After 30 years, the last day in Congress for Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) was Jan. 2. Unlike some other veteran lawmakers who left office this year — including Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who penned a retrospective op-ed in The New York Times on his final day, and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who told his own story during a 20-minute speech to a mostly empty Senate chamber in December — Berman appears to have made no such public pronouncements.
Much of the debate in the San Fernando Valley contest between Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman has revolved around their congressional records, but I’m having trouble deciphering them. And if it’s hard for me, after spending years writing about legislation, pity the interested voter. In their years in Congress — 29 for Berman, 15 for Sherman — they have cast many votes and introduced bills, either as a main author or collaborator. Because there’s a public record of this activity, you’d think it would be easy to look it up, rather than rely on the candidates’ speeches, charges and counter charges.