Rubio trades senate seat for lobbying job

Maybe when real men grow up in Kern County, they become oil lobbyists.
Anyone from the San Joaquin Valley can understand why a state senator from our area might find better things to do with his time than serve in a legislative body led by state Sen. Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. But the abrupt departure of state Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, for the lobbying division of Chevron reveals a contempt for the democratic process that is something new in its aggression.
His quitting office at least temporarily deprives the Democratic Party of its supermajority and a Republican is at least as likely as a Democrat to be the next occupant of that seat. Hardly a good way to start a career as a lobbyist, one would think, but without knowing the inside game at the moment, that's just a guess.
Rubio's claims about the need to spend more time with his family seem totally bogus when it is considered that he will be lobbying in Sacramento and corporate offices from Chevron are in San Ramon, where they moved in 1965 from Kern County.
Rubio is yet another Valley product of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
When you observe behavior like this you wonder if we are not now raising a generation of self-loathing legislators--handsome, spoiled brats with no idea that there are any constituents in their districts but themselves and the members of their families; that there is nothing essentially political in their positions at least until they become lobbyists; but that it's all just business in the end; and that "my office" is nothing but another piece of personal property.
We also suspect that this move shows that Chevron and other oil companies are going to be making a very serious, well funded attempt to keep any environmental bogie bills restricting the essentially regulation-free situation of hydraulic fracturing as the federal government and the companies open up the huge Monterey Shale formation (64 percent of the nation's supply of shale oil) for exploration and exploitation.
Rubio has already demonstrated his loyalty to the team of corporate despoilers of what's left of the California landscape by attacks on the California Environmental Quality Act in the last legislative session. The press speculates that his departure signals that Steinberg (who derailed Rubio's bill) and Gov. Brown, dubbed immortally by Trilby of North Beach as "The Great Reflector," doth protest too much their dissatisfaction with CEQA as we know it.
Badlands Journal editorial board
Los Angeles Times

State Sen. Michael Rubio resigns to work for Chevron
By Patrick McGreevy

State Sen. Michael J. Rubio (D–Shafter) abruptly announced Friday that he is resigning his office to spend more time with his family and accept a government affairs job with Chevron Corp.

The departure of Rubio, who was leading the charge to make California’s environmental laws more business-friendly, creates a third vacancy in the 40-person Senate.

“As many of you know, a little over a year ago I decided not to run for the United States Congress to meet the needs of my growing family,’’ Rubio said in a statement.  "My time serving since then has been a blessing, but it has also been a challenge.  I have missed too many family dinners, bedtime stories and parent-teacher conferences.’’

The senator said in an interview that he was tired of the 300-mile drive from his district to the Capitol and has a special needs daughter who requires attention.

"I have realized that my current professional path has left little opportunity to be home for those who are most important to me, which is why I am making a change,’’ Rubio said in the statement.

Legislative sources were baffled by the resignation of someone seen as an ambitious rising star. Some wondered if the resignation was a sign that reform of the environmental laws was running into trouble.

Rubio said reform of the California Environmental Quality Act is "still being discussed'' at the Capitol, but that others would have to carry it forward. He declined to answer whether his proposals have met with resistance from Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who last year derailed an attempt by Rubio to rush through changes.

Steinberg is planning to propose a reform package later today.

Rubio's resignation means the Democrats temporarily lose their supermajority, but special elections are being held next month for two districts previously represented by Democrats, and another special election will be held for Rubio's seat.

"I look forward to transitioning into a career that will allow me to seize a generational opportunity and work for a respected California company with deep roots in Kern County near the very oil fields where I was born,'' Rubio said.