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Why can't we just have good, honest politicians in CA?

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  • Why can't we just have good, honest politicians in CA?

    SACRAMENTO — It isn't enough these days for certain state lawmakers to defend their voting records when seeking reelection. Some also have to explain arrest records.

    Within the last 20 months, five state legislators and one former state senator with active campaigns have been arrested on suspicion of crimes including drunk driving, perjury, voter fraud, shoplifting and trying to carry a loaded gun through airport security.

    Not since the FBI sting known as Shrimpscam, which targeted influence peddling in the Capitol in the 1990s, have so many state lawmakers posed for booking photos in such a short span of time.

    "The people responsible for passing our laws should feel themselves under a special obligation to comply with those laws," said Tracy Westen, chief executive of the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonprofit group promoting open government. "Apparently, a number do not.''

    The handcuffs have come as the Legislature has struggled to improve its reputation with a skeptical public. Those under a cloud include:

    •State Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), who faces eight felony counts, including voter fraud and perjury, for allegedly lying when he said he lived in his Senate district while running for his seat. He has pleaded not guilty. He has two opponents as he runs for reelection in June.

    •Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino), who pleaded no contest last month to two misdemeanor charges for attempting to take a loaded pistol onto a commercial airliner at LA/Ontario International Airport. He faces two challengers, including the better-funded mayor of Big Bear Lake.

    •Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), charged Monday with drunk driving following a March 27 arrest while allegedly driving a state vehicle erratically. He has not yet entered a plea. Those running against him this year include a retired police officer.

    •Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward), who pleaded no contest in January to shoplifting clothes worth $2,500 from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. Hayashi must leave the Assembly this year because of term limits but is raising money for a 2014 campaign for the state Senate.

    •Assemblyman Martin Garrick (R-Carlsbad), who pleaded no contest in July 2011 to drunk driving. Garrick is termed out this year but is raising funds for a 2014 Senate bid.

    •Former state Sen. Richard Alarcon, charged Thursday with 18 counts alleging that he lied about where he lived and voted fraudulently. Alarcon has pleaded not guilty. A member of the Los Angeles City Council, he is running for the state Assembly against four opponents, including another, better-financed Democrat.

    Wright and Alarcon said they hope to be cleared before voters go to the polls in the November general election.

    "There is nothing I can do about that,'' Wright said of the charges against him. "All I can do is present my record of what I plan to do next year, and people will either accept that or reject that.''

    Wright is running against teachers Paul Butterfield, a San Pedro Democrat, and Charlotte A. Svolos, a Torrance Republican. Butterfield said his interest in the contest was sparked by reports of the criminal charges. But neither opposing candidate has reported raising any money.

    Meanwhile, Wright has kept his powerful post as chairman of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee and raised $555,000 for his reelection in the past three years.

    Hernandez also has the bigger war chest and name as he competes against two others, including retired police officer Joe Gardner, a Republican from Hacienda Heights.

    "I think people should expect more from their legislators,'' Gardner said. The other contender, Azusa broker/tax preparer Mike Meza, lists no party affiliation.

    Hernandez has apologized for his actions, which he called "poor judgment.''

    He has held onto his position as assistant majority whip, and Hayashi remains chairwoman of the Assembly's Business Committee.

  • #2
    And I bet (I havnt check, just a hunch) that if voters actually researched their candidates, there were probably things that would have jumped out about their dishonesty. People will go to great lengths not to miss American Idol, but wont take 30 minutes to figure out what/who they are voting for.

    You know, because we all wake up one day and decide to try and carry a gun onto a plane.

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    • #3
      Are you actually asking this question?

      The reason we cant have "good, honest politicians" is because there is NO SUCH THING....the term itself is a contradiction in terms.

      The vast majority of the type that would actually seek higher level elected office positions are scum sucking bottom feeders.

      I have reached the point where I am not going to vote for any incumbant seeking re-election....FIRE THEM ALL and start over.
      The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

      "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

      "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

      Comment


      • #4
        How come people who want to be in politics don't have to go through background checks, take polygraphs, and have to take psych evals? This should be a requirement for these a**holes too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
          Are you actually asking this question?

          The reason we cant have "good, honest politicians" is because there is NO SUCH THING....the term itself is a contradiction in terms.

          The vast majority of the type that would actually seek higher level elected office positions are scum sucking bottom feeders.

          I have reached the point where I am not going to vote for any incumbant seeking re-election....FIRE THEM ALL and start over.
          LOL it was pretty much a rhetorical question. And I have reached the same point you have. Fire them all.

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          • #6
            Honest politicians exist? Where?

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