Democrats Control The California State Legislature, But DINOs Are Still Mucking Up The Works-- Climate Change
Saturday I was at the celebration of the anniversary of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, one of the most outspoken progressive Democratic clubs in the state of California. The event included local Congressman Ted Lieu as well as recipients of achievement awards like Alan Grayson and Tom Hayden. And there were plenty of candidates, some of whom I already knew, like Nanette Barragán, who is a congressional candidate running against corrupt oil-lobbyist-owned state Senator Isadore Hall, and Agua Dulce City Councilman Lou Vince, the progressive running for Congress against reactionary racist Steve Knight, and several I met for the first time, like progressive state Senate candidates Richard Mathews and Henry Stern, who are part of a wide field vying for the seat of termed-out Sen. Fran Pavley.
In a week that saw the death of several progressive bills-- like the minimum wage bill-- at the hands of a legislature completely controlled by the Democratic Party, I was especially interested in talking with Mathews and Stern about how that can happen. Mathews agreed to write a guest post for us in the next few days tackling the question. This morning this is how Stern put it to me on the phone: "Working in the Capitol for a few years, I've come to realize: labels are malleable. It's popular to call yourself a 'moderate' these days. I consider myself quite moderate but also progressive. But while there are plenty of so-called mods who do the right thing when it comes down to the tough votes, others balk. The question is always the same: who comes first: you and your political career, or the people of your district and the state of California?"
Both Mathews and Stern are aggressively pushing climate-change remediation and environmental-friendly policies in their outreach to voters. Their district overlaps with that of hideously corrupt right-wing Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, who has been as instrumental in the Assembly as Isadore Hall has been in the Senate in undermining and sabotaging meaningful climate-change legislation. Both seemed relieved that Dababneh isn't going to run for the Senate seat. All of California should be. The Senate passed four important environmental bills in the last couple of months:
• Kevin De León's and Mark Leno's Golden State Standards Act (SB 350), which aims for a 50% reduction in oil use by 2030 by encouraging innovation and investment in sustainable energy and by mandating that half the utility power generated in the state comes from renewable sources and by increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings.It's questionable whether these bills can pass the Assembly. Corrupt members from the L.A. area-- and not just Dababneh (Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Canoga Park, Encino, Northridge, Reseda, West Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Bell Canyon)-- are working hard for the lobbyists to sabotage the bills. Worst of the lot are shameless political hacks like:
• Fran Pavley's Building For The Future Act (SB 32), which sets the overarching climate pollution reduction target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, providing California businesses with regulatory certainty, while improving public health and strengthening the economy.
• Kevin De León's Investing With Values And Responsibility Act (SB 185), which will get CalPERS/STRS, the country’s largest public pension funds, to divest from coal companies, investments that lost the pension funds close to a billion dollars last year alone. [The bill was voted on today-- September 2-- and passed 43-27, huge victory! Jim Cooper was the only Democrat to join with the GOP although 8 didn't vote-- including Dababneh, Ridley-Thomas and Henry Perea, who wants to run for Congress against Blue Dog Jim Costa.]
• Mike McGuire's California Coastal Protection Act of 2015 (SB 788), which prevents the state from leasing tidal and submerged lands in the California Coastal Sanctuary for oil and gas extraction. [Killed last week in the Assembly.]
• Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (Mar Vista, Westwood, Culver City, Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, Beverlywood, Ladera Heights, West Los Angeles)
• Autumn Burke (Venice, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Westchester, El Segundo, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale)
• Mike Gipson (Compton, Carson, Willowbrook, Watts, West Rancho Dominguez, Wilmington)
• Chris Holden (Pasadena, South Pasadena, East Pasadena, Altadena, Sierre Madre, Monrovia, San Dimas, Claremont, La Verne)
• Reggie Jones-Sawyer (University Park, South Los Angeles, USC, South Park, Vermont Harbor, Florence-Graham, Walnut Park)
• Patty Lopez (Sylmar, San Fernando, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sunland-Tujunga, Lake View Terrace, Arleta)
• Cristina Garcia (Downey, Bellflower, Cerritos, Montebello, Commerce, Pico Rivera)
• Adrin Nazarian (Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, Studio City, Toluca Lake, North Hills, North Hollywood).