Since setting up "Ted Lieu Watch", I have exposed the legal and political interests of State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). From his attempt to triple California's car tax, to the minor arguments about tanning salons, abandoned ships, and all of those bills about animals—protecting bears from hunting dogs, microchipping pets, banning private pet sales—more Californians should wonder whether Lieu needs to be recalled, held accountable, or kicked out of office.
California has high taxes, higher regulations, and the height of spending problems. Lieu wants to protect bears from being chased up a tree, while businesses are being chased out of the state because of all the high taxes and regulations. While Lieu is looking out for puppies, our pupils suffer in sub-standard schools. He prevents minors from using tanning salons, but public sector unions rely are burning generous pensions and benefits out of dwindling city coffers. While protecting abandoned ships, Lieu still claims that the California budget is balanced, when numerous sources suggest that those rosy projections will turn into thorny deficits.
After contacting Lieu's office this past week, I headed for the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood, where the League of Humane Voters (LHV) was holding their second annual Los Angeles Mayoral Convention. Sen. Ted Lieu would received the "Senator of the Year" award for his efforts on behalf of animals.
While I spoke with LHV activists, some shared their disbelief about "balanced budgets," too. Then I spied Sen. Lieu in the back of the room. Unwilling to approach him while he was speaking with supporters, he suddenly came to me, and shook my hand. Right away, I let loose about taxes, spending, and all the rest. He did correct me about the shark fin bill, which he opposed. Still, I hammered about attempting to triple our car tax. He told me what the Sacramento staffer had shared: our transportation funding is depleted, and businesses supported the tax. Even if these two elements are the case, Californians are still struggling under high taxes as it is, in part because of shot-gun budgeting with Prop 30 because state legislature threatened more cuts.
I told him that Rhode Island is mulling to scrap their state income tax, along with Kansas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin, something that California also ought to consider. Lieu mentioned some proposed tax credits, but the state needs across the board relief for all taxpayers. I reminded him of AB 160, an attempt by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) to exempt 20,000 teamsters from the meager Sacramento pension reforms passed last year. How can anyone balance the budget with exemptions flying around?
Our "discussion" about the "balanced budget" reached a fevered pitch. He grew flustered, struggling to articulate compentent answers to my questions. He admitted that the legislature did not balanced the budget last year. Why should anyone believe that they will this year? He refused to acknowledge that all of those rosy projections will not pan out until June, so in effect the budget is not really balanced. I brought up the transfer of tax funds to pensions and benefits, which he did not answer. I then demanded a townhall meeting in Redondo Beach, where he can tell us what humane laws he will pass for us humans.
He then mentioned a magic number: "$5 Billion Dollar surplus. Don't take my word for it. Google it, and see for yourself!" I looked it up—and the same accounting gimmicks are buoying these numbers. Sacramento legislators cannot crying "balanced" when the revenue is just "projected".
Later on, Lieu received the "Senator of the Year" award for his animal rights legislation. He claimed to support the free market, but since animals do not have a voice, they have no choice but to submit to the cruelty of corporate interests, the government needs to step in and protect them. Now, I love animals. Animals deserve protection, but this state needs someone who will love the animal lovers, too, by passing lower taxes, less regulations, and less spending. What's the point of passing laws for the pets, when the pet owners cannot afford to care for them, or when veterinary interests cannot profit from caring for them?
Since when has the free market failed to care for the well-being of pets and other creatures? I spoke with one activist, who shared with me that a private interest purchased an animal shelter in Mission Hills, and now provides better care. Public-private partnerships can save the state millions while enforcing a culture of efficiency and respect for animals. Sen. Lieu's assertions about the limits of the free market unsubstantiated, to say the least. After Lieu received his award, I pressed the state senator on drafting a school choice bill and enacting collective bargaining reforms. One of the animal rights activists agreed whole-heartedly.
Sen. Lieu: you need to care for all Californians, not just the furry ones! Set up a townhall meeting in Redondo Beach, where he can tell us how he will lower California's taxes, spending, and regulations.
Contact Sen. Lieu's Office: 310-318-6994 or 916-319-2030. Tell State Sen. Lieu to set up a townhall meeting in Redondo Beach, where he can answer the following question: "When will you pass humane laws for humans?"