By Daniel L. Muñoz
Michael Giorgino will be the first one to admit that running for the new State Senate seat came about because he just happened to be a member of the Republican Executive Council. Belatedly, he found out that the Republican Party was not going to field a candidate to oppose Democrat Denise Ducheney for the newly created 40th Senate District. This meant allowing Ducheney to walk away with a free pass to the 40th Senatorial Seat. This was too much for the former Naval Commander who still carried within him the Naval tradition that “You don’t give up the ship without a battle”! So he did, what one does in the Navy, “he volunteered” to bring the battle to the Democrat Ducheney.
“In the beginning,” stated Giorgino, “I took note of the heavy democratic registration. How could I win this battle,” he wondered? “But, as I looked at the race and talked to the voters about Denise Ducheney, I became convinced that I could win.”
Giorgino gathered his forces around him, laid out an operational plan and steamed out to engage the enemy.
(La Prensa) This not quite like Desert Storm Commander, just what is the new territory?
(GINO) The 40th was chang-ed during redistricting. With Senator Steve Peace being termed out, both parties decided to change the shape and form of the 40th. It now includes the cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Coronado, as well as San Ysidro, South San Diego, and parts of downtown, Golden Hill, City Heights, South Park. Then there is a thin strip along the U.S./Mexican Border, south of 94, and added places like Boulevard and Campo. In the biggest switch of all, Imperial County and the Coachella Valley in Riverside everything from Indio to Blythe, plus Cathedral City were added to the new 40th Senate District.
(L/P) What is the party registration and racial make up of the residents?
(GINO) 47% are Democrats and 32% are Republicans. The other 21% are minor parties such as the Green Party, Libertarians and Independents. This is a new district with the majority being Latino. At first it might look like that would favor my opponent, but we have analyzed the district and decided that it would be more of an advantage for me. Denise Ducheney has a record in Sacramento of doing nothing for Latino people or the rest of the working people in this state. Things got much worse for them in the six years she has been in Sacramento.
(L/P) In what respect have things gotten worse for our communities.
(GINO) She was the Budget Committee Chairwoman in 1999-2000 and wrote the budgets that bankrupted the State. We increased spending in the last 3 years when she was the Chairwoman of the Assembly Budget Committee. Spending increased by 37% during the same time when the population increased by only 5 percent! That increase benefited the State bureaucracy. She pushed for the hiring of 47,000 new employees mostly to work for CALTRANS, the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION and for the PRISON SYSTEM. During her term, on the Budget Committee, personnel levels in just about every department and division of the state were increased. What wasn’t done was to increase the number of people who actually are providing services to the people.
Education is a disaster especially for Latino kids. When every school was ranked on a scale of one to ten, one being awful ten being the best, many schools in the 40th Senatorial District, were ranked as a 1 or 2, at the bottom of the scale! What she has supported are things like trying to raise car taxes, adding a $3 a pack tax on cigarettes. I HAVE NOT MET ANYONE in the 40th Senatorial District that believes that Ducheney has helped them buy a house or build one. Their health care cost has gone up not down.
(L/P) How would you make a difference?
(GINO) First of all, I would restore fiscal responsibility to this state. I am not going to grind the faces of working people into the dirt by imposing taxation that penalizes them. We need to have some balance. When it was obvious that capital gains and stock options would not continue to rise and the stock market started to implode we already knew that spending had to stop! The stock market was imploding yet Denise Ducheney, as the Chairwoman of the Assembly Budget Committee, continued to promote the greatest spending increase in the history of the State of California. Our budget deficit in the State rose to 24 billion dollars! This is greater than the budget deficits of every state in the country combined.
((L/P) Have you any support from “special moneyed interests Corporations etc from within the Sate or from other areas of the country?
(GINO) I don’t have any contacts or support like Ducheney does. She is in the POCKETS OF ALL THE LABOR UNIONS. She is also in the pockets of SEMPRA ENERGY. She is only one of two state politicians that are fully funded by SEMPRA ENERGY. That means that they have given her all the money that they can under Prop 34 for this year! Other than that, they haven’t been making contributions to other politicians …This is a payoff for the sweetheart deal that she tried to pass at the expense of the taxpayers and rate payers of San Diego. It was only because the other members of the Assembly would not support HER and defeated her bill. Ducheney was condemned by UCAN (Michael Shames’ organization) for attempting to enrich SEMPRA ENERGY at the expense of the taxpayers and ratepayers of San Diego. Her campaign contributions list is a who’s who of all the special interests in the state!
(L/P) How can you stop legislators from trying to feather their own pockets at the expense of the public?
(GINO) I can speak for myself and I will not be bought or paid for by anyone. If elected, I will serve notice that I cannot be bought! I will vote my conscious and vote only for what is best for the people in my district and State. I will be an honest man in Sacramento. I have my Navy pension and if elected, this will be a 4-year tour of duty. I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY. I will not be CORRUPTED!
(L/P) What do you propose to do, if elected about the wholesale sell out of the political SYSTEM of this state and country? What will you do to bring morale and ethical integrity back to our political system of governance?
(GINO) I am disgusted by what I have seen so far in California politics. It seems that what we have is a government of and by special interests. Working people come in last. What we have is a conspiracy against the American people. It is almost like we have one party rule; Big Corporations, big Labor Unions, Ecological extremist all who conspire to make it too difficult for the people to survive in this country. They are strangling the ability for the citizens to have the American dream. Change is needed.
Thank you Mr. Michael Giorgino. We will expect to talk with you again as the campaign progresses. Buena suerte.
Age 47 Single, Protestant
Residence: Coronado, Ca.
Education: BA College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1976; University of San Diego Law School Graduate
Commissioned Ensign USN, United States Naval Reserve, Officer Candidate School, Newport Rhode, Island 1977
He served as a Surface Warfare Officer, served on six ships, including XO afloat.
Commanded two shore bases, served in the Gulf War. Retired as Commander, United States Navy in 1997.
Profession since retirement: Associate Law Firm of Gates, O’Doherty, Gonter, and Guy. Giorgino specializes in representing San Diego’s Business and Professional Community.
Organizations: American Legion Post 867, Chula Vista, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Coronado, Ca.,Fleet Reserve, Association, Community Band of Coronado, “Xmas In July” Assoc. National City, Republican Central Committee, San Diego.
(Giorgino campaign may be reached at Ph. 619-437-8217 mail P.O. Box 180187, San Diego, Ca. 92178-0817, www.giorginoforsenate.com)