- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2020

California Republicans unloaded on four Democratic state legislators caught dining together with family and guests at a restaurant despite novel coronavirus shutdown orders preventing the vast majority of residents from going out to dinner.

“Hypocrisy at its worst. More ‘do as I say, not as I do’ from California Democrats,” tweeted the California Republican Party on Wednesday.

The four Democrats and one independent, all members of the state Assembly, gathered for outdoor dining at Maydoon, a Persian restaurant in Sacramento, shortly after being sworn in Monday at the Golden 1 Center, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The gathering fell within the letter of the law, albeit barely — the Greater Sacramento region is slated to go on lockdown Thursday — but not the spirit, given that public-health officials have urged residents to limit gatherings to three households or fewer as COVID-19 cases surge.

Asked by a Sacramento Bee reporter about the multi-household gathering, Democratic Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian replied, “Can we not have dinner?”

The answer would be “no” for most Californians. About 85% of residents —including those in Mr. Nazarian’s West Toluca Lake district — have been under a lockdown order since Sunday encompassing Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, which includes bans on both indoor and outdoor restaurant dining.

The legislators who dined together were Mr. Nazarian, Tasha Boerner Horvath of Encinitas, Marc Levine of Marin County, and Chris Ward of San Diego, as well as independent Chad Mayes, the newspaper reported.



CHANGE-CA, a non-partisan voter-education group founded by 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, called out Democrats violating the very shutdown orders that they have espoused.

Mr. Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed have apologized for dining with groups in separate events at the posh restaurant French Laundry. In Texas, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, took heat last week for advising constituents to stay home for Thanksgiving while he and his family were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

“This episode is just the latest in a string of incidents where outspoken advocates of lockdown regulations have failed to uphold the very policies they implemented for their constituents — including Governor Newsom’s party at the French Laundry and Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s trip to Mexico for his daughter’s wedding,” said CHANGE-CA in a Thursday statement.

“As a result, many are quickly losing patience with the restrictive policies and, more importantly, with those in power who implement them,” the group said.



The swearing-in ceremony had been moved from the state capitol to the Golden 1 Center to ensure enough space for social distancing.

Rob Charles, chief of staff for Ms. Boerner Horvath, told the Bee that the legislators had tested negative for COVID-19 and were abiding by Sacramento County’s pandemic rules.

The governor’s latest shutdown order divides the state into five regions, and triggers a three-week shutdown in regions where ICU hospital capacity falls below 15%. The Greater Sacramento region dipped below the threshold on Wednesday, prompting the stay-at-home order starting Thursday night.

Five Bay Area counties have also imposed stay-at-home orders through Jan. 4.

The state health department reported as of Wednesday another 30,851 cases of COVID-19, a 2.2% increase over the previous day, and 196 deaths, a 1% daily increase. The state has logged 1,420,558 cases and 20,243 deaths.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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