Senator Tom Berryhill: Politician Extraordinaire—Votes AGAINST His County and Taxpayers—Now Wants Supervisors Seat

Senator Tom Berryhill comes from a great Lineage.  His father, Claire Berryhill, served in the legislature in Sacramento and in Congress in Washington.  His brother also served in the State legislature.  The Berryhills are a family of service.   Though they have served as a family for many years the current issue is how Tom Berryhill has served his community and District.  Also, do we want legislators that live up to the letter of the law or look for ways to skirt the law—to the detriment of those that elected them?

Last month Sen. Berryhill was the only Senate Republican that voted with Guv Brown to raise gas taxes by 63 cents—and to force companies to buy “credits” to stay in business.  In government language, credits is a buzz word for taxes—but technically legal.  Is this the first time he voted against the  needs and concerns of his community and district?

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Senator Tom Berryhill:  Politician Extraordinaire—Votes AGAINST His County and Taxpayers—Now Wants Board of Supervisors Seat

Editorial by Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views, 8/16/17

From the Modesto Bee, August 5, 2017, “Berryhill may carry some political baggage. In 2015, he declined to vote in Sacramento for the so-called negative bailout, legislation that corrected an allocation formula costing Stanislaus County $3 million a year, or $74 million over three decades. All other state representatives from this area, from both parties – Republicans Olsen and Cannella, and Democrats Adam Gray in the Assembly and Galgiani – feverishly worked to curry support.”

First he kills $74 million in revenues for his home county, then he votes for a massive gas tax increase on families and a tax increase (credits) on business.

Then the question comes who does he represent, if he does not represent his District, County businesses or families?  The same Bee article answers that question.

“Berryhill for years has cited Twain Harte as his home, but he lives with his family in Del Rio, north of Modesto – outside of his 8th Senate District. He owns houses in both Tuolumne and Stanislaus County and legally can represent a senate district in which he doesn’t live as long as he resided there when elected, he said.

Why the move?  So he can run in 2018 for an open Board of Supervisors seat.

(As an aside, Stanislaus is the same County that elected former GOP Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen, a controversial person in politics to the Board of Supervisors.  And, in 2020 GOP Senator Anthony Cannella, who voted for the 12 cent a gallon gas tax in April, is planning on running for an open Supervisor seat in 2020)

Berryhill may be technically right that he can run and win a legislative seat—and then leave the area.  So does he represent the 8th Senate District or his new District?  Was he representing either?

One of the major reasons people do not vote is that they believe it does not matter who gets elected they will do as they please and not represent the community.  They believe that elected officials vote and represent their own interests and future elections.  The chaos in the Assembly GOP Caucus is proof that personal goals, rather than Teamwork is what rules Sacramento.  At the same time, there is a massive divide, though the media refuses to cover it, between the Liberal and Progressive wings of the Democrat Party.  The State Democrat Party is being sued by a Sanders person that lost the chairpersons election by 62 votes—out of approximately 4,000.  In State after State the Clinton wing is fighting to keep control of the Democrat party and the Sanders folks are trying to take it over.

In this mix, starting in September, you will see the failed President Obama work to take the Party for himself.  The Sanders/Clinton/Obama fight is good news for Trump and the Republicans nationally.  The fight between the Liberals and Progressives in California is good for the California Republican Party.

But, the Parties have to stand for something, other than election.  Will the people of Stanislaus County care if Berryhill voted them a 63 cent gas tax increase or voted to take away Tens of millions of dollars in State assistance?

The important question is how do we determine if someone is just a politician or truly wants to serve constituents?  Does it serve us to raise tax, government spending, have failed government schools?  That is what we have voted for over the past forty years, since the first election of Jerry Brown as Governor.

We have another chance in 2018 to get it right.  Will we take it?

 

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.