“Ooops – I got the votes, but forgot about the Mrs. being an active anti-choicer – quick delete that Twitter account.” It is very unlikely that the previous quote is anything similar to what went through Assemblymember Robert Rivas’ head as he walked into Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office last Friday, but you do have to wonder what he did think.
As all Calpeek readers know by now, Rivas secured support from a majority of the Assembly Democratic Caucus members. That would theoretically allow him to be elected Speaker thereby deposing Rendon. On Tuesday, Rivas and Rendon put out a joint statement where both agreed that Rivas had the votes, but left some other details in question such as when the scepter, along with the crown, would be handed over, if at all.
While some around the Water Cooler speculate on those details, others have been focused on Rivas’ challenges at home. Rivas’ wife, Christen Rivas, has deleted her Twitter account. Calpeek is also unable to find her Facebook account. A spouse’s political beliefs do not disqualify the other spouse from serving in public office, even in high-level positions. Most marriages are complicated and require compromise. So, why delete the account? Because Christen Rivas is an outspoken anti-choice advocate. She attends rallies and helps fundraise for anti-choice organizations. She is a Republican who says she challenges her husband “…to see a different perspective.”
Noticing the deleted Tweets caused concern in the pro-choice community. If Christen Rivas and her husband were so concerned with her comments that the Twitter feed needed to be deleted, how active is she? Even if Robert Rivas is pro-choice, will he be a strong leader on the issue? Will his wife have any influence over his work?
Robert Rivas claims to be pro-choice. His voting record supports his claim. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California produce a legislative scorecard. For the three years that Rivas has been in office and scorecards are available (2019, 2020, 2021), Rivas has received a score of 100% pro-choice.
Calpeek applauds any familiar partnership that can survive such a contentious subject matter.