Car dealers always say their cars are great, and once purchased, it doesn’t take long to find out. But political consumption is different. Legislators always say they’re great but consumers have a tough time evaluating performance. That’s bad, because the gulf between political words and deeds is wide.

Eg, State Assembly Member Rob Bonta frequently tweets progressive words to his progressive district yet ranks among the most prolific fundraisers from non-progressive interests on the receiving end of >$100 billion per year of state spending. In so doing, Mr. Bonta is taking advantage of political arbitrage: Constituents pay attention to what legislators say, but special interests pay attention to what legislators do.

That’s why supporters of the general interest must operate like special interests, including maintaining a presence in their workplace. When things get back to normal, stop by Suite 209 in the Senator Hotel across the street from the Capitol and say hello to GFC’s Sacramento team. Meanwhile, you can support our work here.

Originally published at

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California