Carl DeMaio has become known for the prolific reports and multi-point plans that he churns out, even though they have often ended up not working out so well. He’s certainly been trying to keep up the pace in his Congressional race, but you’d be forgiven if a lot of these ideas seem awfully familiar. Not just the notoriously plagiarized National Journal report, but woven throughout his platform.
One of the very first reforms put forward by Carl DeMaio — even before Republicans wouldn’t let him run for mayor — was passing No Budget, No Pay. It’s a good idea. Poll tested and popular. One way to know is that Scott Peters ran on it in 2012 and won. Then he went to Congress, where almost immediately he voted for H.R. 325, The No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 on January 23, 2013. Then the Senate passed it on January 31, 2013. Then the President signed it on February 4, 2013. Peters also co-sponsored a bill to make the policy permanent, sequestered his own pay when gridlock imposed deep cuts to government programs, and co-sponsored the Stop Pay for Members Act, which would ensure that Members of Congress would not get paid if the U.S. defaulted on its debt.
It’s sixteen months later, and No Budget, No Pay is central to DeMaio’s Congressional reform plan. It’s great that Carl’s on board, but maybe he could catch up?
DeMaio also rolled out a shiny new infrastructure plan recently, with some ideas that sound great. He wants federal funding for “improvements at our border crossings,” kinda like the $226 million that Scott Peters and other members of San Diego’s delegation delivered in January for improving border infrastructure. It was well covered then, including in articles also discussing DeMaio, so it’s not like this is news to team Carl. I guess they just recently found out it’s good policy that everyone likes.
The same plan includes more investment in our maritime port infrastructure. You might ask yourself, “Self, why didn’t anyone think of that before?” Right? They could have passed a bipartisan bill to do just that, and they could have called it the Water Resources Reform & Development Act. It could contain more than $12 billion for water infrastructure, fully fund the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, cut burdensome red tape, and manage to be so overwhelmingly popular that leaders as ideologically diverse as Barbara Boxer and Eric Cantor brag about the achievement of passing the first WRRDA since 2007.
What’s that? It happened last week? On the same exact day that Carl DeMaio proposed it?
It would be tempting of course to assign Carl the political power to mobilize 412 House votes in an hour, except the original version passed in October of last year. Scott Peters voted for that one too, just in case Carl isn’t sharing his notes with the rest of the class. Only took DeMaio eight months to notice this one was taken care of and jump on board.
Fear not though, the creative ideas don’t stop there. Just this Tuesday, Carl came up with another great one: He’s going to “launch a San Diego pilot project to better connect local employers with veterans seeking jobs.” Sounds like a great idea.
Scott Peters thought so. That’s why early last year, he brought together stakeholders like retired Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, the San Diego Veterans Coalition, San Diego Military Family Collaborative, San Diego Military Advisory Council, representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Navy, and Marines, San Diego Grantmakers, San Diego 211, and more. They worked for a year to put together a project, to… wait for it… “provide links to jobs, employment coaches and social services” for transitioning servicemembers.
It’s called the Military Transition Support Project. It was announced in February to extensive media coverage in San Diego. So welcome to the party Carl, it’s great to have you. Even if you’re more than a year late to what Scott Peters already did (again).
It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Certainly, as Carl flees from the Tea Party Express that’s brought him this far, he’s providing living proof of Peters’ bipartisan appeal. And that’s still before you get to Carl wanting to be an environmentalist except for when he has to vote on the environment. Or Carl being pro-choice unless you ask Planned Parenthood. Or Carl being a champion for LGBT Equality unless you (like many of San Diego’s most prominent LGBT leaders) want him to publicly commit to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Taken together, this is fast approaching an outright endorsement of Scott Peters.
That’s certainly quite the ‘New Generation’ of leadership Carl’s pioneering here. Wait, what? Even that’s copied? From Nathan Fletcher? Nevermind.
So tune in next week to see Carl’s next great plan. Perhaps it’ll be a pledge to put a man on the moon by the end of this decade. Maybe he’s a man with a plan for a canal in Panama. Maybe he’ll bring us sliced bread — the greatest thing since sliced bread. Maybe we’ll get a mailer with Carl standing proudly over all the weeds he pulled in Scott Peters’ backyard. Heck, he might start regaling us with stories about his time as City Council President and Chair of the Port Commission.
It could be San Diego’s newest party game, except Congress is a serious thing. Carl might be ok with trying to skate by on copied ideas, but San Diegans, and the country, deserve substance. Even Carl apparently agrees that the substance in this race comes from Scott Peters.
I’m proud to work to re-elect Congressman Scott Peters.