Surprise? The Daily Republic recently gave front page coverage to the private sponsorship travels of our U.S. congressional representative, John Garamendi, 3rd Congressional District. In brief, Garamendi boarded a plane to Africa (Sudan, a vast country with a legacy of violent, civil war for more than 20 years). Other global destinations were Ethiopia and Turkey.
How could the political establishment rationalize that these trips were relevant to his constituency? It is obvious that Rep. Garamendi, with bragging rights of more than 40 years of political experience, would not need to further his political education, nor require observing democracy in action.
Sudan, an enormous country, used rape as a weapon of war. Turkey and Ethiopia: tyrannical regimes. The town forum, a distracting political invention, has limitations. The exception of genuine representation is when your representative will hit the road and come into our local trenches.
Frances Von Koenig