The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman’s headline in this week’s column reads: “Will Dahle lead Assembly Republicans to even greater irrelevance?”
He concludes this week’s turgid, wandering column with: “It’s a truism that ideological purists have greater influence as a group shrinks in size, and Dahle was likely made the caucus leader because he reflects those values. Most observers believe that stance will just make California Republicans even more irrelevant than they already are.”
And with that “Bored Georgeman” is off base — again.
To be sure, Brian Dahle is a staunch conservative, including on the social issues, gun rights, right to life, and so on. He once signed the “Grover Norquist” pledge. And he voted against the recent bipartisan bill to extend cap-and-trade funding — an unpopular idea in his rural district. Although Dahle’s vote might not have pleased some progressives, it helped clear the way for his election to lead the Republican Assembly over his predecessor — a savvy move.
But Dahle also is a pragmatic legislator. He has worked constructively with all stakeholders.
—Two years ago, Dahle (R-Bieber) and Assemblyman Rudy Salas’ (D-Bakersfield) Assembly Bill 590 passed the Assembly unanimously with bipartisan support. AB 590 added incentives for biomass utilization of agriculture waste and forest waste, as the bill noted.The legislation aimed at diverting biomass from landfills and creating renewable energy along with jobs and benefits to wildlife, air quality and water supply.
—Dahle also has been part of a bipartisan effort to speak out on the need for more statewide county fair funding, joining with Assembly member Susan Eggman (D-San Joaquin).
—Dahle was part of a coastal-rural legislative collaboration to secure funding for solar power at Malakoff Diggins. Boardman got that wrong, however, as SYRCL executive director Caleb Dardick pointed out in a letter to The Union.
Dahle also has been a supporter of the Sierra Nature Conservancy. His supporters have included Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. He has attended the Sierra Business Council’s “Peak Innovation” conference.
I first met Dahle at a fundraiser in Grass Valley. The hosts included none other than former liberal County supervisors Peter Van Zant and Izzy Martin.
Dahle is not a “bomb thrower” like so many of our staunch conservative politicians (or wanna-be politicians); he will listen.
Why isn’t any of this in Boardman’s column? Because his “MO” is to sit behind a computer in his gated community, relying largely on Google searches for his research, rather than going out and interviewing people — all for a small stipend. Memo to The Union Publisher Don Rogers: You get what you pay for.