Assemblyman Joel Anderson’s problems of late do constitute legitimate news. Yet, the scope and consistency of the Union-Tribune’s front-page focus on him in recent days reached the near absurd over the weekend with the article, Does Anderson ‘win at all costs’?
No, I am not referring to legit political news over the Anderson campaign’s financial transactions and the like. I am referring to a Sunday “story” that although largely fair in representing both sides of the discussion when it comes to the Assemblyman, including the positives he has accomplished, for the most part could have been written about 90 percent or so of the legislators in Sacramento.
Bear with me as I prove my point with some significant passages from the UT article, not all of them mind you, just the most obvious “haven’t I read that about some other politico” ones. A few of my comments interspersed for color. The only portions I have changed are those appearing bolded and in parentheses…
As he has elbowed his way up the political ladder in (county), Assemblyman (NAME) has left a trail of loyal supporters, fierce opponents and (whatever it is the newspaper doesn’t happen to like about NAME).
Good start. Yawn. Let’s move on to the “trail” of “admirers” and “others” in the district, all two of them…
(NAME)’s admirers hail him as (something positive) who is always looking out for the interests of his district.
“He’s probably one of the few that always had an open door, and we’re able to talk with him just like if we met him in the grocery store,” (city) (elected titled) (name of local elected official) said.
Others contend that (NAME)’s paramount interest is advancing his political career and that he doesn’t mind cutting corners to do it.
(Name of other local elected official), a member of the (government agency/title of elected office) who ran against (NAME) in (election contest) in (year), described his rival’s campaign style as “win at all costs.”
Wow, opinions are really split in (NAME)’s district. It’s shocking that someone he beat in an election would have something negative to say about him.
OK, with the obligatory local shmucks out of the way, one on each side of the “like the guy” aisle, clearly representing a scientific cross section of the entire district, let’s move on to Sacramento…
Opinions about (NAME) in Sacramento are as split as they are in his district.
Conservatives give him high marks as a reliable vote against taxes and government spending. Both (Conservative/Republican organization #1) and (Conservative/Republican organization #2) give (NAME) their highest rating.
(Name of head muckety-muck), (title) of (Conservative/ Republican organization #1), said of (NAME)’s record: “In general, it’s been pretty darn good. His name has always been in the top tier for fiscal and social conservatism consistently over the years.”
Those darn conservatives, always sticking together. But, the liberals don’t like the guy, which is very telling…
Democratic strategist Steven Maviglio, who has advised the past two Democratic Assembly speakers — Karen Bass of Los Angeles and Fabian Núñez of Los Angeles — dismissed (NAME) as an unproductive ideologue.
“I think he’s a classic garden-variety conservative that has little impact in Sacramento. He’s a backbencher in his own caucus,” Maviglio said. “He’s not necessarily known as one of the brighter lights, and he has pretty much of a reputation of an ideologue who hasn’t been able to cross party lines and get anything done.”
Maviglio’s quote stands as it is other than (NAME). Given the chance by the media, Maviglio would say nearly the same of ANY Republican. The UT gave him just such a chance without any question as to his goal as a leading Democrat operative, which is to bash Republicans. Just ask him if that’s his goal, he may tell you.
But, I digress, back to the piece…
Legislatively, many of (NAME)’s bills are dead on arrival — not uncommon for a member of a minority party as badly outnumbered as the Republicans are in Sacramento.
Now there was a stretch.
“A member of a minority party has extremely limited ability to make an impact on public policy,” (name of some ‘political expert,’ usually a UC professor that has never worked in politics in his life, other than to teach it to youngsters) said. “Really, the only leverage comes at budget time, and there it’s a matter of negotiations among the leaders, not the backbenchers.”
Wow, even more of a stretch.
Speaking of a stretch, I’m due for a nap.
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