It’s here, finally. The California State Senate District 32 Special election to fill the vacant seat. Well, for three and a half weeks at least. What a mess.
We haven’t had official representation in Sacramento for nearly half a year. Some might say even longer considering who was in office before.
Yet, here we are.
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, voters are asked to go to the polls to select one of two candidates for the remainder of the term left vacant when Tony Mendoza resigned his seat if not in disgrace, at least in shame.
With recess time, that equates to about three and a half weeks for the temporary Senator sitting in office in Sacramento before relinquishing her seat to the regular term winner from the November General Election.
So who are the players for this short term? The Republicans send top Special Primary Election vote-getter, Rita Topalian, against big bucks, big ideas, Democrat Vanessa Delgado.
Since I spent a good portion of two afternoons interviewing the November candidates, Bob Archuleta and (guess who) Topalian, I got to know each other, or at least their answers, pretty well.
Too bad, I never got the chance to speak with Vanessa Delgado. After five tries (Emails, Calls, cell phone and emails), I went with what I knew. Interview those willing to say something.
Since I’m talking only about the “Special Election,” I will offer my unsolicited two cents.
Topalian is wrong for the 32nd State Senate District.
I will offer the usual, “She’s a wonderful person,” comments and also that, “I’m sure she’s a good mother,” but she is wrong for the people of the 32nd State Senate District.
Citing her status as a former Democrat and now the Republican Candidate in both State Senate races, her answers and conversation make me believe she was more of a Right leaning Libertarian than a Conservative from Whittier via Montebello.
Maybe it was her constant, “I’ve heard,” statements or going off the record to discuss several vital subjects during our conversation and interview session last month.
Perhaps her frame of reference of controlling weapons of war being offered for sale to everyone simply because she feels that it’s everyone’s right to elect to purchase or not, or maybe creating a deterrence so terrible for those seeking asylum in this already great country, that it would solve the immigrant question de jour.
Listening to Rita tell me that she and her parents were refugees from the devastation of World War II, I wanted to stand up and say, “Senora! You’re a migrant!”
But, she doesn’t speak Spanish.
Granted, she was passionate when she spoke of children being separated from parents at the border, but my jaw dropped when she said there were supposedly “Right people” who could do it compassionately.
Maybe, the Nazis had compassionate guards who were only doing their jobs or in many defenses at war crimes trials, simply “following orders.”
While proponents of limited weapons of war sales (okay, gun control), include me, my frame of reference, (where I’m coming from) includes seeing the obliterated face of a young sergeant from the current war on Terror and the still body of a Norwalk resident and neighbor slumped over in a car seat a block from my house.
Plus, I’ve actually had someone in my sights (gun sight) and elected not to shoot. I’ve said it before; I’ve only had three guns pointed at me. I’m glad everyone survived all incidents.
I get that that Topalian doesn’t know what an AK-47 or an AR-15 is. But she should.
Those of you who have sat across from me in an interview situation who may have heard me ask you, “Do you want to rephrase that answer?” might appreciate this.
When Topalian said she didn’t have enough information on a subject as sensitive and dear to many in this state, the reintroduction of increased off-shore oil drilling, then she should have stopped there.
Yet, she chose to continue by saying, “I’m not against it (California off-shore oil drilling), because I think it’s there to be used. Why not? We can use it,” was reckless to say the least and dangerous if it goes through. I have one word for her: Exxon Valdez, New Horizon Disaster and the Wilmington subsidence zone. Well, that’s actually ten words, but you get the picture.
Finally, when asked if she swore her allegiance to the President, she said she only swore allegiance to one person, herself. C’mon Rita, what about the 940,000 people of the 32nd State Senate District. Where do we fall on your list of allegiances?
Republican? I think it’s time for Topalian to pick up a new voter registration card and mark the “Libertarian Party,” box.
Delgado may be the 2018 equivalent of the, “None of the above,” but don’t waste your vote by writing in someone like Mickey Mouse.
The 32nd California State Senatorial District cannot have a Libertarian, excuse me, Republican Senator like Rita Topalian in office for even three and a half weeks.
The Special election is next Tuesday, August 7. Polls open at 7:00 and will remain open until 8:00 PM.