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California government in general, and the state Board of Equalization in particular, are hives of nepotism. That ought not to be the case, particularly in a state with a voter-approved law, Proposition 209, against preferences in state employment, education and contracting. Nobody does anything about favoritism and lately lawmakers have been taking it to a lower level. One woman is charging that state senator Tony Mendoza, Artesia Democrat, made a session at his home a requirement for a job in his office. Senate boss Kevin de Leon says he knew nothing about that, and other accusations against his colleague. Now it turns out that de Leon and Mendoza have been living in the same house in the Natomas area of Sacramento. As it happens, on de Leon’s watch, senate Democrats dished out abuse much worse than any of the charges against Mendoza.
Before he became a California senator, New Left patriarch Tom Hayden championed the Stalinist Vietnamese regime that drove many to flee, including Janet Nguyen, born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1976. She came to the United States legally, even though governor Jerry Brown tried to block the refugees from coming to California. Nguyen duly gained election as a state senator from Orange County. Hayden died in October of 2016 and the senate held a memorial for him in February. De Leon’s chief of staff told Nguyen not to say anything during the proceedings. She spoke up anyway, first in Vietnamese then English. The Democrats cut off her microphone, told her to sit down and be quiet, and when Nguyen refused they had her carted off the senate floor. Senate bosses also cut off the feed from the California Channel, so viewers statewide would not hear an immigrant woman, born in a totalitarian state, speak the truth to power.
De Leon feigned outrage and said he would look into it, but nothing came of it and no senator was punished in any way. Nobody in Sacramento could recall a smackdown and cover-up quite like that. Whatever happened with Tony Mendoza, the worst government abuse takes place right out in the open.