Was Assemblymember Gil Cedillo lying about his reasons for failing to vote on AB 32--the 2006 bill that set strict emissions reduction goals for the next two decades--or was he just being forgetful?
L.A. Streetsblog dug into the issue on Tuesday, following up on a claim made by Cedilo during Sunday's Los Angeles Bicycle Coaltion's Council District 1 candidates debate.
During the forum, which focused on bike/pedestrian/green issues, candidate Cedillo claimed that while he supported AB32, he was at home with his ailing wife when the vote was taken.
According to Streetsblog, the story isn't true. Cedillo, it turns out, was actually in Assembly Speaker Fabio Nunez's office that day, ironing out details of the California Dream Act, a measure that Cedillo long championed.
Instead, Cedillo was home with his wife while the vote was taken for a similar environmental bill, AB 1493. That bill was passed in 2002, the same year in which Cedillo's wife passed away.
It's a reasonable mistake for Cedillo to make.
However, Streetsblog still has some questions as to why Cedillo couldn't make it to the Assembly floor to vote on AB 32, especially when he was on hand moments later to vote on a health insurance bill.
The abstention, for whatever reason, of the AB 32 vote was just one of several votes putting Cedillo against the environmental community in 2006. Over his fifteen year career, Cedillo had a 94% vote approval rating from the California League of Conservation Voters Environmental Score Card. In 2006, the score was 71%, 15 points lower than his next “worst” year.
As Streetsblog notes, Cedillo's primary opposition for the council district seat, Jose Gardea, has been quick to capitalize on the issue, noting ties between Cedillo's campaign and oil company Chevron.
A press release posted on Gardea's website states that "Chevron spent $1.8 million that year lobbying on AB 32 and other legislation, and they contributed over $11,000 to Cedillo while he was in the Assembly and Senate."