Sen. Lieu is Shocked! — Shocked! — Toyota is leaving Torrance

Sen. Lieu is Shocked! — Shocked! — Toyota is leaving Torrance

Toyota texasDemocratic State Sen. Ted Lieu is Shocked!  — Shocked! — that Toyota’s U.S. headquarters is splitting Torrance, which he represents, for Texas. He wrote on his website:

“I am really angry. Nothing prepared any of us for this surprise announcement by Toyota. The fact is thousands of families in our community are directly impacted by this decision – families who depend on Toyota for their livelihoods. I’ve spent this morning acquiring as much information as I can and am preparing my office to do everything it can to help these families and friends during this difficult transition for our community.” 

Yet given that almost every week brings news of a major company — Occidental, Raytheon, Trend Micro — leaving for Texas, who really can be surprised? I sure wasn’t.

And Lieu himself bears some of the blame for California’s horrible business climate. Let’s just look at some recent news releases right on his website after his Toyota outrage missive:

SACRAMENTO –  Sen. Ted Lieu today joined Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, Stop Hermosa Beach Oil and Heal the Bay at the Hermosa Beach Pier to announce legislation designed to assist the City if voters uphold the ban on oil drilling.”

Granted, the ocean view is nicer without oil derricks popping up. But if you want a car company, don’t you also need oil for the cars?

SACRAMENTO – State Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance has been given an 89-percent score by the California Environmental Justice Alliance, a rating that was not exceeded by any other lawmaker in the 120-member Legislature, for key votes cast on nine bills during the 2013 session of the Legislature.” 

I checked the scorecard. One bill that garnered Lieu a high score was AB 1165. According to the Alliance, it “Would have required an employer that is cited for a ‘serious,’ ‘willful,’ or ‘repeat’ violation of employee safety rules to abate the hazard identified by the citation, even if the employer appeals the citation.”

That is, even if you were not guilty of the violation, and were appealing it, you still had to “abate” the non-hazard!

AB 1165 was so radical that Gov. Jerry Brown, no slouch on environmental matters, vetoed it. He wrote in his veto message:

“Unfortunately, this measure would require the creation of a separate hearing process at the Division of Occupational Safety and Health — duplicating an expedited Cal/OSHA Appeals Board process which was recently adopted.”

Of course, a future Gov. Gavin Newsom or Gov. Kamala  Harris might sign a similar bill.

No wonder Toyota left. The only “surprise” was that they didn’t leave sooner.

Tags assigned to this article:
Jerry BrownJohn SeilerTed LieuToyota

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