If it weren't for the fact that it's only the middle of June, Francine Busby could probably qualify for Bonehead of the Year. As you read on, you'll see what I mean.
As you all know, a week ago today was Election Day. Across the country, there were several interesting races and California was no expection. One of the most watched races across the country was a special election out here in Southern California's 50th Congressional District.
That was the seat vacated by Rep. Duke Cunningham after his conviction on corruption charges. The two main people vying for that seat were Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby. Bilbray's main campaign issue was illegal immigration and Busby's focus was the "culture of corruption" swirling throughout Washington and the American political landscape in general. Many politicos across the country were using this special election for Cunningham's old seat as a guage to measure the Dem's chances of retaking the House of Representatives.
For most of the campaign, the two were running neck and neck in a race that was tighter than many expected. Both candidates ran very visible and very vocal campaigns. A very spirited race indeed. Then a funny thing happened on the way to the polls.......
On Thursday before the election, Busby was speaking before a largely latino audience in Escondido, California. After she finished her speech she took questions from the group. a man in the audience asked in Spanish: “I want to help, but I don't have papers.” It was translated and Busby replied: “Everybody can help, yeah, absolutely, you can all help. You don't need papers for voting, you don't need to be a registered voter to help.”
SAY WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!!!!
Right here and right now, I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not condone political corruption of any kind from either party. But after that above tidbit, I found myself asking the question.....Duke Cunningham was put in jail just as he should have been. And now we have to endure this? What's the difference? From where I'm standing Francine Busby is just as bad as the worst Washington has to offer. At best it was an unbelievably "stupid" comment. At the worst, she was encouraging non citizens who are in this country illegally to vote. Either way, Busby is a prime example (as though we really need another one) of the exact type of representation and leadership that this country DOES NOT NEED.
Unknown to Busby or others in the audience at the time, that entire exchange was recorded and when local radio stations got ahold of it.......well you can imagine the firestorm that ensued. On Monday, the day before the election, she attempted to calm the waters by saying she misspoke. But in the process of trying to beg off from her first gaff, SHE DID IT AGAIN and had to be immediately corrected by one of her handlers.
Needless to say she lost the election. Just as it should be. Unfortunately though, many of us are being represented by people, both Democrats and Republicans, who feel the same way. The only difference between those people and Francine Busby is that they weren't dumb enough to say it BEFORE they were elected.
Her statements (not once but twice) just hours before election day have to rank right up there with Nixon's "I'm not a crook" and Clinton's "I didn't have sex with that woman" as one of the all time stupid political statements. And for that, Francine Busby gets our latest "Bonehead of the Week" award.
(originally posted 6-13-06 on Yahoo 360)