Dear Loyal Readers,
Well, the Legislature is back in session, even if it was only for one day this week, and it looks like people are beating the holiday mail rush by getting their questions in early. Good move–I’d hate to have someone’s cry for help get log-jammed behind a few dozen fruitcakes looking for a place to land. I’m not sure how many of this week’s questions come from Senate freshmen, but Big Daddy has always been a believer in taking all comers.
Dear Big Daddy:
How come the Republicans never can get a majority in the Senate or Assembly, when they seem to be able to elect a governor all the time? Are they inept, or is something else going on here?
What do you mean by “never”? Hell, it’s been only 11 years since the Assembly last held the majority in the state Assembly. Over in the Senate, the drought has been a little longer, seeing how it’s been since 1970 when Republican Jack Schrade ruled the roost as the Senate president pro tempore. Poor Jack. After winning his district with 63 percent of the vote in 1968, he got bitten by one of Phil Burton’s contributions to modern art. Despite Richard Nixon winning re-election to the presidency in 1972, Jack got mauled 87 percent to 13 percent by a Democrat who only served one term.
The Republicans aren’t inept, they’re just tone deaf. Sure, gerrymandered districts play a role, but the fact that the Republicans running for office are consistently more conservative than the electorate at large doesn’t help them at all. If Gov. Schwarzenegger hadn’t adopted virtually every Democratic idea under the sun this past year and instead had run Dan Lungren’s 1998 campaign, do you think he would have been re-elected? Highly doubtful. As for the notion that Republicans have been able to elect a governor “all the time,” that’s a bit of a stretch. This, after all, is a state that elected Gray Davis to the governorship on two occasions.
Dear Big Daddy:
You’ve seen your share of rookies. What advice do you have for new members? What are the pitfalls they face?
The pitfalls are endless, one of the worst of which can be summed up in two words: paternity test.
Most of the advice I could give folks is what you and I would agree is purely common sense. That’s why, in this term-limited era of lawmakers who think they know everything and are indestructible even before they walk through those beautiful, giant oak doors, I’m certain the following will be routinely ignored: