The idea that Jane Harman is quitting Congress because she is a frustrated moderate is absurd. Harman is worth an estimated $300 million and so she thinks she can dine and dash at taxpayers' expense. She has been missing in action from our 36th district for years. She didn't hold a single public forum before the government health care vote despite her constituents' pleadings and protests. She has consistently ignored the people of the South Bay and is only seen when there is an election at hand. Harman has been aloof and disconnected for years.
She quit Congress because the Democrats were no longer in control and millionaires don't like to toil away in the minority. Why would she run for a new term if she really had no intention of finishing it? What changed so abruptly? Lee Hamilton announced May 3, 2010 that he would be leaving the Woodrow Wilson Center job that Harman is now taking. Harman and the Woodrow Wilson Center should come clean on exactly when their conversation started. If it is found that Harman was already making inquiries to take the Center's top job before her November election then she owes the voters an apology. Harman resigning a few weeks in to a two-year term is offensive to the voters. In fact, Harman served all of 33 days of her 730 day commitment before announcing her departure -- that's a cost to taxpayers of $126,575.34 of wasted time when you figure her annual office budget is $1.4 million.
Sadly, we are not surprised by her lack of respect for us -- it's been a pattern. Millionaire politicians think they can do what they want without facing the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, Los Angeles taxpayers also have to foot the million dollar special election bill to pay for Harman's selfishness. Harman should pay for the election to fill her vacancy with her personal fortune and reimburse the taxpayers for her ego-centric decision. After all, Harman can afford it; Los Angeles taxpayers already have a huge budget deficit.
The person who replaces Harman should be someone with real world experience, not some recycled politician with tired ideas seeking higher office and creating more special elections. Janice Hahn and Debra Bowen are career politicians who have been so unimpressive that it would be a mistake for voters to send them to Washington. Hahn helped create the financial mess that Los Angeles finds itself in and Bowen hasn't produced the changes at the DMV she promised. Why send uninspiring bureaucrats to do the same thing in Congress? We've seen what they deliver and we should say, "No thanks."
Isn't there someone in the South Bay that knows how to balance a budget and make the necessary tough decisions that we expect of our representatives? Is there someone in the 36th District that could bring new ideas to Washington without maneuvering for their next gig? How about we find someone that will also come back home to the South Bay after serving and live under the same laws that they helped create? Thomas Jefferson is asking for someone to stand up -- and the voters are asking the same 'ole politicians to sit down.