by Dave Waddell
Before he created a political action committee that appears to have broken state law while attacking former Chico mayor Scott Gruendl, Tom Kozik for years orchestrated and recorded Chico Tea Party meetings.
And at those meetings, as attendance appeared to steadily dwindle, Kozik occasionally made some bizarre claims. Most notably, at a gathering of Tea Party Patriots in 2014, Kozik quoted a Soviet dictator in criticizing President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“It looks like ‘Obamacare’ is set to collapse into a single-payer healthcare system, and this is what they call the ‘crown jewel of socialism,’ and that’s a quote from …,” said Kozik, pausing momentarily for effect, “ … Lenin.”
Actually, the term “single-payer healthcare system” does not appear to have come on the scene until the 1990s, or about 70 years after Vladimir Lenin’s death. And a Google search suggests that the true source of the “crown jewel of socialism” quote is former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in reference to the Affordable Care Act in 2011.
While Kozik’s notions may come from the farthest reaches of right field, his political action committee, named Butte County Awareness and Accountability, is relatively new among the numerous PACs that have operated in city elections for many years – their agendas ranging across the political spectrum. Indeed, with the Nov. 8 City Council election less than five months away, two trends seem likely to continue in Chico: Ever-bigger bucks being raised and spent by the candidates themselves and ever-greater involvements by political action committees.