Political Fix (7 May, 2015)

An Adoring Fan

I rarely get feedback on Political Fix, so I was happy when a reader finally took the time to send me a personal email. It was Wayne Millies from the Whitlatch Group. He said, “It’s quite clear you’re a progressive liberal hack from your previous columns; however, you’ve outdone yourself this time with some very snarky  David Letterman type top 6er’s  for Republican candidates, Rubio, Paul and Cruz. I look forward to your six things we probably didn’t know about Ms. Clinton next edition. Perhaps you’ll enlighten us as to where she was at 3 am when the phone range during the Benghazi attack.”

I initially thought six facts about Ms. Clinton would just be too boring, to which Mr. Millies replied, “you’re absolutely correct, she’s dull in message and appearance.  As Rubio pointed out,   yesterday’s news:)  I look forward to your top 6 Clintonoids.”

So by popular demand, my top six Clintonoids:

  1. When Ms. Clinton was 12 years old, she wrote to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration asking how she could become an astronaut. She received a reply saying that NASA didn’t accept women in the astronaut program.
  2. Ms. Clinton’s parents were Republicans and so was she. She considered herself a Goldwater Girl and a Rockefeller Republican. She said, “I liked Senator Goldwater because he was a rugged individualist who swam against the political tide.”
  3. Voters in Arkansas questioned the stability of the Clintons’ marriage because after they wed in 1975 she kept her maiden name. After Bill Clinton lost his reelection in 1980 she succumbed to the pressure and took his name.
  4. She hasn’t driven a car in almost 20 years. The last time she drove was in 1996.
  5. Ms. Clinton will be 68 when she runs in 2016 and regularly shows her age. She says her favorite TV show of all time is The Ed Sullivan Show. The show stopped airing in 1971. Her favorite music: the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. “I’m a child of the ’60s, which is before any of you were born.”
  6. She was the only First Lady in American history to be subpoenaed. She was subpoenaed for her role in the Whitewater scandal.

What’s New in Visalia

The Visalia Citizens Advisory Committee completed their yearly public opinion survey on April 25. The object of the survey is to give the city councilmembers a bird’s eye view of how residents feel about the city. Twenty questions long, the survey focused on public safety and quality of life issues. It was taken in all four corners of the city to get a variety of opinions.

Final results will not be available until July, but I–being one of the survey takers stationed at the SaveMart in Mary’s Vineyard–got a sneak peek. It seems that Visalians are pretty happy with how things are going. In answering the question, “How do you rate the city’s efforts at providing a safe community?” all but two of my 23 respondents rated the city at average or high. Even more impressive was their response to how they would rate their quality of life in Visalia. All were average to very high with only one saying low.

Time to say goodbye…

There will be an empty chair at the staff’s table next city council meeting. April 20 was Nancy Loliva’s last city council meeting as Visalia’s Community Relations Manager. When asked why she was retiring she said, “because I can! After 32+ years of asking ‘what’s next?’ I am taking a little break from planning, spend time with family, do some traveling, and find whatever it is that I want to do to help Visalia be the wonderful city I call home.”

Last Term for Greg Collins

It’s still three years out, but Councilmember Greg Collins has decided this will be his last term in office. “No need to keep it a secret.” He thought the advance notice would give a chance for good people to start thinking about running for his seat. He said that there is still some heavy lifting so far as decisions to be made but is hoping to wrap up loose ends before his term is up. By the end of his term, Collins will be 68 years old, and he and his wife are looking forward to traveling. He will have been on the council for 27 years by 2018.

What’s New In the Presidential Campaign

What do Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush have in common? They are both running against Marco Rubio for president. The rest of the crowd barely registers on either candidate’s radar. Mr. Rubio is a young, charismatic, first-term senator from Florida who will break racial boundaries if elected. Sound familiar? Ironically, the reasons for which the Republicans criticized Mr. Obama are Mr. Rubio’s most intriguing assetts.

He does step in it too much to be considered a polished candidate. Mr. Rubio commented on Ms. Clinton’s presidential announcement by saying, “now just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over and we are never going back.” This statement coming from a man who is anti-pot, anti-marriage equality and clings to a relic of Cold War policy–keeping Cuba isolated. Mr. Rubio doesn’t sound like yesterday. He sounds like the 1959.

Ms. Clinton does finally has some competition other than the flat earth society. Not just an Independent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders challenging her for the Democratic nomination, but in Republican Carly Fiorina. Ms. Fiorina officially announced her candidacy May 4, saying, “I think I’m the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works.”

She certainly does! When Ms. Fiorina stepped down as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard the stock jumped 7 percent. Ouch.

Ms. Fiorina also said, “If Hillary Clinton were to face a female nominee, there are a whole set of things she won’t be able to talk about. She won’t be able to talk about being the first woman president. She won’t be able to talk about the war on women. She won’t be able to play the gender card.”

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired nurosurgeon, also announced his candidacy for president on May 4.

He made the announcement in his hometown of Detroit with his mother on stage with him. Dr. Carson said that the American Dream is still alive.

“If you notice, there are a lot more people trying to get into the United States than get out.”

With Dr. Carson in the race Rand Paul’s dreams of cornering the conservative Black vote is going to stay just that–dreams.

The GOP’s new-found diversity may be short-lived. We may think Ms. Fiorina is a household name but she is barely known outside of California.

Both she and Dr.Carson face the same problem of name recognition which is hurting them in the polls. Their poll numbers are so low it is going to be hard for either to qualify to join their fellow Republicans on the debate stage.

This and That for Your Entertainment Lawsuit Filed to Legalize Prostitution

It seems that California doesn’t just want to legalize marijuana, a lawsuit was filed to strike down California’s law making prostitution illegal. According to the AP, “the rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest,” the lawsuit states. California formally outlawed prostitution in 1961.

This suit is being filed not only by women who want to work legally as prostitutes, but by men who want to be able to pay for sex.

Intolerant Jackass Act Initiative

Remember the ballot initiative that advocate gays be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method?

According to the Los Angeles Times, a Woodland Hills author and activist, Charlotte Laws, just filed with the Secretary of State an initiative that “would require anyone who proposes measures calling for the death of gay people to attend monthly sensitivity training and to donate $5,000 to ‘a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization.’”

Her ballot measure is called “The Intolerant Jackass Innitiative.”

A new UC Campus? 

A state bill has just passed through committee to appropriate $50 million towards developing a new University of California campus. Right now there are 10 universities in the system.

The newest campus, UC Merced, is not filled to capacity, but the other nine are overcrowded and have experienced a huge drop in admission due to a lack of space.

The new campus will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. According to the San Diego Guardian, the bill’s sponsor, Mike Gatto of Glendale, said that the legislation doesn’t yet pick a spot for the campus. It might be in an area near Silicon Valley, the Los Angeles area, or in a part of the state without a nearby UC campus.

More than 500,000 immigrants have applied for a driver’s license

Did you know that if your teenager wants to apply for a new driver’s license they can’t just show up at the DMV anymore and wait in line? Any first-time applicant has to make an appointment.

This is a result of Assembly Bill 60, allowing immigrants to get a California driver’s license. Now people start lining up at 6am every morning and circle the DMV building to fill out the application.

To handle the overflow, the DMV has even opened four new offices throughout California just to handle immigrants’ licenses. Since January 2, 501,000 immigrants have filled out the application. The number is expected to double by midyear.

The inconvenience of long lines has a payoff. It now means that all the undocumented drivers now know California’s driving laws. It also means that there are a million more drivers with car insurance.

Rants and Raves

The Visalia Times-Delta (VTD) did not cover the Visalia City Council or the Tulare County Supervisor meetings, save for a few press releases, for a month because their lead reporter was out on sick leave.

That means that the Valley Voice has been the only media in attendance and, as a bi-monthly publication, that is not enough to keep the citizens informed of major decisions affecting their lives. Of course the VTD could have sent a substitute, but since several of their reporters live in Salinas or the Central Coast, and the ones that did manage to keep their jobs with the VTD have to do double duty for the Salinas Californian, there isn’t anyone left.

Marina Gaytan, who has covered the city council and supervisor meetings before, could have done it, but the paper decided instead to crown her “Downtown Diva.”

Gaytan has a new assignment with the VTD to “shop till she drops” mixed in with coffee breaks and bar hopping.

I guess the paper can’t get its act together to send one reporter to a few meetings but can take the time to strategize launching a new frivolous assignment.

Are new shoes and microbrews more important than Assemblyman Devon Mathis’ upcoming water bills, the canceling of the Fourth of July Fireworks show, or that the city’s new voting districts?

The VTD needs to be successful because it is our city’s only local daily.

What is going to happen to Visalia when the powers that be realize that no one is watching? Putting in press releases and AP articles is not called reporting. It’s called cut and paste. The readership of the VTD needs to start demanding their local paper resume reporting on local news.

One thought on “Political Fix (7 May, 2015)

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  1. One correction re: unlicensed drivers – we don’t know if anyone has anymore insurance. Cars are required to be insured, not drivers. You are required to insure your car. There is no driver insurance. That’s why they call it Auto Insurance.

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