|Your moment in the sun, Torlakson|
With that as background, I confess no small measure of surprise when I learned that someone named Tom Torlakson had, in his capacity as the Governor of California, declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and Monterey counties as a result of wildfires in the Golden State. I could've sworn Jerry Brown, the once and future Governor Moonbeam, was at the helm in Sacramento.
I wasn't exactly wrong, as it turns out.
Even in this era of constant connectedness and instant access, California law requires that executive power be exercised within the state's boundaries. So when Brown headed to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, succession rules dictated that the Lieutenant Governor take over. Except that Gavin Newsom, who holds that role, was also in Philly. No worries, the Senate President Pro Tem is next in line. He went to Philly, too, though. As did the Assembly Speaker, the Secretary of State, and Attorney General.
Somebody in Sacto has a sense of duty, though, and that man is State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson, American Hero.
Torlakson didn't have to do too much while the rest of the State's government officials partied on Broad Street. After carving his initials in Brown's desk and taking a dump in the Governor's private bathroom, he issued a handful of proclamations (last Tuesday quickly became Change Lives - Be a Teacher Day), ordered room service, and walked around the office naked. (Those last two might only be imagined - they're what I'll do when I become Governor of Virginia.)
He did, however, have to make a serious decision about the fires ravaging large parts of the state, and that's no little thing. Allegedly, he did so without Brown's input, as he blocked all calls from the six officials above him on the regular totem pole* - despite Brown's Bobby Valentine-esque attempts to maintain control.
* - Might not be accurate.
We salute you, Tom Torlakson. For being cool under fire (sorry), and doing your duty when those around you chose not to do theirs, we name you an honorary Gheorgie, right up until you do something to make us change our minds.