Kucinich in Fallbrook

In my previous entry on ‘minor’ candidates, I wondered why Dennis Kucinich, along with Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray, had been in Fallbrook recently to discuss wildfire response.

The reason is that Kucinich chairs the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee. Issa and Bilbray are the only two local members of that Committee. Now his appearance makes more sense.

In his statement (which you can find through the link in the previous paragraph) he has a mild, but still somewhat stinging, rebuke to San Diego County officials for allowing their County to remain the only one in California without a fire department. The County continues to have a patchwork of small special districts and private fire companies. Local control and all that. Problem is that wildfires are very much a whole-County phenomenon. They have this annoying tendency to start way out east in the jurisdiction of some little, understaffed and underfunded, department or district and then, by next morning, be burning houses in incorporated cities. In 2004, there was 81% Countywide endorsement of a ballot measure (advisory only, of course) to propose a consolidate County fire department. This was in the wake of the 2003 fires. Of course, nothing has been done. And then came the 2007 fires.

Good for Kucinich to help shed some light on this problem. I don’t think it will win him any delegates out this way for his presidential campaign (given the 15% threshold), but it might win him a vote or two from some frustrated residents of an always badly governed County’s urban-wildlands interface.

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