There are so many dangerous, powerful and just flat wrong Californians … how can I pick just 13? That’s easy … by starting at #13 and counting down.
#13 – Mary Nichols, Director, California Air Resources Board
As the chief enforcer of AB32, California’s Quixotic crusade to single-handedly stop global warming, Nichols has led the charge to tax industry on carbon emissions, force us into less-safe cars, and shower today’s generation of Robber Barron capitalists with piles of our tax dollars as “incentives” for green energy. Her efforts to set truck diesel emission levels low enough to force most truckers out of business was so corrupted – with her full knowledge and consent – that it is tied up in lawsuits.
#12 – Matthew Rodriguez, Sec. for Environmental Protection/CalEPA
CalEPA – which you can thank for women’s false fearsabout a link between passive smoke and breast cancer – has long thrown its weight behind unproven (unprovable?) science. Especially if it increases the power of the state. Rodriguez has globe-hopped this year promoting California’s carbon tax scheme to other countries. He says he’s doing no such thing, as he’s “loathe to get involved in the international discussions” about carbon credits. Yeah, but he said that at a UN carbon credits conference … in Poland.
#11 – Ron Calderon, D-Montebello
His state senate district includes the jaw-droppingly corrupt city of Bell, and Calderon can match that city’s cesspool of corruption dollar-for-dollar. Calderon isn’t just a player in Sacramento’s pay-for-play underbelly, he’s its poster boy, waving around expensive cigars after more expensive meals at even more expensive posh resorts, all paid for by lobbyists and favor-seekers. His political empire is crashing now in an FBI investigation, so if there’s any justice at all for us taxpayers, he’ll soon be sharing a very un-posh jail cell with disgraced Bell city manager Robert Rizzo.
#10 – Pam O’Connor, Santa Monica Councilmember and Statist
There are, unfortunately, hundreds of big-government power-grabbers in California, but O’Connor takes the Gov Girls Gone Wild thing to a higher level. The former mayor of the People’s Republic of Santa Monica is a big player at the appropriately named SCAG (SoCal Area Governments). There she chairs its Regional Comprehensive Plan Task Force, whose goal it is to tell ushow they know we should live – crowded into urban flats our forefathers had the wisdom to flee, taking mass transit (she also chairs LA’s money-losing Transit Authority) to green jobs so we can pay more and more taxes.
#9 – Dan Richard, Chair, California High Speed Rail Authority
It was a bad year for the CHSRA this year, and for reasons much worse than its lack of a cool acronym like CARB or SCAG. It seems that judges want to hold Richard’s agency to the promises made in the ballot initiative that created it, and if that weren’t bad enough, the feds insist on treating it like any other rail agency. The nerve. Still, Richard soldiers on, convinced that if he can bamboozle Californians into letting him build just one forlorn stretch of track in the hinterlands, the money machine won’t shut off until the entire money-losing monstrosity is completed.
#8 Roxanne Sanchez, President, SEIU Local 1021
Sanchez heads one of two Bay Area Rapid Transit unions whose strikes subjected 400,000 Bay Area commuters to chaos earlier this year. She became the face of public employee hubris as she articulated the arguments why workers whose average salary is over $70,000 a year plus $11,000 in overtime – and who contribute nothing toward their lucrative retirement packages – should get a raise of 23 percent. As if that weren’t enough, after a deal was struck, she sued BART over a fine point in the new contract to get even more money.