Bass and LaMalfa: bipartisan friendship

Liberal speaker, conservative assemblyman have fun touring the North State

Karen Bass, the first female African-American speaker of the Assembly, is a liberal Democrat from Los Angeles, and local Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa is a farm-country Republican, but the two clearly like each other, as was evident last Friday (Oct. 10), when Bass visited the area as LaMalfa’s guest.

“It means a lot to me that she came up here,” LaMalfa said to reporters at his family’s Richvale rice farm. “She’s a real class act and a great person to work with.” In the background harvesters were cutting swaths through the fields.

Bass, who hadn’t been to the North State previously, thanked LaMalfa for inviting her, saying it was a “great opportunity” to see how agriculture works and meet local farmers. She’d just come from lunch at the Richvale Café after touring Oroville Dam, various water conveyance facilities and the LaMalfa farm.

LaMalfa said he was only sorry his father, Milton LaMalfa, who died Oct. 5 at age 71, hadn’t lived long enough to meet the speaker. He’d been “very excited” about her visit, he said, choking up slightly. Bass leaned over and gave him a hug.