READER'S EDITORIAL: CONCERN OVER LOCAL STATE SENATE ELECTION

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By Jeffrey Meyer

Photo: State Senator Joel Anderson

October 9, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The upcoming November election for Senate District 38 has become both an electoral and ethical quagmire. It is a situation with few solutions but one that demands to be understood.

 The ethical morass is rooted in the recent reports about the involvement of our district’s State Senator Joel Anderson with a shadowy lobby group that has corporations like Google and Microsoft scrambling to separate themselves from its membership.

 Known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), this nationwide organization, whose chairman in our state is Senator Anderson, is “just literally lying” according to a recent statement from Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. He announced they will no longer be part of ALEC’s corporate sponsorship.

 Newspapers and numerous websites have revealed that ALEC is a lobby “machine” focused on corporate wealth as opposed to public concerns.  They say it has turned legislators like Anderson into “stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes.” The ethical compromise with Anderson is that as ALEC’s state chairman he appears to have chosen corporate interests above public interests.

 Looking at the race Anderson is running against challenger Fotios Tsimboukakis, a political newcomer who is far behind him in polls, it seems inevitable we will be harnessed to ALEC’s agenda for four more years. When I emailed and called Anderson’s office about his involvement in this lobby group, they refused an explanation.

 Our community supports conservative agendas to create business and jobs, but not at the public’s expense. Politicians sometimes lose sight of the morality and ethical standards they are held to by their electorate, but Anderson has gone well past that point. In fact, what he is doing shows a deep contempt for his constituents.

 As to the electoral morass created by redistricting, everyone should know that by law we became Senate District 38 in 2011, but “in practice” are represented as District 36 until election day this November. At that time some of us become District 38 “in practice” and some of us become District 39. Rancho Bernardo east of the freeway “in practice” becomes District 39 on election day.

 District 38 communities include Fairbanks Ranch, Poway, Fallbrook, Bonsall, Valley Center, San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Sante Fe, Ramona, Julian, Scripps Ranch, Lakeside, Descanso, Alpine, Santee, El Cajon, La Mesa, Rancho San Diego, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.

 In my view, new District 39 residents are the clear winners here because they will have a credible representative in the California State Senate. It is likely Senate District 38 will not.

The views and opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the East County Magazine. Those having views and opinions for consideration should direct them to the editor at editor@eastcountymagazine.org.