State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is going to Spain to study its national water system.
Per the Los Angeles Times today, the Legislature postponed its special session on prisons and water until Oct. 13 in order to accommodate DeSaulnier’s and other lawmakers’ overseas exodus:
“Seven state senators are heading overseas this week, some having left Thursday, on a trip that includes stops in Copenhagen, Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona.They plan to study Spain’s national water system and Scandinavian environmental programs, and to promote trade between California and Catalonia, according to a statement from the Senate Office of International Relations, which is organizing the trip.”
Uh, excuse me, but I Googled “Spain” and “national water system” and I got 18.7 million hits. See how easy that was? No plane ticket needed.
DeSaulnier doesn’t seen to regard Google as a worthy substitute for Madrid, and who can blame him?
He defended his decision to go on the week-long trip, saying the agenda contains important policy discussions and the opportunity to develop valuable personal relationships. Spain is paying for about half the trip and DeSaulnier says he will cover the rest out of his pocket or from his state campaign account.
“I think it is myopic to think that legislators have to stay in California to do their jobs,” DeSaulnier said. “Not everything was invented here.”
But, of course, if Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants legislators back in Sacramento before Oct. 13, DeSaulnier says he will cancel the trip.
Cowboy Libertarian and conservative commentator Patrick Dorinson does not sound sympathetic.
“They have to postpone the special session on water and prisons so they can go to Europe?” Dorinson said. “If there is ever a time when voters will go for a part-time legislature, it’s now.”