Blog: State Senator Ted Lieu Does Not Do Townhall Meetings?

State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) does not "do townhall meetings," according to one office staffer. Even though Lieu has new "deferral areas," why does he insist on not talking with his voters?

I have started the steady habit of contacting my representatives over the last few weeks. One Republican Party official told me that I could call like-minded legislators all week, but I would be wasting my breath "preaching to the choir." If I did not contact and comment to my representatives, which I do not like, I might get results. 

Congressman Henry Waxman's staff are quite cordial, as are the staff for Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ted Lieu.

On Feb. 11, I called Sen. Lieu's office to ask when he would be hosting a townhall meeting. Right away, I was informed that Lieu does not hold townhall meetings.

"He does not represent a town", the secretary reported to me when I asked to know when the state senator would be paying a visit to the South Bay. Since Sen. Lieu does not "represent" a town, he is thus not obliged to hold a "townhall" meeting.

I then explained that Congressman Henry Waxman just visited the Hermosa Beach area a little over a week ago. I then mentioned that Presidential candidates often hold town hall meetings, too. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a YouTube star in part because of his frequent visits with his voters. Not afraid to mix it up with constituents, who two-to-one favor his opposition, Christie still commands a high favorability rating with voters.

I was still amazed that my state senator would not be paying a visit any time soon, since Sen. Lieu must know (as should every voter in the South Bay and the Beach Cities) that he has received new "deferral areas" for a new state senate district, a change in venue resulting from the Citizens Redistricting Commission. No longer overseeing Carson and Long Beach, Lieu is now accountable to voters in the Palos Verdes Peninsula all the way to Beverly Hills.

Lucky (or unlucky) for me, Sen. Lieu still represents me, too.

Of course, I understand why Sen. Lieu may be reluctant to meet face to face with his constituents. He has authored one nanny-state interventionist bill after another, often with no regard for the time wasted or the costs accrued, or even the litigation enacted as a result.

Perhaps Lieu does not want to explain why he cares about shark fins instead of our public schools. Instead of supporting school choice and rescinding the "gun free zone" provisions at our public schools, he wants to add more financial burdens to schools which do not have an adequate disaster preparedness plan.

He has pressed for financial transparency from Super PACs. Perhaps he does not want to explain the extensive amount of campaign support that he receives from unions, the same special interests which resist school reform, which oppose pension reform, and which helped kill SB 1530, law which would expedite removing teachers guilty of gross misconduct in the classroom. No wonder he would resist a "right-to-work" law, which would help create jobs and keep money in workers' wallets.

He wanted to triple our car tax, making it harder for working families to keep their wheels on the road. I wonder how he feels about the bullet train boondoggle, too.

Perhaps Lieu does not want voters to realize that he cares more about bears being chased up a tree instead of California businesses being chased out of the state because of high taxes, excessive regulations, and the unending Sacramento spending spree.

Lieu feels entitled to ban tanning for minors, and he feels qualified to ban gay aversion therapy for adolescents, but he has done nothing for the minors who are burning away their future in sub-standard schools, who receive an underfunded college education, who enter an undemanding and unprofitable workforce.

He banned the private sale of pets, but wants to microchip them for their protection. What good is Fido with a tracking device if the master has to eat dog food because he cannot afford anything else?

Sen. Lieu claimed in one post that the State of California has "only" a billion dollar deficit left following the forced passage of Prop 30. Why does he consider any deficit an improvement? Why has he not pressed for less spending and lower taxes all around? Does he really assume that California voters are going to fall for the same creative accounting gimmicks proffered by Governor Brown in his last "State of the State" address.

Twice I demanded to understand why State Sen. Lieu will not be holding a townhall meeting in the South Bay. A perfect venue for him would be the Redondo Beach Main library, since Redondo Beach belongs to his former and his new state senate district. Right in the middle of the clashes over business, economic recovery, environmental regulations (AES, anyone?), and the struggling public school system, Redondo Beach would be a perfect place. Without a doubt, Mayor Mike Gin and his city council would welcome him.

I am sure that Beach Cities and South Bay residents would love to give him more than a piece of their mind. However, apparently Sen. Lieu does not do "townhall" meetings.

Call State Sen. Ted Lieu. Make him change his mind:

Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 323-6056

District Office
2512 Artesia Blvd., #320
Redondo Beach, CA 90278-3279
Phone: (310) 318-6994
Fax: (310) 318-6733

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Arthur Christopher Schaper February 14, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Please visit: tedlieuwatch.blogspot.com for more information.
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 14, 2013 at 02:43 AM
I received the following comment for my above post in my blog: "Mr. Arthur Christopher Schaper: "Thank you for contacting a volunteer intern with Senator Ted Lieu's office on February 11th. While some may appreciate the bent of your blog, your post is factually incorrect. Senator Lieu is always in touch with his constituents. In fact, he has several upcoming events, including two on tax preparation and one on child safety. I understand it was even communicated to you by a field representative on February 4th that Senator Lieu had several upcoming community events in the works. "The truth, as many already know, is that Senator Lieu has held numerous events in his district, including forums, educational events, town halls, telephone town halls, committee hearings, meetings, availability at farmers markets and district office meetings. Additionally, Senator Lieu has gone above and beyond many of colleagues to be accessible through the ultimate town hall - the Internet, with active accounts on Twitter (@tedlieu) and Facebook (facebook.com/tedlieu)." -Jeff Gozzo Chief of Staff Senator Ted Lieu With all due respect, when were those "townhall meetings"? Congressman Waxman advertised his in the Beach Reporter -- why not you, Sen. Lieu? Senator, set up an open forum in Redondo Beach. Please explain why you wanted to triple our car tax, or why you legislate boutique bills while ignoring serious issues. Voters deserve more than an "internet chat."
Ted Lieu February 14, 2013 at 05:15 AM
Arthur: I'm not sure I understand your post. I have multiple upcoming events. I have had previous events all over the district. I will have future events all over the district. Feel free to attend some of these events. I also go to events all over the district. From ribbon cuttings in Santa Monica to speaking at places such as the South Bay Chamber of Commerce in Torrance to meetings in my Redondo Beach office, I am continually meeting constituents. Also, whether or not you believe deadly melanoma caused by indoor UV tanning is a serious issue, or that psychological abuse towards LGBT youth is a serious issue, it does not mean I can't work on multiple issues at the same time. The budgets I worked on and voted on over the last several years, plus Proposition 30 that I worked on, have now resulted in a balanced budget with a projected surplus. This Sunday I will be receiving the Legislator of the Year award at 10:30 am from the League of Humane Voters (California chapter) at the Beverly Garland Hotel, 4222 Vineland in North Hollywood. Feel free to stop by. Next Friday I will be speaking at UCLA. Ted Lieu
Tim Sole February 14, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Senator Lieu, I am one of those folks that work a lot of hours, not because I have to, simply because I enjoy my job, which leaves me very little time to attend public meetings. Having read your staffs response and also your response above, I do have a few questions. I do applaud your efforts to help with the social issues of which you spoke to, quite simply, they are not the correct forum for my questions. My question is a little more complex, it involves the second amendment. For clarity, I am not a member of the NRA. I have watched over the years as gun rights have been slowly eroded. The latest round of legislation gun owners are facing are such things as bullet taxes, liability insurance and complete registration of not only concealable weapons, but also long arms. I support the background check system for concealed carry, I also believe if a person passes a background check, the person shall be issued a CCW, without question as to why they may need it. The supreme court has made it clear that states can require such things as background checks, they also made it quite clear that once a citizen completes that hurdle, they have right to hand gun ownership, including the right to carry concealed. Will you, as my representative, stand up in the state house and make that point for me? I ask you to do this for me because, it seems, that we are now in a position with our government in California that they want to build more and more steps into the system.
Ted Lieu February 14, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Tim: Thank you for your question. Like you, I support background checks prior to allowing an adult to purchase a gun. I took an oath to the Constitution, and the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution. However, I do not believe the Second Amendment gives a person the right to have a rocket launcher, or military-style high-capacity magazines, or fully automatic assault weapons. The Courts have upheld reasonable limitations, rather than the view that anyone can buy any weapon anywhere at any time. On the other hand, I believe the Second Amendment gives the citizenry the right to own and carry handguns. That's what various Courts have held. There are basically two ways to carry a handgun: either openly or concealed. I believe the government can ban open carry, or concealed carry, but the State cannot ban both. That is why I did not support the bill to ban open carry of handguns in California, although the bill did pass. And it is clear to me that since the legislature banned open carry of handguns, the Courts will hold that we must allow concealed carry of handguns. Because otherwise it would virtually eliminate the right to carry a handgun, which to me is flatly unconstitutional. Thus, I believe very soon the Courts will say you have the right to carry handguns concealed, and California will become a shall issue CCW state, because California bans the ability to carry handguns openly. Ted Lieu
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 14, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Town hall meeting = take questions from the audience. Still you have not answered the following questions: 1.Why did you even think of tripling our car tax? 2. Why have you not pushed for lowering our taxes? 3. Why no school choice bill? 4. Why no pension -- collective bargaining reform,. You are still ducking questions, senator. Unacceptable. Stop microlegislating -- start pushing serious issues. Stop giving trial lawyers easy opportunities to file frivolous lawsuits. We need fewer laws, not more laws, sir!
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 14, 2013 at 07:19 PM
"Also, whether or not you believe deadly melanoma caused by indoor UV tanning is a serious issue, or that psychological abuse towards LGBT youth is a serious issue, it does not mean I can't work on multiple issues at the same time." You are not working on the pertinent issues -- which I have listed below.
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 14, 2013 at 07:21 PM
With your insistence that those "boutique bills" are a big deal, you sound like Congressman Henry Waxman, who "justified" investigating steroid abuse in baseball (even though he did not know the basic laws regulating steroids), while our veterans were homeless on the street, while the financial sector was melting down, and while the country was burning through billions in underfunded entitlements. Waxman said "We're not broke!" not once but twice in open committee. You keep saying "We've balanced the budgets" -- but projections are not facts, and Brown and your liberal colleagues still assume that the voters in this state are going to accept your "accounting". As one constituent said to the now-retired Congressman Peter Stark: "Do not pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." Unless you plan on passing a law which makes it illegal to pee, too. . .
Ted Lieu February 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Arthur: I am happy to discuss the multiple issues you listed. Call my office and we will work out a good time to meet for you and me. You can then blog about anything we discuss at the meeting. Ted Lieu
Arthur Christopher Schaper February 15, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Now we're talking! Call you tomorrow!
Tim Sole February 15, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Senator Lieu, Thank you for your response. I have been an avid hunter and sport shooter all of my life, with both hand guns and long guns. I also don't think my neighbors should own automatic weapons. I thank you for your defense of the second amendment.


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