The National Republican Congressional Committee released a list last week of the 70 seats it intends to target for next year’s midterm elections, and Rep. Loretta Sanchez is the only Latina on the list. This doesn’t surprise me since Rep. Sanchez “has sponsored 62 bills since Jan 7, 1997 of which 58 haven’t made it out of committee and 1 were successfully enacted” according to Govtrack. She really has not been a prolific legislator or champion for the more activist base of the Democratic Party. At one time, Rep. Sanchez even was a Republican when she ran for the Anaheim City Council back in 1994, so in my view, she really isn’t ideological or loyal to any particular cause or purpose, except for maybe herself, as displayed by the costly, narcissistic holiday greeting cards.
Rep. Sanchez is already beginning to feel the heat for supporting health care reform, as evidenced by protests outside of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach. I should note that the Bay Club is not in her district, but she goes there to raise money. She should not be phased so much by these protesters since they likely aren’t the ones in her district living without access to medical care. However, it is my hope that Rep. Sanchez does not cave in on health care and supports something comprehensive that will widen access to affordable care for more Americans. A lot of these health care protesters are saying that the government will ration care, but guess what? The insurers already do that quite successfully when they refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions or promote certain treatments over others.
The issue that I think could prove to be more problematic with Rep. Sanchez is not so much health care or the perception that she’s going along with President Obama, but rather the allegations about a conflict of interest tryst that she has refused to address. These allegations are not the only red flags that have been raised regarding Loretta Sanchez, but also the House Ethics Committee Investigation of the staffing situation with her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez and the thousands of dollars she has received from the infamous PMA lobbying group.
In my view, Orange County, where Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s district sits, is becoming more diverse and progressive. More articulate voices and legislatively adept leaders could have probably solidified the 47th Congressional seat after 10+ years in the House. Rep. Sanchez is known more for her holiday cards and her spat with Rep. Joe Baca than for anything substantive. So this tells me that she could be doing a better job or surrounding herself with people who will help hold herself accountable regarding ethics and her level of productivity.