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Well, that question is easy to answer. We’ve known for a long time that 72nd district Assemblyman Travis Allen is sleazy, just as we’ve known for a long time that he is a liar.
Troy Edgar seemed worse, when they first ran against each other in 2012, and I voted for Travis myself and told my friends to … but we were probably wrong in retrospect.
What sort of Assemblyman has Travis been for the district, these four years?
To start with, he’s been one of the laziest most irresponsible assemblymembers, with the highest number of unexcused absences in the body – missing 503 votes (as of last fall) in order to appear on the media or enjoy junkets paid for by grateful corporations and foreign governments. That list includes, most colorfully:
- Missing work the morning after a $330 dinner paid for by Big Oil executives, the same industry that also paid for his trips to Norway and Poland to “study the environment,” LOL.
- Demanding and getting his “per diem” on days that he actually missed his committees, even appearing on FOX News one day he claimed to be in the legislature.
- Skipped work to tour AirBnB in San Francisco, and missed another day to tour Lyft.
- Went to the swanky 5-star Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, courtesy of TechNet, soon after being first sworn in; enjoyed an expensive junket to Pebble Beach paid for by California Life and Health Insurance Companies; and FREE TRIPS TO DISNEYLAND!
- A trip to China in Spring of 2015, paid for by the Chinese government, which Travis repaid by showing a Chinese delegation around Sacramento later.
- This past February he missed work for TWO WEEKS, to “get engaged” in Israel. When he returned to Sacramento he repaid his new friends by introducing a horrible anti-free-speech bill using California’s purchasing power to punish any business or institution that dared to “boycott, divest, or sanction” Israel for their illegal settlements policies (an “anti-BDS” bill.)
I kinda had a bad feeling about Travis Allen from the beginning, even as I voted for him over Troy Edgar. For one thing, one of the biggest issues in that particular district was the inexorable push from OCTA and CalTrans to steal $3 billion of our Measure M money to put TOLL LANES on 13 miles of the 405, rather than simply widen it as we taxpayers wanted. Gus Ayer and I tried and tried to get Travis to make this an election issue, but he studiously avoided saying anything for or against the scam, even as his fellow Republicans Mansoor and Moorlach – EVEN MATT HARPER! – fulminated against it. Silent consent is all Travis’ corporate backers really needed on this issue though, as he rubbed elbows with and cashed checks from the kleptocratic OCBC/OCTax crowd who were pushing the toll lanes most fervently.
Poseidon Resources, however, required more than silent consent, and Travis has dependably kept them happy, always either showing up or sending a spokesman to express his full-throated support of the boondoggle whenever an important vote on the matter comes up. And to this day, whenever Travis is questioned critically about ANY of these sellouts, he’ll change the subject to how he saved Southern California’s Fire Pits – the easiest, least controversial issue imaginable.
The one thing Travis HAS been consistently good at is throwing partisan bombs, bombs that’ll catch on in the right-wing media, and getting himself onto FOX News to talk shit on Democrats. And this latest from him, in a Washington Examiner piece penned by him, takes the cake:
Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right.
SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.
This terribly destructive legislation was written and passed by the progressive Democrats who control California’s state government with a two-thirds “supermajority…”
It goes on, with additional lies and mistakes detailed by Capitol Alert and Wonkette, but the salacious headline and opening had the effect Travis wanted – getting echoed, amplified and exaggerated even more all over the far-right media, getting Travis some dearly desired attention, and providing more hate-fuel to Trump-types who are always eager to believe ANYTHING bad about Democrats no matter how far-fetched. (And giving me more fires to put out on Facebook when I had other things to do.) Congratulations Travis for being the latest purveyor of FAKE NEWS! This even proves, to some minds, that EVERYTHING THEY EVER SUSPECTED ABOUT US IS TRUE, up to and including Hillary Clinton’s child-prostitution Pizza Ring:
Surprise, this is actually a bill that will help end the scourge of child prostitution more humanely and effectively, by treating the minor as a victim rather than a criminal, and going after the pimps and johns instead. Under this new law, a “child prostitute” (a term which activists are trying to terminate) can still be taken off the street and into custody or declared a dependent child of the court, just not thrown into jail and criminalized. This also makes it more likely they will feel free to seek help from police themselves. But leave it to Travis Allen and his alt-right fan base to piss all over any sort of progress.
California’s 72nd Assembly District sure deserves a better assemblyman than this showboating liar. It’s really too bad that the best the Democratic Party could come up with this past election to run against him was a psychotic, walking natural disaster of an “attorney” named Lenore Albert (below.) Maybe we should be starting to find someone better, right around NOW.