Cap-to-Cap Lobbying Trip – When Principles Collide with Practicality

Next week the annual Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Cap-to-Cap lobbying trip will leave Sacramento and descend on Washington D.C. A...

Next week the annual Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Cap-to-Cap lobbying trip will leave Sacramento and descend on Washington D.C.

Among the nearly three 300 private and public sector people embarking on the trip is the entire Elk Grove City Council, Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill and former Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Tim Murphy. As co-chair of the trip, Murphy recently said one of the emphasis’ of the trip will be to lobby for regulatory relief.

“It is incumbent on the federal government to jump start the innovation economy by providing real regulatory relief and implementing real federal government reforms.” Murphy said.

While Murphy emphasizes regulatory relief as the key to economic revival for the Sacramento region, the chamber also released a laundry list of projects costing $211.3 million that the delegation hopes to secure funding for. Along with that, it includes several other wish-list items, with no specified funding request attacked, that includes everything from “federal help to for fixing Natomas levees” to “funding for Los Rios Colleges to train an additional 75 individuals to be certified home energy auditors.”

While the securing of federal funds by the delegation would undoubtedly help the region climb out of the hole created by the Great Recession, it will be interesting to see if two members of the Elk Grove Delegation, council member Sophia Scherman and her political protégé, Patrick Hume, will adhere to their well-known conservative principles.

Many Elk Grove City Council watchers will recall Scherman was taken to HYPERLINK "http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2010/03/davis-to-mayor-scherman-dont-let.html" task [1] by fellow council members Jim Cooper and Gary Davis last year prior to a city lobbying trip to Washington D.C. for not holding Republican Congress Member Dan Lungren’s feet to the fire to secure local funding.

At the time, Scherman, a longtime Lungren supporter and fellow Republican, implied that the Elk Grove delegation be scaled back at Lungren’s request. Davis and Cooper both rejected the idea that Lungren be “let of the hook,” as Davis put it. Now in the majority party, Lungren has repeatedly endorsed the draconian budget cuts proposed by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan.

So as Scherman and her fellow Republican council member Hume go to Washington D.C. next week, it would be interesting to find out if they adhere to the principles espoused by Ryan, Lungren and other members of the Republican Party or be practical and use their relationship with Lungren to secure funding for their constituents in Elk Grove.

Who will win in this collision – the principles of the national Republican Party or the practical needs of the people of Elk Grove?

We will see.

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Elk Grove Politics said...

Here’s what I don’t get. The Cap to Cap trip has been one whereby every year the council has to justify why they went. Could it be that nothing has come from this annual trip that has directly benefitted Elk Grove? All we hear is, “We had some great meetings.”

Okay, if we buy that, then we should send the Mayor and Vice Mayor. Given the rotation, every council member would then get the chance to rub elbows with the Washington, D.C. elite and do a lot of sightseeing; all at the taxpayers’ expense. Nice perk, but hey, they deserve a perk or two, right?

But this year, all five council members went, along with the city manager and her assistant. Why two staff members? To make sure that the council members make all their meetings this year?

Last year, it was reported back that Sophia Scherman missed more meetings than she attended, leaving the others to attend on her behalf. Others skipped meetings because they decided sightseeing and shopping were more important.

Given these tough economic times, why did all five go? And for what purpose? That is $23K of taxpayer money for five days, two of which is mostly travel.

Seems the council has a bit of explaining to do on this one. Or will be it, “We had some great meetings. Jason, call the next item on the agenda please.”

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