Mostly clear

GULLIXSON: The uncomfortable truth about Sen. Pat Wiggins

  • Senator Pat Wiggins of the 2nd Senate District, which includes portions or six counties: Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano & Sonoma walks back to a joint hearing of the Senate Natural Resources and Water committees, with her chief of staff Sean MacNeil, Tuesday August 18, 2009 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2009

All I can say is good for Connie Codding.

Good for her for standing up and saying what many people have known for months but few have been willing to say on the record.

State Sen. Pat Wiggins is not herself. She has not been for some time, and it has all the signs of dementia. Maybe it's not, but there's clearly something that's not right.

"To be honest, I think she's not competent," Codding, a respected voice in Sonoma County Democratic circles, told The Press Democrat's Derek J. Moore.

No, she's not competent.

She's surrounded by competent staff members who have done their level best to make her look competent, but she's not. And it's time to stop the charade.

The loss of short-term memory, the inappropriate outbursts at committee hearings, the inability to respond to simple questions at community events.

Her staff has handled and protected her — and shielded her from reporters — for too long, and now they appear on the brink of letting her run for re-election which, in my mind, would be the cruelest move of all.

Let's be clear about something. I don't want to write about this. Nobody enjoys writing or talking about this. Wiggins, a former Santa Rosa City Council member and a member of the state Legislature for nine years, has been a respected leader for this region for some time.

But it's not just Sonoma County residents who are raising questions. Consider this quote from a July 18 editorial in the Napa County Register, "This year, as Wiggins has appeared at local events, including a fund-raiser for her own campaign coffers, Napa County residents have come away concerned about her well-being. Political officials and constituents, careful to speak off the record, wonder about Wiggins' conduct."

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