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San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Matt Kokkonen

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 33; Republican Party

This information is provided by the candidate


Matt Kokkonen is the Central Coast's leading Republican activist leader. As the Republican Party candidate for Congress in 2008 against entrenched liberal Democrat Lois Capps, Matt captured over 80,000 votes in a district hamelessly gerrymandered to ensure her incumbency. During the campaign, Matt -- a well-respected and successful financial planner -- denounced Capps' vote to bail out the bad investment decisions of Wall Street bankers with $700 billion of your taxpayer dollars.

Matt's campaign against Lois Capps was an example of his willingness to step forward and fight for conservative values and beliefs + even when they weren't always popular:

When the Gray Davis Recall battle was just heating up in 2003, Matt stepped forward to spend his own money to lead the Recall fight in the 33rd District.

When it was time to say "no" that same year to granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens, Matt led the local petition drive.

When it was time to honor America's fighting men and women abroad (including Matt's daughter USAF Maj. Jana Kokkonen, a military doctor), Matt launched the annual 9/11 to remember the terrorist attack, to honor the troops, and to marshal much-needed supplies and funds to meet their needs--needs our government wasn't always providing for.

When it was time to raise our collective voices against rampaging, out-of-control government trampling our fundamental liberties, Matt organized a local "Tea Party" event.

When it was time to answer the public's questions about "Obamacare" and Lois Capps was nowhere to be found, Matt brought hundreds of people to a health care town hall meeting to address these critical issues.

Committed to doing what's right, regardless of the risk or cost, Matt successfully took on a giant insurance company, fighting the case in favor of states' rights and limited federal jurisdiction all the way to the United States Supreme Court and winning in a 9-0 vote in 1994, in a decision written by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. He was also instrumental in exposing Carl Hagmaier + the "Bernie Madoff of SLO" + who went to jail in the mid-1990s for bilking millions of dollars from local investors.

Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945, Matt Kokkonen immigrated to America by himself at the age of 16 in 1962. A graduate of prestigious Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Matt holds a BA degree in Philosophy, two Master of Science degrees in both Financial Services and Management and has been a Chartered Life Underwriter ( CLU ) since 1973 and a Chartered Financial Consultant ( ChFC ) since 1982. He has owned the Matt Kokkonen Agency in downtown San Luis Obispo since 1975 and has been a trusted financial advisor to thousands of clients on the Central Coast and across the country. He has lectured at Cal Poly and in Europe on financial planning issues, helping businesses design effective compensation, insurance, employee benefit and pension programs. He speaks four languages.

Matt is past President of the California Central Coast Chapter of Financial Service Professionals and the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

An elected member of the San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County and Ventura County Republican Central Committees, Matt also serves on the Board of Directors of Air-Vol Block, Inc. of San Luis Obispo. Chairman of the Investment Committee of Simpson University in Redding, CA, he was also a Trustee and Deacon of Grace Church in San Luis Obispo for 30 years. He has also served on the Budget Advisory Committee of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. In addition, he was a founding member of the Squire Canyon Community Services District. Matt is a Pilot and First Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, has been part of the Search and Rescue Squad of the Sheriff's Aero Squadron and holds an Honorable Discharge from the California National Guard.

Matt and his wife of 41 years, Jean, have two children, Jana (an Air Force Academy graduate, emergency medicine doctor and Major, soon to be deployed to Afghanistan) and Daniel, a computer consultant.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 23, 2010 08:11
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