Oh, and as a word of warning, portions of what follows contains some lurid language. Please keep it in the context I intended. This story can not really be adequately told otherwise. Turn back now if that sort of thing bothers you.
There are two candidates from Sierra Madre who are running for our so-called "subdistrict" seat on the PUSD Board of Education. They are Sandra Siraganian and Larry Torres. I happen to know Sandi and I think she is a pretty good egg. She is more conservative than I even pretend to be, which is OK. When you look at everything from a local political perspective, the 24/7 TV cable news methods for defining candidates are irrelevant. Those who persist in doing so are a waste of time in my opinion.
For me it is more about who you hang out with.
The other Sierra Madre candidate, Larry Torres, is somehow related to and supported by Tonja Torres. Tonja being one of the dumb bunny City Councilmembers who voted to destroy One Carter back in 2005, and then lost her Council seat because of it. Larry is also supported by Peter Dreier, a one time flapping jaw for the now defunct Democratic Socialist Party of America. Peter now spends a lot of his time working hard to ruin the Pasadena Unified School District from his tenured ivory tower faculty seat at a Highway Harvard called Occidental College (link). On the political spectrum Peter is somewhere between Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong Un.
The purpose of this post today is to discuss the strange political pedigree of another Larry Torres doorknob hanger, and that would be District 43 State Assemblyman Mike Gatto. Even though he represents places like Burbank and Glendale, Mike has taken a keen interest in Sierra Madre's Board of Ed race, and has shown his passion in some very strange ways.
Mike is a funny guy. As in both "har har" and weird funny.
To introduce Tattler readers to the Assemblyman, I have pulled together a small compendium of Gonzo Gatto news items. The first one comes from the Glendale News-Press, and was penned by the legendary L.A. news journalist Ron Kaye. You can link to his entire article by clicking here.
Ron Kaye: Mike Gatto and the condom measure - Mike Gatto is a clever fellow. But like a lot of smart guys, he's sometimes too clever for his own good.
A case in point came a week ago when the AIDS Healthcare Foundation denounced the assemblyman as "a pornographer's best friend" for blocking consideration of a bill that would require the use of condoms in all adult film production in California, a requirement approved by Los Angeles County voters last year.
The group's president, Michael Weinstein, accused Gatto during a teleconference of "single-handedly" putting the measure on hold and refusing to let it come to a vote even when his stated concerns about its constitutionality were answered by a federal court judge in late August.
"He is serving the interests of the pornographers," Weinstein said in announcing that 1,000 protest letters were being sent and a robo-call campaign to 100,000 of his constituents was under way.
There are a number of other articles you can find on Google regarding Gatto's rubbers resentment. This one comes from The Daily Bulletin (link).
Condoms-in-porn bill stalls in Sacramento, bill on use in prisons moving forward - A bill requiring the use of condoms on adult film production sets across California has stalled in the state Assembly, while separate legislation to expand the distribution of condoms in prisons is moving forward to a floor vote on Wednesday.
AB 332, authored by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, seeks to build upon the Los Angeles County measure passed by voters last year that requires porn actors to use condoms while filming within the county, a law that has stalled production here and has film companies scouting locations elsewhere in California.
The Assembly bill cleared the Labor Committee in April, but the Appropriations Committee unanimously voted to shelve the legislation on Friday, with its chairman citing constitutional concerns and the cost of fighting expected legal challenges.
Hall, however, vowed to keep pushing the issue, saying he is trying to protect the health of actors in the porn industry.
He blasted the chairman of the committee, Assemblyman Mike Gatto - a Democrat who represents part of the San Fernando Valley, the home of the porn industry.
"Assemblymember Mike Gatto has put porn profits above the need to protect workers in California," Hall said. "He gives a whole new meaning to the term 'money shot.' "
Anybody feeling queasy yet? Would you take advice on a Board of Education race from a guy in denial about AIDS and pornography production?
Mike Gatto is also apparently an anonymous force behind a couple of blogs. The first one is called The Burbank Blog. Here Gatto likes to colorfully insult his political opponents from what he assumes is the safety of complete anonymity. News to Mikey No Rubbers, you've been outed.
As you probably know, both Mikey No Rubbers and Anthony Portantino will be facing off for Carol "Lookie" Liu's State Senate seat when she officially moves over to being a full-time Sacramento lobbyist next year. That campaign is off to quite a remarkable start.
Now we made some fun of Anthony Portantino for a truly stupid campaign website a couple of weeks back. Which is our job. Pols generally annoy us, and we do what we need to do to ease our pain. But maybe the following from Mikey No Rubbers on his Burbank Blog goes a little too far?
Say what you will about Anthony Portantino, but a gay basher? Come on, the guy is just about as politically correct as any one person could ever possibly be. He'd sooner walk in front of a Metro bus than be heard saying things such as that.
There is another idiosyncratic website that apparently has the Mikey No Rubbers touch. We use the word "apparently" because we don't have a carved in stone fix on this one just yet. But the title of this blog is "Mike Gatto Is A Sweet Dude" (link), and who else on this planet would ever call their site by that name other than the gonzo Assemblyman No Rubbers himself? So it either comes from MNR himself, or two remarkably demented individuals.
This screenshot comes from a blog I admire called Mayor Sam's Sister City (link). The following was posted there early last August.
So you know, and for whatever reason, the "Mike Gatto Is A Sweet Dude" blog also went after the Sierra Madre Tattler a while ago. I believe I called MNR lazy in an article I wrote about Kim Kardashian running for Mayor of Glendale.
You can link up to our golden Gatto moment by clicking here. Apparently if you ever say anything bad about Mikey No Rubbers you end up on the MGIASD site, and not in the most complimentary of ways. I guess it is supposed to be intimidating. Or something.
I guess I'll be there again shortly. Me and Ron Kaye. Pretty good company if you think about it.
So there you go. Larry Torres has himself a big name political supporter. You can only imagine how immensely proud he must be of his favorite Sweet Assemblyman right about now.