We came across this poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. It's a couple weeks old, but the news it imparts is timeless: Californians don't much like their state government. A whopping 73 percent said state government is run for the benefit of the few. That number increased to 79 percent when pollsters ask people who vote most often. It seems the closer attention paid, the lower the opinion. Only 23 percent said they could trust the government to do what's right. Now that's a number to think about. "To do what's right..." That means three fourths of us think will do the wrong thing. We're pretty sharp, eh? Hey, three out of five Californians said they think government wastes "a lot" of your tax money. Only 5 percent said there's little waste. And just about two-thirds said it'd be a good idea to put a lid on how much those folks in Sacramento can spend. What a concept.
Last Saturday we posted an article about some ethical questions being raised in the press regarding our illustrious State Senator, Bob Huff. In particular his vote that helped developer Ed Roski of Majestic Realty fame gain approval for his football stadium and shopping mall through the gratuitous waiving any possible Sacramento mandated environmental reviews. Something that also put an end to a lawsuit initiated by concerned citizens from the City of Walnut. The possible ethical concerns stemming from the deep financial ties the Huff family has with Mr. Roski. All of which can be read about here.
And at the end of this post, kind of as an afterthought, I added this observation from the blog Orange Juice:
State Legislators have spent over $3 million on luxury cars since 2007: Our state is broke, but we have spent over three million dollars over the past three years providing luxury cars to our state legislators ... Republican State Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, drives a Cadillac CTS that cost the state $41,300,including $4,226 for upgraded wheels and Bluetooth, according to an L.A. Times report.
Now at the end of the 40 or so comments attached to this post there have now been 5 posts by one very upset Bob Huff fan. Or perhaps even someone very close to Bob himself, you just never know. Two of these comments had to be deleted due to obscenity, but the others are kind of amusing. You see, what is bothering this individual isn't the questions of serious ethical retardation on Bob's part, rather it's all about that Cadillac.
State paid vehicles are provided to legislatures (sic) to conduct government related business - Don't you expect to be reimbursed by your employer for expenses accrued using your personal vehicle to conduct business related matters? Its kinda like the same thing, although most people like yourself are too dumb too realize it. Those wheels were also returned and stock Cadillac wheels were put in place - he also happened to purchase an AMERICAN car, so this money is coming right by to OUR ECONOMY, or are you too dumb to understand that as well? Why don't we stop worry (sic) about a petty $44k and worry more about the $9 BILLION we give to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS EVERY YEAR?
Obviously this guy has doubts about my intellectual abilities, but I doubt that's the reason I'm not following his line of reasoning here. While I do commend anyone who purchases American products, and I too drive an American made (albeit now defunct) brand of automobile, I'm not exactly sure that sucking up $41K in taxpayer money to purchase a Cadillac CTS constitutes any great act of patriotism on Bob's part. Nor do I quite understand the politics behind an elected official such as Senator Huff setting himself up with a state funded luxury car at a time when Sacramento was sending state employees IOUs in place of tax return checks. It seems rather insensitive. Nor am I too sure about what this has to do with illegal immigration, either. We're not supposed to worry about having to foot the bill for Bob's $41,000 Cadillac CTS because the State Legislature, which Bob is a member of, is shelling out $9 billion a year to people living in this country illegally?
And while it is comforting to know that Bob actually does conduct government related business (after all, that is what we're paying him to do), I'm not clear on why it takes a $41,000 luxury convertible for him to do the job. Judging by the quality of the work coming from our celebrated public servants in Sacramento, I'd say the vehicular equivalency would be more along the lines of a used Dodge Omni. Something that could probably be picked up from most area used car lots for around $38 grand less than that Caddy.
Anyway, after pointing some of these things out to our sorely exercised Huffster, I received the following response:
Eric, yes... we went broke because state legislatures (sic) get vehicles... nevermind all the money we waste each year on people who don't even belong here. We went broke, not ONLY because of the irresponsibility of our government, but ALSO because of dumb***** who can't do simple math and figure out that variable APR is a bad thing. maybe you should spend more time lobbying people to take a finance class rather than bit***** about a Cadillac... WOW - do you get all your news from the LA Times, and whatever isn't printed in that paper must not have happened, huh? Those wheels were returned. Now how about you go b**** about all the other state legislatures (sic) who picked up new rides, too.
Somebody has got to explain to this guy that a legislature is a body of elected officials who deliberate upon the peoples' business. Individual members of a legislature are called legislators. You'd think that someone this uncomfortable with immigrants would be a tad more conversant in the English language.
Anyway, I'm willing to make a deal with our friend here. I'll drop the Cadillac talk if he agrees to discuss Bob Huff's ethical shortcomings. Particularly in regards to the vote cast in favor of the financial interests of a fellow who is paying the salary of Senator Huff's wife.