If you read San Diego Rostra, you probably already know that dethroned Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins has chosen to challenge the incumbent State Senator from the 39th District, Marty Block — this is no small announcement. Say what you will about Atkins’ future plans, but the Democratic Assembly Caucus knows something that the voters of San Diego should know — Atkins is wholly ineffective as a legislative leader.
When Atkins took over as Assembly Speaker, she had three priorities: holding the line on tuition increases in the public university systems, rebuilding the State’s crumbling infrastructure, and addressing the rising cost of housing. She’s accomplished none of those things. She’s accomplished none of those goals because, against Governor Brown’s ideas, Atkins pursued the traditional, union-friendly approach of tax and spend rather than to consider the more market-friendly approach the Governor suggested.
That’s right — Atkins tried to solve the problems by darting left of Moonbeam. While Governor Moonbeam is a fun target for the Right, he comes from a time when the California Democratic Party wasn’t totally in the pocket of public sector unions, and pursued social issues with a balanced approach. Atkins has been the agent of change that dragged the California Democratic Party to the left and away from the California Governor.
Moreover, she’s been a horrible legislator for San Diego:
1- In the midst of a statewide water shortage, San Diegans conserved water and benefited from proper water storage plans of years past. The State of California still wants more from San Diego County and Toni Atkins has done nothing about it.
2- Atkins housing tax scheme would have achieved the opposite of its intent. Instead of embracing market solutions to lower the housing costs in San Diego, it would have added a tax to redistribute to other parts of the State — a blueprint for failure.
3- Faced with reduced federal funding for highway repairs, Atkins proposed tax, after tax, after tax, in order to prop up a failed bullet train (which doesn’t benefit San Diegans) rather than to secure funding to fix our roads.
Atkins is a modern-day Marie Antoinette, comfortable with the Marxist approaches of rationing and tax & redistribute. The problem is this — San Diegans have to ration resources, pay higher taxes, and watch both get redistributed to help her Marxist buddies get elected in other parts of the State.
Atkins likes Sacramento because it removes her from the people she has punished; it’s natural that she’s trying to stay up there as a legislator. While this is no endorsement of the incumbent Marty Block (I’m sure the GOP will offer a better candidate), voters would do well to keep Atkins’ hands off of our money and retire her forever from politics.