By snubbing his current constituents as he runs for a U.S. Senate seat, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) is being held up as the poster boy for the need for a part-time state Legislature.
So writes Amy Senk on her Corona del Mar Today site.
It all started when Senk, who blogs under Amy the Ranter/Amy the Raver, reached out to her assemblyman via Facebook to ask if he would be attending last week's rally by Corona del Mar teachers protesting state education cuts.
DeVore's reply came two days later: "No protests--too busy campaigning across the state."
Senk followed up by asking if he had any response or comment to the teacher's plea.
Who does DeVore think he is? Meg Whitman?
The blow off from her elected state representative left Senk "stewing."
Now, I do not single out DeVore for blame on the budget mess, or the fact that my daughter's class size is going to increase next year. And I do like the fact that he's available on Facebook, that I can send him notes and get an answer. He's often very accessible and will answer questions and concerns.
But I do wonder why he has the luxury of blowing off his current job (representing us) to pursue his next job (he's hoping to become a U.S. senator.)
Can you imagine telling your boss, "Sorry--I'm too busy interviewing for a cool new gig to get that report to you this week..."? You would be so fired, so fast.
Getting no response from DeVore, Amy the Ranter vented with someone she had met earlier in the winter at a Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce meeting, Gabriella Holt of Citizens for California Reform, who advocate returning California to a part-time Legislature (at part-time pay).
DeVore ignoring teachers in his district was an "excellent example for a reason to return to a part time citizen Legislature," Holt replied in an email.
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"This is exactly the problem-career politicians campaigning from one political office to another," she said. "Since they are on the proverbial campaign trail, they are too busy to conduct the peoples' business. That's the fundamental problem-they are more concerned with their political career future than conducting the people's business."
DeVore likes to portray himself as a protector of taxpayers, yet he still gets paid his yearly salary of around $95,000--plus a car allowance, housing allowance and per diem of around $165 tax-free dollars a day when he is in Sacramento--as he campaigns for another office while ignoring his current constituents.
As Holt put it, candidates like DeVore "are on the peoples' clock when they are campaigning."
The funny thing is, I'd imagine ol' Chuckie supports a part-time Legislature--at least once he's left it.