As members are aware, the Southwest Riverside County Association is a founding sponsor of the Southwest California Legislative Council (SCLC). The purpose of the SCLC is to advocate on behalf of small business interests in Southwest California. Much like SRCAR, CAR & NAR advocate on behalf of Realtors and private property rights, SCLC takes it a step further – because all Realtors are by definition small business owners and are subject to some regulation and legislation not necessarily addressed by our Realtor organizations.
In addition to board members representing the interests of 4 local chambers of commerce and a broad spectrum of local businesses, the SCLC also welcomes guests to our monthly meetings that typically include representatives of Economic Development agencies, our cities, the building industry, the League of Cities and, of course, our representatives at the county, state and federal level,. The meetings are an opportunity for us to evaluate and take positions on legislation, to communicate this directly to our representatives, and to allow them to update us on what our legislators are up to.
At our most recent meeting on 7/20, our representative from Representative Mary Bono-Mack’s office provided us with a packet of information detailing the Representatives recent activities in DC. Among the items addressed were her views on the current healthcare debate, a revisit of the outdated subsidies for ethanol production (another ‘GREEN’ initiative that wasn’t thought through to it’s logical conclusion), a call to address substance abuse, another call to the House Energy Committee to hold a hearing on the role of technology in giving voice to those silenced by repressive governments (ala Twitter and the recent Iran election), and a message encouraging Interior Secretary Salazar to ‘fast-track’ solar energy development on western lands. All worthwhile positions – even though most represent positions of interest rather than actual accomplishment.
Conspicuous by it’s absence was a Bono-Mac statement on why she was the only Republican on the House Energy Committee to vote for the horrendous bill that has come to be known as the ‘Cap & Trade’ Bill or the Waxman-Markey energy bill. Nor was there an explanation of why she was one of only a few Republicans to vote for it’s passage in the House when Republicans (including her husband Representative Connie Mack) and more than a few Democrats voted against it.
You may recall my rant following Realtor Hill visits in DC when we encouraged Bono-Mack (who has heretofore shown considerable support for Realtors and property rights) to vote against this bill based on the extremely onerous ‘energy-star’ component which would have had an extremely deleterious impact on housing. She was the lone Republican vote to pass this bill out of committee a scant 2 days after our visit. Her excuse at the time – well, while the 685 page bill contained many flaws, she believed it deserved a full hearing and an opportunity to ‘fix’ it.
Well, the bill didn’t get ‘fixed’. instead they added another 400 +/- pages of crappola that nobody read and passed this POS out of the House and onto the Senate. In spite of the lack of her desired ‘fixes’, Bono-Mack joined just a smattering of other Republicans to help garner passage of this landmark climate bill authored by homely Henry Waxman. Even Time Magazine columnist and Obama sycophant Joe Klein pointed out in a recent article that ‘this bill is an excellent candidate for euthanasia. It is a demonstration of all thats wrong with the legislative process in latter day America.’ Couldn’t have said it better myself.
After being taken to task by constituents on FaceBook pages for several days after her vote, Bono-Mack posted a tepid response that she was only representing the wishes of her constituency in voting to expand the use of solar and wind power in her district. Interesting that most of her constituents didn’t see it that way. Following the failure to include information on this vote to the SCLC, her representative promised to email us all a letter wherein Bono-mack would explain all. I’m eagerly awaiting that.
Most readers know I’m not a big fan of Darrell Issa – but I will be the first to tell you that Issa has voted against the rush-rush stimulus bills starting last year, and has been consistent and vocal in his opposition to the rapid expansion of government we have seen under the Obama regime. On the other hand – if you look at the voting record, Bono-Mack has voted opposite Issa and supported every stimulus and bail-out that’s been proposed so far, and has capped off this losing streak by joining Democrats to support the Waxman-Markey energy bill. Perhaps it’s time Bono-mack reconsidered her party affiliation. Or if the rigors of maintaining a bi-coastal legislative marriage is proving too taxing, she should consider some alternative form of public service.
I happen to know a Republican with exceptional conservative credentials who currently serves as Minority Leader of the California Senate. Dennis Hollingsworth will be termed out of his California service next year, which would position him for run at this seat in much the same district he has represented so ably at the state level. Being the gentleman and party stalwart he has been, Hollingsworth would be unlikely to run against a sitting Republican but either he should consider it, or Bono-Mack should consider giving up the seat she inherited following the untimely death of Sonny Bono.
Of course that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.