Many of state Sen. Mike McGuire’s Redwood Empire constituents could fall under the common slang definition of crunchy: Environmentally aware folk who like their tea tree oil organic and their compost piles full.
But it was an alternative use of the term by the Healdsburg Democrat that left some Senate colleagues scratching their heads during a committee hearing late last week on funding for Medi-Cal and programs for the developmentally disabled.
“I’m not trying to be crunchy here. But what I also don’t want is to set ourselves up,” McGuire told a state official at one point during a discussion of the planned closures of developmental centers, including the Sonoma Developmental Center in McGuire’s district. It was one of three times he used “crunchy” in a context that suggested “to be perturbed.”
State Sen. Holly Mitchell spoke for many listeners when, minutes later, she said, “Inquiring minds want to know what it means to be crunchy. You have to give us a definition at some point,” she told McGuire to laughter.
“Based on my assumption, I think I stay crunchy most days but I don’t want to assume,” added Mitchell. Replied McGuire, “I love your crunchiness, so it’s good.”
Mitchell continued, “I just thought I needed to ask the question we were all thinking, Mr. Chair.” Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azuza and the committee chair, responded, “I was thinking the exact same thing. I didn’t know what ‘crunchy’ is. I bet it’s going to be tweeted.”
Alas, it was not.