Here are some random thoughts on the passing California political scene…
— As a leading proponent of legislative term limits, I usually tell people that incumbents pretty much get to serve as long as they want if they are in a “safe” seat for their party. It would appear that I will have to add a caveat to that — which is that some of these politicians get too old, their own erratic or odd behavior ends up foreshadowing their leaving office before the end of their natural life. The text book example of this was in 2012 when Democrat Bay Area Congressman Pete Stark, seeking re-election at the age of 80, was clearly, clearly showing signs of going batshit crazy. He behavior was so off that he presented an opening for then 31 year old Eric Swalwell, who pushed Stark into a Prop. 14 era Dem vs. Dem runoff, to take him out. Stark had served in Congress for 40 years. Seriously.
— The 2014 version of Stark-Swalwell may be playing itself out in another Bay Area Congressional seat. Incumbent Democrat Mike Honda is facing a full scale assault from another Democrat, Roh Khanna. Even if the 72-year-old Honda were on top of his game, Khanna would be a very formidable adversary. But it would appear that Honda wants to help out his opponent by falling asleep on the job. No, not figuratively, but literally. If you don’t believe me, you can actually see the videos (yes, plural). Classic of course, is that Honda’s press aide simply says that the Congressman is, “not asleep … He just closes his eyes when he’s thinking. There’s really no other explanation.”
— At the risk of being accused of harping on one column — if you haven’t read Stephen Kruiser’s column at the Freedomworks website — Establishment GOP vs Grassroots: Civil War or Growing Pains? — Do it now.
— It is actually possible, thanks to the passage of Proposition 14, that next November voters here in California might see two Democrats on the ballot for Governor. Under the new system, no longer are political parties guaranteed a candidate on the general election ballot. It’s not that far-fetched, you know.
— New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s re-election victory night speech is probably worth taking some time to watch.
— “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” President Obama said in a Thursday interview with NBC News. The President was apologizing for the millions and millions of Americans who are seeing their healthcare insurance plans cancelled after all of the assurances from the President that the passage of Obamacare would not force anyone to get rid of their policy if they did not choose to do so. The President has apparently directed people in his administration to try and fix the problem administratively, asap. The bad news for these millions of people will come when they find out that their one-way trip to government regulated healthcare exchange plans means that only a fraction of the healthcare professions they could use under their old plans are even willing to participate in Obamacare. Then again, what is he really apologizing for, anyway?
— Next week is the big annual California legislative junket to Maui. Before our Senior Editor John Hrabe has to spend days, weeks or months figuring out which legislators decided to go on this special-interest-sponsored vacation, why don’t you just contact him if you are going, and take your lumps. Or better yet, you could just opt not to go at all. I keep drudging up the same commentary year after year…
— On a closing note, my friend Joe Mathews nails it in this column about Los Angeles is this column, We Are LAX.