Christopher Lucero | Who Needs the Special Election?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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Attention: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

I am going to suggest that we entirely eliminate the May runoff for the remaining term for 25th Congressional District seat. There are more important things to attend to, and good reasons not to be active socially. It is a risk not worth venturing and an unnecessary waste of effort during a health crisis.

Here’s why. I tallied the available days for activity by whichever candidate wins, and it is woefully tiny.

According to the 2020 congressional session calendar, between May and November there are eight days in May, 16 days in June, 12 days in July, 14 days in September, and two days in October that they are scheduled to be working. 

That is a total of 44 days across six months that they allot themselves to actively “do something.”

To contrast, full-time workers will work five days a week for 28 weeks for a total of 140 working days, more than three times as much as these public servants. 

A 56-hour firefighter working three days on/four days at leisure will work 84 days – nearly twice as many as the congressional representative.

Additional contrast: Since it is an election year, campaigning will be a distraction from duty during most of those 44 days interim to November. Campaigning will consume most of the candidates’ time after the special election. There is thus minimal opportunity for the “winner” to be an effective member of Congress in this temporary spot.

Under the assumption of distraction from duty that happens in campaigning, the total of their potential service will be the week before Thanksgiving, and the two first weeks in December. Their “service” comes down to five days in November and eight days in early December. Thirteen days. Talk about congressional waste.

Maybe this is enough time for the candidate to potentially shake hands (and apply some sanitizer) and maybe even grab a sandwich or a cup of coffee with a colleague (while maintaining a 6-foot distance).

I advise: don’t count on anything getting done.

Additionally, us humans and every mammal on earth is facing a deadly microbial infestation.

An aside: Yes, dogs and cats are vulnerable to this virus, too, though it does not appear to be infecting them at this time. 

The WHO website states the following: “To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease.” 

WHO nonetheless recommends caution in the face of this uncertainty, especially when handling feces or in contact with animal sputum, as a preventive measure against an increased viral load.

The crisis has already caused Congress to effectively adjourn until further notice.

(Maybe eliminate the seat entirely… I cannot find any evidence we have missed out on anything whilst we had no representative. I assume we’d see some major impact if the position was either effective or necessary. Thus, we might conclude that it is unnecessary and ineffective, or maybe even harmful or wasteful. Nah,eliminating it would breach a constitutionally assured duty of government. Still…hyperbole and fantasy is allowed for other political opinions, why not this one?)

Anyway, Mr Padilla, please consider this a smart alecky but reasonable response under these extraordinary circumstances.

Christopher Lucero

Santa Clarita

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