Editor’s Note: Longtime newsman Frank Saldaña passed away Friday following a long battle with congestive heart failure, leaving a legacy of great love, wonderful stories, and unusual adventures. Here’s one of those stories, penned by daughter Lori Saldaña:
Dad Meets the Speaker: March 2004
On the Thursday after the March 2004 primary election, my father and I flew to Sacramento to attend the customary luncheon arranged by the Speaker’s Office of Member Services, for the Democratic Assembly nominees. Those of us considered likely to win in the general election were expected to stay for candidate training for a few more days following the luncheon. (More experienced candidates were already scheduling fundraisers and meetings with lobbyists during those days.)
My primary victory had been a completely unanticipated upset. And, since I had been considered unlikely to prevail, I had been ignored by the Speaker of the Assembly, Fabian Nuñez, throughout the campaign.
Finally, on Election Night, when it became clear I would win by 10 percentage points (after being outspent by 2 opponents by nearly $1 million), the Speaker’s staff called to invite me to attend the Thursday luncheon.
I hesitated, and explained I would need to see about getting a substitute teacher for my class before being able to commit to attend. [Read more…]