Thursday, June 30, 2005
WHERE IS THE LOVE… Squid thought you loved us Central Coat cephalopods, Abel. Until earlier this month, that is, when our “local” SEN. ABEL MALDONADO, a Republican from Santa Maria, announced that he will run for state controller in 2006—just months after winning a state Senate seat.
Apparently Squid’s not the only one feeling miffed at Maldonado. “What happened to commitment?” asks a recent Santa Maria Times editorial. Maldonado first won office in ‘94, when Santa Maria voters elected him to the city council. “It seems the young man with political goals has turned into just another ambitious politician,” writes the Times. “We are strongly opposed to him bailing out of his commitment to Central Coast residents, just seven months after being elected.
“We would encourage him to reconsider his decision to run, and we would urge residents of the Central Coast not to vote for him if he does run.” Um, okay, twist Squid’s arm, err, arms.
ABEL’S HALF WILLING… Things were harder, but better, when Squid was in school. F’rinstance, a 58 percent was rewarded with an F. A 50 was an even more shameful flunk. Nowadays, standards have sagged—at least for politicians.
Here’s what the California League of Conservation Voters says about the state’s top lawmaker: “GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER is a glimmer of hope in the Republican party.” What did the governor do to earn such praise? He scored 58 percent on the league’s annual Environmental Scorecard.
MALDONADO also earned an upbeat note in the report for being the lone Republican member of the Assembly to earn a score of 50 percent or better. His score? An even 50 percent.
Of course, the league graded on a curve. The average score for Assembly Republicans was 6 percent. In the Senate—1.5 percent. And reading the report, Squid is inclined to see things from a curved perspective that makes both “our” Assemblyman and the Governator look only half-bad.
Glancing at bills that would protect Squid’s home turf, for example: Maldonado voted against a bill that would have levied a tax on car owners to pay for technology to fight water pollution, and against a bill to protect North Coast fisheries; but he cast an environmentally friendly vote on an important bill launching a program to monitor coastal contamination. Sadly, he also voted for clear cutting and SUVs. But hey, give him some credit.
Meanwhile, of the 23 bills tracked by the league as crucial environmental bellwethers, the Governator killed five of them single-handedly with vetoes. Sustainable forestry—dead. Air pollution protection at California ports—dead. Protection against invasive species—dead. Closing a loophole for mining companies—dead. Greener schools—dead.
Look on the bright side, though—Schwarzenegger did not single-handedly veto 78 percent of the pro-environment bills passed by the 2004 legislature!
For the record, Assemblymember JOHN LAIRD scored a 100 percent rating.