Accomplished, Pro-Fatherhood Candidate Needs Your Support

California–One of the unsung heroes of the struggle for fairness in family law is former California Assemblyman Rod Wright (pictured). Wright is currently in an election battle to get back into the California Senate, and if he wins it will be a big step forward. Rod was a pioneer of child support and family law reform in California and the nation. In speaking about his time introducing reforms into a hostile California legislature, Rod describes himself and his staff as, “The first guys who hit the beach at Normandy–taking all the hits.” It was absolutely true.
Rod was one of the pioneers of paternity fraud laws, and in 2002 got AB 2240 through the California legislature. It was subsequently vetoed by then-Governor Gray Davis (see my co-authored column Preserving Paternity Fraud, Orange County Register, 10/3/02), but it helped pave the way for the eventual passage of AB 252 in 2004. Rod is looking for volunteers to make phone calls in support of his June 3 election campaign, and is also looking for donations. If you are interested in volunteering to help Rod Wright, click here. If you are interested in donating, click here. Sacramento veteran Stan Diorio served as Wright’s Chief of Staff from 1996 to 2002 and has been pivotal in many of the achievements in family law in California. Below is a brief history he wrote about Rod Wright’s contributions. Rod Wright Led the Fight for Men”s Equality in Family Law During his term as a member of the California State Assembly (1996-2002) Rod Wright was the only member who stood up and wrote legislation year after year to fight for men”s equality in the family law arena. With no organized men”s organization in the state to help him, Rod fought for a whole range of issues including greater fairness in child support orders, custody orders and paternity fraud. He won some and lost some but he never ducked the fight and never stopped trying. Rod took the lead to fight against paternity fraud in California. The first year he lost the bill in committee. The second year it passed the legislature only to be vetoed by Governor Davis. Rod was termed out but the next year, a modified version of his bill was signed into law. The latest state reports show that over 2,000 men have gotten their lives back and had their paternity orders reversed because of his efforts. He also lost bills to allow those behind in payments to get current with an offer to compromise. Again, this effort eventually passed into law and resulted in thousands of men getting current on their support payments. Rod was successful in passing several bills that created more equity in the enforcement of child support orders in California. Rod never gave up and his efforts resulted in greater education of legislators and eventual passage of significant changes in the law. This work has been continued with the creation and efforts of the California Alliance for Families and Children. Men have few elected officials who have the courage to champion the cause of equality for men in family law. Rod Wright is one of those champions – we need to give him our full support.–Stan Diorio I don’t need to tell you that what happens legislatively in California has a large impact on the rest of the nation, and our victories here often translate into progress elsewhere. Again, if you are interested in volunteering to help Rod Wright, click here. If you are interested in donating, click here. To learn more about the CAFC, click here.

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