My California State Senator, Ted Lieu, doesn’t know who I am because I have never made a strong enough impression on him during the many times we have talked over the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance. Because of that Ted cannot remember my name and always asks for my card when I shake his hand and say hello. It pains a sensitive soul like myself to know I have made myself so forgettable and non-noteworthy, but all of us must live in the shadows of those who loom so much larger than ourselves.
I understand that it’s hard for Ted because he has met so many thousands and thousands of far more vivid people than me in the thousands and thousands of campaign events and fundraisers Ted has spent his time at during his decades running for and holding different offices as he moves his way up the rungs of political office. It no doubt makes it harder still because I have never given Ted any money even though he has mailed me two decades worth of requests for campaign donations. And it was my fault for not having a card with me earlier this week when I was part of State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s press conference in Hermosa Beach.
So to help Ted out, I just received this big oversized card with my name on it that might help him remember me the next time we run into each other – but because I still won’t be sending Ted any money or voting for him in his run for the great Henry Waxman’s seat, I’m not counting on this either.
I was very happy to be asked by the Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s staff to stand with my environmental brothers and sisters from Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and Earthworks in support of Al’s new bill, AB2711 which would oh so cleverly and ironically allow the City of Hermosa Beach to Hermosa Beach to borrow money from the state tideland oil revenues fund to payoff E&B after the city votes to maintain their ban on oil drilling. (It’s a long story why they’d have to pay in order to maintain a current ban against drilling, but it involves less than mensa major level negotiators from the City Council – Bobko and DiVirgilio – being played like patsies at the poker table when they cut a panicky settlement deal over a law suit they thought they would lose.)
And what we especially dig about Al’s proposal is that the loan repayments Hermosa Beach would make would be deposited into the State Coastal Conservancy Trust Fund to be used for its Climate Ready Program. Payoff money to an oil company that actually pays for some of the damage the oil’s company’s products caused every time they are burned. You’ve got to love it.
And you’ve got to love Ted Lieu’s strong and no holds barred statements in support of Al’s bill and against oil drilling in Hermosa Beach and he made a point of saying,
“I can’t think of anything more stupid than to do oil drilling in Hermosa Beach.”
Ted said he has always opposed oil drilling anywhere on our coast and especially in Hermosa Beach. He spoke about legislation he previously had introduced to try to help Hermosa when McPherson Oil’s lawsuit was still threatening the city. I applauded him.
Your friendly neighborhood Greenius has been waiting for awhile now to see which of the candidates for Henry Waxman’s 33rd District seat was going to step up environmentally. Today that person turned out to be Wendy Greuel.
My good friend, Dency Nelson, tells me Ted Lieu was already that guy and that Ted’s strong record speaks for itself. And it’s true that Ted has come out against fracking and is signing on to Holly Mitchell’s strong anti-fracking bill and reportedly has called “climate change” his number one priority. And yet…
I’m just not feeling Ted Lieu. I never have in the 21 years I’ve lived in Torrance, which is where Ted is from and started on his road to higher and higher office. I’ve never personally witnessed any passion out of Ted or felt that he had the fire in his belly on the environment or was any kind of climate action hero.
Maybe I’m wrong about Ted, like I was several years ago about then Manhattan Beach City Council Candidate, Wayne Powell, who I didn’t think was much of an environmentalist the first time I met him, but who has turned out to be the most reliable and thoughtful issue guy on the Manhattan Beach City Council.