The two events seem worlds apart—dealing with a House Republican investigation into the already thoroughly investigated terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens in Benghazi, and the desire to ride 545 miles for seven days from San Francisco to L.A., June 1-7, to raise money for the ongoing fight against AIDS. But both are challenges to the wit, strength and temperament of Rep. Adam Schiff .
As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Nancy Pelosi asked Schiff to sit on the Republican Select Committee on Benghazi. There have been some organizational meetings, but Schiff has no idea when the full committee will meet. First staff has to be hired and given security clearances. “The amount of money that they spend on this could very well run into the millions,” Schiff told Frontiers. “That’s one of the other distressing facets of this—how much taxpayer money is being spent chasing conspiracy theories.”
On the other hand, Schiff wasn’t asked to participate in the AIDS/LifeCyle Ride, which benefits the L.A. LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and he hasn’t personally lost someone close to make this a personal mission. Rather, he was moved to act by last year’s closing ceremony.
“One of the benefactors was a woman who’d lost her son to AIDS, and when she found out her son was gay and had AIDS, she disowned him,” Schiff said. “Then when he died, it was incredibly painful. She couldn’t go back in time to make amends, and this was part of her way of making amends.”
Schiff, the highest ranking elected official to ever do the ride, knows this is a challenge. He had only six weeks to train, “so they may be picking me up off the side of the road,” he says. Nonetheless, he’s looking forward to meeting the other riders, to the candlelight vigil, to sleeping in the tent city “and telling war stories when it’s over.” Stay tuned to FrontiersLA.com for updates on Schiff’s AIDS/LifeCycle journey. —K.O.