It is difficult to be a Californian these days.
The Golden State remains beautiful. Cannot beat it for scenery. If you headed east or north on any street in Fresno last week — the Sierra Nevada were magnificent. Took a drive recently to Grant Grove in Sequoia National Park. Been there dozens of times, yet those trees are still breathtaking.
California’s coastline is mesmerizing.
It is not challenging to live in California. It is just embarrassing to admit it because of California’s dysfunctional governing bodies.
The almost daily dose of unbelievable arrogance and disregard for public office has always been hard to swallow. Now Californians are gagging. It is a given that as soon as a politician is elected to office, they start running for re-election. California politicians, however, have taken that to a new low.
The epitome of that is termed-out state Sen. Dean Florez, from Shafter, Calif. He can materialize an issue from thin air and grab a headline or get on television quicker than a head-on train wreck. His latest stab at TV time in his bid – hopefully unsuccessful – to become lieutenant governor is to sponsor legislation that would tax pet food sales to create an animal abuser registry like a sex offender registry.
Then there is the termed-out assembly speaker, Karen Bass of Los Angeles, who is running for Congress. She gave 10 percent pay raises to 20 of her staff members on her last day on the job. At the same time 200,000 state employees continue to be furloughed, unpaid, three days a month in a feeble attempt to reduce the state’s $20 billion deficit. Bass’ actions were clearly to avoid accountability.
The legislative process has become so inane that an assemblyman from Hanford, Calif., a former Marine and retired California Highway Patrol officer, is walking away after one term because of frustrations in serving in a dysfunctional state assembly. If Danny Gilmore cannot stomach the California political process, who can?
I don’t know how Assemblyman Gilmore voted on the laughable legislation passed by the state assembly recently that would establish an annual statewide “Cuss Free Week.” My guess is he correctly voted his frustrations.
California is broke, yet state legislators are paddling merrily downstream to self-preservation and their next political office with little concern for this beautiful state.
Never one to lack a recommendation, my suggestion is to abolish the California Legislature. It would save a lot of money; you could rent out the Capitol for office space to reduce the debt, and Californians would no longer be embarrassed to be called Californians.
Who would run the state? Anyone would be better than what we have now.