Wolk Campaign Takes On Aghazarian on Per Diem Issue

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It’s been quiet, maybe too quiet considering the amount of money that we know Republican Assemblyman and nominee Greg Aghazarian has amassed for his run at the State Senate. Last week it was reported that the Democratic State Central Committee of California had given $250,000 to Assemblywoman Lois Wolk. Until that point, she had been outraised by a hefty margin by her Republican opponent despite the fact that she is a heavy favorite at this point to win the Democratic leaning Senate district.

It turns out the first strike was fired by the Wolk campaign. Those who have watched TV in the last week may have seen it. It is an attack based on Aghazarian’s collection of per diem money as an assemblyman.

The ad charges that Assemblyman Aghazarian has collected daily per diem payments of $170 that are designed to pay for lodging expenses for state legislators who live far from Sacramento. However, Aghazarian lives in Stockton, just a forty-five minute drive from Sacramento.

“As an assemblyman, Greg Aghazarian took $180,000 he didn’t deserve.”

Politckerca.com spoke with Tom Higgins, campaign manager for the Wolk campaign.

“Tom Higgins, the campaign manager for Assembly member Wolk (D-Davis), said the ad is meant to point out a hole in Aghazarian’s stance as a fiscal conservative.

“It doesn’t square quite right when you say one thing and do another,” Higgins said, adding that Aghazarian collects the per diem on top of his regular salary as an assemblyman of $116,000 annually. “That per diem is really intended for folks who have to maintain a second residence.”

Higgins said that Wolk, who like Aghazarian was first elected to the state Assembly in 2002, has consistently declined her per diem money for lodging because she, like Aghazarian, lives within driving distance of the state Capitol.”

This is the first salvo in what figures to be a highly contested race. With the Wolk campaign taking an early shot, there is little doubt that we will see a response from Aghazarian.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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40 thoughts on “Wolk Campaign Takes On Aghazarian on Per Diem Issue”

  1. Papa Jon

    Did Wolk pledge to forgo taking per diem payments if she is elected? Or is this the pot calling the kettle black. The legislative rules apparently allow this per diem for all legislators regardless of where their district is located.

  2. Papa Jon

    Did Wolk pledge to forgo taking per diem payments if she is elected? Or is this the pot calling the kettle black. The legislative rules apparently allow this per diem for all legislators regardless of where their district is located.

  3. Papa Jon

    Did Wolk pledge to forgo taking per diem payments if she is elected? Or is this the pot calling the kettle black. The legislative rules apparently allow this per diem for all legislators regardless of where their district is located.

  4. Papa Jon

    Did Wolk pledge to forgo taking per diem payments if she is elected? Or is this the pot calling the kettle black. The legislative rules apparently allow this per diem for all legislators regardless of where their district is located.

  5. Sick of Political Maneuvering

    It would be nice if candidates didn’t engage in “gothcha” politics and stuck to the real issues. No wonder nothing gets done in Washington, D.C. or in local legislatures. If Wolk’s opponent is legally allowed to take the per diem payments, then so what if he does? Wolk can do better than this.

  6. Sick of Political Maneuvering

    It would be nice if candidates didn’t engage in “gothcha” politics and stuck to the real issues. No wonder nothing gets done in Washington, D.C. or in local legislatures. If Wolk’s opponent is legally allowed to take the per diem payments, then so what if he does? Wolk can do better than this.

  7. Sick of Political Maneuvering

    It would be nice if candidates didn’t engage in “gothcha” politics and stuck to the real issues. No wonder nothing gets done in Washington, D.C. or in local legislatures. If Wolk’s opponent is legally allowed to take the per diem payments, then so what if he does? Wolk can do better than this.

  8. Sick of Political Maneuvering

    It would be nice if candidates didn’t engage in “gothcha” politics and stuck to the real issues. No wonder nothing gets done in Washington, D.C. or in local legislatures. If Wolk’s opponent is legally allowed to take the per diem payments, then so what if he does? Wolk can do better than this.

  9. Anonymous

    Wolk clearly doesn’t have any real issues to attack Aghazarian on. I hate when politicians rely on petty, irrelevant points to attack their opponent on. She should be talking about the real issues. This was a low blow.

  10. Anonymous

    Wolk clearly doesn’t have any real issues to attack Aghazarian on. I hate when politicians rely on petty, irrelevant points to attack their opponent on. She should be talking about the real issues. This was a low blow.

  11. Anonymous

    Wolk clearly doesn’t have any real issues to attack Aghazarian on. I hate when politicians rely on petty, irrelevant points to attack their opponent on. She should be talking about the real issues. This was a low blow.

  12. Anonymous

    Wolk clearly doesn’t have any real issues to attack Aghazarian on. I hate when politicians rely on petty, irrelevant points to attack their opponent on. She should be talking about the real issues. This was a low blow.

  13. This was a low blow

    I agree that it was a low blow. I’ve heard several ads for her opponent, Agazarian and he doesn’t mentioned Wolk at all. It’s very smart to discuss the issues and not resort to mudlinging like Wolk clearly did.

  14. This was a low blow

    I agree that it was a low blow. I’ve heard several ads for her opponent, Agazarian and he doesn’t mentioned Wolk at all. It’s very smart to discuss the issues and not resort to mudlinging like Wolk clearly did.

  15. This was a low blow

    I agree that it was a low blow. I’ve heard several ads for her opponent, Agazarian and he doesn’t mentioned Wolk at all. It’s very smart to discuss the issues and not resort to mudlinging like Wolk clearly did.

  16. This was a low blow

    I agree that it was a low blow. I’ve heard several ads for her opponent, Agazarian and he doesn’t mentioned Wolk at all. It’s very smart to discuss the issues and not resort to mudlinging like Wolk clearly did.

  17. Anonymous

    Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.

  18. Anonymous

    Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.

  19. Anonymous

    Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.

  20. Anonymous

    Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.

  21. Am I missing something?

    “Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.”

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t Davis a lot closer commute than Stockton? Especially in rush hour?

  22. Am I missing something?

    “Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.”

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t Davis a lot closer commute than Stockton? Especially in rush hour?

  23. Am I missing something?

    “Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.”

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t Davis a lot closer commute than Stockton? Especially in rush hour?

  24. Am I missing something?

    “Totally fair hit. Two people in the identical situation, a short drive away. Aghazarian took the money and Wolk didn’t. Says a lot about them and especially what a hypocrit Aghazarian is when he attacks government spending and votes against raising the minium wage. He and Sarah Palin are peas in a pod. Good for Lois’s campaign for pointing it out.”

    Am I missing something here? Isn’t Davis a lot closer commute than Stockton? Especially in rush hour?

  25. Anonymous

    Davis 30 minutes, Stockton 45 minutes. No real difference. The point is that they both go home every night. The per diem is intended to cover the cost of a second home. It’s not about mileage as they both get a car and gas in addition. Aghazarian put $180,000 straight into his pocket to cover expenses he never incurred. Wolk said “no thanks.” Big difference.

  26. Anonymous

    Davis 30 minutes, Stockton 45 minutes. No real difference. The point is that they both go home every night. The per diem is intended to cover the cost of a second home. It’s not about mileage as they both get a car and gas in addition. Aghazarian put $180,000 straight into his pocket to cover expenses he never incurred. Wolk said “no thanks.” Big difference.

  27. Anonymous

    Davis 30 minutes, Stockton 45 minutes. No real difference. The point is that they both go home every night. The per diem is intended to cover the cost of a second home. It’s not about mileage as they both get a car and gas in addition. Aghazarian put $180,000 straight into his pocket to cover expenses he never incurred. Wolk said “no thanks.” Big difference.

  28. Anonymous

    Davis 30 minutes, Stockton 45 minutes. No real difference. The point is that they both go home every night. The per diem is intended to cover the cost of a second home. It’s not about mileage as they both get a car and gas in addition. Aghazarian put $180,000 straight into his pocket to cover expenses he never incurred. Wolk said “no thanks.” Big difference.

  29. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to disagree that this is a minor point. We’re still talking about a use of taxpayer money, are we not? How much money must be spent unnecessarily in order for it to constitute a waste? $180,000 could hire a few teachers.

  30. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to disagree that this is a minor point. We’re still talking about a use of taxpayer money, are we not? How much money must be spent unnecessarily in order for it to constitute a waste? $180,000 could hire a few teachers.

  31. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to disagree that this is a minor point. We’re still talking about a use of taxpayer money, are we not? How much money must be spent unnecessarily in order for it to constitute a waste? $180,000 could hire a few teachers.

  32. Doug Paul Davis

    I have to disagree that this is a minor point. We’re still talking about a use of taxpayer money, are we not? How much money must be spent unnecessarily in order for it to constitute a waste? $180,000 could hire a few teachers.

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