Ken Groves, former staffer for former Rep. Gary Condit, once again raises the spector over our part of the San Joaquin Valley of "the dynamic duo." How well we remember the vivid picture drawn by the local political press of a fundraiser held at Fritz Grupe's ranch during the height of the real estate bubble, after which the dynamic duo of that era, former representatives Dennis Cardoza, The Pimlico Kid-Merced, and Richard Pombo, Buffalo Slayer-Tracy, split more than $50,000 in bribes (we mean campaign contributions, of course). When Pombo was removed from office by former representative Pete McCloskey and Rep. Jerry McNerney, an actual Democrat from Pleasanton, Cardoza turned south and found his next dancing partner in Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, now redistricted into the Pimplico Kid's old district.
Lest we forget, Cardoza's first legislative sweetheart was former state Sen. Dick Monteith, now retired to an untermed sinecure on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. That version of the dynamic duo led the charge to trample the eastern Merced County environment, state and federal laws and regulations regarding endangered species and clean water, and the laws government public process.
Now we have a new dynamic duo, state Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, and Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, "working together to serve the Valley." If their radio ads are sincere, the boys have just put aside party diferences to work against them Bay Area liberals and environmentalists for ... well, for us of course. But, actually, they put aside differences they never had on behalf of their pimps among finance, insurance and real estate (especially agribusiness) special interests. This is called leadership.
Party has nothing to do with it: this is about pure economic interest. But, in the case of these two, party wouldn't have any influence anyway. What works for these boys is Family. Cannella is the son of former Assemblyman Sal Cannella, D-Ceres. Yes, D. Sal was a Democrat, was a machinist and belonged to a labor union.
But when Sal ran for state Senate against Monteith, a Modesto Republican, in 1998, local Democrats, Assemblyman Gray's uncle and father-in-law leading the charge, made sure the bibulous former Stanford halfback from Modesto won. Behind the dynamic duo spector, lies a pen of real old-fashioned Valley political hogs.
Gray's uncle is Robin Adam, longtime Cardoza aide, now with the office of state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, Stockton Blonde-Livingston. Gray's mother is most notable for her recent total destruction of the Sierra Presbyterian Church. The monument is about an acre of dead lawn on the corner of M Street and Yosemite Avenue, Merced. Although the jury is still out on her new acquisition, Healthy House, after she took over, the organization lost its contract to supply interpreters to Mercy Hospital, a program pioneered by the founders of Healthy House. However, Healthy House has recently made a bid to operate the community center at McNamara Park. The Merced City Council may decide on the bid tonight.
Gray's stepfather, longtime chair of the Merced County Democratic Party Central Committee, tactfully stepped down from that position when Gray publicly announced his campaign for Assembly. Gray's wife is Gary Condit's daughter. His Merced district representative is Condit's grandson, Channce Condit. Channce's mother, Helen, started out representing Gray in his Modesto office, but moved to Cannella's office, first as a district representative, but recently promoted to district director.
Chad Condit, political consultant, is a former Independent canditate for Congress, son of Gary, husband of Helen, father of Channce, brother of Gray's wife Cadee, longtime aide to his father and a Cardoza staffer.
This is how pathetic politics becomes when all office holders are bought-and-sold by a handful of the same special interests year-in-year-out, before they are even nominated to run. But that's the way it is. Somewhere in the 95307 zip code, there is a hog farm with a public trough, perpetually overflowing. -- blj
California Academy of Family Physicians has cited AB 2232 (authored by Adam Gray) and SB 841 (authored by Anthony Cannella) as priority legislation that has been signed into law. The prevailing goal of the legislation is to increase the number of San Joaquin Valley physicians.
Starting fiscal year 2015-16, $1.8 million in appropriations becomes available to be invested in medical education. An additional $1 million would go toward the initial planning phase of a medical school at UC Merced.
As state legislators, Gray and Cannella have established a healthy working relationship that distinguishes them as a bipartisan dynamic duo. They, and their Valley associates, have together helped pass a $7.5 billion water bond bill to improve water quality, supply and infrastructure. They have collaboratively promoted fracking (oil and gas) with Gray being principal co-author of SB 4, now California law Chapter 313 of 2013. Fracking means a more positively charged economy, flourishing with much needed jobs. California works best when responsible lawmakers invest their time and energy to get the job done.
With Sen. Cannella being a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (that Gray chairs), we can count on greater government accountability. As avid supporters of FFA, Cannella and Gray are strongly committed to scholastic agricultural program funding.
KEN GROVES JR., CERES