Press Editorials

Pasadena Journal: Pasadena City College Discrimination
Published August 12, 2015 by Joe Hopkins

As I travelled to the University of California at San Diego with former Assemblyman, Anthony Portantino, an Italian American, I couldn’t help but realize that there were fifty majority Blacks there. They were recruited from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. There was not one Italian student. Portantino realizes that qualified Black students need an extra push to opportunity, and he is willing to give that push. He is a soldier in the Black Lives Matter movement with no motivation other than it is the right thing to do.

Glendale News-Press: How One Politician Made a Difference
Published October 6, 2011 by Ron Kaye

EDITOR”S NOTE: Assemblyman Anthony Portantino of LaCanada-Flintridge dared to stand up to his own Democratic Party leadership that controls the state legislature by voting against a phony budget and for that he was punished by Speaker John Perez with threats to furlough his entire staff for more than a month. Portantino than exposed the outrageous lies about how much the Assembly spends on staff, prompting the LA Times and Sacramento Bee to sue for the full information — a move which led Perez to release false and incomplete information. The Bee now reports in this article about how they hide the truth of their outlandish spending from the public:

Glendale News-Press: From Obscurity to the Spotlight, a Politician Doing What’s Right
Published August 20, 2011 by Ron Kaye

Sipping iced coffee in the Black Cow Café in Montrose on Friday with Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, I found myself suspending my disbelief, putting aside my deep cynicism as a newspaperman and feeling like I was in the company of a politician actually doing the right thing for the right reasons despite threats and bullying. It was like watching a remake “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” rewritten as “Mr. Portantino Goes to Sacramento” — the accidental politician becomes the reluctant revolutionary. In barely two months, Portantino has gone from the relative obscurity of serving quietly and industriously as one of California’s 120 lawmakers to stumbling into the political spotlight as a lone voice challenging the leadership and record of failure of a hopelessly gridlocked Legislature. He has made headlines in newspapers across the state, inspired editorials sharply critical of Assembly Speaker John Perez’s abuses of his power, prompted two major newspapers to sue the Legislature for refusing to release how much it spends on itself and its staff — that’s taxpayer money, not the special-interest money that puts them into office and provides costly favors to them.

Los Angeles Times: Observations and Provocations from The Times’ Opinion Staff
Los Angeles Time Editorial August 15, 2011

Portantino articulates a clear and compelling good-government case for changing the rules. "Policy should be judged on its own merit, not by the coercion of the leadership to reward or punish those who are considering policy," he said in an interview Monday. "This is the people's money, the people's offices. Californians should be represented well in an open and fair and transparent process. And what you have now is, the same people who are fighting for secrecy have now decided to put themselves in charge of the task force to be in charge of secrecy."

Daily News: Some Simple Solutions to the State's Economic Woes
Published February 1, 2011 by Cynthia Kurtz

With the state budget in crisis, we aren't going to see flashy programs implemented in California, and standing around wringing our hands waiting for the "big solution" is not beneficial either. So I say let's try smart ideas, big or small. Sometimes smaller more practical approaches are more successful anyway. Case in point, I think Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, has come up with a good idea. It isn't exactly a no-cost program but it uses funding already set aside for small business assistance so no new dollars are required.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune Editorial: Anthony Portantino
Editorial Published February 10, 2011

That’s why a new bill by local Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, makes more sense and is already gaining traction in the business world. Portantino’s bill doesn’t require business to hire workers, but will help them lower their costs, which in turn could cause them to hire worker, expand their businesses or both.

Los Angeles: Put Sanity in Gun Debate
Published January 19, 2011 by Steve Lopez

Fortunately, state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) has a problem with open carry, and he introduced legislation last week to ban it. "There's a proper place for firearms, and having a proliferation of them strapped to hips is something that belongs in a Western movie, not Main Street, California," he said in a press release. When I reached Portantino on Tuesday, he said he had been asked by two state police organizations to introduce the bill. "They've seen a rise in people carrying a gun on their hip," Portantino said. "According to the law, you can have a gun on one hip and cartridges on another hip." Verge told me she attended events commemorating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and was struck by an MLK quote about "the appalling silence of the good people." The NRA has loudly championed its views, Verge said, and it's time to pump up the volume on the other side. "People have to take a stand on this," Verge said. "Today we lost 82 people. And tomorrow, 82."

San Gabriel Valley News: Portantino Launches Salvo at 710 Freeway Plans
Published August 22, 2012 by Brian Charles

State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino unleashed a furious verbal and written attack on Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday, demanding the agencies abandon plans to complete the 710 freeway. His harsh critique of the project focuses on questions about the financial viability and the need to fill the four-mile freeway gap. In his letter Portantino called for Caltrans and the MTA "to cease all activity relating to the advancement of the SR (state route) 710 extension." The outgoing member of the state Assembly also asked local leaders to "step in and make the bold decision to put an end to this project." Portantino said Wednesday that the agencies refused to answer the basic questions. "How much is the project going to cost and how many cars are going to use it?" he said.

The bill on the governor’s desk would require public officials to disclose income in low ranges, but also whether their income is: More than $250,000 but not greater than $500,000, More than $500,000 but not greater than $1 million, More than $1 million but not greater than $5 million, More than $5 million but not greater than $10 million, and More than $10 million. The last categories would provide more financial details about wealthy office-seekers such as Meg Whitman, the multimillionaire former candidate for governor. The current forms have not been updated for 35 years and are "way out-of-date," said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge), who authored AB 2162. "As it stands now, the broad financial ranges on the form make it impossible to have an accurate picture of what an officeholder’s financial obligations are,'' Portantino said. "I want to change that and bring more transparency to this important issue."
Published August 23, 2012 by Patrick McGreevy
California lawmakers voted this week to give up a perk, agreeing to pay the same fees as the general public for vanity license plates on their cars that reflect their role as elected officials. As it now stands, current and retired legislators can obtain special DMV license plates custom designed for lawmakers by paying a one-time fee of $12. In contrast, the general public, including retired firefighters and police officers, pay $49 to $98 for a special plate and $38 to $78 for annual renewals. Nearly 700 of the legislator license plates have been issued over the life of the program, including 116 currently in use. The Assembly on Wednesday approved a bill by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) requiring legislators to pay the same fees as the general public. AB 2068 now goes to the governor for his consideration. “At a time of economic belt-tightening, when you have student fees rising, classrooms bulging, and cuts everywhere, why should legislators get a special break -- even a small one?  It's just not right,” Portantino said. “These new fees will be the same as what the public pays, which is the right thing to do.”
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