In response to Mark Kellam's article, “Assemblymembers take divergent paths,” Sept. 2, did anyone else notice how Assemblyman Portantino voted “yes” on the state budget this year? He used his “no” vote on last year's budget for media attention when he intended to run for higher office. As he finishes his term representing us, I expected a “no” vote, even though it would not have held up the California budget.

Portantino had nothing to lose by standing by principles and opposing this budget. His self-proclaimed independence from his party seems like a convenient tool that he deploys merely for his own political gain.

Robert Pena

Burbank