Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-San Ramon
Fox and Hounds Daily conservative blogger Patrick Dorinson, also the former state GOP communications chief, incinerated four newly elected Assembly Democrats including Joan Buchanan in District 15 for failing to cast either yes or no votes on recent state budget votes.
In a piece titled “Profiles in Cowardice,” he accuses the four of abstaining on the critical votes in order to avoid attack ads in those inevitable 2010 re-election campaign tying them to “tax and spend” Democrats.
“Vote your conscience but vote,” Dorinson said via telephone today. “The people sent you to Sacramento to get something done.”
Dorinson’s biting commentary begins with with:
Congratulations to new Democratic Assembly members Alyson Huber of El Dorado Hills, Marty Block of San Diego, Joan Buchanan of Alamo and Manuel Perez of Coachella. In the first important vote of your careers, you demonstrated that all the fancy words from your campaigns about “changing the system” and “not a career politician” as well as “ready to go to work” and “performance not politics” were as empty as California’s bank accounts.
The four of you, joined by wily political veteran Charles Calderon of Whittier, abstained from voting on the tax hikes proposed by your own party. You didn’t vote yes or no, you abstained. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says that to abstain means, “to refrain deliberately and often with an effort of self-denial from an action or practice”.
Is it because you all got elected from swing districts and you fear the wrath of the voters in two years? Is this about maintaining “political viability” for higher office and are worried about future campaign attack ads that would include you vote for higher taxes? Did Speaker Bass give you “get out of jail free” cards on the vote because she knew it would not pass without three Republicans, and therefore you would not have a “tax increase” vote on your record? Or is it that you don’t have the guts to stand up and vote “yes or no” because you believe it is the right thing to do, political consequences be damned?
I don’t know your motives, but I would bet dollars to doughnuts that it was, dare I say the word, politics – pure politics.(Click here to read full column.)