I’m beginning to think that Ted Lieu only co-authored AB 920, the Feed-In Tariff bill as window dressing in order to try to pad his environmental resume.
Ted doesn’t talk about the bill in public, won’t put anything about it on his own web site, and looks down at his shoes and changes the subject if you ask him about the bill personally.
Why shouldn’t we conclude that Ted is practicing political greenwashing when he won’t show any backbone or courage and lobby on behalf of his own bill even when you ask him to?
Until Ted proves otherwise, that’s the conclusion I have reached. And in case you’re wondering, I’m a registered Democrat and a member of the Beach Cities Democratic Club, but fellow Democrat Lieu gets zero slack cut on this issue from me.
Ted Lieu used to be one of my city councilmen here in Torrance, but he didn’t stay local long because Ted had much bigger political ambitions than that.
Ted didn’t leave Torrance any significantly better than he found it before his stint on the city council, but he ran to become my state Assemblyman anyway and got elected to serve in Sacramento. Political pros said that Ted raised impressive amounts of money to get in office.
It’s pretty damn safe to say that Ted Lieu has not left the state of California or the 53rd district any better than he found it, and you can make a winnable argument in saying state government and the state itself are far worse off then they were back in 2005 when Ted arrived on the scene. But that’s not all Ted’s fault. He just bears the 53rd district’s share of the blame.
But the 53rd District is just one stepping stone on Ted’s political path. He’s got bigger political ambitions than the state legislature and today Ted’s running for Attorney General. And if you think Ted plans on stopping there then you don’t understand the incessant drive of burning political ambitions.
You probably didn’t realize that the race for Jerry Brown’s current office already began, but so far I’ve received one letter in the US Mail and two emails already, including one from Ted’s wife, Betty Chim who just happens to be one of my very favorite members of the Torrance Environmental Commission. All of these letters have asked me to send Ted money for his Attorney General campaign.
I’ve been asked to endorse Ted too. It’s so very faux flattering to be asked, don’t you think?
None of these letters mention that Ted has already amassed one of the biggest campaign treasure chests of anyone running and that Ted really doesn’t need a single dollar from me during this Not So Great Depression in order to out-raise and out-spend anyone else daring to run.
My good green friend Dency Nelson – who just happens to be the 53rd Assembly District’s Democratic Man of the Year for 2009 – is a strong supporter of Ted’s and tells me that Ted is a real good guy and a good environmentalist too. That may well be true, although it makes Lieu’s actions on AB 920 even more suspicious. And I can’t help but feel that Dency’s past support and monetary contributions to Ted’s campaigns gets him different treatment from Ted then I get as “just a constituent.”
But I don’t like to give campaign contributions to politicians because frankly it only encourages them. I’ll donate my time and I’ll donate my skills to work on issues I have in common with the politician but giving them money to spend on campaign mailers, or on fundraisers for the fat cats I don’t want to spend quality time with, seems more like outright bribery to me. And if I’m going to pay a bribe I want something substantial in return not just the right to be a FOT – a friend of Ted’s.
It doesn’t take a top analyst to conclude that Ted Lieu’s campaign staff is a lot more proficient and productive in soliciting me for some cash dough-ray-me and endorsements than his assembly staff is in responding to my constituent concerns and questions and keeping in touch with me overall. That makes it easy to see what Ted’s priorities are.
You’ve got to admire the efficiency of a campaign operation that can take a business card I handed Ted a year ago at an event I was a volunteer for and made sure that all my data got entered correctly and that I was including in mailing and e-mailings from both Ted and Betty. If only he had been that good hustling votes for a new California budget.
And you’ve just got to say “WTF?” about the weak and wimpy boiler plate response Ted’s staff generated to the following message I sent to Ted’s office using his own ultra-annoying on-line “contact us” form.
I’m writing specifically about AB 920 which I strongly support and proud of you for co-authoring.
I believe AB 920 is the second punch of what will be the one-two combination that drives the rapid adoption of solar energy production in California. The first punch – AB 811 – is now starting to fund the loans that make the purchase of solar PV systems financially possible for California property owners. I’m working hard to bring that loan program and the necessary funding here to the South Bay through the SBCCOG Green Task Force.
AB 920 and the feed-in tariffs that result from it will drive a rooftop real estate boom just like they are now seeing in Gainsville, Florida, the first city in the USA to pass solar feed-in tariff legislation.
The results of these same feed-in tariffs have driven Germany and Spain’s hugely successful adoption of solar energy with rates that far exceed our own.
Our conditions for producing clean, renewable solar power here in Southern California far exceed those in Germany and Spain. And our state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 mandates that we increase our production of renewable energy from the current 13.5% to 20% by next year, 2010. We’ve got to increase it all the way to 33% in just 10 years, by 2020. So our need to rapidly drive the adoption of rooftop solar that is already connected to the existing grid is obvious and urgent.
Please tell me how I can more actively support AB 920’s passage and what the most effective citizen lobbying on behalf of this legislation would be.
Thanks in advance for your time and consideration and thanks too for all you do on behalf of our environment here in the 53rd District.
And by the way – forcing constituents to send e-mail messages by going on your web page to leave it in your predesignated AOL era form is a lame and antiquated way to communicate with the people you serve today. In fact, forcing citizens to do it this way is a tactic designed to make sure your office gets less email. There’s no excuse for this 1994 behavior in 2009 unless your goal is to serve fewer of the people you’re supposed to be representing.
It only took Ted’s office a month to mail me a letter via snail mail. Here’s everything Ted had to say:
Dear Mr. Galliani: Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for Assembly Bill 920 (Huffman) – Solar and wind distributed generation. This bill passed the Assembly Floor on June 1, 2009 and has moved into the Senate. This is an imperative bill that will help the implementation of solar and wind energy in California and I am pleased to have co-authored the bill. Please continue to sen me your thoughts and concerns regarding legislation and current issues. If I can be of further assistance, please contact me at (310)615-3515
I’m guessing Ted defines “imperative” differently than the dictionary does, because there has been nothing “extremely urgent; essential” about the way Ted is trying to get AB 920 passed. Maybe that’s because Ted’s sense of urgency about responding to climate change or meeting the mandates of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions act are nothing compared to Ted’s sense of urgency about moving up the next rung on the political ladder.
So I’m going to have to look elsewhere for leadership on the issues I care about because I won’t be getting any leadership from Ted Lieu.
And I don’t expect Ted to pay any attention to this Creative Greenius post either – because after all, the kind of green Ted Lieu wants from me he just ain’t going to get.