Living on Autopay

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We live in a very red part of a very blue state which puts our representatives in Sacramento at a disadvantage. As members of the minority, they sort of disappear into the Sacramento woodwork where they put their paychecks on autopay and quietly vote “no” on everything. That’s seems to satisfy the conservative voters in our area, but it’s not much bang for the buck.

How many of you can actually name the state senator from the 37th District? FYI she is Mimi Walters. Last year, I signed up to receive her e-mails. At first, her missives were few and far between and primarily aimed at explaining her negative votes. That changed recently. Turns out 45th District Congressman John Campbell decided to retire, and Mimi is running for his seat. Mimi has since become a veritable cornucopia of economic alerts, event notices, and position statements that don’t actually say much. None of them tell you where she stands on eliminating fire pits. She’s in the “no” column on that one, but I had to go to newspaper stories to find that out. Meantime, her paycheck is still on autopay.

Of course, you can’t vote for her for Congress because we were redistricted into Dana Rohrabacher’s 48th Congressional District. But, if Mimi wins Campbell’s seat, we’ll get to vote for a new state senator to replace her. That could be our other stealth representative in Sacramento, 74th District Assemblyman Alan Mansoor.

By some measures, Mansoor still isn’t very proactive. As of this writing, he hadn’t posted a press release since February, and an August newsletter was only his third in three years. See what I mean about putting your paycheck on autopay and disappearing into the woodwork? However, Mansoor is doing a better job listing his press clippings on his web site, so he may be shifting into campaign mode. That’s where I found he’s also against removing the fire pits.

Newport Beach Council member Leslie Daigle did send out an e-mail the other day. She is termed out of her current job and may be running for Mansoor’s assembly seat or Walker’s senate seat. She’s also against removing the fire pits. So is Congressman Rohrabacher. I guess that’s the safe side to be on in the next election, though you have to dig around a little to find out where everybody really stands on these things.

OC Supervisor John Moorlach is also reported to be interested in Campbell’s congressional seat. I expect to start getting e-mails from him any day now, but I’m not sure how candid they’ll be. The OC Board of Supervisors side-stepped the fire pit issue by passing a resolution saying the AQMD should avoid a blanket ban and let each community decide for itself. Talk about mugwumping (see the NB Indy Forum, 7/26/13).

Might be fun if one of these politicians took on Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in 2014. He’s now in his 13th term, and he should be at the top of the GOP seniority heap. Instead, he collects his pay and votes the party line “no” on everything, although no one would accuse him of hiding in the woodwork. Unfortunately, if his committee assignments tell us anything, the GOP leadership doesn’t take his rants seriously, and he has squandered his seniority.

These are all safe seats for the GOP. You’d think they’d use them as platforms to start grooming the stars of the future and to get more bang for those autopay bucks. Instead, they treat these seats like rewards for party loyalty.


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