Op-Ed: California’s Senate debate was a debacle for all who want positive change

What we saw was a lack of leadership. We deserve better.


The first U.S. Senate debate on Monday night was a letdown for many of us. Friends, family and so many of you have reached out to say you feel hopeless and skeptical about the candidates who didn’t offer any vision, solutions, or optimism. What we saw was a lack of leadership. We deserve better.

Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee are the Established Democrats of California. They spent Monday night pointing fingers at each other and Washington for the state’s problems, but news flash, they are part of the problem. They have a collective 57 years working in Congress and voted the same way more than 90% of the time. They are cut from the same cloth.

There was one candidate on the debate stage who didn’t sound like a politician, Republican Steve Garvey. While we could have turned his MLB references into a drinking game, the former baseball player was persona non-grata on that stage. He has zero understanding of the issues, or how to solve them. Garvey will not have what it takes to win this race. Plus, with California, a stronghold for the Democrats only a JFK era, moderate Democrats like me can take on Adam Schiff.

Their discussion was dominated by the past actions of former President Trump, rather than the present needs of Californians. Katie Porter seemed more interested in scoring political points than in solving our state’s problems. As for Adam Schiff, he seems not to understand the economic difficulties that our state faces. He gave the economy a score of 7 out of 10, while many Californians have trouble paying their bills and dealing with the high cost of living. He has been living in Maryland for ten years, far from the problems of his district. How can he be a senator for Californians when he is so disconnected?

The foursome failed to present any new solutions for the problems of crime and homelessness in our state and repeated stale talking points on the border crisis, especially Barbara Lee. Her childhood in El Paso, Texas, 70 years ago couldn’t be less relevant to the current disaster at the border. The main issues that Californians face, such as our poorly performing public schools and our mental health crisis, among others, were ignored by the group.

Read more at Orange County Register and other Southern California News Group papers