Interview With Stan Statham President/Ceo Of California Broadcasters Association

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Russian-speaking community of Sacramento was formed by the people who escaped from the Soviet Regime. Stan, do you feel connection with these people as someone who was contributing to fighting cold war with USSR?

Yes.  I do.  Over the years as I became acquainted with the Russian-speaking community, it was easy to see and feel their eagerness to have freedom to be successful in whatever they sought.  It was easy to see their efforts toward American citizenship and the desire to join a country of entrepeneurs.

Was it hard for you personally to change perception of soviets as potential enemies to russian-speaking community members?

At first it was.  As a young man in my 20s, I was an intelligence analyst working for the United States Army in what was then called West Berlin.  It was a free island located behind the Iron Curtain.  It was a place where international tension still hung in the air.

Since I worked in military intelligence I felt more heavily invested in the Cold War.  So my transition from perceiving all Russians as enemies rather than allies did take a few more years than after the Berlin Wall in Germany was gone.  It feels great now, not just to be friends, but allies.

Sacramento is a place of great cultural diversity. It is not very typical for the world, when people of so many nationalities can co-exist peacefully together. What do you think is the secret to peace in the USA?

I have always felt the secret to peace has always been between peoples and not between governments.  The citizens of the world have lots of cultural differences, but on the most basic level, human beings are all the same.  All people seek peace in all its forms.

I believe when leaders of different countries disagree, the trouble begins.  And, when leaders of different countries don’t even like each other, the trouble magnifies.  Then, when leaders of different countries won’t even talk to each other the division can become impenetrable.  The best example I know of that reversed the division between Russia and America was the genuine friendship that evolved between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.  Friends beat strangers every time.
Tell us about one of the most memorable experience you had as a politician. How did that affect your values and direction?

I won my first elective office as a young 37 year old.  The first and most important lesson I learned and continue to learn, is to “talk to the other side.”  99% of all controversies have two good sides. A politician’s job is to solve controversies and problems.  If it were not they would be no controversies.
It’s always surprising what one can learn when one truly listens to the other side.

What helps you to be successful professional and individual, share with us some of your core beliefs and values, which helps you to be who you are in life?

The most valuable lesson I have learned through my life is to not judge and profile everyone.   Start every relationship, professional and personal, with a clean slate.  We you start by looking for the best in someone you have a better chance of finding it.

As someone who interviewed many prominent politicians, how can you tell when the person means what he says and when he is playing the political game? How can an average person make a good judgment about politician?

Now those are tough questions.  The honest answer is you cannot ever be sure you can trust the person with whom you are talking.  All I can say is watch them carefully and listen to them even more carefully.
A good start to judging someone’s honestly is to watch their eyes and body language.  Are they focused on you or are they glancing around the room looking for someone with whom they would rather speak?  Are their answers and comments directed toward your conversation or do you feel they are just “filling time?”
As people we judge our family, friends and co-workers all the time.  You can do the same with politicians.  Good luck.

What is your opinion about the Medical reform?

My opinion is that the first responsibility for medical care lies with the individual, whether that means physical fitness or medical insurance.  After that, the government should step in and help those citizens who truly cannot help themselves.
The real problem with medical reform is that no individual or government can ever cover the cost of the best medical care for everyone in the 21st century when medical advances are increasingly colliding with an aging population.  The math becomes astronomical.

What needs to happen for California to get out of its budget crisis and be competitive?

California’s Constitution has to be changed.  It has been amended too many times over the last few decades.  Those amendments force the Legislature to spend well over 90% of its revenue by certain formulas.  That means that the price of California’s government will continue to grow no matter what.

Our elected officials must wake up and make very difficult decisions that would allow the legislature itself to make budget decisions based on how much money it has to spend, not on how much its wants to spend or is required to spend.

Russian-speaking community of Sacramento was formed by the people who escaped from the Soviet Regime. Stan, do you feel connection with these people as someone who was contributing to fighting cold war with USSR

Yes.  I do.  Over the years as I became acquainted with the Russian-speaking community, it was easy to see and feel their eagerness to have freedom to be successful in whatever they sought.  It was easy to see their efforts toward American citizenship and the desire to join a country of entrepeneurs.

Was it hard for you personally to change perception of soviets as potential enemies to russian-speaking community members?

At first it was.  As a young man in my 20s, I was an intelligence analyst working for the United States Army in what was then called West Berlin.  It was a free island located behind the Iron Curtain.  It was a place where international tension still hung in the air.

Since I worked in military intelligence I felt more heavily invested in the Cold War.  So my transition from perceiving all Russians as enemies rather than allies did take a few more years than after the Berlin Wall in Germany was gone.  It feels great now, not just to be friends, but allies.

Sacramento is a place of great cultural diversity. It is not very typical for the world, when people of so many nationalities can co-exist peacefully together. What do you think is the secret to peace in the USA?

I have always felt the secret to peace has always been between peoples and not between governments.  The citizens of the world have lots of cultural differences, but on the most basic level, human beings are all the same.  All people seek peace in all its forms.

I believe when leaders of different countries disagree, the trouble begins.  And, when leaders of different countries don’t even like each other, the trouble magnifies.  Then, when leaders of different countries won’t even talk to each other the division can become impenetrable.  The best example I know of that reversed the division between Russia and America was the genuine friendship that evolved between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.  Friends beat strangers every time.

Tell us about one of the most memorable experience you had as a politician. How did that affect your values and direction?

I won my first elective office as a young 37 year old.  The first and most important lesson I learned and continue to learn, is to “talk to the other side.”  99% of all controversies have two good sides. A politician’s job is to solve controversies and problems.  If it were not they would be no controversies.

It’s always surprising what one can learn when one truly listens to the other side.

What helps you to be successful professional and individual, share with us some of your core beliefs and values, which helps you to be who you are in life?

The most valuable lesson I have learned through my life is to not judge and profile everyone.   Start every relationship, professional and personal, with a clean slate.  We you start by looking for the best in someone you have a better chance of finding it.

As someone who interviewed many prominent politicians, how can you tell when the person means what he says and when he is playing the political game? How can an average person make a good judgment about politician?

Now those are tough questions.  The honest answer is you cannot ever be sure you can trust the person with whom you are talking.  All I can say is watch them carefully and listen to them even more carefully.

A good start to judging someone’s honestly is to watch their eyes and body language.  Are they focused on you or are they glancing around the room looking for someone with whom they would rather speak?  Are their answers and comments directed toward your conversation or do you feel they are just “filling time?”

As people we judge our family, friends and co-workers all the time.  You can do the same with politicians.  Good luck.

What is your opinion about the Medical reform?

My opinion is that the first responsibility for medical care lies with the individual, whether that means physical fitness or medical insurance.  After that, the government should step in and help those citizens who truly cannot help themselves.

The real problem with medical reform is that no individual or government can ever cover the cost of the best medical care for everyone in the 21st century when medical advances are increasingly colliding with an aging population.  The math becomes astronomical.

What needs to happen for California to get out of its budget crisis and be competitive?

California’s Constitution has to be changed.  It has been amended too many times over the last few decades.  Those amendments force the Legislature to spend well over 90% of its revenue by certain formulas.  That means that the price of California’s government will continue to grow no matter what.

Our elected officials must wake up and make very difficult decisions that would allow the legislature itself to make budget decisions based on how much money it has to spend, not on how much its wants to spend or is required to spend.

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Danesh Oleshko

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