Saturday, November 29, 2014

Daily Breeze Should Have Endorsed Spencer

James Spencer

The Daily Breeze announced its endorsement for San Pedro Democrat Louis Dominguez to represent State Senate District 35 in the state legislature.
 Granted, the Daily Breeze, like many papers, is looking for populist candidates, who owe nothing to public sector unions or other special interests.
Yet Dominguez, another Democrat, is the last thing we need to see in Sacramento. Four Democratic state senators have been jailed, convicted, and /or sentenced in the last year, and one more Democrat is not going to change the culture of corruption in the state house.
An independent or a Republican would be the better choice for that reason alone. There is one Republican running for the office along with three Democrats.
The Daily Breeze should have endorsed James Spencer for state Senate District 35.
The residents of the district, which stretches from San Pedro north to Watts and Inglewood taking in Gardena, Carson, Hawthorne and parts of North Long Beach and Torrance, were given a bitter pill they didn’t deserve. Now they have an opportunity to right it by electing a representative who will show the strong ethics and integrity that Wright didn’t. They should vote for Democrat Louis Dominguez.

Why do they focus on this candidate? He was a Vietnam War Veteran, and he ran the Harbor Free Clinic. Democrats and Republicans do great things in the private sector, but what policies do they plan to advocate and advance on the voters' behalf?

Dominguez, a Vietnam veteran who formerly ran the Harbor Free Clinic in San Pedro and worked decades ago for legislator Vincent Thomas, is an underdog in the race but he has the right approach.
“I don’t just want to pass laws, but look at the laws that we have and see if they make sense,” he told the editorial board. That’s a refreshing and reasoned approach that Sacramento could use and one that Dominguez’s most formidable opponent, Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, could learn from.

For the record, anyone who is a Democrat in a heavily Democratic district does not count as an underdog. That designation belongs to someone running a different party affiliation: James Spencer, the only Republican. Furthermore, there is nothing refreshing about looking at legislation to see if it makes sense. That is the point of view which every legislator should take when deciding what legislation to introduce, vote on, or reject.

Favored by the Democratic establishment, Hall, an African-American, is termed out this year. His shameless carriage of sponsored bills and political climbing gives residents the distinct impression that the Capitol comes before their own needs in a district that is a black power base. That’s a shame.
Inglewood Unified is currently under state receivership
Spencer is the only candidate talking about that.

One good point in this editorial: the writers expose career politician Assemblyman Isadore Hall. Has he ever run a business? Does he have a record worth running on? He served on the Compton Unified School Board, with what to show for it? The School district ended up under receivership a long time ago. Currently, Inglewood Unified is under state receivership, and Wiseburn Unified succeeded in breaking away from another corrupt school district, Centinela Valley Union High School District.

Of the candidates running for SD-35, Spencer is the only one who has talked about the failing schools, the corrupted school districts, and the need for jobs, working skills, training, and economic opportunities

His most high-profile legislation last year — a failed effort requiring condoms in porn movie shoots — didn’t do much to directly benefit those in his mostly low-income, largely Latino and black district.
But most troubling is his questionable use of campaign funds.

Indeed, Hall has done nothing to help the residents of San Pedro, Carson, South Los Angeles, and the Hawthorne region. Did he even help with getting legislation passed so that Wiseburn would become a unified district free from Centinela? Where was he to end the waste and fraud which define Inglewood Unified fiscal and human resources mismanagement?

 In 2012 he ran unopposed but spent those funds lavishly including, as the Sacramento Bee reported earlier this year, spending $12,000 at the Fairmont hotel in Hawaii during a Nov. 13 conference hosted by the Independent Voter Project, a nonprofit policy group funded in part by powerful business and labor interests. That group paid $2,300 for his accommodations, according to financial disclosure statements. And there’s more the Bee reported including spending at high-priced restaurants and bars that he said were used for strategy meetings.

Isadore Hall has $500,000 on hand. Where did he get all that money? Why is he spending taxpayer time and money in Hawaii, when his residents cannot go to a good school, find a good job, or feel safe in their homes and on their streets?

Senate District 35

Those funds might have been better been spent in small restaurants and locations in Compton or Watts, where businesses are struggling and the poverty rate is too high. But Hall’s response to questions about this were simply that he was transparent. Transparency is important, but it’s not enough to be promoted to the Senate, when what’s seen doesn’t look so good.

Dominguez isn’t looking for partisan politics; instead he tries to focus on the right ideas. Among his priorities are public pension reform and increasing the profile of CalVet. If elected, his biggest challenge will be serving the disparate interests of the district, and he must especially make sure he is responsive to portions of the district suffering economically.

While their endorsed candidate wants to focus on the right ideas, Spencer already has them, and his political party has the legacy of seeking to enforce them, too. Two years ago, Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff tried to enact a statewide school choice bill so that residents in low-performing school districts could find a  better education without bureaucratic hurdles preventing them.

Two other candidates are competing to represent the district. Democrat Hector Serrano, a 26-year-old who formerly sat on the Los Angeles Harbor Area Planning Commission, and Republican businessman James Spencer.

How disappointing that the editorial spends all of one sentence describing James Spencer. Being a businessman is a significant undertaking in the state of California, on account of the rules and regulations making it harder to turn a profit and maintain a decent profit margin. Spencer has grown children doing well for themselves in spite of the circumstances. He has overcome financial hardships to make the most of a difficult economic climate made worse by a tax-and-spendthrift Democratic legislature.

At the end of the day, the Golden State is in a tarnished mess because of Democratic policies. The last person anyone should elect to represent them is another Democrat.

James Spencer

On December 9th, I am exhorting all residents of the SD-35, from San Pedro to Athens, from Compton to Lennox, to cast their vote for Republican James Spencer.

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