While we don’t like or trust Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin-tunnel project, when it comes to developing a state budget – especially in the face of a drop in tax collections – there is no one we’d rather have with his hand on the wheel.
Unless they’re wearing a monarch’s crown, no one makes laws alone. To get things done, elected officials must be willing to listen, learn and cooperate. A really good politician has “people skills” to help them explain, persuade and, when necessary, compromise.
A smoker can resist taking a puff for six months, then one day resolve fails. Even the threat of diabetes won’t keep a serious chocoholic away from the candy box forever. And California’s state senators went two whole years refusing to take campaign contributions during the busiest time of the legislative year.
Jim DeMartini has been an excellent Stanislaus County supervisor. He is attentive to constituents’ needs, does the hard work needed to understand complex issues and is unafraid to speak his mind. More than any other supervisor, he attends meetings throughout his district, takes questions, deals with controversy and communicates.
Legislators give lip service to the public’s right to know about government operations. But too often, for the right special interest, they’re willing, eager even, to limit access to information. Two bills addressing this tendency are pending, one involving an entrenched special interest who wants to keep negative information hidden, the other a shiny new one that would hide info we now have a right to know.