Guest opinion: Writer takes Assemblywoman to taks for a new campaign | May 15, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Perspective - May 15, 2009

Guest opinion: Writer takes Assemblywoman to taks for a new campaign

by David Abelmann

Joan Buchanan: Resign your Assembly seat. Quoting from your campaign for the State Assembly: "California's budget is a mess!" "Performance Not Politics." "Joan Buchanan is ready to go to work."

In the business world in which you profess to have honed your organizational and budgeting skills, if you join a company with commitments to that company and its organization and within four months you start looking for a new job, you would likely be fired.

In such a short time you would have accomplished nothing other than perhaps putting the company's name on your resume. The likelihood that you would get a favorable reference would be nil.

In a recent public forum at the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation dinner honoring you, you stated, "The best part of going to Sacramento is leaving Sacramento."

You have not accomplished much in your brief tenure in Sacramento. Your office was hard-pressed to name one accomplishment. You were elected to a position of trust by your District 15 constituents. We expected you to execute on your commitments. You have violated a trust.

To play back your own words "Performance not Politics" - in your case - should now read "Politics before Performance."

You have little support from those currently in Congress, many of whom backed you merely out of party affiliation. Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's 11th congressional district does not even include your District 15 cities of Danville, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Elk Grove and Stockton, to name a few - so you would be abandoning thousands who voted for you and put their trust in you and contributed to your campaign.

And if you lose, which is likely, your current constituents will know that they have an Assemblywoman who was not committed to the job that she was elected to and is in Sacramento only because she failed to get elected for a congressional office. In a recent interview with the Danville Weekly, you stated that many issues you care about are decided at the federal level. Why didn't you tell us this last fall during the campaign? This did not prevent you from accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions.

The 15th Assembly District deserves a representative with high qualifications who is committed 100 percent to doing an outstanding job for the district - not someone who has let us down and would be accepting her second best opportunity! Your failure to understand the incredible honor, importance and responsibility of being elected as a leader of our state is peculiar.

While elected officials frequently pursue higher office, Joan, you should work hard to develop a track record of your own, accomplishing something, anything, for your District 15 constituents. You have a lot to learn in the Assembly and it's clear you are out of touch with your constituency. As you work to get out of Sacramento with only months on the job, what kind of political capital do you think you'll have with your colleagues in Sacramento?

In business, if you sought an outside job before you delivered anything to your company and your management learned of this, they would no longer want you as a team member. Why should we, as your constituents, expect any less?

Resign now let a committed candidate assume your seat in Sacramento and you can pursue your personal political ambitions. If you are elected, good luck. If you do not resign, you are treating the Assembly as your insurance policy.

We deserve integrity, excellence in performance, commitment to do the job, and trust. You have violated all. Joan, your Web site claims that now is the time not to be "timid or formulaic." Pursue the Congressional election with gusto; District 15 deserves a better Assembly member.

David Abelmann, a Danville resident in Assembly District 15 and the 11th Congressional District, is a graduate of UC Davis, with a major in political science and economics.