Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy

Dear Loyal Readers,

It’s good to see that while you’re waiting for the sultry, well-proportioned
pin girl to re-rack lane 12 at Kings County Bowl, where the bar and
snack-bar capacity is a whopping 50 people, you brought your Blackberries
along so you could multi-task out on the campaign trail. In my day,
multi-tasking involved a little JWR and … well, perhaps that’s a column
for another day. Instead, let’s get right to your questions before the 5
p.m. whistle blows at BECO Dairy Automation and the Pabst in the alley
really starts flowing full-tilt.

I’m a young Democratic staffer, and I hear the Democrats are going to take
control of the House. Is it time for me to move to D.C.? Or should I stick
out four years here with a GOP governor?

Given that both Washington and Sacramento are run by chief executives of the
Republican ilk, I think you’ve got to ask yourself, “Where would I rather be
vetoed?” Sacramento has the allure of California’s beautiful weather and a
small-town feel that can either be Little House On The Prairie charming or
narrow-minded stifling, depending on the mood you’re in. Washington has
major-league baseball, snow, humidity, an even more cynical press corps and
Trent Lott, who can ruin anyone’s idea of a good time. The bottom line?
After some time out West, maybe it’s time to give East Coast women an even

My Republican girlfriend is a very conservative–in some things, anyway–and
I’m a leftie. Do we have a chance for happiness? My friends say no. What do
you think?

Predicting marital bliss isn’t exactly one of Big Daddy’s fortes. All I can
do is advise you to take a look around at some of the oddball pairings and
compare your situation to theirs. Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts. Didn’t work
out so hot. James Carville and Mary Matalin. Going strong after many, many
years. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock. Check back on November 8
for an update.

I know a reporter who, when defending negative news coverage, says he “never
covers airplanes that land safely.” Do you think reporters are too negative
in their political coverage?

Much of this is a chicken-and-the-egg debate. Do reporters cover the inane,
glossy, petty, superficial, titillating, and ridiculous things politicians
do because it’s what they want to cover or what their readers demand? Or do
they simply report on the steady diet of inane, glossy, petty, superficial,
titillating, and ridiculous things that politicians continue to feed them?
There are some good enterprising young and old scribes out there who would
rather be forced to drink a bottle of Cutty Sark than have to cover a press
conference or pen a story about who an Assembly member thinks is likely to
be good in the sack. You may need a magnifying glass and a pack of
bloodhounds to find these reporters and their articles, but trust Big Daddy,
they’re out there.

Who’s more powerful: a legislator or a top lobbyist?

Fewer and fewer lawmakers have the gumption to take on any well-funded
lobbyist, and those that do often turn around to look for their colleagues,
only to find themselves alone in the wilderness. Lawmakers have more
allegiance to the lobbying corps than they do to each other, which is a sad
state of affairs indeed. Big Daddy certainly spent his share of time with
lobbyists, enjoying the many treats they provided. But back in my day, a
member’s allegiance was always to another member, not to a hired gun.
To put it more succinctly, “Hello term limits, goodbye legislative gonads.”

Does that answer your question?

I think Carole Migden is sexy, especially with that New York accent. Is she
seeing anybody? Think she’d date a Republican?

You and me both, my dear. Sen. Migden always has been known to have an open
mind and a love for working with Republicans whenever they see the wisdom of
agreeing with her point of view. As for a date, I think you’re facing an
uphill climb, seeing as how she’s been living with someone for a number of
years. However, I have little doubt that a friendly coffee could be in your
future, as I’m sure she’d love the challenge of explaining to you why no
woman in this state (or, frankly, any state) who has the wisdom to read
Capitol Weekly should be a registered Republican.

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