Congressman Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) has left the building, the Congressional building, of course. Beaten by junior Congressman Brad Sherman's homecourt advantage in the new 30th, the older legislator had nothing to say on his way out the door.
The Jewish Journal apparently laments the departure of the Van Nuys Congressman, even though he could not close up shop fast enough. Constituents who visited his Valley offices at the last minute commented that they found no one there except for one secretary, who was holding down the office until the phone company terminated the telephone line.
His reluctance to interview with the Journal sounds more like sour grapes, or perhaps his sudden defeat against a younger, more outspoken Congressman has not sunk in yet. Instead of sorrow, the voters in California should interpret his departure with a sigh of hope and relief. Not for the work he did or did not do, but what he represents: established incumbents who for years could coast to reelection without fear of serious challengers.
Along with Berman, the arrogant and crude Peter Stark of Alameda County is gone, a Congressman who took his seat for granted, that he would insult constituents in townhall meetings. Laura Richardson of Carson is also gone, a Congresswoman cited for frequent ethical lapses during her three-term tenure. Californians should rejoice that Citizens Redistricting and open primaries have returned the power to the voter, not the politician.