Our chat with Don Wagner

AD-70 candidate Don Wagner in the middle

I met AD-70 candidate Don Wagner at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event in Irvine last Friday and we spent a few minutes talking about the upcoming election.

The very first thing I said to Don was express my condolences at the loss of his son, who died the weekend before June’s primary due to an adverse reaction to prescrption medication.  And to be honest, we haven’t written much about Don’s positions for the coming election out of respect for his loss (my own son is close to Don’s son’s age, and I can’t imagine what Don is going through).  But with sympathies expressed and the campaign at hand, it’s time to share my perspective about Don, who is regular reader of this blog.

I’ll say this about Don.  He can speak for himself.  Van Tran tried to speak for himself, but “The Interruption” wouldn’t let him (and for good reason). 

We began our conversation about “who is a good representative of our side,” meaning who represents Liberals well and who represents conservatives well. 

Don asked what I thought of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC. I love Keith Olbermann. And Rachel Maddow. And Ed Schultz.  Don said he thought Keith was a clown. 

I asked who represents his side.  He said Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Praeger and Hugh Hewitt.  Don says Rush Limbaugh was very factual and that “you just don’t like the facts.”  Don didn’t like the notion that Hugh Hewitt is known as “the Cowardly Lion” in liberal circles and I give him credit for knowing about www.newshounds.us, the site that fact checks “news” shows from Fox News. 

Our conversation on Limbaugh shifted to Rush’s four marriages and his position against Gay Marriage.  Don scolded me that all of Limbaugh’s marriages were to a woman (though Don didn’t defend Limbaugh’s difficulties as it pertained to martial fidelity).  Don clearly has his mind made up that Gay marriage is wrong and wanted to know what I have against domestic partnerships for gays and lesbians.  I reminded him that there are huge differentials in the rights granted to married couples versus rights for domestic partners.  The liberatian in Don doesn’t seem to have a problem with domestic partnerships but he certainly was staunchly against the use of the word “marriage” for our gay and lesbian friends.

That chat moved on to the topic of funding education; Don and I found agreement that Irvine, with 220,000 people, is still considered a “rural distric.”  He finds that asurd, but like all conservatives, Don’s view is the problem with education comes down to teacher’s unions.  I explained that I’m unfairly taxed as an Irvine parent with kids in school with a constant barriage of fundraisers, that I’d welcome a tax increase to fund schools.  But of course, a tax increase is out of the question.

While I appreciate Don spent time talking to me, he lost me the moment he said Olbermann was a clown and Limbaugh was factual.  His last question to me was “what do you think about those signs?” Pointing to Melissa Fox’s signs.  I like the green (suggested environmentally friendly) and blue (for Progressive) in Melissa’s signs.  “I think they’re ugly.” 

We parted.

I immediately took out a pen and found Melissa Fox and wrote her another contribution.  And handed her the envelope personally, so she could expedite that credit card transaction immediately.

Wagner and Fox will debate on Octobber 27.  Don Wagner is too extreme to represent us in the Assembly.  If you can’t take my word for it, go to the debate and see for yourself.