Thursday, October 9, 2014

Allen v. Fluke: The Rant

Now, I won't hold back about my disappointment.

The Allen v. Fluke debate was the least engaging because the two of them share identical views, and on terrible polices.

Let's consider some of the issues they readily agreed on.

Forcing the minimum wage is a disastrous policy which hurts businesses and entry-level workers. For all their talk about employee rights and fiscal accountability, they have no economic sense when it comes to this issue.

Fracking is as dangerous as any other form of energy exploration. Would the two candidates prefer that the state of California go back to the Stone Age?

Or should everyone of us get rid of our cars and bike everywhere?

Former assemblymember Betsy Butler wanted to get rid of lawns in order to ease the water crisis. Why stop there? Maybe we should also tell the Central Valley farmers to give up their farms and homes, too, in order to make way for the billion-dollar bullet train boondoggle.

Allen and Fluke both believe in climate change. Who does not? For anyone to discount "climate change" would mean that the weather has stayed exactly the same. Whether the weather is hot or cold, environmental alarmists can cry about climate change, and they will always be right, because the climate is always changing!

It was freezing in the South Bay in January 2013. It was usually warm in January, 2014. October was hotter than July and August his year. The polar ice caps are not melting, but getting thicker. All of these phenomena are examples of a climate changing. Should the US government outlaw the win, or tell everyone to stop breathing carbon emissions into the atmosphere?

Now, let's consider the candidates more specifically.

When it comes to Sandra Fluke, she epitomizes liberal hypocrisy.

This poster could not have said it better:

This poster could not have exposed the Fluke flaws more perfectly
Fluke wants to spend your money on her birth control, yet shame you if you want to tell her how to live her life.

The other hypocrisy: Fluke wants the government to pay for her birth control, yet she put down the money to run for Congress, then switch her plans and run for state senate? She can afford to live in West Hollywood, too.


And all this talk about "reproductive justice". What about the baby boy or girl who gets aborted? No reproductive justice there. While Limbaugh's blatant shaming, calling her a slut and a prostitute, were over the line, this lawyer's audacity to lecture Congress then demand that We the People pay for her casual sexual encounters is just unconscionable.

Now, what about this Ben Allen fellow?

Yes, a lot of Republicans have endorsed him, and the former GOP-turned-Independent Bill Bloomfield has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars with mailers supporting his campaign.

This guy has been campaigning out of both sides of his mouth. He plays up the fiscal conservatism in the South Bay, then proclaims his uber-liberal endorsements from state-sponsored progressives like Congressman Henry Waxman in the Westside.

Now we have the choice of two evils, for those who care about faith, family, and fiscal responsibility, not just accountability. And all of Allen's talk about fiscal discipline is a non-issue, anyway. School boards are required to balance their budgets. At least the Santa Monica School Board took steps to minimize the destructive impact of deep cuts from Sacramento. Still, Allen has failed to discuss why parents in the Malibu section of the district want to break away. Reports from the local press share that the residents in the wealthier section of Allen's school district feel cheated out of funding. They pay more in state taxes, yet see less in their schools. The same disparity plagues the high-achieving, award-winning schools in the South Bay (Torrance, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes).

I even confronted Allen about why a Republican or any Tea Party supporter should support him or Fluke. I wanted to get some idea of what he could proof or reason he could give me.  He told me that he had been endorsed by a number of Republican candidates.

So what? Endorsements are very political, and rarely candid. Most people will settle for someone because they are the less objectionable, or because there is a direct benefit soon as the person gets elected. Michael Wermers of the Torrance School Board endorsed nearly every candidate running for Torrance City Council. Mayor Richard Riordian (the last Republican to serve as Mayor of Los Angeles) endorsed four for the 26th State Senate candidates, including the Independent. He has also endorsed liberal Democrat Ted Lieu for Congress.

Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan endorses. . .everybody
(including liberal Democrats)

Endorsements do not mean that the individuals share ideological or political values. Then when he talked about balancing budgets as a member of the school board, I reminded him that those boards are required by law to have a balanced budget, and there is no skill or merit in doing so.

As  I was striking up the conversation, his campaign manager blocked me and told me that the candidate had to go and meet with someone else.

I was outraged, and I demanded to speak with Allen about the issues I cared about. At first, I was merely upset. For a long time, politicians have either avoided me or have found ways to shut me down if I did not share their views or expected more than the mere pat answers.

He did not go away, and I met with him later on. I asked him to share any principles he shared or agreed on with the Tea Party movement. He talked about fiscal accountability again.

I then brought up three reforms which would make government more accountable and less profligate: school choice, tort reform, and right-to-work.

Regarding the first, he tried to answer me the same what that Diane Wallace of the Beach Cities Democrats had done: we already have school choice.

No, we do not. There are many children suffering in poor schools, who do not have the option of going to a better school, who must prove residency in order to go to a better school. He did mention that if there was room, students from outside Santa Monica could attend his school district. Fair enough

Campaign Staff tried to take Allen away from me. Why?
About tort reform, Allen was also vague. Right-to-work elicited some interesting responses.
"Don't union members have the right to decertify?" Ask teachers in LA Unified if they are permitted to leave their union without great effort and resistance. They have to fight every year to leave. I also told him that teachers unions take dues out of their paycheck, whether they join or not.

He did bring up the criticism from some conservatives, that right-to-work can break up unions, and make it more difficult for them to collectively bargain for members. He ultimately admitted that he did not support right-to-work, which would entail giving individual members the right to get a job and not have to join a union in order to keep the job.

I wonder if Sandra Fluke would have been more up front about her views, or would her campaign manager try to shield her from serious questions, too?

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