Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
What are your thoughts on this week’s elections?

Gleeful in Gardena

Hey Gleeful,
Well, this week’s two special elections promised that at least one politician will get a promotion. Lieutenant Gov. John Garamendi’s big win over Mark DeSaulnier and Joan Buchanan this week means Big John will be off to Washington where he will be No. 435 on the seniority list.

But hey, odds are that he’s got a job for life, even though his carbon footprint just went up by a factor of seven, given all the coast-to-coast commuting he’ll be doing after he disposes of his token GOP challenger in November.

For Garamendi, it’s a chance to go from a totally obscure office to a mostly obscure one. But hey, baby steps, right? And the good news is: No more meetings of the State Lands Commission or U.C. Regents to sit through.

So, while Garamendi is in line for a promotion, I’ll take some feedback on whether the same can be said for Steve Bradford. I mean, really, is State Assemblyman a step up from Gardena City Council? Frankly, these days I’m not so sure.
Bradford almost got here a couple of years ago, but lost s squeaker to Curren Price. And just think of all the fun the Assemblyman-elect lost out on by not getting here sooner. Whether or not Bradford’s got second thoughts about coming up, his arrival is being eagerly anticipated by Karen Bass and her political team.

Of course, Bass would have loved to have Bradford up here for the end-of-session madness we now find ourselves in the throes of. Heck, knowing how much fun water policy is, Bass probably wanted Bradford up here to sit on that God forsaken conference committee.
I can think of nothing I’d like to do less than spend my weekend talking water policy with Jim Nielsen and Jose Solorio. Have fun with that one, madame speaker.

But if and when Bradford arrives, it won’t be soon enough. These days, even with 50 members in the lower house, nothing’s a safe bet. Did anyone watch that prisons debate over the last few days?

Frankly, I’m not terribly optimistic that the next few days will be any smoother. To say being Speaker is like herding cats overstates the job of cat shepherds everywhere. Shepherds never had to deal with the likes of Alyson Huber, or babysit between Assemblymembers who refuse to press their voting buttons until their presumptive primary opponent in next year’s election presses theirs first (you know who you are, and you know I’m talking to you).

So, the big winners are Gov. Schwarzenegger – who now gets to appoint Garamendi’s replacement – and the Speaker, who gets another needed reliable vote. As for Mr. Bradford, hey, welcome to Sacramento, pal. And good luck. You’re going to need it.

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