Politics runs the gamut from spending taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to campaigns and party politics. You will find a bit of each in this week’s Political Notebook. The leading notebook item is the controversial issue of a potential split in the local Republican Party. Some say it started with the election of Donald J. Trump with some following him in lockstep. Others said they held their noses and voted for him. Some voted Democratic or not at all. Some say it has more to do with personalities than actual politics.

Congressional Hopeful Sounds Off on Split in Republican Party

Dan Ball voted for Trump though said he has not always agreed with some of the things he’s said. He is one of the political leader hopefuls who believe there is a split in the party as a whole and he’s not shy about saying so.

Ball, one of four Republican candidates hoping to fire Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz in the 2018 mid-term elections, said he was discussing the issue with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently at the California GOP Convention in Anaheim.

Dan Ball

(Photo Courtesy of Dan Ball for Congress)

“We were discussing how both parties are fragmented right now, obviously with the revelations we’ve seen with the DNC, and what was going on there with poor Bernie and what they did to him,” Ball said in an interview with Uken Report. “But our own party is fractioned in four different directions right now. You have this new extreme, extreme right. You have Tea Party, you have traditionalists, and then you have moderates. There are literally four factions of Republicans in the House right now, fighting and bickering. You know what happens? Nothing gets done.”

Ball, 42, a U.S. Air Force veteran, Realtor and former television anchor, has made it abundantly clear on numerous occasions he will not kowtow to the party line. He refers to himself as a “citizen politician” and has been known to ignore his consultants’ advice.

He’s feisty and has said the “gloves are off.”  You get the feel of his ire in his rhetoric.

“When was the last time Congress — there’s 535 (members), I’m sorry, underworked and overpaid privileged individuals — did something meaningful for the American public when it comes to major legislation that affects all of America? Do you know what year it was? How many years ago? What was the big thing they passed? How many years? Big bill? 2010. Affordable Health Care. That was it. Seven years ago, almost eight.

“They’ve passed nothing major in seven years, yet they all get paid. They all take summer off. They all take Christmas off. They all get paid $174,000 and $192,000 respectively, for congressmen and senators. Really? … I’m sorry, but if you, when you work in the private sector, just like me, if we didn’t do our job in seven hours or seven days, we’d be fired. These guys don’t do their job for seven years, and they’re still in there. Ridiculous. “

Ball made his comments about the party in a wide-ranging, introductory interview with Uken Report. His comments were made before the recent passage of the GOP tax bill.


Deteriorating Palm Springs South Side Fire Station to Finally Get Attention

Fire stationSix years after Palm Springs voters approved a 1 percent sales tax hike to maintain local community services and revitalize downtown, a portion of the $67 million raised to date will be used to upgrade and expand an antiquated fire station at 1300 La Verne Way.

Fire Station No. 4 in South Palm Springs, which opened on Nov. 24, 1971, will be remodeled. The expansion includes a 2,500-square-foot addition to the original footprint. It is slated to be done early 2019. A well-known architect, Hugh Kaptur, designed the original station, and has been working with the current architect on the remodel designs.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the City Council voted to allow staff to go out to bid on a renovation and expansion of the station.


Supervisor V. Manuel Perez Hits the Road to Meet, Talk with Constituents

Riverside Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez has been making the rounds holding meet-and-greets with constituents as he prepares his election bid in 2018. He held a meet-and-greet in Blythe on Oct. and on Nov. 30 he met with Desert Hot Springs residents

V. Manuel Perez

(Photo courtesy of V. Manuel Perez)

The gatherings are designed as an opportunity for constituents to share ideas and concerns, ask questions, and learn the latest about Riverside County.

Perez also on Nov. 30 opened the Fourth Annual Riverside County Workforce Summit. The event was designed to highlight services for businesses and partnerships that are training the workforce of the future, with an emphasis on the local hospitality industry.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Perez to the District 4 seat, which covers the Coachella Valley, until the November 2018 election. He was appointed to fill the seat left vacant in the wake of Supervisor John Benoit’s death in December 2016.

Jan Harnik, a Republican and Mayor of Palm Desert, is challenging Perez

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  • Supervisor V. Manuel Perez: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez