I regret that Times staff writer Mayerene Barker did not interview me before writing her profile on the 21st Congressional District race. If she had, I could have prevented her from making some totally erroneous assumptions concerning my campaign.
I am not at all "complacent" about my reelection campaign--I am well aware that the voters of my district have the final say in who will represent them. The reason I have been unable to mount an aggressive campaign is that until the current budget debate and other important legislative business are resolved, my primary responsibility is to remain in Washington to represent my constituents. My job requires me to vote against plans to raise taxes on working Americans and senior citizens, to vote for tough anti-crime legislation, and to vote for funding for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and for the important Calleguas Creek flood control project.
Had I missed those votes, there's no question in my mind that my opponent--and some in the press--would have been charging me with neglecting my responsibilities.