering ideas on how to fix this state in both the short term and long term. Senator Blakeslee and his colleagues are acting responsibly by accepting Governor Brown’s challenge and are exploring reforms that will create jobs, and control spending and higher taxes in the future.

Governor Brown has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership by embracing compromise that includes long-term reforms. Brown needs to have the courage to stand up to the unions and not capitulate to special interest pressures of the status quo. During Brown’s campaign for governor he stated that “The next governor must be ready to stand against the crowd to lead a broken legislature out of a morass of poisonous partisanship.” Well, Governor, we have a group that has taken that “stand against the crowd,” and that is Senator Blakeslee and the “GOP 5.” Will you stand with them and the rest of the people of California?

The governor has come up with a plan: a $60 billion tax increase ($12 billion for 5 years). That doesn’t sound like reform to me, it sounds more like we the people of California will have to finance more government excess. With state unemployment at 12.5 percent the Brown budget plan includes a 30 percent increase in state spending. What’s that going to cost you and me? It is estimated that this tax increase is going to cost each California family $1,000 per year. I don’t know about you, but I think I can find better ways to spend a $1,000 rather than send it to Sacramento.

The reforms put forward by Senator Blakeslee and his colleagues of the “GOP 5” are the same common-sense changes called for by nonpartisan reform groups such as the Little Hoover Commission, California Forward, Think Long Committee, and the Tax Foundation. Republican, Democrat, and Independent reformers agree that these reforms are not partisan or ideological – they are necessary to restore California to a state of prosperity.

Please join me and thank Senator Sam Blakeslee for his hard work in Sacramento. Call his office, send him an e-mail, thank him and tell him to stand fast and keep up the good work.—Mike Smith, Santa Maria


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