Truly it is a strange bunch of creatures who inhabit the area in and around the state capitol in Sacramento.
One day they are passing bogus laws designed to punish those who believe in the free enterprise system.
The next day they are squabbling over issues that have nothing to do with our state’s urgent need for sustainable water supplies, a balanced budget and half-way, yes even half-way, decent infrastructure. But none of this matters very much in Sacramento, which seems to operate in an alternate reality.
Then comes an episode like the Mike Duvall affair, which columnist Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee heralded as a break from the dismal dealings under the dome. With colleague Jeff Miller listening on, Duvall described before an open mike his sexual escapades with a lobbyist, apparently a woman who represents Sempra Energy.
When outed by the media and then ousted by Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee of San Luis Obispo, Duvall was less than convincing when he said he had stepped down not for inappropriate behavior but “inappropriate story telling.”
We’ll commend Blakeslee for his zero-tolerance policy toward Duvall, and yet we can’t help but wonder what sort of culture enables the kind of crass talk and moronic behavior that led to Duvall’s conversation — before a meeting of the appropriations committee.
Sometimes we think that Blakeslee is truly a stranger in a strange land — a simple, straight-up practical guy with commonsense values. He seems out of place in a world of spin, stab-in-the-back politics and personal agendas driven by the deadly combination of gerrymandered districts, term limits and absolutely zero personal accountability.
We wish Blakeslee and a few members of the majority party could put their heads together and come up with a simple fiscal architecture for getting California’s spending under control, its water and infrastructure fixed and its tax policy made simpler and more predictable.
That is a goal which benefits all. Alas, we fear the majority of members would rather contemplate their next hot date or their next junket with a potential donor than doing the people’s business.