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Posted on 12-08-2016

For Every King Is Right…

This week was marked by a day of coronation, as our newly elected state legislators were officially sworn in as Assembly Members and Senators.  Nearly all the first-time elected members held receptions after the swearing in ceremony to celebrate with their family, friends and supporters who made their victory possible.

Monica Miller, our contract lobbyist and I were invited to a large number of these receptions because of CCA’s endorsement and financial support for so many victorious candidates. It was our pleasure to visit our new legislative friends under such pleasant circumstances.  The energy, dedication, and conviction to serve demonstrated by these members was truly inspiring.

Cris with Senator Bill Dodd

Remember, CCA won big this election cycle with an incredible 95% win rate in the Senate and 90% win rate in the Assembly. Click here to view the election results. I want to emphasize that although CCA HQ did a lot of work maximizing the use of our PAC funds through our Independent Expenditure Committee (IEC) activities, our local doctors are the real rock stars.  Their work interviewing candidates and making endorsements was critical to our efforts to not only be relevant, but impactful on this election cycle.

Cris and Assembly Member Ceclia Aguiar-Curry

Many legislators we did not support with our IEC activities thanked us sincerely for our endorsement and the support of local doctors of chiropractic.  Many of our local doctors didn’t stop at endorsing candidates.  Many held local fundraising events, phone banked, and walked precincts.  Monica and I were on the receiving end of many gracious thanks from legislators. 

Assembly Member Anna Caballero Thanks Dr. Phil Dieter
One example of the results of this effort by our local doctors is Dr. Phil Dieter was personally invited by Assembly Member Anna Caballero to come to Sacramento and attend her reception.  Dr. Dieter recognized the significance of such an invitation and took the day off work to attend.  When I saw Dr. Dieter at the event he told me he’d spent the morning chatting with the Assembly Member Caballero’s husband, Chief of Staff, District Director and campaign staff.  Holy cow!  Now that’s how you build relationships to last a life time.  Thank you, Dr. Dieter!

Cris with Assembly Member Kevin Kiley
Like I said last week, the definition of success in the legislative arena is idiosyncratic because it’s so bloody hard to get a bill signed into law.  It’s like putting together a 2,000-piece puzzle of clouds on the backdrop of a foggy day without the box top containing the picture.  But every piece has a place and each build towards success and if you never, ever, give up you will, in time, complete that puzzle. That’s what we’re doing together and the pieces are beginning to fall into place.  We all want success now and it’s all too easy to blame others for perceived and real failures.  It’s best we hold each other accountable as we put our puzzle together.  It would serve us well to recognize the truth of the rest of the quote in the subject heading, “For every King is right in his own eyes and rests the blame to whoever he wishes to carry it.”

Cris Celebrates With Senator Jim Beall

2016 CCA Final Legislative Scorecard

Speaking of accountability, Mahatma Ghandi famously declared “It is wrong and immoral to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”  I think of his life and the context it provided for this thought and I can’t help but think we’re moving in the right direction when we put together our Legislative Scorecard each year.  2016 marks the second annual edition of CCA’s effort to inform our members and hold our elected representatives accountable for their acts.

Your contract lobbyist, Director and Associate Director of Governmental Affairs and Legislative Action Committee, led by our Chair, Dr. David Paris, scoured thousands of bills to identify those that impact our profession.  Once identified we spent hours going over which we should oppose or support.  Then we testified, produced collateral material making our case, lobbied staff and members, and tracked their progress throughout the legislative session.

Once the legislative session ended we began the process of analyzing the data on how legislators voted on the bills we’d taken positions to support or oppose. The CCA Legislative Scorecard is the culmination of all this effort.  Our Associate Director of GA, Michelle Bancroft, is to thank for turning all this data into the professional, visually stunning, product we send to legislators, staff and members. I will also be hand-delivering hard copies of the Scorecard early next week. If you missed it when we sent it to you earlier this week. view it here.

As we did last year, we honor the legislators that score 100 and they become part of our 100 Club, This year we have 3 Senators and 6 Assembly Members score an unprecedented 100+. We also had many legislators score 100 - 85% of the Senate and 46% of the Assembly. If you are a constituent of these chiropractic supportive legislators, give them a shout-out of thanks. Check out this year's 100 Club.

Accounting The Accountable

It is important to hold our elected officials accountable.  They know it’s important.  Every two years Assembly Members are held accountable on election day.  I used to tell the legislators I worked for that I wasn’t worried about any job evaluation they had in mind for me, if I didn’t do a good job we’d all be unemployed soon.

But, I also know how capricious accountability can be.  There are some organizations who believe if you’re not with them 100% of the time you’re undeserving of their support.  There are people willing to manipulate data to their own ends.  For example, I recall a candidate who heavily featured her battle against breast cancer in her campaign for office. Why that made her qualified to serve is anybody’s guess.  She used the data that her opponent had missed a large number of votes on the Assembly Floor as proof of his unworthiness to serve; ignoring that he missed those votes because of his battle against prostate cancer. She won the election.

So, if you read our methodology for determining the legislators’ scores and wonder at all the disclaimers about the limitations of this type of endeavor, I hope you now understand why.  When holding others accountable, we hold ourselves accountable to the fairness of our assessments.  As former congressman Dick Army liked to say, “I never met a statistic that couldn’t be tortured into a confession.”  That’s not the CCA way.  We’re proud of our efforts to hold our legislators and ourselves equally accountable.  At the end of the day Thomas Paine was right, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by anybody.” 

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.


Want to respond to what you just read? Just look below for the comment box. I encourage your feedback and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.


2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

Danny Gambino said:

Again, thank you! These Corners may be the most value for the time spent reading anything and inspires me to continue to build relationships.

2016-12-09 14:32:32

Dr. Greg Call said:

Wow. Congrats Cris on a job well done. I look forward to reading these each week to hear about the CCA wins and legislative progress you and the staff are making for all of us. Thank you.

2016-12-09 15:19:53

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