California's version of the House Banking Scandal?

Spectacular waste of tax money doesn't bother California's voters, but a just uncovered scandal in California has the potential to drive voter anger against the Democrat-dominated state legislature, maybe even to the extent of significant political turnover.

Voters in the United States – even California voters – detest politicians exempting themselves from the travails ordinary citizens must endure.  In the 1992 House Banking Scandal, it was revealed that members of the House of Representatives were allowed to write checks for which they had insufficient funds, with the little known House Bank covering for them.  Intense resentment and anger followed, and then, in 1994, the next election, 77 incumbent House members resigned or were driven from office, ushering the first GOP-majority House in decades, under Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America."

Everyone in California who drives must deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a notoriously arrogant, unresponsive bureaucracy that loves to make people wait in line to obtain a form and then wait in another line to turn it in.  For hours and hours.  Just like the old USSR.  Ever since driver's licenses were offered to illegal aliens, the DMV has experienced what is widely called a "meltdown," with people needing to devote half a day or all day to accomplishing transactions that a private company would handle in minutes or seconds.

There is anger aplenty in California, and just three days ago, California Democrats scuttled a GOP proposal to audit the DMV, telling voters which party owns the DMV (and which is owned by state bureaucrats).

Now comes a scandal that hits every driver in California right in the gut.  Alexei Koseff and Bryan Anderson of the Sacramento Bee broke what should be a huge story:

If you enter the Legislative Office Building in downtown Sacramento, pass through security and hook an immediate left, then walk to the end of the hallway and take another right, at the end of that hallway is an unmarked door with a peephole.

Inside you will find the Capitol office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, an unlisted branch where elected officials can register their cars, renew their driver's licenses – or apply for the new federally-mandated Real ID card that has been driving up wait times at DMV field offices across the state.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, with an hour break at noon for lunch, in-person service is available by appointment, according to a brochure obtained by The Sacramento Bee.  The office serves current and retired members of the Legislature and Congress; current legislative staff; employees of the Legislative Analyst's Office, the Legislative Counsel and the Legislative Data Center; and elected and appointed officials.

Every Californian ever forced to cool his heels in a crowded DMV office waiting for the first or second or third time that day to get to the head of the line and see a (usually) unfriendly and bored  bureaucrat now can draw comfort from the knowledge that those connected with the state Legislature are spared such indignities.

Back in the USSR, officials who were members of the nomenklatura had special stores where the shelves were never empty and the clerks were always helpful, while ordinary citizens had to stand in line for hours when a new shipment of meat or bread or some other commodity arrived at a store with otherwise empty shelves.  We know that the resentment this engendered eventually helped bring down to Soviet state.

If only Californians can learn the same lesson and throw out the crooks in the Legislature who never have to put up with what they impose on the rest of us.

Spectacular waste of tax money doesn't bother California's voters, but a just uncovered scandal in California has the potential to drive voter anger against the Democrat-dominated state legislature, maybe even to the extent of significant political turnover.

Voters in the United States – even California voters – detest politicians exempting themselves from the travails ordinary citizens must endure.  In the 1992 House Banking Scandal, it was revealed that members of the House of Representatives were allowed to write checks for which they had insufficient funds, with the little known House Bank covering for them.  Intense resentment and anger followed, and then, in 1994, the next election, 77 incumbent House members resigned or were driven from office, ushering the first GOP-majority House in decades, under Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America."

Everyone in California who drives must deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a notoriously arrogant, unresponsive bureaucracy that loves to make people wait in line to obtain a form and then wait in another line to turn it in.  For hours and hours.  Just like the old USSR.  Ever since driver's licenses were offered to illegal aliens, the DMV has experienced what is widely called a "meltdown," with people needing to devote half a day or all day to accomplishing transactions that a private company would handle in minutes or seconds.

There is anger aplenty in California, and just three days ago, California Democrats scuttled a GOP proposal to audit the DMV, telling voters which party owns the DMV (and which is owned by state bureaucrats).

Now comes a scandal that hits every driver in California right in the gut.  Alexei Koseff and Bryan Anderson of the Sacramento Bee broke what should be a huge story:

If you enter the Legislative Office Building in downtown Sacramento, pass through security and hook an immediate left, then walk to the end of the hallway and take another right, at the end of that hallway is an unmarked door with a peephole.

Inside you will find the Capitol office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, an unlisted branch where elected officials can register their cars, renew their driver's licenses – or apply for the new federally-mandated Real ID card that has been driving up wait times at DMV field offices across the state.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, with an hour break at noon for lunch, in-person service is available by appointment, according to a brochure obtained by The Sacramento Bee.  The office serves current and retired members of the Legislature and Congress; current legislative staff; employees of the Legislative Analyst's Office, the Legislative Counsel and the Legislative Data Center; and elected and appointed officials.

Every Californian ever forced to cool his heels in a crowded DMV office waiting for the first or second or third time that day to get to the head of the line and see a (usually) unfriendly and bored  bureaucrat now can draw comfort from the knowledge that those connected with the state Legislature are spared such indignities.

Back in the USSR, officials who were members of the nomenklatura had special stores where the shelves were never empty and the clerks were always helpful, while ordinary citizens had to stand in line for hours when a new shipment of meat or bread or some other commodity arrived at a store with otherwise empty shelves.  We know that the resentment this engendered eventually helped bring down to Soviet state.

If only Californians can learn the same lesson and throw out the crooks in the Legislature who never have to put up with what they impose on the rest of us.