By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
MR. BOEING WENT TO WASHINGTON
He wails about wasteful federal spending every chance he gets, but Dana Rohrabacher—our notorious, two-faced congressman—isn’t anything if he isn’t shameless. The Huntington Beach/Long Beach Republican representative claims he’s pissed off with President Barack Obama, who recently asked to eliminate $2.5 billion in the 2011 budget for Boeing’s C-17 cargo aircraft.
According to Rohrabacher, building more C-17s is “essential” to America’s global military security and any reduction in funding would prove Obama is determined to “neuter” the nation’s ability to dominate conflicts around the world.
Rohrabacher, who avoided military service during the Vietnam War, is prone to empty political theatrics. In reality, Obama is asking for a $107 billion military budget. According to Business Week, that figure represents a whopping 50 percent increase in the Pentagon’s base budget since 2000.
But it wasn’t Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or any liberal who first proposed axing the new C-17 spending. It was—drum roll, please—all the mushy doves inside the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a conservative Republican first appointed to the office by George W. Bush. According to Gates and other Pentagon brass, they already have enough C-17s, at 223 of the aircraft. They argue that adding 10 more at a cost of $250 million each is a waste. For three years, the military has begged Congress to spend precious federal tax dollars on more critical military needs but has encountered unwavering political resistance.
Boeing has a plant in Rohrabacher’s district.
SPITZER STOOD BY HIS TROUBLED MAN
Ex-OC assemblyman Todd Spitzer had plenty of opportunities to distance himself from Henry T. Nicholas III after the Broadcom Corp. co-founder was arrested on a variety of messy criminal charges, including narcotics and corporate cheating. But, though some fellow Republicans view him as a brazen opportunist, the former county supervisor, who currently works as a local prosecutor, stood by Nicholas. In fact, Spitzer—a likely future candidate for DA after Rackauckas retires—told me on several occasions over recent years that he believed Nicholas was innocent, and anyway, he would not abandon a friend in a time of crisis. Had the billionaire businessman been convicted, Spitzer’s image would have suffered. But U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney dropped all charges against a relieved Nicholas.
This column appeared in print as "More Empty Testimony: OCSD’s omission of key facts about a stalled car crashes a burglary prosecution."