Commentary: Political caricatures speak to the need for adults in charge

I know I must be running against young people, because they seem to love cartoons.

Perhaps you saw me riding the high-speed train. The same train I strongly opposed in a March Daily Pilot opinion piece, where I laid out the problems with the current financial plan, which would result in $650 million in annual debt service and a system that is still $55 billion unfunded (“High-speed rail project is a train wreck,” March 23).

Fifteen years ago, as a paid financial advisor to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, I said this project could not be built without a dedicated funding source. It still can’t, and we should stop wasting money on it now.

Perhaps you saw me playing baseball, where my opponent attacked me for voting for a fee that starts at $14 and gradually rises $8 a year over five years. It pays for more than $1.4 billion in sewer improvements, including more than $110 million in Newport Beach alone.

We see this construction going on now on Balboa Boulevard, Dover Drive and Coast Highway. In a city with sewers approaching 100 years old, these improvements will ensure that when you flush, you are done with your part.

Consider the not-so-pretty alternative. Sewage would end up in your home and in our bay. This fee also funds millions in improvements to reduce odors in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach from Sanitation District facilities.

Of course, my cartoon-loving opponent never offers his solutions for how to address aging infrastructure. When you have never had responsibility for actually solving problems for real people, you can just ignore them and hope they go away.

Maybe you have also read that I support broadening the appeal of the Republican Party. As a lifelong Republican, I know the problem: Sometimes when you put three Republicans in a room, two will put up a red velvet rope and create a VIP section. At 28% statewide registration, it’s time to quit kicking people out of the party and open the doors to all who want to join us.

As I have talked to business owners and taxpayers throughout the district, I know that the issues on the minds of real people are California’s crushing income and sales tax burden, its over-regulation of business and the threat of limiting the protections of Proposition 13.

Our neighbors want our schools to produce better results and our infrastructure to work as it should. These are the issues I want to focus on. The state has screwed up group-home regulation, massage-parlor licensing and fire rings. It’s time to let the cities manage these matters with accountability to local voters.

I will leave my young opponents to their cartoons. It’s time for adults in Sacramento. For a change.

KEITH CURRY is a Newport Beach councilman and Republican candidate for the 74th Assembly District.