That special DMV office in the capitol accessible to elected officials, capitol staffers and insiders reminds me of a Prohibition era speakeasy. Go up to the unmarked door with a peephole and utter a password– “Jerry sent me,” seems appropriate—and you get to avoid long lines at the DMV.

Much news has been generated over the long wait times at DMV offices. Despite heated questions from legislators on DMV delays, the Joint Audit Committee turned down a request to have the DMV audited and discover why the long delays forcing California drivers to suffer when doing business at the DMV.

Then the Sacramento Bee ran a story that legislators and capitol staffers don’t have to bother with those long lines. A special capitol office services the lucky privileged. As the Bee reported, the office is unmarked behind a door with a peephole. To the general pubic the whole operation smells illicit as a speakeasy.

The existence of the special DMV has been disclosed before, as Scott Lay related in the Nooner last week. But that makes the office even less justifiable. If it were disclosed previously it should have been closed to legislators and insiders so that they would face the same service offered by the DMV at local offices.

In a broader sense, representatives living outside the rules they create for others was never intended for the American system of government. Federalist Papers Number 57 said a member of the House of Representatives would “make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

Hasn’t quite worked out that way, but it should.

Legislators are supposed to relate to their constituents. It’s hard to do that if they do not experience what their constituents’ experience. As the Merriam Webster dictionary defines “man of the people” (we’ll update it to man or woman of the people): “someone who understands or who is like ordinary people who do not have special power or privileges.”

Special privileges abound for political insiders in California. For example, go back a decade to the investigation by the Orange County Register on insiders protecting their license plate identities to avoid paying tolls and parking tickets right up to the current day when politicians get police protections at weddings as reported in the Los Angeles Times or the absurd payout of over a million dollars to the new LAPD chief for successfully maneuvering through the retirement system—something the average citizen cannot even dream about.

Back to the DMV. Officials at the DMV say that 90% of the special capitol office staff’s time is used to help legislators with constituent problems. Fine. Make it 100% of the time for that purpose and then let the legislators and others in the Sacramento in-crowd go through normal DMV channels like the rest of us.

Then we’ll see how fast the legislature acts to change the appalling wait times at the DMV.