Californians (and others) are rightfully pissed at the news that some of our legislators decided it was a good time to take their families on vacation to Maui, Hawaii on yours and the Independent Voter Project’s dime. Governor Gavin Newsom has moved most counties back into “purple” tier, imposing new restrictions with travel quarantines and partial curfews, but apparently these lawmakers think these restrictions do not apply to them.
“The pandemic may have “canceled” 2020, but it did not derail an annual gathering of lobbyists and lawmakers on the shores of Maui that brought people from across the country to a luxury resort this week.
“Roughly 100 people from four states converged at the Fairmont Kea Lani for a four-day legislative conference organized by the Independent Voter Project, said the group’s chair and executive director, Dan Howle.
“The 18th annual event was a third of its regular size, Howle said, but it still drew nearly 20 lawmakers from California, Texas and Washington state. The theme? How to reopen states’ economies amid the public health crisis.”
And for the record, someone needs to slap Independent Voter Project Chairman and Executive Director Dan Howle into next week. His behavior is the worst form of grift and humanity. Like the tools of the Lincoln Project, he needs to be exposed to open shame.
But I digress…
All the smart reporters immediately got on the good foot to poll the California Assembly and State Senate and see who was actually in the state, and who was missing in action. Mad props to Hannah Wiley of the Sacramento Bee for her intrepid legwork:
I texted, called, messaged and emailed every office, watched hearings and checked social media. And I'll update this thread according to responses, but here is at least who is ***NOT*** in Hawaii. https://t.co/JGpvArEtAO
— Hannah Wiley (@hannahcwiley) November 17, 2020
Wiley’s list of those NOT in Hawaii are:
Benjamin Allen, Bob Archuleta, Toni Atkins, Pat Bates, Jim Beall, Steven Bradford, Anna Caballero, Ling Ling Chang, Brian Dahle, Steven M. Glazer, Lena Gonzalez, Shannon Grove, Robert Hertzberg, Jerry Hill, Ben Hueso, Melissa Hurtado, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Brian Jones, Connie Leyva, Mike McGuire, Melissa Melendez, Holly Mitchell, John Moorlach, Mike Morrell, Jim Nielsen, Richard Pan, Anthony Portantino, Richard Roth, Nancy Skinner, Henry Stern, Thomas Umberg, Bob Wieckowski, Scott Wiener.
Joaquin Arambula, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Richard Bloom, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Rob Bonta, Autumn Burke, Ian Calderon, Sabrina Cervantes, Ed Chau, Phillip Chen, David Chiu, Stephen Choi, Kansen Chu, Ken Cooley, Megan Dahle, Tyler Diep, Susan Eggman, Vince Fong, Jim Frazier, Laura Friedman, Jesse Gabriel, James Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Todd Gloria, Lorena Gonzalez, Timothy Grayson, Chris Holden, Jacqui Irwin, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Ash Kalra, Sydney Kamlager, Kevin Kiley, Tom Lackey, Monique Limon, Evan Low, Brian Maienschein, Devon Mathis, Kevin McCarty, Kevin Mullin, Al Muratsuchi, Adrin Nazarian, Jay Obernolte, Jim Patterson, Sharon Bill Quirk, Quirk-Silva, James Ramos, Anthony Rendon, Eloise Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Freddie Rodriguez, Rudy Salas, Miguel Santiago, Mark Stone, Phil Ting, Randy Voepel, Shirley Weber, Buffy Wicks, Jim Wood.
Howle confirmed to Wiley that frequent flyer Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-CA48) is in Maui. Rubio was a part of the 2018 contingent that allowed Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) executives to pay for their trip to Hawaii that year. This while the state was literally on fire from the Paradise fire which was precipitated by the negligence and poor maintenance of PG&E!
According to Howle, the other members would not allow their names to be released.
Assemblywoman @AsmBlancaRubio *IS* in Hawaii, per IVP Chairman and summit organizer Dan Howle. He said the other members have "declined my request to release their names."
— Hannah Wiley (@hannahcwiley) November 17, 2020
Cowards. You can run, but you cannot hide.
Politico’s Jeremy B. White and Katy Murphy revealed the other three lawmakers that are more than likely in Maui:
“The names of four California lawmakers surfaced Tuesday as apparent attendees of a Maui resort conference that has come under fire because of California’s coronavirus surge and official warnings not to travel out of state.
“Assemblymembers Jordan Cunningham (R-Templeton) and Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) reported buying plane tickets on their late October campaign finance filings. Neither has responded to phone inquiries about whether they are attending the 100-person, four-day legislative conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui.
“Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley) is in attendance, according to spokesperson Joe Justin, the first to confirm his boss traveled to Hawaii. Justin had no comment beyond confirming Mayes was there.
So despite the headline, we have one Republican who also thinks he’s above it all. Jordan Cunningham has been named and shamed.
Though not mentioned by Politico, Wiley did allude that Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-CA09) was also among the group. Cooper was another frequent flyer on that 2018 junket. Talk about failing to learn from your past mistakes.
I recommend California constituents call, write, tweet, and make it known that you do not appreciate these lawmakers capricious disregard of restrictions that all Californians have been placed under, but for which they feel they are exempt. Rubio and Cooper’s Twitter are linked above. Assemblymen Cunningham‘s and Mayes‘ Twitter accounts, and Assemblywoman Carrillo‘s Twitter account are linked here.
While you are unable to visit your elderly loved ones, your kids cannot go to school, you cannot bury your beloved family member, and you have restrictions placed on your Thanksgiving celebration, they are frolicking in the sun and surf and dipping their toes in the sand.
It is egregious, it is immoral, and they need to be held accountable.