Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Teachers Union loses defense of board seat in Long Beach

The Teachers Association of Long Beach (TALB), a local extension of the California Teachers Association, lost one of two remaining seats of support yesterday when retired Cerritos College associate dean John McGinnis defeated TALB-endorsed candidate Richard Lewis and three others in a special election held yesterday.

Voters in Downtown Long Beach went to the polls to fill the open seat in District 3 for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) Board of Education left vacant after the September 1 resignation of Michael Shane Ellis. Michael Ellis resigned his position on August 6th, 2009 - according to this Press-Telegram report - after missing nearly three months of meetings and following a District Weekly report that there was a warrant out for Ellis' arrest following a probation violation.

Ellis was one of two board members that tended to support the controversial agenda of the local teachers union, the Teachers Association of Long Beach, or TALB. The other three LBUSD board members have exhibited significant independence in their direction of the school district. Yesterday’s election was viewed as primarily a defensive one for TALB to maintain at least two supportive seats on the board leading into the regular elections for both the City of Long Beach and the school district next April. Three of the five LBUSD seats, including this one, will be up for re-election in April.

School District 3 is one of the most diverse areas of Long Beach. It covers the following schools: Chavez Elementary School, Edison Elementary School, International Elementary School, Lee Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Stevenson Elementary School, Whittier Elementary School, Franklin Classical Middle School, and Renaissance High School for the Arts. The five candidates, Richard Lewis, John McGinnis, Raymond Chavarria, Kate Conrath, and Pauline Gonzalez Stenberg, also displayed that diversity.

As election day approached, many in the district believed that the race would be a contest between TALB-endorsed candidate Lewis and GOP-backed candidate Gonzalez Stenberg, and both campaigns had active poll-watching efforts yesterday. However, when the first polling data released shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m., it was clear that McGinnis had been more successful at conducting an aggressive absentee ballot chase.

Based on purely absentee ballots, McGinnis led Lewis by a 35%-25% margin, with Conrath, Stenberg & Chavarria coming in at about 17%, 12% and 8%, respectively. As the counting of the 27 precincts progressed, the margin between McGinnis and Lewis shrunk, indicating that Lewis’ poll-watching & follow-up with supporters to get them to the polls had been somewhat successful. However, with the resultant polling showing that absentee ballots made up over 75% of the total ballots cast yesterday, the margin was too much to overcome, and McGinnis held on for a 34%-29% victory over Lewis.

Local politicos in Long Beach anticipate a rematch between board member elect McGinnis and Lewis in 3 months, and candidate filing for the April election is already open. Incumbent LBUSD Board President Mary Stanton & David Barton, TALB’s other ally on the board, are both expected to run for re-election. Stenberg has already indicated that she will not make a second attempt and was among those that quickly left messages for McGinnis to congratulate him on his victory. (McGinnis could not be reached for comment, but is expected to release a statement soon.)

The Teachers Association of Long Beach has enjoyed mixed support in recent years, stemming partially from its frequent challenge of popular Democratic candidates that haven’t always been willing to bless its platforms unconditionally. In December 2007, before filing for the open 54th Assembly District seat opened, the TALB executive board made an early decision to suspend its own rules and endorse Long Beach City Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga over Vice-Mayor (and now Assemblymember) Bonnie Lowenthal, as well as both Republican candidates and the Libertarian candidate, without holding any interviews or discussion among its general membership.

The District 3 seat itself was occupied by now-Long Beach City Councilmember Suja Lowenthal when TALB recruited controversial teacher Michael Shane Ellis, who had been an outspoken board president at the Centinela Valley Secondary Teachers Association, another local branch of the California Teachers Association, to challenge Lowenthal. The resignation of Ellis and mutual endorsement of Richard Lewis by both TALB and the former school board member, Suja Lowenthal, as well as the Long Beach Chamber, another frequent challenger to the teachers association agenda) was noticed by some as a new commitment by the association to work better with the Long Beach political influentials.

Whether the upset election by John McGinnis puts a hold on this alleged alliance while the TALB leadership figures out its strategy for the April elections will be one frequent subject of discussion for the coffeehouses around Long Beach, where most of the city’s political strategies and local activism are energized.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Senator Oropeza Absent/Abstains from nearly One-Third of Legislative Voting in 2009

When voters weigh candidates for legislative office every two years, they make decisions based primarily on how they believe the candidates will vote on key issues. They review campaign brochures, position papers, websites, and talk to friends and co-workers within their networks.

However, South Bay constituents only have a 2 in 3 chance of their current state senator even casting a vote! The Sacramento Bee reported December 7th on the California legislators’ absence & abstention records, and Senator Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, topped all 120 state legislators, missing 931 votes so far this session – about one-third of possible votes.

“Oropeza said she missed most of those votes while caring for her mother, who lives alone in Southern California and became ill earlier this year."

“Oropeza said she herself came down with the flu at one point during the session, and she had planned a Mediterranean cruise for November, when the Senate typically is not in session. When the Senate was called backed to deal with water issues, Oropeza said she couldn't cancel without losing $6,000. And, anyway, she was already aboard her ship.”

‘"It's very important to be there for votes," Oropeza acknowledged, adding that she kept in contact with her staff and was prepared to do whatever it took to get to Sacramento if a bill hinged on her vote.”
One question that will be on South Bay voters’ minds is “What if I had experienced the same situations at my job? Would my job still pay me for basically missing a third of my work hours?”
[end of quote]

In the entitlement world that Oropeza lives in, along with the SEIU and the CTA, excuses for “reasonable absences” are supposed to be accepted on the backs of taxpayers. Legislators like Oropeza have worked in this entitlement world for most of their adult careers, either as elected officials or government worker.

In the private sector, we don’t get such luxury. We have what’s called “Personal Time-Off (PTO)”, and we are allotted a certain amount of paid hours each year, with an approved amount of carryover to the next calendar year. If we use more than we are allotted, the time becomes “unpaid leave”. With exceptions for bereavement & jury duty, the system encourages personal time management and personal responsibility.

The more important issue brought up by the Sacramento Bee article is the practice by legislators to “check in” at morning roll call, and then be absent for significant portions of the legislative day. The article continues:

“Oropeza was counted as present during roll call on days where she missed about half of the 931 votes, according to a Bee review of Senate daily journals. Her absences tended to come at the beginning or end of the week. In addition, her office said roll call often is taken early in the day and she would sometimes leave later to attend to her mother or official business.”

Again, voters in the South Bay need to ask themselves in 2010 whether they would receive similar privileged treatment at their place of employment. How would most businesses run if all their employees had to do was “check in” at the beginning of the day and be paid for a full day’s work?

It appears Senator Oropeza has been living in the entitlement world of Sacramento politics and only performing as a part-time legislator. She has shown what can be accomplished by legislators only participating one-third of the time.

Could this be an indirect endorsement by Senator Oropeza for the Part-Time Legislature Amendment? Are the pundits arguing how legislators need the hours allotted to full-time status going to reconcile Senator Oropeza’s “part-time” status?

What is certain is that South Bay voters need a state senator who is truly “present”, not just marked down as such, when the State Senate is in session. Senator Oropeza has not met that need, and South Bay voters will hopefully hold her & other legislators accountable next November.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Part-time Legislature Petition Drive nets 1400 signatures in Anaheim

Relaunching an improved version of their career politician-feared proposition, Citizens for California Reform teamed with KFI’s John & Ken Show yesterday afternoon for a petition drive at the Ayres Hotel Anaheim that resulted in nearly 1400 signatures toward its qualification for the November 2010 ballot. The Part-Time Citizen Legislature Proposition is a constitutional amendment that returns California to a citizen legislature. Petitions can be downloaded from the website

Over 50 signed up as volunteers for the effort, and most of those making the pilgrimage to the Ayre Hotel took additional forms with them to collect more signatures. “The state’s experiment with a full-time legislature has failed and we need Citizen Legislators who are in touch with average voters and will provide real solutions to California’s problems,” says Gabriella Holt, President of Citizen’s for California Reform, the group spearheading the initiative drive.

Steve Maviglio, the campaign manager for the opposition, was reached by phone in Sacramento by the OC Register, calling the measure a "very bad idea."

"It would cause new problems and make the situation much worse," said Maviglio, executive director of Californians for an Effective Legislature. "It would give more power to the governor and to lobbyists who would know a lot more about how government works than some part-time elite that's still wondering where the restroom is inside the Capitol."

The title of Maviglio’s group may seem a bit misleading when you take a look at what the current Legislature has done in its recent sessions. Between the significant hikes to personal income taxes, taking of local revenues from municipalities & school districts, and the resultant 13% approval rating of the Legislature, the last word that comes to mind for the entity that Maviglio is defending is “Effective”. If by “effective”, he means the effective destruction of the California economy, the effective reduction of California’s education performance, and the effective emigration of income-tax payers from California, reducing state revenues by $16B a year, Maviglio could then make the case that the full-time performance of the legislators he is defending has been very “effective”.

According to CCR, the return to a part-time Citizen Legislature will help focus leadership in Sacramento on handling the basic functions of government – namely keeping the state in the black. The “professional” politicians in Sacramento are held captive to special interests, and are unable to make hard decisions to solve the state’s budget crisis.

In the interest of full disclosure, this Los Angeles County Editor was at the Anaheim signature gathering to help gather signatures, and fully supports this measure. The next largest state in our union, Texas, has one of the most aggressive part-time structures, and recent studies are showing that, despite the current nationwide economy, the economy of Texas is growing while the only metrics growing in California are the unemployment rate and the percentage of welfare recipients.
To learn more about Citizens for California Reform and the Citizen’s Legislature Project visit:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tom Long: Don't let a court ruling get in the way of spinning an election

I've got to hand it to our friend, RPV Councilmember Tom Long. He really does persist through his political spin long after he's been proven wrong! He's like the attorney for OJ still arguing the case outside on the courthouse steps, long after they've carried his client away!

Even though our central committee went through the trouble of confirming with legal counsel (through a simple Lexis-Nexis search, by the way) that his partner-in-spin Councilmember Doug Stern was incorrect to state that political party committee are forbidden from participating in non-partisan elections, Long decides to send out a diatribe against my committee as follows:

"I encourage [RPV voters} not to choose candidates based on partisan labels. The California Constitution provides that city council races are non-partisan. True, a federal trial court judge has held that California cannot prevent parties from making endorsements. And in this RPV election one party central committee, led by a San Pedro resident, has done so. But the California Constitution is still on the books and reflects the judgment of our state's residents that partisanship is not valuable on the local level. Given the problems we sometimes see in the state legislature and in Congress, one has to wonder why anyone would want to bring partisanship to the city council. This year, as in past years, I am pleased to endorse candidates from both parties. I simply don't find local issues to be partisan."

Now, that "San Pedro resident" is none other than yours truly, one who was raised, received communion, confirmed by the Catholic church, graduated from high school in, and returned to get married in Rancho Palos Verdes. And oh yea, my parents still live there and own two homes in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Councilmember Long needs to stop deceiving Rancho Palos Verdes voters about the nature of local elections. All elections are partisan when it comes to endorsements. Just ask the unions throughout California. The fact that Tom makes endorsements as well shows that he understands the strength of them. And by the tone of the message he sent out this week, he realizes the renewed strength in the endorsement of this central committee. Thank you, Tom, for validating the awesome work that this committee, a majority of which are RPV residents by the way, is doing! And for most of them, their mutual disdain for both Tom and his cohort Doug Stern has been a unifying factor!

Thanks to the extensive research by these hardworking RPV residents, this committee has enthusiastically endorsed Brian Campbell & Anthony Misetich, two hard-working business men who will being fiscal sanity back to the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. A third Republican, Planning Commissioner Jeff Lewis, was not granted an extension to the invitation to solicit this committee's endorsement. It is my personal opinion that the close association between Long and Mr. Lewis weighed heavily into the RPV committee majority's decision to move forward.

But ladies and gentlemen, if you think that the Los Angeles Democratic Party is not participating in the Rancho Palos Verdes elections, you're blinder than Long. I have frequent conversations with my Democratic counterparts, the two leads for this district being from San Pedro as well, and I run into them in Rancho Palos Verdes frequently! In addition to their regular attendance at RPV City Council meetings and events like the last candidate forum, they assist with the Palos Verdes Democratic Club that meets every third Sunday at the PV Library, and are enlisting numerous San Pedro high school students to walk precincts for their candidates.

And so are we! I'm sorry that Long does not "find local issues to be partisan". When the wasteful spending called out by the late Dr. Gardiner was ignored and even challenged by Long, was that simply non-partisan? When residents try to defend their property rights at city council meetings, only to have Long call them "stupid" (which I witnessed two years ago in shock!), is that non-partisan?

The Republican Party leadership has decided that one of the biggest reasons why, as Long points out, there are big issues with Sacramento & Congress is that the Democrats have done a much better job building up "the farm team" for these seats when they open. These are your school board members, water board members, and yes, city council members. Look at the rush of candidates competing for the Democratic nominations to the 53rd Assembly seat being vacated by Ted Lieu, and you'll notice something...they're all current or former city councilmembers! When our previous Assemblymember, Betty rnette, was termed out last year, the Democrats had two Long Beach City Councilmembers vying for the seat.

This is what we in the Republican Party are striving for, and the myopic rants of a far-left Democrat afraid of his council swinging back to the Republican majority again isn't going to stop us.

So when you read Tom Long's e-mails about how elections should be non-partisan, I want you all to remember that this was the original position of the Republican Party when this law came about, and that it was the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee that fought and won the battle to have that part of the California Constitution removed.

But, to show Tom I can be bi-partisan as well, I will announce my personal endorsements of Greg Royston, Anthony Collatos and Heather Matson for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unifed School District. As a graduate of Rolling Hills High School and as a parent of two young children, I am extremely impressed by the courage and commitment of these three individuals to step up as parents of young children in the school district in order to make the system a better one. They're not doing it to continue any connections with the CA Teachers Association or with the "in-crowd of PV Politics". We need more parent involvement in our local school districts, and I believe that these three school district parents will make a real difference.

Oh, and none of them are Republican...they're just great candidates. Just like Brian Campbell and Anthony Misetich.

Thanks again, Tom, for continuing to be the unifying force for all of the Republican and Conservative watchdog groups throughout the Palos Verdes Peninsula! I look forward to returning my hometown of Rancho Palos Verdes back to the Republican majority again in 4 weeks!

Then the fun can really begin! 2010, here we come!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Assembly GOP wastes no time; Duvall resigns

After Assembly GOP Leader Sam Blakeslee quickly moved to remove him from all positions of authority and legislative influence in the State Assembly, Republican Assemblyman Mike Duvall, caught in a sex scandal, abruptly resigned Wednesday from the Assembly.

Working with Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Blakeslee wasted no time in deciding that in the best interests of both the citizens of California and the reputation of the California Republican Party, Duvall's comments and actions were simply intolerable.

"The statements he made were inappropriate and unacceptable. I have asked Mr. Duvall to step down from his post as a member of caucus leadership and I have requested that Speaker Bass remove Mr. Duvall as Vice Chairman of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce committee and as a member of the Assembly Rules Committee. This matter is currently under review by the Assembly Rules Committee and we are awaiting their findings."

Shortly afterwards, Duvall released this statement on his campaign web site: "I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or to my friends on both sides of the aisle to remain in office. Therefore, I have decided to resign my office, effective immediately..."

The action followed published and televised reports that Duvall had a sexual relationship with a female lobbyist. Earlier, Assembly leaders had removed him from the vice-chairmanship of the Utilities and Commerce Committee, his seat on the powerful Assembly Rules Committee and his ranking role in the GOP caucus.

The issue was first reported in the OC Weekly newspaper and by KCAL-TV in Los Angeles.

Duvall had been representing a district that includes Anaheim, Fullerton, Placentia, Orange, Brea, La Habra and Yorba Linda.

Duvall, 54, was caught on an open microphone prior to a July 8 Appropriations Committee hearing describing in detail his relationship with the lobbyist, 18 years his junior, as well as his relations with an another woman. The lobbyist worked for Sempra Energy. Both the lobbyist and Duvall are married. Duvall's words were audible and recorded by the Capitol's television system. In the videotaped sidebar discussion, Duvall offered clues as to the lobbyist's identity.

"And so her birthday was Monday," he said at the Wednesday, July 8 committee hearing. "I was 54 on June 14, so for a month, she was 19 years younger than me. I said, 'Now, you're getting old. I am going to have to trade you in.' And she goes, '[I'm] 36.' She is 18 years younger than me. And so I keep teasing her, and she goes, 'I know you French men. You divide your age by two and add seven, and if you're older than that, you dump us.'"

According to voter-registration records reviewed by and reported by Capitol Weekly, veteran Sacramento-based lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia turned 36 years old on Monday, July 6.

Duvall had been witnessed by many legislative sources socializing after-hours with Barsuglia. They also say they have seen Duvall with Barsuglia in restaurants, "arm-in-arm" at political fund-raising events and even shopping together for groceries just blocks from the capitol building.

Bass said she had "directed the Ethics Committee to look into the matter," and that the matter also was being reviewed by the Rules Committee.

Even before Duvall resigned, Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh said he had seen the video, "and there's absolutely nothing you can defend in anything that was said by Assemblyman Duvall." He added: "My heart goes out to his family, but I think he should go home and consider resigning."

The Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative, self-described "pro-family" advocacy organization that had given Duvall a "100%" score for his voting record on issues of concern to the group, denounced the lawmaker in a statement today.

"It is always disappointing when a champion of traditional values does not practice the same in his private life," said Karen England, executive director of CRI. "And this appears to be the case with Assemblyman Duvall."

Amid the overwhelming evidence against him, Duvall eventually did the right thing by immediately tendering his resignation to allow the citizens of his district to move forward. Of course, the TRUE right thing would have been to never get involved in this kind of mess in the first place.

However, this examiner feels that the Assembly GOP Leader, Sam Blakeslee, as well as other conservative leaders cited, should be commended for taking immediate action rather than making legal or political arguments to stall what would most likely have been an inevitable removal.

If only all political leaders at all levels of government moved this fast to remove an obvious violator of the term "civil servant", maybe the approval ratings of these legislative bodies wouldn't be as far low as they currently are.

Thoughts to ponder for the state elections in 2010...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dr. Peter Gardiner: Courage

(Also posted at LA Republican Examiner)

Dr. Peter Gardiner, our friend and mentor on the Rancho Palos Verdes city council since 2001, lost his battle with melanoma on Saturday, July 25. He was 68.

Dr. Gardiner set the bar for conservatives throughout the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the 54th Assembly District and the South Bay of Southern California. Never shying away from expressing what needed to be said on key issues, Dr. Gardiner consistently displayed a level of courage and dedication for his constituents that will never be surpassed. Peter was not afraid to be a lone dissenter on an issue in order to defend what was right. It was an honor for me to learn from him as a trusted friend & advisor of our district central committee. I hope someday to have the opportunity to display similar political courage under fire, and I pray that I will remember Dr. Gardiner’s stead-fastness in the face of opposition and also hold firm on behalf of all those we serve.

In addition to serving Rancho Palos Verdes on the City Council for eight years, Peter served one four-year term as a trustee on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Board of Education. Peter was an active member of the East Peninsula Education Council, or EPEC, which worked successfully to prevent further closures and the potential sale of Peninsula public schools. EPEC was able to successfully preserve school sites such as Dapplegray, Miraleste Intermediate, Ridgecrest and Margate — all of which are in use today.

Family spokesperson Gabriella Holt, a member of our committee, released the following statement on behalf of the family:

“The family of Peter C. Gardiner regretfully announces that Peter passed away on the evening of Saturday, July 25, 2009 after a long and courageous battle with melanoma. Peter loved life, his family and his community, and will be sorely missed. Peter joins his wife Tanda Kynette Gardiner, who passed away on December 11, 1994.

The family is both proud of and grateful for Peter's eight years of public service on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and four years as trustee on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Board of Education. Peter was also a man with a strong faith in God and was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where over the years Peter served as Seminary Teacher, High Priest Group Leader, Sunday School President and Ward Missionary for the Crestridge Ward of the Church.

The family would like to take this opportunity to thank the many friends who offered their kindness and support during Peter's difficult battle. Peter is survived by his son, Christopher, daughter, Christine and son in law, Karl Schmitz, his brothers Thomas and Jeffrey, sister Christine Novak; and his grandchildren, Benjamin, Aimee, Sean and Ellerbrook Schmitz.

Funeral services for Peter will be on Saturday, August 1, 2009, details yet to be finalized. In lieu of flowers, Peter had requested that donations be made to the Perpetual Education Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Those interested in making such a donation may make checks payable to: Perpetual Education Fund, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84150.”

As we head into the November elections for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council, partially to fill his seat, I hope and pray that residents will think about whom among the candidates is best suited to carry the heavy mantle that Dr. Peter Gardiner bore. Dr. Gardiner didn’t just work tirelessly to cultivate the best for his community; he stood in defense against those that did not have the community’s best interests at heart. His successors must have this same conviction. Peter would want nothing less.

Thank you, Peter, for your leadership, your courage, and your example of what a public servant is supposed to be. Rest assured that we will never forget the bar you have set.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hermosa Beach business tax increase measure postponed

(Modified from the original posting on my campaign website, )

Hermosa Beach is one of the cities that sit in the heart of the South Bay, and I remember many a Saturday afternoon at the boardwalk trying to keep up with the volleyball studs that ruled the section of beach just north of the pier.

As many of you read, last Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting agenda was highlighted by an attempt by Hermosa Beach City Council member (and city business-killer) Michael Keegan to raise the business license fees within the city he resides in order to be more comparable with the city he does business in, namely Manhattan Beach. Keegan, like many misguided far-left liberals, still hold on to the notion that raising taxes during a recession actually increases revenues, despite what the State of California is beginning to learn about the ineffective April tax hikes this year.

Of course, the lobbying tactic for convincing three of the remaining four city council members to place this tax measure on the November ballot was the same as many of us saw earlier this year by Los Angeles City Council members when most of them voted to put Measure B, the boondoggle solar panel measure placed on the March 2009 ballot. Many city council members, including our own Los Angeles member Janice Hahn, stated that they were “undecided” on the measure themselves and were simply letting voters decide. With all of the misleading commercials by both the IBEW and Mayor Villaraigosa, it took a committed drive by the bi-partisan "No on Measure B" group to narrowly defeat it by a single percentage point!

Tuesday night, a coalition of South Bay conservatives descended on the Hermosa Beach City Council to bring forth what placing a tax measure on the November 2009 ballot to raise the business license fees by as much as 800% would do to businesses both in Hermosa Beach and throughout the South Bay. The process in Hermosa Beach required 4 of 5 members’ approval to place it on the ballot. Keegan was in full support; Mayor Kit Bobko, a solid defender of his constituents' tax dollars, was already openly opposed.

And so it began.

Speakers against the measure included myself, residents & business owners, including the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carla Merriman, who specifically pointed out that the finance committee that was forwarding the proposed tax measure to the city council had not only failed to contact business representatives for their input, the members of this committee had actually refused requests by both the Chamber and other local business owners to participate in the discussion. After this stunning revelation and a few others, Council member Peter Tucker and Mayor Pro Tem Michael DiVirgilio realized that the proper discussions with all of the appropriate stakeholders had not been properly conducted, and voiced their opposition to a November tax measure without that discussion being held. A supplemental motion was made and unanimously approved to hold that discussion after the November 2009 election.

This delay should have been seen as a blessing to Council Member Keegan, who is up for re-election this November. Keeping a controversial measure that could be used to rally conservative voters similar to May 19th would have helped Keegan by keeping the voter base somewhat moderate to liberal. However, not leaving well enough alone, most of the city council gallery was shocked when Keegan exclaimed that "I'm working for the residents, not for the businesses. That's right, I work for the residents. I get elected by them, and that's who I represent here."

Expectations are that Keegan will be reminded of these comments throughout his re-election campaign when he solicits contributions and window-space from local businesses, as well as has to explain to residents who do not like to drive out of town to go shopping why their purchases cost more.

Putting questionable ballot measures in front of voters & letting them decide is like putting questionable food in front of a guest & letting them decide whether to eat it. Who is responsible for ensuring the health of the food? Who's responsible for ensuring the food is not rancid, tainted or in another way hazardous to eat? A professional and responsible chef always knows what they are serving to guests, and stands behind everything they prepare and serve.

State legislators and City Council members throughout California and the South Bay, respectively, must be held to this same standard. It is up to us as voters and friends of voters in cities like Hermosa Beach to ensure that they are.