I read with interest the Oct. 6 letter to the editor, “Gatto sides with special interests,” by Ryan Welsie Ford, where the newspaper allowed a member of the Republican Central Committee to criticize Assemblyman Mike Gatto. While I certainly appreciate the Leader’s honesty in labeling the writer as the party operative he is, I am a little shocked that the paper is allowing a campaign to fight it out on its pages.

The writer discussed Gatto's positions, but there was no mention of his opponent Greg Krikorian's. That's because he has none — none public, at least. A perusal of Krikorian's website shows no policy papers or ideas for fixing the state — just mindless platitudes.

I suspect Krikorian will espouse the hard-right agenda that got this country in a mess during the eight years of George W. Bush. But we'll never know, since the Leader has taken to publishing campaign operatives' letters instead of asking Krikorian tough questions. For example, how does Krikorian feel about marriage equality? What is his plan for solving the state's budget woes? Does he support offshore drilling?

It's very easy to have your surrogates sling mud. It's altogether different to put forth some ideas of his own. Until Krikorian shows us he's got any substance (and from watching his speeches, I doubt highly there is any), this independent-minded voter is going with Mike Gatto, who has put forth highly praised, bipartisan solutions for California's problems.

Roberto Pena
Burbank