The Rundown

Posted November 12, 2009 in News


The San Bernardino barber who was arrested and hospitalized—but so far, not charged with any crimes—after a beatdown by cops outside a convenience store in October returns to his shop to find it burglarized and ransacked. Nobody’s suggesting there’s a connection between the unsolved burglary and the bad publicity the cops got after somebody recorded the beating on a cell phone. Why would anybody suggest such a thing



A few hours after state Senator John Benoit casts key votes in support of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s water bond, the Governator morphs into the Reciprocator—guttural movie catch phrase: “Ah’ll be (scrahtching yoah) bahk!”—and appoints the local Republican to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. But this is more than a deft piece of political deal making, complete with Benoit’s requisite denial of any connection between the two moves. It also ensures a royalty-like bequeathal of the seat. Just before Roy Wilson resigned from the Board of Supervisors in late August due to poor health—which was just before he became the late Roy Wilson—he publicly requested that Schwarzenegger appoint Benoit to the $143,031-a-year position. Schwarzenegger’s compliance thus spares Wilson the hassle of spinning in his grave.



If there was any doubt that Benoit is super-qualified to be a supervisor, he erases them by hitting the ground running . . . for election. One of his first acts is to issue invitations to a $1,000-a-plate celebratory lunch, the proceeds going to the campaign war chest for his run for a full term in 2010. According to the Sacramento Bee, Benoit has about $31,000 stashed in his officeholder account and has reported about $219,000 in late contributions for his 2010 supervisor bid—including a $200,000 loan from Wilson’s election fund. But please don’t worry that Benoit is letting politics get in the way of solving the massive problems facing his constituents. Schwarzenegger isn’t, saying “I have no doubt that John will continue to promote the interests of the people in Riverside County to the best of his ability in this new role.” Just not today.



Fortunately, Lake Elsinore City Councilman Thomas Buckley’s arrest tonight on suspicion of drunken driving isn’t all that serious—certainly not as serious as anyone else who got caught up near that DUI checkpoint near Mission Trail and Malaga Road. It has little to do with the alcohol that Buckley allegedly sucked down before getting behind the wheel. It’s mostly a combination of Buckley’s bad timing—and the fact that he is stupid. “It’s never a good time for somebody to do something stupid,” Buckley tells The Press-Enterprise. “It’s never a good time for a council member to do something stupid. It’s really never a good a time for a council member facing a bogus recall to do something stupid.” Bogus what? Buckley is referring to the fact that, besides this alleged drunk-driving thing, the Committee to Recall Thomas Buckley has accused him of profiting from a land deal while he headed the Redevelopment Agency, as well as overall bad leadership. Buckley denies the illegal-profiteering charge—after ending up in jail tonight, it’s kinda hard to deny the leadership thing—but he is hoping for the best in the Feb. 23 recall election. “I hope the community will be able to separate the two issues,” he says. Not if Enelida Caron, who heads the recall effort, has anything to do with it. “[The drunken driving charge] is like a Christmas gift,” she says. “Sorry.”



Congressman Ken Calvert (R-Little Dumplin‘) does not get up from his seat and walk down to the floor of the House of Representatives to speak during the debate over the historic Health Care Bill, and considering his ever-grosser physical condition, that seems like a wise non-move. Since members of Congress get the kind of complete, public health care they deny the rest of us, the cardiac-arrest-waiting-to-happen Calvert potentially saves taxpayers a ton of money every time the Corona congressman sits on his ass.



The national Democratic Party targets Calvert for voting no on the Health Care Bill, and not just because he’s such a large target. It’s because Calvert represents a district that went for President Barack Obama in last year’s election. That’s the common denominator among all eight of the California Republicans who are mentioned in an e-mail blast by the Democrats, who are trying to ensure the bill becomes law. “Before health reform can become law, it must pass one more time through the House of Representatives, which means Rep. Calvert will have one more opportunity to reverse course and support reform,” said the e-mail. “So we must publicly show that the voters in your district support reform and are counting on Rep. Calvert.” Calvert reportedly told the Democrats to go make him a sandwich.



Mmmm . . . a Calvert sandwich!


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