Previously, I posted regarding the ElDorado CRA’s decision to pre-endorse Beth Gaines.
As usual, such decisions get pushback:
Nepotism under the dome – D.C. AND Sacramento
(Stephens is a long-time government affairs director for the construction trades, author of several books, a TV and radio talk show host, and former Republican Central Committee member and CRA 1st Vice Chairman – and now newly minted Tea Party advocate since the California Republican Party no longer adheres to the basic tenets of what was our common Republican philosophy. See Political article at: www.frankstephens.com/politics.html)
Republicans never learn. In the Assembly 4 race Republicans reveal they remain an inept and fractured minority with a death wish. The Gaines family is attempting to expand their family corporation from the insurance industry to the political industry. Now, I’ll state clearly that a person should have the right to run regardless of what their spouse does or has done. However, that constitutional right does not extend to a moral or ethical right.
It would appear every Republican leader in this district has such a short memory of the events, accusations, and allegations surrounding John and Julie Doolittle. While much of the alleged wrongdoing was eventually proven false, it nearly cost Republicans this normally very safe seat.
And just two short years ago state Republican leaders were proposing legislation that would ban family members of elected officials from being appointed to political office. How quickly the ideals change when it’s YOUR family member in question.
The American people deplore the rising American royalty. There are families that dominate the national political scene: Kennedy, Bush, Murkowski, Kyl, Gregg, Dodd, Casey, Bayh, Udall, Snowe, Pryor, Bennett, Rockefeller, and others. Murkowski is the most egregious. She was plucked out of nowhere to be appointed to fill her father’s vacant seat by her father!
In state politics some of the family dynasties are: Brown, Boxer, Runner, and Strickland.
Looking back on the recent national election, at least 18 senators, dozens of House members and several administration officials have relied on family legacies – also called nepotism. Those under the domes in Washington and Sacramento too often now resemble the court of Louis XIV minus the powdered wigs.
At least seven of the 41 new House members are relatives of prominent politicians. These legacies take office along with many elected officials, who are either the grandson of a senator, son of a president, brother of a governor, or spouse. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, 45 women have been elected to Congress to fill vacancies created by their husbands’ death.
The nepotism phenomenon in politics has been explained by the fact that prominent party members should control the ranking of candidates on party lists for elections, and a candidate’s place on a list determines whether or not he or she is elected. The justification for the phenomenon is the importance of name recognition for collecting votes.
We have condemned this practice in third world countries, i.e., President Hugo Chavez and Cilia Flores, president of the Venezuela National Assembly, are also known for their influences to get family members in the government. Flores managed to place relatives in as many as nine of sixty permanent positions at the National Assembly- three siblings, two nephews, a cousin, the mother of that cousin, her mother-in-law and an aunt.
Alan Lowenthal is in the state senate of California. His ex-wife Bonnie is on the Long Beach city council. Alan’s son Daniel ran for a Los Angeles Superior Court judgeship, Daniel’s wife Suja is president of the Long Beach school district, and Alan and Bonnie’s other son, Josh, is considering a run for the Long Beach city council
LA TIMES, reported that at least 39 members of Congress have engaged in the controversial practice of paying their spouses, children or other relatives out of campaign funds, or have hired companies in which a family member had a financial interest, records and interviews show. House campaign funds have paid more than $3 million to lawmakers’ relatives over the last two election cycles, records show:
– Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), whose wife, Rhonda, is now paid $40,000 a year to run his campaign. Over the last four years, she has received $114,894, records show.
– Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R) paid his wife and brother $357,325 from his political fund over the last four years for duties listed as bookkeeping, fundraising, consulting and other unspecified services, records show. The amount paid to Pombo’s family members in the last election cycle was more than his opponent spent on his entire campaign. Pombo declined to be interviewed.
– The campaign fund of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) paid $251,853 to her husband’s firm, according to the candidate’s campaign filings. She was followed by Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-North Hollywood), $205,500; Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego), $154,504; and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), $152,362.
– Altogether, at least 10 lawmakers in the 53-member California House delegation have hired family members, according to records and interviews.
– Rep. Pete Stark (D-Hayward) paid his wife, Deborah, $119,000 from his campaign fund over the last four years to serve as his campaign manager, records show. In the last election, she earned $2,400 a month as campaign manager and was awarded a $2,400 bonus.
– In addition, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) paid her son, a lawyer, $130,000 over four years to run her political action committee, according to her campaign filings. . .
Rep. Nancy Pelosi is the daughter of former Baltimore mayor Thomas D’Alexandro Jr. and the sister of former Baltimore mayor Thomas D’Alexandro III
Linda Sanchez and Loretta Sanchez are both members of the House effective 2003.
Jerry Brown, mayor of Oakland and a former governor, is the son of the late governor, Pat Brown.
– Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.: Cousin Ken Costa made about $45,000 for serving as a co-campaign manager last year.
– Connecticut Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman: Son Matthew received about $34,000 and daughter Rebecca about $36,000 for working on the senator’s 2004 presidential campaign.
– Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.: Nephew Todd Reichert was paid $3,000 in 2004, plus several hundred dollars for mileage, for serving as driver.