My husband and I recently drove almost 900 miles round trip to see our friend, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, get sworn into the California State Assembly in Sacramento. I’ve been writing politically for almost three years now; I’ve interviewed some “less-than-savory” politicians and have seen the ugly underbelly of issues—but I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the crazy, backwards idiocy that is Sacramento.
First, I’ll share a little bit of the “good”. Like most of California, the Capitol building and surrounding grounds are stunningly beautiful. There’s a park leading up to the Capitol filled with a variety of California trees, from palm to Sequoia to citrus. It actually looked like fall for a change (and no, I didn’t plan to wear a skirt that matched the leaves…).
The Capitol building was built in 1874. Ignoring California’s Spanish heritage and history, it features Roman-style columns and a statues.
The inside of the Capitol building is as grand as the outside, with heavy wood, marble parquet floors and stunning stairwells.
And speaking of Brown, all the California Governor portraits line the hallway as you entire the Assembly room. Governor Brown’s portrait is, to say the least, “interesting”. First, here is Ronald Reagan’s portrait, which represents the style of all the other governors:
…and here is Jerry Brown’s portrait:
See what I mean? “Interesting.”
For the swearing in ceremony, we sat in the in the Assembly room. The Assembly floor is impressive; each Assemblyman gets his or her personal desk, laptop and ‘voting key’.
The most accurate, graphic way I can describe what I witnessed regarding California “government” is to (dramatically) compare them to a demented, sociopathic serial killer. Not only are they trying to justify the murder of California, they are dressing up the corpse and pretending it’s still alive.
Opening “Prayer”: Despite being led by a Catholic priest, it was as political and agenda driven as it could possibly be, all about how we should “welcome the immigrants, the fruit pickers, and field workers” and “provide for them as our ancestors wanted us to…” I almost expected him to sing a verse of “Imagine” at the end.
Gay Speaker of the Assembly: When outwardly gay Juan A. Perez was reelected as Speaker of the Assembly, one of his gay activist Assemblyman fans, Democrat Tom Ammiano, crassly yelled out, “Long live the Queen!” (An older woman who had a crew cut and was dressed in a suit and tie loudly clapped for this…)
Clueless in California: Speaker Perez talked about how California was in crisis and was doing poorly (yes, all in past tense!) but was now doing great and on the right track. He claimed trade and industry were increasing, that California is once again “attracting businesses” and “maintaining our standing as global leaders”. Um, perhaps Speaker Perez might spend less time promoting gay causes and read a few of these California statistics instead:
Harvard ranked California is 33rd in health, education and welfare.
California has won the title “Worst Run State” for the past two years by WallStreet.com.
Sadly, the only way anyone or anything can change is if they believe there’s a reason to do so—and from what I saw during my brief visit to California’s capitol, the “leaders” controlling the government really and truly think things are copasetic out here. Yes, we have great leaders like Assemblyman Donnelly and a handful of others—but out of the 80 Assemblymen sworn in, only 25 are GOP.
I’m not giving up on California—yet. If the California GOP could grow some backbone and stop thinking they have to bend over backwards to effect change, we might stand a chance. Some of our Conservative politicians, like Assemblyman Donnelly, believe that this is the way to handle state-killing regulations and useless bills:
Many Conservative Californians have understandably given up on this once-Golden state and believe the only way to survive is to move away. Frankly at this point, it would be foolish not to consider all options. But is it over? Do the rest of us GOP-types living in California just roll over and play dead? The fighting Patriot inside me says NO. What we need is a champion out here–someone who’s not afraid of the Union machine and the Alinsky/Socialists running us into the ground. It would definitely be a “David vs. Goliath” fight; Meg Whitman with her gazillion dollars couldn’t even beat Jerry Brown. But spoiler alert–David wins!
And yet…after witnessing firsthand the aggressive progressives in Sacramento who are leading us closer to bankruptcy and killing all hope for any type of fiscal responsibility or reform, even the optimist in me is exhausted and starting to think it may all be for naught.