Friday, May 28, 2010
By Matt Kokkonen

All over America, voters are rejecting the lies and half-truths of politicians.
They are rejecting “business-as-usual” politics, secret political agendas, and
the influence of Big Money on our elections. They are demanding greater
transparency and accountability from public officials. They rightly believe
that America’s legislative chambers are controlled by special interests –
be they Big Business or Big Labor or any number of others -- which demand
favors in return for campaign contributions. They truly believe America’s
political leaders are up for auction to the highest bidder.
This corruption of our political system is being played out right here in the
33rd Assembly District, although the local media tries to ignore it.
One candidate has received over $86,000 in funding from a dummy political
committee ( which until a few days ago was not even registered with the
California Secretary of State! ) established primarily for the purpose of
evading campaign contribution limits ( limiting contributions to Assembly
candidates to $3,900 per person ) and pumping tens of thousands of dollars
into his campaign indirectly to pay for slick television ads.
The group in question calls itself the “California Taxpayers Advocate” and
the candidate involved is 33rd Assembly District candidate Katcho Achadjian.
There is no information on the Internet about “California Taxpayers Advocate.”
Nor does this “organization” have a website. Its address is a UPS Store in
San Diego. Its media buyer is an ex-California State Senator.
Sound fishy? Certainly.
By law, committees such as this must legally file paperwork with the Secretary
of State when they spend money in support of or in opposition to a political
candidate. This is the only way we can determine who is paying for “California
Taxpayers Advocate.” The most recent filing deadline was May 27 and this
is what we find:
Among the contributions to this group is $31,000 from the California Dental
Association PAC, $25,000 from the California Medical Association PAC, $10,000
from PG&E, $15,000 from the California Building Industry Association, and
$20,000 from the giant grocery chain, Food4Less.
Why exactly do these special interests want to elect Katcho to the Assembly?
Why do Big Medicine, Big Utilities, Big Developers, and Big Grocers need
Katcho in the Assembly? Why do they need to be funneling tens of thousands
of dollars into his campaign through surreptitious means? Sure, it may be legal
( if everything is properly reported ), but that isn’t the point.
Do Big Business interests, public employee unions, and other entities -- which
spend millions of dollars every year lobbying our legislators -- make large
political contributions simply out of charity or because they have nothing better to
do with their money?
Of course not. They are buying access. They are seeking special consideration.
Frankly, they are buying votes. It has not been unprecedented to hear of
legislators who actually skimmed through their contributor lists to determine
which visitors to their hallowed offices they would choose to meet with. This
is simply wrong and it is unethical. Our legislators are elected to represent
the voters of their districts, not PG&E, the CMA, or Food4Less.
Katcho Achadjian has been a county Supervisor for a decade. He is an expert
politician and the master of the kind of closed-door, back-room deal-making
that the people are increasingly fed up with. In this campaign, he had an
opportunity to break with his long-standing image as a political wheeler-
dealer and opt instead for a fully transparent campaign. He has chosen not
to do so and the voters of the 33rd Assembly District are undoubtedly the
Posted at 15:57 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)

Friday, March 5, 2010
By Matt Kokkonen

The modern Tea Party movement hearkens back to the efforts of the Sons of Liberty more than 230 years ago. In 1773, the earlier patriots boarded the vessels of the East India Company and tossed tea overboard to protest high taxes imposed by the British Crown upon the American colonies.
Today, millions of Americans are fed up with the ever-expanding power of the central government in Washington, D.C. They have organized themselves into ‘Tea Parties” from coast-to-coast to protest out-of-control government spending, ever-increasing taxes, and a skyrocketing national debt. They are demanding an end to wasteful government programs, to the progressive debasement of the currency through inflation, and to the endless string of government “bailouts” of everything from Wall Street bankers to Detroit automobile manufacturers, all using taxpayer money. The TARP bailout of 2008 was probably the catalyst for the rebirth of the Tea Party movement. TARP represented a colossal, unprecedented transfer of wealth from hard-working, productive Americans to Wall Street investment bankers giving themselves million dollar bonuses as a reward for their disastrous financial decisions which drove the U.S. economy to the point of near-collapse.
The Obama administration does not see one sector of the American economy which should not be ripe for government management and takeover. It has little or no respect for the free market or the U.S. Constitution. The brazen attempt to nationalize one-sixth of the U.S. economy through the health care proposal has only stimulated the Tea Party movement and brought additional Americans to its ranks. Obama’s pork-laden “stimulus” package which claims to have created jobs in congressional districts which don’t even exist has further fueled the growth of the movement as has “cap and trade” which threatens to bankrupt American industry and send utility bills into the stratosphere. The
recent Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey and especially overwhelmingly
Democratic Massachusetts can be at least partially attributed to the growing Tea Party movement and voters who reflect the philosophy of the movement
“Tea Party” voters are not agents of the Republican Party, as some on the left allege.
Nor are they paid stooges of the giant insurance companies or any other corporate entity.
In reality, the “Tea Party” movement is neither Republican or Democrat. It is bi-partisan
and non-partisan. It boasts a powerful libertarian strain. It rejects the Big Government agenda of both Democrats and Republicans. It is distrustful of the professional politicians in both major parties as it sees both parties as largely dominated by special interests. It has little sympathy for mega-corporations who feed at the government trough. Instead, “Tea Party” voters are Americans who want the restoration of limited Constitutional government. They embrace the vision of the Founders who saw a powerful central government as the chief enemy of the people’s liberties. They seek nothing more and nothing less than limiting the central government in Washington to its original, limited functions under the Constitution and the restoration of all those powers not delegated to the central government to the states or the people, per the Tenth Amendment. They are suspicious of central banking, favor sound money, and take to heart George Washington’s warnings about foreign intervention and President Eisenhower’s warnings about the “military-industrial” complex.
The Republican Party may be the current beneficiary of the “Tea Party” phenomenon, but the GOP can not take the “Tea Party” voters for granted. They must understand that should Republicans betray the fundamental principles of limited government and individual freedom which they claim to embrace, they will be targets of the “Tea Party” voters in the next election.
In 1960, a great Senator from Arizona named Barry Goldwater authored a book called “Conscience of a Conservative” which became the Bible of the modern-day conservative movement. On page 23, Goldwater writes: “I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I
was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best
I can.”
To this day, no better summary of conservative principles has ever been articulated.
The Republican Party is well-advised to embrace the “Tea Party” movement with enthusiasm and energy, recognizing that the movement can offer the GOP a much-needed opportunity to see where the Party has departed from the path of Goldwater and Reagan in recent years and how to restore its authentic heritage of being the party of small government.
Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and citizen-activist. He organized the 2009 SLO Tea Party and was the 2008 Republican candidate for Congress against Lois Capps, winning 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for 33rd Assembly District.
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Monday, February 22, 2010
California vs. the World: Comparing Educational Standards
By Matt Kokkonen

Since children are the future of our society, it is imperative that they are educated well. The global economy is very competitive and if California expects to develop jobs, be a research center, provide manufacturing and have a vibrant economy, our schools and students must be well prepared. How then does California’s high school graduation requirement stack up against the high global standards?
State law requires students in public schools to pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) to receive a diploma. The purpose of the CAHSEE is to improve student achievement in high school and make sure students who graduate from high school can demonstrate competency in English language arts and mathematics but not in other subjects. The English language test consists of multiple-choice questions and a writing task. The mathematics test consists of multiple-choice questions that cover number sense, algebra and other basic functions.
Here is one comparison with the 2004 high school graduation exam in Finland. The questions presented are only a small portion of the exam.
While the California language exam tests a student’s use of the correct case of a pronoun that follows a preposition such as “for”, the exam in Finnish language consists of having to read articles and then write an essay, such as, “Based on the article, describe and critique the author’s idea of a perfect society.”
These other sample questions cover the following subjects:
Religious studies: “Explain the problem of the Hindu religion in relation to India’s democracy.”
Philosophy: “Explain utilitarianism as foundation of ethics.”
Psychology: “Evaluate the impact of sleep in relation to concepts of knowledge and emotions.”
History: “The ancient Roman Empire had spread widely during the first centuries. How did Rome’s economy function and why did it subsequently collapse?”
Social Studies: “The nation of Israel was established in 1948. At the same time, a preliminary agreement was made to also form a Palestinian nation. Why has the creation of a Palestinian nation not been successful during the subsequent decades?”
Physics: “ E= -13.6eV/n² represents the total energy of the hydrogen atom.

 A) Graph the energy level diagram of the hydrogen atom, B) A photon collides with a hydrogen atom at rest. What happens, assuming the photon has energy of a) 1.89 eV, b) 3.4 eV, c) 10.2 eV, d) 15.6 eV?“
Chemistry: “How does the structure of hydrocarbon molecules affect its chemical and physical properties?”
Biology: “Discuss the use of microbes in handling waste.”
Geography: “The physical locations of information technology enterprises differ clearly from those of classical steel industry. Explain this in relation to a) raw materials b) workforce c) markets d) transportation of energy sources e) environmental services and entertainment.”
Mathematics: “Define the point of the parabola: y = x² - 2x – 3, whose tangent line has an angle of 45º .”
Students in Finland study several foreign languages, such as Swedish, English, German and sometimes French. The English language test has several sections, one being comprehension. The test requires the student to read three articles and write out answers to questions regarding them. They are from “Newsweek”, “Sunday Times” and a one and half page article from “The Economist.”
There are twenty-five questions on English grammar. A sample question: “Blinded at the age of three in an accident, he would never have any memory of being a) seen b) seeing c) sighted d) in-sight.”
Finally, the exam calls for a short composition of 150 to 200 words in English on the topic: “Prepare a speech to try to sell a Finnish invention – new, old or imaginary, to a group of potential foreign customers at a sales promotion event.”
The failure rate of the students taking the exam was 6.5%. It is given once a year.

Our schools permit very polarized results. On the one hand we have schools and teachers producing excellent results while our system also graduates illiterates. In a schizophrenic manner, we insist on the exit exam measuring students’ English language skills yet we permit the student to get the test instructions in another language. How is this possible? Unfortunately, many students have not only been left behind, but they have been left in the educational gutter. And instead of racing to the top they are sliding to the bottom.
The exit exam is a low beginning. Regrettably, as far as worldwide high school graduation exams go, it will merely draw criticism and derision as being more suitable for junior high graduates.
Finland spends $7,500 per year per student while California spends $11,000. Obviously, money is not the issue. Throwing more money at a broken system might solve some financial problems of the organization but certainly has not solved the educational needs of our students. In spite of California’s much lower educational standards, 97 school districts which educate nearly one-third of California’s public school students have continuously failed to make adequate progress even under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” program. The new slogan from Obama, “Race to the Top” is no different. The Federal government should not be involved with education at all. Parents must assume more responsibility. Our educational system needs to embrace choice and free competition and reduce the power of the unions whose singular goal is the advancement of its own influence and benefits rather than the education of students. The results so far prove this. Our teachers are capable, so leave them alone and let them teach. Set the standards high. The young minds can and will rise to the occasion.
Matt Kokkonen was born in Finland and did graduate studies in philosophy and political science at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He ran against Lois Capps for Congress
in 2008 and received over 80,000 votes. He is currently a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 33rd Assembly District. He can be reached at 805-886-1880.
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Monday, January 11, 2010
By Matt Kokkonen

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform ( FAIR ), the cost of illegal immigration to California taxpayers is $10.5 billion per year. That figure represents half of the projected state budget deficit for the next year, meaning that
illegal immigration is contributing hugely to the massive budget shortfalls California faces year in and year out. Our educational system alone is spending $7.7 billion per year to educate the children of illegal immigrants in our public schools where these children now constitute more than 15% of the student pool. Another $1.4 billion is going to pay for health care to illegal immigrants and their kin which is about the same amount being spent to house illegal immigrant criminals in our prison system. The cost per California household is almost $1,200 a year! An astonishing 70% of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital in Stockton in 2003 were so-called “anchor babies.”
As a candidate for 33rd Assembly District and a legal immigrant myself, I am committed to stopping—once and for all—this hemorrhaging of our hard-earned tax dollars to people who have broken into this country illegally.
The federal courts have proved to be the biggest obstacle in cutting off the flow of
money and benefits to illegal immigrants. One only has to recall how Proposition 187,passed by 59% of California voters in 1994 ( including a large number of Latino voters ) was subsequently shredded by a federal judge.
Yet, the answer to stopping the “anchor baby” phenomenon and the automatic citizenship of children of foreign-born individuals on U.S. soil is already in the Constitution. No new amendment is necessary. All we need is to get a test-case to the United States Supreme Court where a sensible majority of Justices should rule appropriately.
Let me explain.
According to the 14th Amendment which was ratified in 1868 for the purpose of guaranteeing the newly-freed slaves their rights, “all persons, born or naturalized in
the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The key phrase is “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” That phrase was meant to exclude from automatic citizenship persons born on American soil whose allegiance to America was incomplete. For instance, Native Americans were excluded from citizenship because of their tribal jurisdictions. Also, foreign visitors, ambassadors, consuls, and their babies born here were excluded.
Clearly, an illegal alien who has broken the laws of the United States to come here has no respect or allegiance to the American government whose laws he is flagrantly violating. Therefore, how can it be argued that an illegal immigrant and an “anchor baby” born onU.S. soil is subject to the “jurisdiction” of U.S. law? Can anyone logically believe it was the intention of the framers of the 14th Amendment to ensure a perpetual “gravy train” of money and benefits to people who violated American immigration laws which – at that time – were so strictly enforced that legal immigrants had difficulty entering the United States?
As your 33rd District Assemblyman and someone who successfully pursued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court ( winning in a unanimous decision ), I will work with anti-illegal immigration activists and organizations throughout the state to develop a test-case on the 14th Amendment which can go directly to the High Court which has never ruled on this specific interpretation before.
Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and political activist. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd District, receiving over 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd District.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
By Matt Kokkonen, Candidate for 33rd Assembly District

Global warming is probably one of the most contentious issues currently. Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, documents his belief that humans are the cause of this warming and of an impending catastrophe on the planet. Therefore, many experts call for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide. Dissenting experts claim that global warming is cyclical as evidenced by the several historical ice ages and periods of warming. They also point out that the increase in carbon dioxide has always followed periods of warming rather than being caused by the warming.
In order to substantiate the claim for global warming, accurate historical data must be available. Weather data has been recorded and collected by the National Weather Service. Its U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is comprised of1221 reporting stations within the 48 contiguous United States. These records generally include the period 1900 – 1995. Each station is subject to certain quality-control and homogeneity testing and adjustment procedures. If the data is not reported, it is filled in with data from other nearby sites. Obviously, this can and has introduced major errors in temperature readings.
The National Weather Service through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)   has also established standards for the proper siting of the reporting stations and the sensors. They define five classes of sites:
     Class I - Sensors are located at least 100 meters (330 feet) from artificial heating or reflecting surfaces, such as buildings, concrete surfaces, and parking lots.
     Class 2 - Artificial heating sources are located 30 meters (100 feet) away from sensor.
     Class 3 - Artificial heating sources are located 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error of 1°C
     Class 4 - Artificial heating sources are less than 10 meters (33 feet) away from sensor. Introduces an error greater than 2°C.
     Class 5 - Temperature sensor located next to or above an artificial heating source, such as a building, rooftop, parking lot, or concrete surface. Introduces an error greater than 5°C.
I went to observe two of the1221 climate-reporting stations. The one in Paso Robles has placed the sensor on a concrete pad, with cars parked against the pad and a building next to it. In addition, it is located next to a major city street with constant heavy automobile traffic. Consequently, the readings from this reporting station have been high, showing an error greater than 5°C or approximately 8°F for several years. It is most disturbing to realize that erroneously high readings from stations like this have been used by climatologists to claim man-caused global warming.
Cal Poly also has a climate-reporting station. Its sensor is located five feet from the gravel road and 40 feet from a concrete walkway next to buildings. However there are broken down RVs right next to the sensor. One of them has been sitting there for several years as a heat sink. In addition, there are several chemical test pools between 100 and 200 feet away.
Both of these stations fail NWS’ own standards and reporting procedures. In fact, research done by Meteorologist Anthony Watts of “SurfaceStations.org” shows that almost 90% of the 1221 stations report rising temperatures because they are badly sited. It shows that the data has been seriously erroneous. The temperature readings have been consistently too high. The foundation for the claim for man-made global warming which is based on historical data gathered from San Luis Obispo County’s two reporting stations is fallacious. Unfortunately, the reported temperature data, not the earth, is cooked by man.

Matt Kokkonen is a San Luis Obispo financial planner and political activist. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd District, receiving over 80,000 votes. Currently, he is a candidate for State Assembly in the 33rd District.
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