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Ethics? They don’t need no stinkin’ ethics to follow in Sacramento

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POSTED September 12, 2009 2:22 a.m.
Isn’t the name “California Assembly Ethics Commission” an oxymoron?

Orange County Republican Mike Duvall’s departure from the cesspool at the State Capitol after he was caught on tape during an appropriation committee hearing bragging about his sexual escapades with a lobbyist for an energy firm barely raised a yawn among Californians who don’t expect much anymore from their elected state leaders.

Duvall happens to have served on the utilities and commerce committee which explains why our energy prices are so high. Duvall – who a day after resigning said he didn’t really do anything but tell a big whopper to a colleague – also served on the ethics committee. It just re-affirms the futility in letting the foxes guard the hen house and helps make a case for having independent ethics commissions oversee each house of the legislature instead of allowing politicians to police themselves.

At least Duvall didn’t do any foot tapping under stalls in the men’s bathroom, go swimming fully dressed in the Tidal Basin with a stripper, or hit on boy pages which means he definitely had no chance of ever making his way to serve in Congress. His straight forward tale of infidelity allowing a lobbyist to do what they do best on behalf of their bosses makes him a pure minor leaguer.

Even his explanation was strictly amateur night. He could have come up with something much more creative saying he was stressed and suffering from emasculation by being called a “girlie man” along with the rest of the legislature by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and had to therefore prove to himself that he wasn’t.

To be honest, real men don’t cheat on their spouses, prey on teen-age pages, or tap their feet in bathroom stalls. And given the political cowardice, shrill name calling, and acting like Monty Hall of “Let’s Make a Deal” fame when they’re doing the people’s business it is hard to believe real men – or women -are serving either in Sacramento or Washington, D.C., these days.

In all fairness to Duvall, his exploits – whether for real or a figment of his imagination – is not nearly as obscene as what was passing as government on Friday in Sacramento as the 119 remaining politicians were busy trying to decide the fate of 800 bills.

That’s right, they were considering 800 bills in the expanse of  20 hours that basically will govern and tax Californians. If that doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you then nothing well.

The most obscene measure to move through the jam session was penned by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who apparently gets  a lot of lobbying - at least with money anyway – from public employee unions to once over taxpayers and local government.

DeSaulnier wants to create state oversight of cities before they can file bankruptcy in the name of trying to “discourage frivolous filings.”

It is in response to Vallejo being the third California city ever to file bankruptcy. They did so because union contracts were breaking the city’s back financially as revenues dropped.

DeSaulnier should really get a guest spot as a stand-up comedian on the Jay Leno Show. If DeSaulnier and his partners in crime in the state legislature stopped raiding local government agencies for money to cover the mess they make by spending tax dollars like drunken sailors in Sacramento, then there would be no municipal bankruptcies looming on the horizon. Just this year alone DeSaulnier and his buddies ripped off $2 billion in local property taxes and more than $2 billion in local redevelopment agency money.

If they are really worried about frivolous filings and helping cities, then the legislature should keep their hands of local tax dollars and get their own act together.

They claim they are sharing the pain when they are only spreading it by sidestepping the real issues.

Come to think of it, if the entire legislature was doing what Duvall claimed to have been doing and not sticking it to taxpayers and local cities maybe California wouldn’t be in the mess they are today.
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