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As California’s ship sinks, why do voters back Pelosi, Feinstein and McNerney?

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:44 am, Sat Nov 10, 2012.

No matter your station in life, your political party affiliation or your ethnicity, if you live in California you're probably hurting and have been for years.

The state's unemployment rate has been above 8 percent since 2008 and is much higher in some counties. Income levels are stagnant. For home owners 40 or younger, nearly 48 percent have negative equity.

According to Census Bureau statistics, more than 6.1 million Californians live in poverty, putting the state's poverty rate at 16.6 percent, up nearly 1 percent from 2011. A family of two adults and two children counts as poor when its combined income is less than $22,811. Welfare usage including food stamps is on the rise. More than 25 percent of all California households depend on at least one welfare program.

To re-elect and send back to Washington, D.C. the same congressional representatives who have presided over California's slow but steady decline into the fiscal abyss is the definition of lunacy.

Yet Tuesday night, Californians overwhelmingly voted for two of Capitol Hill's least effective congressional Democrats — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein — and thus signed up for what is certain to be more of the same dismal leadership.

Pelosi is 72 years old and has served in the House since 1987; Feinstein is 79 and a California official since 1970, when she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Pelosi and Feinstein have had more than enough time and countless opportunities to restore California to its former greatness, but have consistently failed. Their reward is a new term for each.

Also kept in the congressional mix is Lodi's representative Jerry McNerney, elected to his fourth two-year term.

Californians are apparently eager for more Pelosi/Feinstein/McNerney incompetence. Although Congress has an abysmal 10 percent favorability rating, incumbents keep winning and keep dishing out more punishment to the uninformed, disinterested electorate.

All have egregious anti-American voting records. They've lobbied for more foreign-born workers in the high-tech and agriculture industries, despite California's surplus of labor in both fields. Even though university tuition in California has soared in recent years, Pelosi, Feinstein and McNerney support the federal and state DREAM Acts that would allow illegal immigrant high school students to pay lower in-state tuition. To Pelosi, Feinstein and McNerney, border enforcement is a meaningless term that they've falsely dangled as a carrot in exchange for an alien amnesty.

Arguments that explain why voters return the same failures back to Congress election after election usually focus on the challenger's shortcomings. This year, Feinstein's opponent was the politically untested Elizabeth Emken; Pelosi's, John Dennis; McNerney's, Ricky Gill.

But in past elections, Feinstein and her equally entrenched Senate ally Barbara Boxer have faced and handily defeated legitimate rivals with accomplished records. Among them, former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer Carly Fiorina, former Secretary of State Bill Jones, five-term Congressman and former Stanford University law school professor Tom Campbell, former state treasurer Matt Fong, and one-time California Assemblyman and State Sen. Richard Mountjoy.

The major reason that more than 90 percent of incumbents keep their jobs is simple: money from those most interested in manipulating the political system, like professional lobbyists, special interests, big business and organized labor. Less than 8 percent of average voters donate more than $100 to a candidate.

While I understand that money is a political necessary evil and further understand that indivduals' party affiliations are often deeply ingrained and hard to dislodge, I don't grasp the etched-in-stone resistance to voting for the other guy once in a while — especially if you have been mercilessly hammered in the pocketbook since the last election cycle.

Maybe the old axiom "change is good" should be amended to "change is good except in Congress, where voters are committed to going down with the ship."

Joe Guzzardi is a California native and former Democrat who never voted for Feinstein, Boxer or McNerney. Contact Joe at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

10 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:54 am on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    More evidence that radical liberals rarely are truthful or coherent.

    A liberal wrote...I think that this column was very thoughtful in its consideration of Joe Guzzardi's column - what was missed by Mr. Wellenbrock, however, was the realization that the entire column was aimed at FEDERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY and nothing else

    but in reality, Mr Guzzadi wrote...
    According to Census Bureau statistics, more than 6.1 million Californians live in poverty, putting the state's poverty rate at 16.6 percent, up nearly 1 percent from 2011. A family of two adults and two children counts as poor when its combined income is less than $22,811. Welfare usage including food stamps is on the rise. More than 25 percent of all California households depend on at least one welfare program.
    To re-elect and send back to Washington, D.C. the same congressional representatives who have presided over California's slow but steady decline into the fiscal abyss is the definition of lunacy.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 6:51 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2821

    Obama Supporters Threatens on Twitter to Riot, Assassinate Romney

    Posted by EU Times on Oct 24th, 2012 // 3 Comments

     
  • Michael Thompson posted at 1:40 pm on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    winston Posts: 97

    Ricky's parents money, their professional associates and friends money, outside money from the GOP or exaggerated summer internships/jobs could get him a seat in the US Congress.


    Ricky Gill-the boy that was born on 3rd base who thinks he hit a triple!

    I hope he is studying for the bar exam right now. But then he does have a job open at the "family business".

    Small Businessowner? LOL!

     
  • daniel hutchins posted at 9:44 am on Tue, Nov 13, 2012.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1338

    There's no hope for California voters if they voted in Feinstein again.

    Blind. Can't see.

     
  • Jerry Bransom posted at 10:33 am on Sun, Nov 11, 2012.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 363

    It is heartwarming to hear from my intelligent neighbors. Let me add my favorite quote from my favorite "Good 'ol Boy" republican in this speech he gave at a church in Atlanta Georgia in 2002 and thus began the great 2008 depression:

    "Now, we've got a problem here in America that we have to address. Too many American families, too many minorities do not own a home. There is a homeownership gap in America. The difference between Anglo America and African American and Hispanic homeownership is too big. And we've got to focus the attention on this Nation to address this. And it starts with setting a goal. And so by the year 2010, we must increase minority homeowners by at least 5 1/2 million. In order to close the homeownership gap, we've got to set a big goal for America and focus our attention and resources on that goal.

    And I picked a good man to help realize that goal, in Mel Martinez. I don't know if you know Mel's story, but it's an interesting story. Mel was born in Cuba. [Applause] Yes, Mel brought his cousins with him—[laughter]—all two of them, anyway. [Laughter] But Mel's mother and daddy— Mel's mother and dad put him on an airplane to come to America when he was a young boy, because they didn't want his son growing up in a country that wasn't free. Think about that; think about the courage of a mom or a dad and their love for freedom—love freedom so much that they would put their child in the hands of loving Americans. And Mom and Dad eventually came. And here he now sits, as a member of the President's Cabinet. What a great country we have.

    My point is, Mel understands what it means to dream and then to work to realize the dreams. I've also picked a fine friend of mine from Texas named Alphonso Jackson to serve as the Deputy of HUD. And where are you, Alphonso? There he is. I appreciate you. These are can-do people. So when we set a goal, they understand their job is to work toward that goal. "

     
  • Ted Lauchland posted at 7:16 pm on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 254

    The housing industry had been in an unsupportable bubble as people seem to like to use that term. It was created by a false demand on homes that were saught by unqualified buyers. The shady loans that were available and pushed were demanded by the theory that everyone deserves to be a home owner. You tell me where those type of loans came from and I will tell you good real estate agents did not recommend them for they cared for their clients well being. My understanding is that the law created the mess and not Wall Street . The now end result after the bleeding has stopped is that the younger generation that do have jobs now can afford the deflated price of homes. It put it within reach. Yes many former homes have been picked up by private monies and turned into rentals affordable by crowds that originally could not have afforded to by them in the first place - if they have a job. The job is the key. It wasn't before.

    "Labor surplus in Agriculture?" - You've got to be kidding.

    Anti American voting record is a viewpoint that has to do with who you are and where you are standing - but you knew that.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:16 pm on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    More demagoguery from Guzzardi. For someone who claims to follow immigration issues closely, he seems to be quite misinformed.

    Joe Guzzardi wrote: "All have egregious anti-American voting records. They've lobbied for more foreign-born workers in the high-tech and agriculture industries, despite California's surplus of labor in both fields."

    "anti-American voting records?"

    What better way to inflame an audience than to claim that the representatives they have voted for are "anti-American." This is akin to Michelle Bachman's and Allen West's demands that Congress be investigated for anti-American activities and communist infiltration. Thankfully, West was unseated in his bid for re-election - his constituents fortunately realized that he was quite unbalanced.

    "Labor surplus" in agriculture?

    Seriously - Joe Guzzardi must be aware that farmers and ranchers experienced a deficite of agricultural workers this year and many were unable to bring their products to market.

    Ironically, most unemployed Americans who could have filled agricultural jobs either did not apply for this backbreaking work or were unqualified because they did not possess the needed skills. Employers emphasized that, contrary to popular belief, agricultural work is not "unskilled labor."

    Joe Guzzardi would serve the public interest better if he addressed these issues honestly and truthfully and not spread misinformation.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:02 pm on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Joe Guzzardi continues to promulgate misinformation about immigration - now putting policies that he does not like squarely on the backs of liberals/Democrats.

    Here from 2008:

    http://techcrunch.com/2008/04/21/house-republicans-move-to-increase-h1b-visa-quota/

    Monday, April 21st, 2008

    Last Friday the House Republican Study Committee sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader, respectively, requesting an increase in the current H1B visa quota of 65,000 per year to 115,000. They also request a 20% yearly increase in the cap every year, assuming the previous year’s quota was met. The letter is embedded below.

    The current H1B program, which allows companies to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S. for up to three years. It is a primary way for Silicon Valley firms to get enough technical employees, and there is almost always demand far outstripping the artificial quotas. The 1999 and 2000 quotas were already at 115,000. 132,000 H1B visas were approved in 2004 and 117,000 in 2005. But the cap was lowered again, and the 2007 quota was reached in just two months. The 2008 quota was exhausted before the end of the first day on which applications were accepted, April 2, 2008.

    Willard Mitt Romney was in favor of legislation to increase H1B visas.

    If you are going to place "blame," Mr. Guzzardi, you need to spread it around to the appropriate parties.

     
  • John Lucas posted at 12:00 pm on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    [thumbup]

     
  • Ron Werner posted at 10:02 am on Sat, Nov 10, 2012.

    Ron Werner Posts: 87

    I believe unemployment, stagnant wage levels, poverty, underwater mortgages and all the other things mentioned in the article were on the minds of the voters. However, a large segment of them, mainly the young, minorities and single women do not see Pelosi, Feinstein and McNerney as the problem. They perceive their bosses and the Republican party as the problem. It used to be that many of the people in these groups believed that with hard work they too could one day achieve the "American dream". But with the rich getting richer, unequal pay for women, Wall Street bankers ruining their home values, and corporations putting profits ahead of wages, these dreams are gone for many.

     

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