Sunday, August 23, 2020

Worst California State Legislator? Is Anyone Worse Than Devon ("Proud White Guy")?


Everyone following politics throughout the nation has no doubt heard of Devin Nunes, his ridiculous hackery is legendary at this point. One interesting fact about Nunes is that his district overlaps with that of another terrible Devon whose name is nearly unknown outside of Sacramento-- Devon Mathis in California Assembly District 26, a chunk of the Central Valley, primarily Tulare County with sparsely populated Inyo County and a small piece of Kern County, the Kern River Valley.

In 2017, while Devin Nunes was colluding with the Russians on Trump's behalf, Devon Mathis made headlines in 2017 after reports came out that he allegedly assaulted a female member of his staff. A Sacramento Police Department investigation quickly wrapped up a month later with no charges filed. However, Mathis lost staff and his former chief of staff filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired after raising concerns about inappropriate behavior by Mathis.

In 2018, while Nunes was stepping up his collusion with Moscow, Mathis was sued by his former district director alleging sexual harassment and unfair pay practices. The California Assembly Rules Committee disciplined Mathis in 2018 for violating sexual harassment policy but gave so few details about the incident, that it is unknown whether the probe had been related to the staffer’s lawsuit. The only detail given was that the sexual harassment took the form of "sexual 'locker room talk'."

In a more recent scandal, Mathis was forced to donate $14,000 to charity from his campaign committee after serious criminal charges were leveled at Dr. Yorai Benzeevi, an executive who ran Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA). HCCA was the organization that had been donating-- as in bribing-- at least $14,000 to Mathis.

Mathis was approached by a local group called Citizens for Hospital Accountability who asked that Mathis request an audit of HCCA due to possible mismanagement of the Tulare Regional Medical Center. Mathis at first refused to request an audit, having been overheard once saying that he could not request an audit because he "owed Dr. Beenzeevi a favor." Mathis has, at this point, still not been arrested for taking bribes.

Later, Mathis signed a letter of support for an audit that had been requested by Senator Jean Fuller, but that support came nearly three years after the initial audit had been requested by local activists-- and after HCCA was removed as the hospital’s manager. Devon’s inaction let a bad situation deteriorate to the point that the Tulare Regional Medical Center was nearly closed on a permanent basis. Since then, the man to whom Mathis owed the favor, Dr. Benzeevi, has been charged with 40 felonies including counts of money laundering, conspiracy, embezzlement, and grand theft.

At this point you might be asking, how can Devon Mathis act as an effective legislator amid such extensive personal and professional scandal? The answer is-- he just doesn’t get much done. He delivers nearly nothing for the people in his district and has in fact continually voted against their interests. In the most recent legislative session, he was only able to get one of his thirty-seven bills passed and he has missed nearly 1,000 votes since first being sworn in in 2014.

Relating to the current pandemic, Mathis is one of the most prominent anti-vaccine leaders in the California Assembly. He refused to support a measure meant to provide additional funding to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and opposed efforts to require that hospitals furnish personal protective equipment (PPE) and that employees use the equipment supplied. He was also a trailblazer in putting children at risk, calling for schools to reopen in mid-May of 2020. Friday Tulare reported 95 new cases, bringing the county total to 13,117, with 210 already dead.

"Proud white guy"

As a cherry on top, there he was in 2019 on the floor of the Assembly saying that he is "a proud white guy" in response to his Black peers describing their experiences with law enforcement profiling. We’re sure everyone on the floor was happy he wanted that entered into the record in responses to valid critiques of poor police practices. 

Devon Mathis can truly be described as one of the worst legislators in Sacramento, on both a personal and professional level. His opponent, Tulare Democrat Drew Phelps, is someone we are in the midst of vetting right now... but so far, the process is going well as I feel in my gut we'll have an announcement coming in the next week or two about that.

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At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both parties are filled to the rim with such assholes. They exist at all levels of government, and the private sector is full of them as well. Just who is supposed to enforce any applicable laws when the parties watch each others' backs in order to keep abusing mere mortal humans? It's just another expected perquisite to them.


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