Ted Lieu To The Rescue! Heroic Climate Champion Saves Community Choice Aggregation

IMG_1981 My politically connected friends (who prefer to remain nameless) advise me to accept State Senator Ted Lieu as he is and be happy for his strong environmental record.  

They tell me to stop wishing he was somebody else and that I’m dreaming if I think he’s ever going to change into the dynamo that I fantasize about.  

And I get that.  You go to climate battle with the Ted Lieu you have, not the Ted Lieu you wished you had. Joe St Rocke

Yet still… I couldn’t stop thinking about it Wednesday night at St. Rocke’s in Hermosa Beach where I had gone to get away from it all and rock out to Jimmy Vaughan and his band.  Luckily that totally did the trick as I downed one quadruple The Reverend after another, locking into the groove.  

That night I slept like Rip Van Winkle himself, dead to the world and dreaming the vivid-as-life dreams that The Reverend, and the music, and the moment made possible.  

And it all suddenly became clear to me. LieuWaxman__disclaimer_(1)Suddenly we were at The Crossroads as Ted Lieu runs for Henry Waxman’s seat in the United States Congress.   Waxman has been our heroic climate champion for many years now and is retiring.  New, fresh, young, energetic blood is needed from a new champion at this special spot on the climate timeline – and Ted Lieu has now seized his moment and become that champion.

Everything he’s done in life has led to this unique time and place. And I could see Ted, bigger than life, looking strong, and determined and unstoppable.  He was downright dynamic.

And the issue that Ted grabbed and commanded and was using to transform himself into a climate legend was Community Choice Aggregation.   It was a natural for Ted and he knew it.  

And right before my eyes Ted was making it his own and becoming positively evangelical about it.  Read more

Al Muratsuchi Votes To Kill Community Choice Then Finds Out He Was Duped & Calls Me To Apologize

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This political primary season just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Al Muratsuchi
Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, representing the 66th District in California explains as State Controller, John Chiang listens at the Lunquist Mansion on the Palos Verdes Peninsula during a recent fundraiser (photo by Joe Galliani)

Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when my cell phone rang and it was Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on the line calling to tell me he had made a big mistake and that he was sorry.  

He wanted me to know that he really regretted his YES vote two days earlier for AB 2145, the CAA Killer bill, which – Surprise! – was written by the big utilities to try and kill Community Choice Aggregation.  

Al said he had been lied to about what the bill really says and does and that he didn’t really know anything about CCAs until a few weeks ago.  He again said he was sorry, that he had dropped the ball on this one and that he was now going to lobby State Senator Ted Lieu to make sure the State Senate didn’t make the same mistake.  What could I say? Al sounded sincere and remorseful… Read more

Hey Ted, Here’s My Card

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.    Read more

Al’s Bright Idea for Hermosa, Ted’s Tough Stance Against Oil & Why I’m Worried About It Mattering

Photo by Jose Bacallao (lifted from Facebook)
Sarah Sikich, Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy Director, Coastal Resources at the podium, California State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ted Lieu behind her – Photo by Jose Bacallao (lifted from Facebook)

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. Read more