It’s a tough life being a California State Senator. Long hours and plenty of travel are needed to serve the people of the 29th District, which stretches from Cypress to Chino Hills, Rowland Heights to Yorba Linda, and includes parts of three different counties. For State Senator Bob Huff, who represents, the 29th, what better place to discuss the important challenges facing 18 different cities than the Hawaiian Island of Mau’i?
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that some legislators from California are flying to Mau’i to meet with representatives from “oil companies, public employee unions, drug and tobacco firms, and others.” at the luxurious Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea, which looks like this:
Legislators use their own spare campaign funds to pay for airfare, but the $350 per night hotel bill is picked up by a nonprofit called the Independent Voter Project who brought California the Top Two Primary system now in place throughout the state. That organization is supported, according to the LA Times, by 24 sponsors, who include “Occidental Petroleum Corp., the Western State Petroleum Assn., Eli Lilly, the Altria tobacco firm, the California Cable and Telecommunications Assn., the state prison guards union and the California Distributors Assn., which represents distributors of tobacco and other products.”
The article goes on the quote California Common Cause’s Sarah Swanbeck, who calls the yearly conference an “unwelcome tradition,” and suggests possibly banning them. The Rag agrees with Ms. Swanbeck. How can our democracy possibly be well served by allowing our legislators to be put up in an expensive beachfront hotel in Hawai’i and lobbied to support legislation favorable to the people ultimately paying the bill?
When he isn’t in Sacramento Bob Huff needs to stay right here in his district listening to ordinary constituents instead of living the high life in a tropical resort courtesy of lobbyists for big businesses and powerful public unions. If they want to talk to our state representatives, they should make appointments with them at their offices like the rest of us are expected to do. As Senate Republican Leader, Bob Huff should set a better example to his colleagues and to the people he represents.
The Rag encourages readers to contact Senator Huff to let him know what they think of his comped Hawai’ian “conference” with lobbyists. You can reach him here:
State Capitol, Room 305
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 651-4929
Brea District Office
1800 E. Lambert Road, Suite 150
Brea, CA 92821
Phone: (714) 671-9474
Fax: (714) 671-9750