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Stockton Tea Party founder in race for 13th Assembly seat

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POSTED January 29, 2012 10:24 p.m.

Manual Martin is tired of the same old politics in Sacramento.

Disillusioned with what he saw in Tea Party groups in his own backyard – taking steps to back certain political candidates and other things he didn’t agree with – the 24-year-old Morada resident took action by mobilizing his own group in Stockton that followed the core principles of the movement: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets.

But not even that was enough to satisfy his political appetite. He needed something more. And he found it by declaring his candidacy for the California State Assembly in the 13th district – encompassing Tracy, Mountain House, Stockton and rural areas around each of the communities.

“I care about people, their principal rights and their economic freedom,” said Martin – who started to get political after reading The Federalist Papers. “I think that it’s time to give it back.”

Martin was the speaker Thursday night at the meeting of the Manteca Patriots at Chez Shari – Manteca’s local Tea Party group, He spoke about both his formation of the Stockton chapter and the platform on which he’ll run for the Assembly seat.

He hit on topics like the Proposition 13 which he claimed an Assembly Democrat wants to “nuke”. He also believes that the current system in Sacramento is holding education hostage.

And when it came to fiscal responsibility, he railed against the concept of high-speed rail – the voter-approved ballot initiative that has ballooned into a nearly $100 billion proposition for the initial Los Angeles to San Francisco leg.

“If somebody in this room has $200 billion to go privately fund it – be my guest,” he said. “My tax dollars shouldn’t go to pay for a train that I’m not going to ride.”

When it came to laying out ideas on how to change things in Sacramento, Martin wasn’t short on concepts that would completely transform the way legislators do business.

Dubbed his “part-time” plan for Assembly members, he wants to see salaries cut to $42,500 – representing the average household income for California residents. He also wants the first legislative session to take place during the first three months of the year.

During that time, he said, they should pass a budget for two years instead of one, and then work on passing any laws that come before them. The second three-month session, he said, should be to repeal previous laws.

He’d also like to the see the size of districts cut in half. It is something that he believes will take the money out of politics and make legislators more accountable to the people they represent.

Those sorts of major changes, Martin said, are needed to return back to the era when he said legislators truly represented the people that elected them and worked for the betterment for their constituents rather their pocketbook.

“I just see how the political system has devolved, and I think something needs to be done,” he said. “I have a specific vision for life, liberty and property. I’m a student of history and economics and this is my passion and I want to pass that on.”

The Manteca Patriots are currently in negotiations with candidates running for California’s 5th senate district – Bill Berryhill, Leroy Ornellas and Cathleen Galgiani – for a debate that they’d like to hold at a meeting before the primary. A debate for California’s 12th assembly district – where Modesto’s Kristin Olsen is running against Lathrop’s Christopher Mateo – is also planned.

For additional information about the organization or their upcoming events, visit

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