I attended the meeting (8/25) of the South Orange County Economic Coalition (previously the Chamber of Commerce) where the speaker was Mimi Walters. Very weird!!
First there were huge signs outside:
“NO RECORDING OF ANY KIND”
There were a few protestors outside, and some state troopers. Felt very strange.
There were about 50 people, everyone in the room was white! Not a single person of any other color. About half male/female.
They started the meeting with the Pledge Allegiance. Have you ever been to a professional meeting where they start with the Pledge? I have not.
I felt like a spy, but I wore my “Resist/Persist” bracelet.
Mimi Walters was the only speaker. She was clearly in her element - supporting a strong local economy. She introduced her aides who are “here to help” - just call them and they are available - which many of us clearly know is not true. Only the first of many “alternative facts” she said.
She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she is the only Republican from California on the committee, though there are 6 California Democrats. She said she felt “responsible to represent California on the committee.” (What about the 6 other representatives?)
She is on the subcommittees for Communication and Technology, for Digital Commerce, and for Oversight and Security, which makes her “too busy to serve on any other committees.” She claims that Congress works in a bipartisan manner, but the media doesn’t report that. (Sound familiar?)
Some states are mandating that businesses offer paid leave, so she is introducing a bill that would supersede state and local laws to make it easier for businesses to offer more options regarding paid leave. She is working with Ivanka Trump, who has Paid Leave as one of her goals. (ha-ha!)
She spoke about North Korea being a real threat to California, and that nobody’s done anything except sanctions. She is “very supportive of the strong stance our president has taken.” (Be very scared!)
She believes it is time for corporate tax reform, as companies are moving overseas. She wants to incentivize business to stay by lowering the tax rate. She also wants to give the middle class tax cuts. “The economy has been stagnant for the last decade.” (Huh? - Has she looked at the unemployment statistics and the stock market?)
She opposes the Border Adjustment Tax, which Speaker Ryan removed from the budget proposal. And she believes Trump has a bold agenda regarding infrastructure, including cyber security, but she doesn’t know what it looks like.
She claims she was instrumental in obtaining an EPA loan to grow water recycling facilities in SoCal and a Department of Transportation Loan to expand the 405.
Regarding health care, she stated that 4 million people lost health insurance when the ACA went into effect. (What? I guess she doesn’t look at the stats.) The Republicans have till Sept. 30 to tie health care reform to the budget. (so we have to keep vigilant)
We were allowed to submit questions, and to my surprise, mine was chosen. I asked about her reaction to the events in Charlottesville. The moderator prefaced it with “this is not a “gotcha” question.” (says a lot, huh?) She said we need to condemn Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and bigotry and hate.
She was asked about The Wall. She said it is not really a wall (she needs to tell Trump), that it means greater technology to secure the borders.
All-in-all, it was more than a little scary. The So OC Economic Coalition is putting on fund raisers to support her, and we have our work cut out for us. Please encourage your friends to register to vote, to stay vigilant, and to unseat this representative who is in the pocket of Trump.