OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Assemblyman Curt Hagman’

Commentary: “For The Love of Money” by Assemblyman Hagman

Posted by Allen Wilson on April 28, 2014

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Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) offers his thoughts regarding the corruption scandals of Senators Calderon, Wright and Yee that made headlines the past few months.

Hagman represents the 55th Assembly District and currently candidate for San Bernardino County Supervisor.

Recently, news of yet ANOTHER state senator being indicted for corruption sent shockwaves throughout California. When I heard the charges against San Francisco’s Leland Yee, I shook my head in disbelief. Could a man known for his gun control efforts be part of an international gun trafficking ring? We do not know all the facts, but I do know that the charges against him are so serious that the Legislature cannot pretend that it should conduct business as usual.

The troubles of three state senators now mean that more than 10 percent of the Democrat members of the State Senate are either under indictment or have been convicted of a felony. Senator Yee joins two other senators who are also facing serious legal trouble. One senator is facing bribery charges while another was recently convicted of a felony for lying about his residency – as he resides outside the district he represents.

And how did the Senate respond? They voted for Senate Resolution 38, which gave all three senators paid vacations. The Resolution also plans to give all senators and their staff additional ethics training. Presumably they will be told that trafficking rocket launchers, taking bribes and making deals with mobsters is inappropriate at any time. To be fair, the State Constitution currently gives no authority to the Senate to suspend legislators without pay and President Pro Tem Steinberg is proposing a constitutional amendment to finally fix that issue. I’m astounded this has not happened sooner.

All legislators understand the law and take an oath to follow it. However, no amount of ethics training will prevent a crooked politician from doing the “wrong thing.” According to the FBI affidavit against Senator Yee, he was well aware of the laws he was breaking. At one point, the senator reportedly said on tape, “I hope I don’t get indicted.”

Ultimately, all three senators should resign from office to remove the thick fog of corruption hanging over the State Capitol. As long as they are allowed to remain in office, it will be much more difficult to make progress on the issues that matter to all Californians such as jobs and public safety. The public is already deeply cynical about government and the least elected representatives can do is take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately, it is hard to ignore the fact that the alleged corruption took place in a political environment where one party has absolute control over Sacramento. As that popular saying goes, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When one party is accountable to no one, it makes it much more tempting for some to overreach and abuse the power entrusted to them by the citizens.

I have spent years as a volunteer for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s department and have seen firsthand that sitting behind bars is the last thing anyone wants to do. Perhaps all elected officials should take a prison field trip as part of our annual training? It would be a more powerful lesson than ethics training and suspension with pay.

I know that Californians are sick and tired of the mess in Sacramento and want to see an end to the culture of corruption. Elected officials need to be held accountable to the people of their district and the citizens of California. You, the voter, can help by electing men and women with integrity and character – who will do what’s right even when the FBI isn’t eavesdropping.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, California, Campaign Finance, Orange County, State Assembly | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SB County Supervisor Ovitt announces retirement Assemblyman Hagman enters contest

Posted by Allen Wilson on January 6, 2014

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In a stunning move, San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt announces his retirement and that he will not seek a third term on the Board of Supervisors.

Ovitt hails from Ontario who is an ordained Minister, once a Councilmember and has served on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors from the Fourth District since 2004.

This contributor has confirmed that Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills, District 55) will be running as a candidate to succeed Ovitt in June 2014.

Hagman is serving his last term in the State Assembly in 2014 due to term limits.

The Fourth District makes up 133 square miles with 400,000 residents in Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair and Ontario.

Posted in California, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Assemblyman Hagman: Let Each City Decide to Roast Marshmallows

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 16, 2013

Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills, District 55) offers his two cents regarding the proposed fire pits ban at Los Angeles and Orange County beaches by the AQMD:

Beach bonfires have long been part of the California way of life. Roasting marshmallows, making smores, and spending quality time with family and friends next to an open fire have created countless memories for generations of Californians. But if a government agency gets its way, such experiences will be a thing of the past and the beaches will be deserted after 5 PM.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) recently unveiled a proposal to ban all beach fire pits/rings within Orange and Los Angeles counties. Such fire pits would cease to exist along our coastline. Ironically, I find it amusing that the agency that oversees development of California beaches, the Coastal Commission, sees the fire pits as a form of recreation and wants the rings to stay.

The AQMD says fire pits contribute to Southern California’s pollution and harm public health. The chairman of the District even went so far to compare the smoke from the bonfires to “carpet bombing” during the Vietnam War.  To compare beach bonfires to the horrors of war is simply ludicrous. Such a comparison is offensive and it is no wonder that thousands of people have risen up to oppose the fire pit ban.  Most reasonable people would know that the environmental impact of beach bonfires is miniscule compared to other sources of smoke.

To be fair, fire pits do raise some legitimate public safety and health issues. For example, some Newport Beach residents who live next to the beach have complained about exposure to wood smoke and floating embers that have drifted to their homes. But they knowingly bought a house next to a beach with fire rings already present.  The heart of the matter is local control. Let the Newport Beach city council and residents make the choice. Let the cities and counties decide on the beach fire pits as it concerns their economy, their neighborhoods, and their quality-of-life. If the top concern of Newport Beach’s residents is soot, then it can ban its fire pits if they so desire.

Meanwhile Huntington Beach, which generates $1 million in revenue from beach parking and the purchase of bonfire supplies, can decide to keep its pits in place to maintain tourism. Plus add in the indirect value of the public spending money in beach towns because of family events around the fire pits. To impose a sweeping ban that the AQMD proposes is an unwieldy and unfair one-size-fits-all solution. 

Many residents, including my Assembly colleagues who represent the area, support local control that would allow beach fire pits to continue to exist. I believe it is a sensible solution that can satisfy everyone. Equally important, local control helps keep government closest to the people.

The AQMD is a powerful agency with little public oversight. The regulations that the non-elected board members propose can have far-reaching impacts on our economy that are often little-noticed by the public – unless they touch something as popular as beach fire pits. Making the District more transparent is a topic for another day.

The Board of Directors of AQMD will vote on the fire pits ban in June. I hope the board heeds the voices of people who support local control. Until then, we must continue to make our voices heard by letting AQMD know how we feel. We cannot let a small minority of extreme environmentalists and NIMBY activists take away a special part of California’s culture.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Assemblyman Hagman: California Republicans Still Have a Pulse

Posted by Allen Wilson on December 13, 2012

Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills, District 55) offers his thoughts about Republicans place in California politics:

In this world of instant information, news outlets are always looking to be the first to break major stories or provide the most comprehensive analysis of current events. That is why less than 12 hours after the final vote was cast in our state’s recent election; the media was chomping at the bit to write the Republican Party’s political obituary in California as Democrats secured supermajorities in the State Senate and Assembly.  

But to completely write off the GOP after one disappointing election is incredibly shortsighted and fails to take into account the electoral tradition of our state.  In fact, the last party to hold a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature was the Republican Party in the 1930s and it was only 16 years ago when Republicans held a majority in the Assembly. Republicans will once again return to prominence in state politics.  It will, however, require us to get back to the basics.

A critical mistake that I believe Republicans have made in recent years is allowing the other side to define us as the “party of no.”  That characterization could not be farther from reality. Consider that earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times called Republicans the “party of yes” when we got behind the Governor’s pension reform package. We supported the L.A. Mayor’s effort to eliminate bureaucratic red tape protecting predators in the classroom.  Republicans also put forward our own budget roadmap prioritizing funding for education.

At its core, the Republican Party remains a party of ideas, principles, and opportunity. We believe in the power of individuals to succeed based on their hard work and initiative.  No one, especially the government, should stand in the way of that freedom.  In California, it means bringing private sector jobs back and ensuring families have opportunities to achieve financial security.  It means guaranteeing our children have access to the best education in the world.  It means keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe.

Our state’s status within our country has continued to fall.  Look at some of our sobering numbers:

·    California is 24/7 Wall St.’s “Worst Run State” for the second year in a row.
·    The state’s S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody’s credit rating is the second-worst.
·    Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three.
·    The state’s foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively.
·    California’s personal income tax has the highest top rate and one of the most highly progressive structures in the nation.
·    According to the Tax Foundation, the state has the third-worst business tax climate in the country and the highest corporate tax rate in the West.
·    We have the highest statewide general sales and use tax in the nation.
·    Our combined local, state, and federal gasoline taxes are the second highest in the nation.

So even with this election’s setbacks, we can find solace in the fact that the Republican Party’s message resonated in other areas of the country.  Not only did we retain the U.S. House of Representatives, but Republicans also control 30 governors’ mansions – the most for any party in over a decade. But it is clear our party failed to effectively communicate that message in California and we now have a chance to correct course.  Voters agree with us on many issues, but evidently they have doubts about our ability to deliver those promises.

Although our clout is admittedly diluted in Sacramento, Republicans in the Legislature were elected by the people in our communities who deserve to have their voices heard in the Capitol.  Their choice to send us to Sacramento reflects their belief that jobs must come first, that realignment is the wrong prescription for public safety, and that our children must be educated for a 21st century economy. It remains our duty to stand up for our constituents when the Legislature or Governor inevitably overreach.  Democrats need to know that they cannot run amok with their newfound supermajority powers.  Their decisions impact all Californians, not just the blue parts of our state.

As both sides of the aisle chart a new path through largely unfamiliar terrain, Republicans have an opportunity to hold Democrats accountable for their decisions and ensure Californians understand every option for solving the state’s problems. Our party may currently be down for the count, but we still have a strong pulse.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »