Last Wednesday evening, I received the great honor of being asked to serve as moderator of a political forum for the Government Affairs Committee of The Dinuba Chamber of Commerce.  On the agenda for the evening were four candidates for State Assembly 26th district and two candidates for Tulare County Supervisor District 4.

Six of the seven candidates who were able to attend were greeted by a delightful Central Valley Spring evening, well prepared with tasty Hors d'oeuvres, as well as an interested and involved turnout of local citizens.  Since the forum was outdoors at The Alta Historical Society it would be redundant to say the venue was absolutely beautiful.  The questions—provided by those local citizens—were often open and pointed as they probed for candidate positions on items considered crucial to the local area.

This event is cited in particular because it, once again, points out how critical it has become to the Central Valley to become active, aware and involved in all local politics

The truth is that our area of the State has become “the red headed stepchild” of  statewide politics.  We are, with increasing frequency, being given short shrift with governmental financing and other issues which dramatically impact the quality of life in our small cities.  It's more important now than ever that we must thoroughly study and research the candidates we select to oversee and protect our interests.  There can be little doubt that all candidates are completely dedicated while running but are often seduced and subverted by the halls of power once elected.  Dig deep with each and everyone of them!

It's never been more important than it is right now to send people with strong values to represent our Central Valley.  Burgeoning budgets, governmental pensions, rising taxes and a tendency to completely ignore the needs of agriculture make it imperative that we make our votes count to return California to its era as the "Golden State."  All the rosy projections being flouted from Sacramento will mean absolutely nothing if we have mortgaged the futures of our children and grandchildren.

This time the stakes are high!  The time spent in examining the actions and past proclamations—as well as the ethical behavior—will provide insight into how they might act as opposed to their spouting political opinion which has been group tested.

With the California primaries facing all of us on Tuesday, June 5, it's time to either fish or cut bait.  Are we going to allow the status quo of growing state budgets, increasing government and their pensions which are so out of control or are we going to elect people who will attempt to bring it under control?  Are we going to continue to support a government that rewards itself by putting common criminals back on the street to rob, steal and plunder?  That's Sacramento's job!

Will we stand idly by while utility and fuel costs go through the roof?  Will we allow politicians to plow another $1 billion into MediCal to provide health care for non citizens.  Lies have been sold about increasing water storage here in the Valley and yet nothing happens.  There is a housing shortage and the housing which is available is beyond the price range of most Californians, both of which one can lay right at the feet of the political overlords.

The Governor can talk about his “rainy day” funds all he wants, but this state is on the verge of financial ruin.  The check for all those unfunded liabilities will become due and rainy day funds won't make a dent in that number.  Read, question and investigate the candidates this year.  Your vote may be considered critical to the very future of this beautiful state.

But, as always, that's only one man's opinion.

As a separate afterthought please consider this:  Much has been said over recent weeks about taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's publicly funded “abortion mill.”  When they cry “poverty” if denied taxpayer support, claiming that it will deny basic services, consider that they have spent $30 million on the upcoming mid-term elections.  If they have that kind of money to throw around to influence elections why the hell do they need any taxpayer money at all? I don't know about you, but I don't want any of my money being spent on either abortions or liberal Democrat politicians!

Fred Hall is the publisher of The Sentinel.

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