Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Democrats' Super-Majorities In Sacramento-- Basically Rendered Meaningless By Corrupt ConservaDems


Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez

Yesterday, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who represents a huge swath of hipster and Hispanic Los Angeles (Silverlake, Echo Park, Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Montecito Heights, Cypress Park, Chinatown, East L.A.) yielded to an animated draft movement by progressives in his district to run for the congressional seat Xavier Becerra is giving up to become California Attorney General. There is tremendous fear that charter school shill Sarah Hernandez, backed by the usual array of anti-union, anti-education fanatics and, of course, EMILY's List, will be able to sneak her into Congress. Last month, Jimmy was reelected to the Assembly with a nice healthy 86.4% of the vote.

The Assembly... the Democrats just regained a super-majority-- and there's a Democratic governor. So Jimmy and and the Democratic Party would be able to get a lot accomplished, right? (The state Senate also regained a super-majority.) But... not right. The state government can't do much-- and that's because lobbyists have so much sway in Sacramento. How is that even possible? The misnamed "Moderate Caucus"-- corrupt right wing Democrats, the Republican wing of the party always looking to get it's collective palm greased-- work with the Republicans to stop anything and everything that smacks of a progressive vision for governance. Celebrate that Democrats have a super-majority in each house but remember that the anti-union charter school thugs, for example, just elected more garbage Democrats-on-the-take (cash pouring in from robber barons like Gap co-founder Doris F. Fisher, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Carrie W. Penner, the granddaughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, developer Eli Broad and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg) like Tom Grayson from Contra Costa and Solano counties and, worst of all, Laura Friedman in Glendale and Los Feliz. Friedman was just elected in my own district and she's basically a pro-Choice Republican masquerading as a Democrat with TONS of money from the bad guys allowing her to absolutely swamp the district in deceitful advertising about her progressive opponent.

Back to the problem of the conservatives disguising themselves as Democrats and getting elected to the legislature. Dan Walters explained for Sacramento Bee readers why the super-majorities the Democrats just won mean little in practical terms.
In fact, it could result in more real clout by business, education reformers and other interests that do battle in the Capitol with liberal groups such as unions, consumer advocates, personal injury attorneys and environmentalists-- and more frustration for Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy war on carbon emissions.

As Democrats were capturing enough Republican-held seats to reestablish the supermajorities they lost in 2014, the ranks of moderate Democrats were also increasing, thanks to big infusions of campaign cash from business and its new, albeit informal, partners in the education reform movement.

The Assembly’s “mod squad,” as it’s been dubbed, was instrumental during the 2015-16 session in blocking key elements of Brown’s multi-point assault on climate change, which he describes as an “existential threat.” He couldn’t win approval of a tight “low-carbon fuel” mandate or reauthorization of the “cap-and-trade” program of emission allowances.

One member of the loose moderate coalition, San Bernardino’s Cheryl Brown, was taken out by a union-backed campaign that dubbed her “Chevron Cheryl.”

However, the coalition’s ranks were bolstered by several victories in other Democrat vs. Democrat clashes. The education reform activists were particularly pleased by the defeat of Mae Torlakson, wife of state schools chief Tom Torlakson, who had strong backing from their foes in school unions.

Meanwhile, the Senate, which had supported Brown on climate change, may be developing a mod squad of its own with wins by business-backed Democrats such as Bill Dodd of Napa and Steven Bradford of Gardena.

In theory, the supermajorities could be used to impose new taxes or place constitutional amendments on the ballot. But they had almost no effect when Democrats had them during the 2013-14 session, and they may be even less likely to be employed in the 2017-18 session that begins next week.

Mod squad influence is rarely demonstrated in showdown votes on specific bills. Rather, legislation that fails because of their presence is usually placed on the shelf without votes after legislative leaders count noses and come up short.

The 17-year, 90.4 percent record of the California Chamber of Commerce in defeating bills it labels “job killers” is a testament to the clandestine nature of the perennial war between business interests and liberal groups.

Typically, the chamber pins its epithet on a few dozen major bills and only one or two of them make it through and are signed into law, but decisive votes on the vanquished measures are rare.

Thus, mod squad influence will not be apparent from official voting records, only in the final tally of what makes it into law and what doesn’t.
Eloise Reyes
Progressive champion Eloise Reyes defeated Chevron Cheryl Brown in San Bernardino (54-45%) and that's one very bright spot. This week Eloise was the very first freshman to introduce a bill in the Assembly. Another bright spot for California progressives is that the single most corrupt conservaDem in Sacramento, Isadore Hall-- yes, even more corrupt than Chevron Cheryl-- left the state Senate to run for Congress and, although heavily favored and backed by the entire disgustingly corrupt Democratic Party establishment (which pretends to oppose the conservaDems), was defeated by progressive underdog Nanette Barragan in the L.A. South Bay area. Her district, CA-44, stretches from San Pedro up through Wilmington, Carson, Rancho Dominguez, North Long Beach, Compton, Lynwood, Watts and South Gate and her colleagues were so impressed with her strength as a fighter that last week she was elected co-president of the new congressional freshman class, basically taking over for Ted Lieu in that spot.

Meanwhile, one of the worst former corrupt Sacramento conservaDems, Lou Correa, was-- like Hall-- heavily backed by California's utterly vile Democratic Party establishment and he managed to beat a devoted progressive for Loretta Sanchez's congressional seat in Orange County. He immediately joined the Blue Dogs and New Dems and will be a reliable vote for much of the damage Paul Ryan plans on doing-- just as he voted with the GOP consistently in Sacramento. Many say that now that ultra-reactionary Blue Dogs Gwen Graham (FL) and Brad Ashford (NE) have been driven from Congress, Lou Correa will quickly supplant Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) as the worst Democrat in the House. Do you think that's too bold a statement? See if this changes your mind at all. The problem with electing these garbage fake Dems, like Laura Friedman, to legislatures is that, aside from doing irreparable damage, it puts them in position to build power and move up the political ladder. Don't we have enough problems with Republicans without allowing the same sort of monsters to take over the Democratic Party? Democrats need more members of the working class in elected position; here's a suggestion:

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At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... remembering the 2009 us senate after Franken was seated. Same thing. 60 didn't mean filibusterproof because of all the corporocrats. 2010 saw 10 million fewer voters than 2008 and the lost the house for good.

being in the minority makes it easier to sell out. they can blame it on the R majority.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Not just the Cal Dems in Sacto. Look at Pelosi, at Sen. Betty Crocker, and at the retiring Sen. Overton Window in Washington.


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