Republicans still have many policy differences with Sen. Dianne Feinstein and that isn’t going to change. [Opinion]


Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been a U.S. Senator for 40 years. She is 88. Some in California and Washington thinks she might need to step down before her term ends in 2024.

Completing her term or stepping down is the Senator’s alone.  She will do what’s best for the state, her family and the country.

On Capitol Hill, it is widely — though always privately — acknowledged that Ms. Feinstein suffers from acute short-term memory issues that on some days are ignorable, but on others raise concern among those who interact with her, according to a New York Times article.

Most California Republicans who serve in the House have often turned to the Senator for help behind the scenes when it comes to getting things done for California. She was the “adult” in the Senate who served California.

As Workforce Development Board and Private Industry Council Chairman, I went to Sen. Feinstein for help with policy changes that would be helpful for job training partners and job training programs. Sen. Feinstein delivered and increased funding for our Culinary Academy and a partnership with Keith Granite followed. Those funds helped train mothers on public assistance be heavy equipment operators. Those ladies helped build California’s Diamond Valley Reservoir.

That is just one of the many times Republicans turned to Sen. Feinstein for help with funding. She has delivered on defense, public safety, job training, and water.

Republicans still have many policy differences with Sen. Feinstein and that isn’t going to change. But Republicans elected in state, county, city, and special district offices — or their appointed executives and staffs have always found the Senator as one that would listen and try to find our common ground.

Should Sen. Feinstein decide to retire before her term is completed in 2024, the Governor will likely make an appointment. Democrats would lose the “majority” if the seat went empty.

My money is on Mrs. Feinstein leaving the Senate when her term is complete. Politics is a full contact sport and when party leaders or bid donors think you’re done, you can be tossed out or go under the bus without even a thank you.

Sen. Feinstein has earned respect, even from those who rarely agree with her views and polices. Perhaps the Democrats’ machine should remember she is elected and represents 40 million Californians. Yes, only 26% of those California voters are Republicans, but we can admire the Senator for service and for bipartisanship.

She did what she could to help Republican counties and Republican-elected and appointed officials when it was needed.