There has been a lot of chatter in town of late about the hybrud electric plug-in test car that the South Coast Air Quality Management District provides to their Board Member, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. As usual, the media hasn’t covered this story well at all. In fact they are acting like they broke a story, but I reported about this on the Orange Juice blog way back in July of 2008. It is old news.
The Voice of OC slammed Pulido, but even they had to acknowledge the facts, “Officials from the AQMD say the vehicle is test-grade and not up to production standards. They added that Pulido was issued the vehicle to test drive it and report any problems that need to be fixed, and also to demonstrate it to members of the media and other government officials.”
Pulido does in fact demonstrate the car to members of the media and to other government officials. He was driving the electric car recently when he attended a meeting that featured U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. He told her about the car and she expressed a desire to see it, as she had not seen a car like it before. Pulido was happy to comply. And so they walked to the parking garage and Pulido showed her the car, opening up the trunk to show her the battery.
Moreover, Pulido has been on the hook this entire time for flat tires and mechanical problems, and he pays to recharge the car’s battery. He has also had to pay to have the car towed a number of times. But that is part of the testing process, and Pulido is a true believer in green energy consumption.
Why? Well, consider this report, which was issued yesterday, “Approximately 9,000 people in California are estimated to die prematurely each year as a result of exposure to fine particle pollution,” according to a report issued today by the California Air Resources Board.
Pulido is aware of this and he says that he believes in the mission of the AQMD and wants to do what he can to clean up the environment. He is also a green engineering consultant.
Pulido also explained that his family does have two cars, one which is his. And he does not always use the plug-in car. The Council Members are given a car allowance irresspective of what they drive. Theoretically a skateboarding Council Member would also get the full allowance. This is something that would have to be changed via a new city ordinance.
Remember that Pulido makes about $36K a year as a part-time Mayor. We are getting a lot for that money when you consider he generally puts in over 40 hours a week on city business.
The Voice of OC has yet to fess up to what most O.C. political insiders already know – their Chairman, Joe Dunn, hates Pulido because when Dunn tried to move the 4th Court of Appeals to Irvine, Pulido blocked him. And the union boss who funded the Voice of OC, Nick Berardino, has it in for Pulido because when Tom Umberg ran for Supervisor in the First District, as a carpetbagger, Pulido refused to support him. Berardino was an Umberg supporter.