Archives for category: Bob Huff
"Aloha `oe! It's off to work I go..."

“Aloha `oe! It’s off to work I go…”

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:

"Mahaolo lobbyists! This sure beats my office in Brea!

“Mahalo lobbyists! This sure beats my office in Brea!”

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?

North Pacfic Map copy

Let’s review…

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:

Capitol Office

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


FPAO Sign

Such a soothing green. It’s almost as if they had seen that color somewhere before…

Confused supporters of Mayor and City Council candidate Doug Chaffee have noticed the giant green and blue signs bearing his name and the name of fellow candidate Larry Bennett, and wondered who could possibly be supporting both of them. Doug Chaffee is a supporter of saving Coyote Hills, Larry Bennett supported Measure W, Chevron’s plan to build there. Doug Chaffee is the darling of Fullerton’s Democrats, while Larry Bennett is the great white hope of the city’s establishment Republicans. Larry Bennett has been endorsed by Congressman-for-life Ed Royce, Supervisor Shawn Nelson, former State Senator Dick Ackerman and current State Senator Bob Huff. Doug Chaffee’s endorsements include Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, the Sierra Club, the Fullerton Observer…and former State Senator Dick Ackerman, evidently…

What (else) could possibly bring these two together on one oversized sign? The Fullerton Police Officers Association, of course. The FPOA, the union representing Fullreton’s police officers, will back whichever candidates they think will increase their number and/or safeguard their salaries. Note, for example, Larry Bennett’s answer to the OC Register’s question “Should city government contract or expand in Fullerton?” Mr. Bennett dutifully answers that “…our police force is currently 145 members. We used to be a force of 155. The city is growing and therefore more services will be required,” offering a not so subtle promise to authorize the hiring of more police officers, at the cost of millions to Fullerton’s taxpayers. For his part, Doug Chaffee has earned the support of Fullerton’s police by steadfastly resisting any meaningful civilian oversight of the Fullerton Police Department in the wake of the killing of Kelly Thomas, and lawsuits against the FPD for the actions of former officer Rincon, etc.

FPOA Bennett Chaffee sign

No mystery here, just look down…

There is nothing unusual about the FPOA picking the friendliest City Council candidates from nominally left and right of the political spectrum every two years. During the last election they spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting Jan Flory and Rick Alvarez, although they seem to have kicked Mr. Alvarez to the curb in favor of Mr. Bennett this year. What is unusual this cycle is that their signs don’t bear the words “Fullerton Police Support” proudly above the names of their chosen candidates. In past years the word “Police” carried some weight with the voting public, but now, it seems, it’s more of a millstone around the candidates’ necks. However, close inspection reveals the source of the bounty at the bottom of the signs. It must feel bad to have to hide their identity when it was once treated as a badge of honor.

FrackingWastePit_BGS_WEB

Our drinking water could be at risk.

One vitally important issue left entirely out of Fullerton’s pending Legislative Platform, to be considered tonight, is support for state legislation imposing a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, of oil and gas wells. Fracking has been linked to both groundwater contamination and earthquakes, and should be entirely banned as a method of fossil fuel extraction. The process, which involves injecting wells with unknown chemicals at high pressure to cause fissures, freeing deep deposits of gas and oil, also uses huge amounts of water our state can’t afford to waste.

There is already a nationwide grassroots movement to ban the practices of acidizing and fracking.

Ohio recently declared local moratoriums on fracking after its Dept. of Natural Resources declared that there was probably a link between the process and the occurance of earthquakes near drilling sites. Closer to home, the City Council of Carson, CA voted unanimously last month to place a temporary ban on all new oil and gas drilling amid worries that fracking might be used to drill there. The City of Los Angeles has already banned the practices of fracking and acidizing of wells.

North Orange County residents are already asking whether or not the recent La Habra earthquake and it’s seemingly endless aftershocks were caused by fracking in the oil fields near its epicenter. While it is true that earthquakes are hardly a rarity in Calfironia, and that oil tends to be found near faultlines, it is not unreasonable to declare a moritorium on fracking in the city until we can find out for sure whether or not there is a connection. Let’s also lend our support to a statewide moritorium.

The Fullerton City Council’s 2014 Legislative Agenda should include strong support for Senate Bill 1132, which would institute a moritorium on fracking. The bill was approved, albeit narrowly, by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee last week. Our state representatives, Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva and State Senator Bob Huff should be prepared to support this legislation, and our City Council should be there to back them up.

Chemical laden water is routinley pumped back into the ground to dispose of wastewater from fracking. Fullerton is lucky to have groundwater to supply much of our drinking water needs. Chemicals migrating from aging concrete lined wells, which ultimately fail over decades, could contaminate our drinking water, causing a catastrophe for the city. It is simply not worth the risk to allow drillers to extract the last deposits of fossil fuel from fields that have already been producing for the better part of a century.

%d bloggers like this: