Congressman Henry Waxman seems like the gift who keeps on giving. He is the primary reason why the state of California needed electoral reform, for over three decades he chose his own district, his own voters, and never had to campaign. Instead, he and his partner in politics Howard Berman funded other races as part of their machine. He and other career politicians pushed reformers like Bill Bloomfield to advance Open Primaries and Citizens’ Redistricting Commissions, and we got them! Waxman is the reason why machine politicians have seen their sway cut short.
In spite of his scurrilous influence along the Westide, he has generated quite a following with the voters in his previous constituencies. Now, whether that’s good thing or not, that’s another story. “I love Henry Waxman” – this is what I hear from some voters in the 33rd, but for some reason, they cannot say why, or at least justify their reason. Well, at least here's what some voters throughout the 33rd Congressional District have told me.
One Santa Monica resident told me flat out: “I love Henry Waxman. He’s really tough!” Don’t get me wrong. I liked that this guy was willing to listen to a South Bay 33rd like me. When I asked him which of Waxman's policies he supports, the older man grew kind of quiet and perplexed. “Well, it’s hard to explain. . .” Interesting. He could not gush more about his man-crash on Waxman, yet the reasons just escaped him. Now, if this was some private bromance, I would not have cared any less. But Waxman wants to represent the entire Santa Monica Bay, and a lot of hoopla about “I Like Him!” just doesn’t cut it.
Still, this guy was willing to listen. When I told him about the Dingell-Waxman dust-up over the Energy Committee Chairmanship, he was surprised. “All right, I’ll look into it. You can’t change my mind, it’s up to me, but at least you were willing to talk to me.”
I wish I could say the same about Congressman Waxman. If he had sat down with Senate Democrats, like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (whom Bill Bloomfield supported for the Senate), then perhaps a better bill on dealing with carbon pollution would have passed the House and Senate, instead of Waxman's abortive Cap and Trade bill.
A few minutes later, I approached another elderly gentleman, who was reading the Sunday newspaper. He was a quite type, more grave than gregarious. When I told him about the upcoming election, and about the contest between Bloomfield and Waxman, he gruffly replied, “I like Waxman.” When I asked him to explain why, he just got scared, then buried his face in his paper. For whatever reason, he could not tell me anything.
Sometimes I run into people from Santa Monica running around in the South Bay. One guy was willing to trade some tales about Waxman. “He’s great! He helped somebody who needed help with Social Security.” I am not at all against a Congressman stick up for his constituents. But when I told the man about the trillions of dollars of debt, he fired back: “Then raise taxes.” He did not care that raising taxes on high income earners, businesses and billionaires, would do nothing about our government’s spending problem. Waxman does favors here and there for individual voters, but he has to represent everyone.
One guy in Venice told me: “I love Waxman. He’s the last honest politician we have left.” When I told him that Waxman did not know what was in his own bill, that he says “We’re Not Broke!” in the face of trillions of dollars of debt, he signaled: “I’ll check it out.” No matter what your affiliation, competence and constitutionality count, and Waxman has neither.
When I told a Democrat in Manhattan Beach that Waxman pushed ObamaCare, he replied: "That's it! I'm voting for Bloomfield!" Another Democrat in the Beach Cities told me that she is willing to cross party lines because of the power of public sector unions, whom Waxman supports, since he opposes Prop 32.
The Daily Breeze loves Waxman, too. In their editorial (also published in their sister paper the “LA Daily News” ), they endorse his seniority. Yet Waxman’s influence did nothing to aid our veterans in the Brentwood-Greater Los Angeles area. His influence pushed on this country an unpopular mandate-tax (ObamaCare) which raids Medicare while driving up costs, a law a majority of voters want repealed. By his influence, he blocked the Subway to the Sea, which would have decreased traffic and protected the environment and the roads from Downtown LA to Santa Monica. I love clean water, yet Waxman did nothing to amend the poorly written Clean Water Act, twice in six years struck down by the Supreme Court.
The Daily Breeze editorial board wrote that Waxman is the “better fit” for the 33rd District – in other words: “We Love Henry Waxman – We just can’t say why!”
They may love Henry Waxman -- but for the reasons outlined above, I will not vote for the guy.