DOWNEY - With voter frustration on the rise and an anti-establishment sentiment lingering in the air, 50th District Assembly candidate P.J. Mellana hopes his message of limited government and lower taxes will resonate with apprehensive voters who will elect a new assemblyman this November."The people in this district are looking for something different," said Mellana, one of six candidates vying for Hector De La Torre's assembly seat. "There will be a strong contrast this year; the people will have a choice." Since entering the Assembly race last year, the 31-year-old republican from Bellflower has taken to the streets of the district rallying supporters and raising funds. "I'm enjoying it," said Mellana. "Our message is taking shape; I'm talking to people, walking the precincts. It's very time consuming - I wouldn't be running if I didn't believe in what I'm running for." Mellana hopes his campaign restores several principles that he believes Sacramento has lost. "Limited government principles - that's the best way to create jobs," Mellana said. "Big government is not working - the data proves that big government has failed California and has doubled our spending." Citing a 2009 study, which revealed that state regulations cost California billions of dollars and millions of jobs, Mellana criticized the regulations and mandates. "We need to limit taxes on all businesses - it's not the government's job to pick and choose the winners and losers," he said. "All of these mandates and environmental requirements are pushing businesses out." For Mellana, the solution for unemployment is tied into better business policies. If state taxes and regulations are reduced for California businesses, Mellana believes businesses who have left the state will return along with their jobs. "The true engine to the economy is business," Mellana said. "We need a business-friendly environment for all businesses - if businesses are growing, jobs are growing." Despite a slow economy, Mellana's campaign has already raised nearly $9,500 in contributions from the community. Although far less than some of the democratic contenders, who have support from large corporations and political action committees, Mellana maintains that all of his donations are from individuals and small local businesses. "We've done small scale fundraising events," said Mellana. "We've not raised as much money as our opponents, who are holding big fundraisers, but just check and you'll see where their money is coming from." On June 8, Mellana will face former assembly candidate Gladys Miller in the general primary for the republican party's nomination. In November, either Mellana or Miller will face the winner of the democratic primary, a crowded race that includes Downey Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez, South Gate City Clerk Carmen Avalos, former Bellflower Councilman Art Olivier and Ricardo Lara, a legislative aide to Los Angeles Assemblyman Kevin De Leon. "I don't have to spend a day in the shoes of a middle class person - I'm living this everyday," said Mellana. "The state belongs to the people - no more gimmicks. There can only be one assemblyperson - I'll fight tooth and nail for what I believe in." The 50th District includes the communities of Bell, South Gate, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Bellflower, Lynwood, Florence Graham, Walnut Park and a portion of Downey.
********** Published: April 2, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 50