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I would urge all of the readers of A News Café to get solidly behind the candidacy of Rick Bosetti for Assembly. Before I tell you why I believe that should happen, let me explain a couple of things. First, I don’t agree with everything Rick has done or has espoused. We are not close friends. In fact, we can best be described as friendly acquaintances. Rick is clearly a conservative Republican whereas I am a progressive Democrat. I am urging you to support Rick because I think it is in the best interest of the people of this Assembly District to put him into office. Here is why I think that:
- Because of the open primary system, there is not going to be a Democrat in that office. The two candidates who won in the primary are both Republicans. Therefore, it is important that we pick the best Republican and not just throw up our hands because we have no choices except a Republican. (I’m sure that somebody is running a write-in campaign as a Democrat. The chances of success for such a campaign are best demonstrated by the fact that, as a former member of the Shasta County Democratic Central committee, I have not heard of the campaign.)
- We are much better off having a Republican in the assembly who is from a major population center, not from the fringes. Unfortunately, it seems once someone gets into office, their focus turned towards Sacramento at the state level and Washington at the national level, losing track of the people in their district except at election time. A member of the Assembly from Shasta County is going to have a lot of trouble doing that because he’s going to be constantly bumping into his constituents.
- Even though I don’t agree with Rick on many issues, I’ve come to believe that he is a man of conscience and character. As you may know, Gov. Brown recently signed a bill that puts a 1% tax on retail lumber sales to provide funding for a number of issues relating directly to the lumber industry. When he first decided to run for office, Rick was dragooned into signing Grover Norquist’s no new taxes pledge. That pledge is a particularly repulsive form of blackmail because any Republican candidate who refuses to sign it finds the power of the dollar pounding him into the ground. Recently, at a Tea Party event, Rick was asked if he would have voted for that tax had it come before him. He told the assembled crowd that yes, he would have voted for it because he believed it to be in the best interests of the people he represented in this district. Rick says there are 22,000 jobs relating to the lumber and sawmill industry in this district, and he believes this legislation will help avoid the loss of those jobs. Whether you agree with him on the tax or not, it is absolutely refreshing to find someone who’s willing to put what he or she believes to be in the interests of their constituents instead of kowtowing to Mr. Norquist.
- Rick is going to pay a high political price for this. I’m certain that various anti-tax groups who have nothing to lose will, in a knee-jerk reaction, oppose him vocally and viciously. Rick serves on the Redding city Council with Dick Dickerson, a man who was savaged by the Republican Party because he voted his conscience and for what he believed was the best interest of the people in his district. When you are considering supporting Rick, remember that it would’ve been pretty easy for Rick to have dodged the question at the Tea Party affair because the tax was already signed into law. He didn’t. He answered the question squarely. In the context of the politics of 2012, that’s pretty darned refreshing.
We cannot ask our representative to vote exactly as we want him or her to do. All we can ask is that the person we send as our representative listen to us, consider our views, gather as much information as he or she can and then do what he or she believes to be in the best interest of the people in this Assembly District. I sincerely believe that Rick will do exactly that. Won’t it be nice to have somebody in Sacramento who listens to us and not to whomever is in charge of the Republican Party?
Dugan Barr has practiced law in Redding since 1967. He has tried more than 200 civil jury cases to verdict. He is married and has five children. The offices of Barr and Mudford, LLP, are at 1824 Court St. in Redding and can be reached at 243-8008.