Snake Oil Legislators

APRIL 21, 2010

Nearly every person I talk to is either feeling the crush of the bad economy or knows people who are really suffering. Which leads me to believe that most California legislators don’t run in the same circles that I do. Most of the folks that I know are small business owners, entrepreneurs, sole proprietors or employees of private business owners. The state employees that I know are scared and subjected to furloughs, uncertain and very concerned about the future of the state and their jobs.

So why is the Legislature conducting business as usual?

It’s like dealing with a narcissist or a sociopath; legislators have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings, but behind their apparent confidence lies very fragile self-esteem that usually bristles with the slightest criticism.

Is this sounding familiar? Narcissists and sociopaths utter phrases such as, “How dare you,” and “Oh really,” when questioned about their actions, deeds and beliefs.

California’s Legislature personifies the narcissist and even the sociopath. Throughout history narcissists have aspired to leadership and power. And in many ways, it takes a very strong ego to be willing to run for elected office.

There are some elected officials who go home at the end of the day and eat dinner with their families, but there are more who don’t and instead fit the narcissistic and sociopathic profile: Glib and superficially charming, a lack of remorse, shame or guilt, callousness and lack of empathy, grandiose sense of self, impulsiveness and poor behavior controls, a need for stimulation, promiscuous sexual behavior and a parasitic lifestyle. One does not have to be a psychologist to see that many of these behaviors are prevalent under the dome.

Continuing to roll out stupid bills such as the “no cussing” bill shows total disdain for the voter or the crisis at hand. The self-interest legislation from which they benefit continues — introducing “job tax credits for employers” but only for businesses contracting with the state. There are almost daily special interest bills for union benefits, and the single agenda legislators like Mark Leno and Tom Amiano attempt to get a same-sex marriage bill to the governor every session. Legislators propped up by unions such as John Perez and Darrell Steinberg get ego stroking by labor leaders while doing the state’s business. Both Perez and Steinberg have worked for unions since they were in college. The days of citizen representation are behind us and instead, we’re faced with hundreds of narcissists in elected office.

California legislators were still trying to force single-payer health care on the state right up to Obamacare passing. There are constant tax increases and schemes, and they still push for global warming bills with support for AB32, despite the bogus science and devastating consequences to the California economy.

California continues to decline in too many areas: Economically, we’ve dropped to the eighth largest economy in the world from fifth, our education system ranks near the bottom of all states, our state is the most active in forcing employees to join unions and we have one of the most litigious states in which it’s very easy to pursue class-action lawsuits. Welfare is growing and the EDD is exploding.

This all spells a recipe for disaster, but it’s business-as-usual in the Capitol.

As legislators stand in front of the microphone and pitch their irrelevant bills, they do not see the voters any more, or the constituents, the fathers and mothers, and the young adults who work at a menial jobs to pay the bills. Legislators have lost the concept of the collective good while focusing on the special interests and unions.

This week, some of the bills being heard in Assembly committees exemplify the out-of-touch legislation and business-as-usual:

A.B. No. 1650 Feuer. Public contracts: state and local contract eligibility: energy sector investment activities in Iran;

A.B. No. 1787 Swanson. Administrative procedure: regulations: narrative description;

A.B. No. 1802 Hall. Pupil health: diabetes: insulin injections;

A.B. No. 1822 Swanson. Massage therapy. (Urgency);

A.B. No. 1878 Lieu. Statewide Forms Management Program;

A.B. No. 1916 Davis. Pharmacies: prescriptions: reports;

A.B. No. 1922 Davis. Civil rights education: California Civil Rights Education Commission;

A.B. No. 2052 Hayashi. State surplus personal property: centralized sale;

A.B. No. 2077 Solorio. Centralized hospital packaging pharmacies;

A.B. No. 2181 Hagman. State Contract Act: contracting by state agencies. (Urgency);

A.B. No. 2256 Huffman. Product labeling: flushable products;

A.B. No. 2466 Smyth. Regulations: legislative validation: effective date;

A.B. No. 2472 Huffman. Building standards: green innovation permit program;

The state is in a full-blown economic crisis in California, and legislators are conducting hearings about the statewide forms management program, civil rights, hospital pharmacies, green business and “flushing products.”  Most of what the Legislature deals with should not even be state business – this is known as “busy work,” designed to make it look as if they are working hard, but most of it is pure drivel.

I regularly bleat about the lack of citizen representation and state elected offices being locked up by professional politicians; there are plenty who’ve never even worked outside of government. However this is not insurmountable. The narcissistic snake oil salesmen and women who have been holed up in the Capitol for the past two decades can be voted out of office in this anti-incumbent age.

Voters need to support the grassroots campaigns in order to get rid of the career politicians. The narcissistic and sociopathic, cradle-to-grave politician is in the crosshairs of the voter right now. Doctors and business men and women, parents and entrepreneurs are again running for elected office in an attempt to rid our state of lawyers, union yes-men, and those who lack the spine to do the work of the people.

-Katy Grimes

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