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Republican Assemblyman Responds To California Budget With Extensive Spotify Playlist
No one can accuse freshman Assemblymember Randy Voepel of being a creature of Sacramento. The 66-year-old Vietnam vet was only elected to state office last year—after running unopposed, he now represents California's 71st Assembly district, which includes most of inland San Diego County and part of Riverside County. Before that, the staunch conservative served as mayor of the San Diego suburb Santee (population 53,413) after 40 years in the insurance industry.
Voepel, who thinks climate change is a good thing because "our enemies are on the equator," is now making waves for reasons having nothing to do with his far-right politics: the guy is killing it on Twitter.
On Thursday, Voepel owned us all when he responded to Governor Jerry Brown's "May Revise" state budget proposal with... a Spotify playlist. But unlike the passive aggressive sense-my-mood-by-the-songs-I-picked style Spotify responses favored by Every Dude I've Ever Dated, Voepel went a different route. This is Spotify playlist as ransom note, with the song titles LITERALLY SPELLING OUT his statement, and feat. artists as varied as Erykah Badu, Johnny Cash, The Shins, and Big & Rich. It is epic, to say the least.
Who needs a press release when you have @Spotify?— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) May 11, 2017
My #MayRevise statement (don't worry, it's family-friendly): https://t.co/HFH3F44bFN pic.twitter.com/ZQ9ve2U80C
And the Spotify playlist response is just one of many fantastic tweets from Voepel:
The moment you get your second bill of the day (AB 353) through committee pic.twitter.com/nKmennUs9D— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 20, 2017
We reached out to Voepel's office to confirm that the @RandyVoepel account was, in fact, the real Randy Voepel (it remains unverified on Twitter) and were thrilled to hear that it is. According to the guy who answered the phone at Voepel's district office, the account is real and it's managed by Mason Herron, Voepel's chief of staff. "My boss likes to be different and he likes to do different things, and with that in mind, I applied that to the social media approach," Herron told LAist.
"He's a Republican—it's hard to get attention up here. And the way it works with Twitter where it's so noisy and there's so much going on, you really have to do something to stand out and get your voice heard, that's kind of the guiding vision we had when we started it," Herron said. "It's evolved from there, with some success. Even if we're not getting the message across, I think people are enjoying it. At the very least, we're providing entertainment." We would agree.
We also wondered whether the 66-year-old Assemblymember was even getting all the pop culture references "he" was tweeting out. "He's not innately familiar with some of them, but there's an ongoing discussion in providing context for a lot of it," Herron explained. "It's a collaborative approach."
While we praise the glory of his Twitter account, it should also probably be noted that Voepel has, as the Guardian summarized it, "a history of making bizarre statements about communism, homelessness and the environment, among other things." (He has compared homeless people to the Viet Cong, refers to Communists in China as "Chi-Coms" and believes "only about 1% of climate change is impacted by human beings. The rest of the 99% is solar cycles, the natural wobbling of the earth and volcanic activities.”)
It is possible that he is one of the greatest performance artists of our time. Part of what makes Voepel's Twitter account so brilliant is the subtle pairing of ordinary small town politician ephemera (grip-n-grin photos, corn dogs at the county fair, diaper drives) and totally nutso GIFs and memes. Here's a sampling:
Considering @blink182 is one of San Diego's finest exports, I wouldn't dare exclude them. https://t.co/ddEJUWNfyR— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) May 12, 2017
Am willing to start a #gofundme to replace the laptop of the @sdutIdeas author of this 🔥🔥🔥 editorial on UC Audit: https://t.co/m6KQaUTtur pic.twitter.com/GbSMDBWsYg— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) May 10, 2017
Yesterday, I snagged a corn dog while I had the chance to honor @westernfairs -- thanks for all you do to support fairs! cc: @SDFair pic.twitter.com/mNwUl7IoP7— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) May 9, 2017
Proud to participate in the #diaperdrive, which addresses a critical need for many families and an example of community working together. pic.twitter.com/Y7JZYjwKRr— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) May 9, 2017
OTD, 1789: George Washington, architect of the Original Brexit™, is inaugurated.— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 30, 2017
Fun Fact: Not once did he criticize a prior president. pic.twitter.com/XwY4JGEoOb
Looking forward to a great turnout at the #WesternDaysParade! pic.twitter.com/T7kGhZf5Sl— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 29, 2017
My statement on UC Audit --— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 25, 2017
Longer version: https://t.co/KgFauc0Vjc
Shorter version ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/PqprTmF7Ab
Sad #TaxDay reminder-— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 18, 2017
Over 12 months:
💸 Extension of income tax hike
⬆️ Gas tax
🔜 Possible service tax
When it comes to CA taxes: pic.twitter.com/Qr6l5FfSy7
#GasTaxFacts: Meanwhile, Assembly Republicans have a plan that fully funds road repairs AND traffic relief without raising taxes. 7/7 pic.twitter.com/6A4Vky9a4t— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 4, 2017
Another bill, AB561, the Pension Sustainability Act, has passed it's first committee with unanimous support! pic.twitter.com/4U8pTNepXe— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) April 3, 2017
Celebrating our state's Egg 🍳 industry at the #CAAgDay. #AgDay pic.twitter.com/Fid0pXL4fC— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) March 22, 2017
Walking into the District Office on a Friday like pic.twitter.com/DjqPLTXokg— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) March 10, 2017
I am proud to name Anita Bautista as my 2017 Woman of the Year for the 71st Assembly District. More info: https://t.co/SHpq8CDFlw pic.twitter.com/pnfrpKKRoN— Asm. Randy Voepel (@RandyVoepel) March 2, 2017
We would also be remiss if we didn't mention that Voepel responded to Brown's State of the State address with an annotated Genius playlist.
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