As I travel around the state meeting with local officials in cities, counties, and special districts, one of the most common complaints I hear is that “those politicians in Sacramento” are causing all kinds of problems for local governments. I hear these complaints but think they are hollow.
When you glance at the campaign websites for the very legislators they complain about, guess what you will find? Long lists of local government officials adding their names as endorsements like lemmings falling into the ocean.
When legislators with terrible voting records on local government policy matters start having difficulty getting endorsements from local elected officials, that is when I will start believing that local governments actually want a change in Sacramento.
When I see State Senators voting for bill like SB 7 (Steinberg) after campaigning for legislative office with policy positions arguing for local control, I know that something is wrong. Senators Beall, Canella, Correa, DeSaulnier, Evans, Hancock, Hill, Hueso, Leno, Monning, Padilla, Steinberg, Wolk, and Yee all have backgrounds in local government at the city or county level yet tossed aside the strong opposition of the League of Cities to toe the line with Senate Leadership and the unions.
I don’t even have to look at the campaign websites of these Senators to know that almost every local City Councilmember who shares the same political party with the Legislator proudly endorsed their election or re-election to office.
The day local government officials are mad enough to actually hold Legislators accountable is the day I will believe that they really want to change things in Sacramento.