Freshman Assemblyman Travis Allen already is in the Capitol's "doghouse," but it's nothing personal, apparently.
Allen simply was unlucky.
"The only thing you could read into who's in the doghouse right now is that as they drew names, he had a lousy draw," Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said.
Allen, a Huntington Beach Republican, was assigned a shoebox-size, fifth-floor office that is nicknamed the "doghouse" because of its history: Assembly speakers often house members there as punishment for votes or actions taken.
Allen shrugged off the matter shortly after he was sworn into the Legislature on Monday, the first day of a two-year session.
"No vote has been cast yet, so I think it would be kind of difficult to offend anybody," Allen said, smiling.
"It's an honor to serve the people of California -- in any capacity and in any office," added Allen, a certified financial planner who won the 72nd Assembly District seat from Orange County.
Allen's cramped office, Room 5126, is just 391 square feet -- 135 tinier than the next smallest Assembly office and about 300 smaller than the norm.
Pérez said that he worked with Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway in assigning GOP Assembly offices. Conway handled requests from returning members of her caucus first, Perez said.
"Neither she nor I wanted to use that office punitively, so she went through a random process of selection to decide how to house the new Republican members. ... It was literally a drawing of lots," Pérez said.
Sabrina Lockhart, Conway's spokeswoman, confirmed Pérez's account Monday.
The doghouse was assigned last year to the now former Assemblywoman Linda Halderman, an outspoken Fresno Republican who was one of the most conservative members of a predominantly liberal Assembly.
Allen said, essentially, that size doesn't matter. No hard feelings.
"We're in the building, and we all get a vote," he said simply.
PHOTO CREDIT: California Assembly website.