Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“What impact, if any, will the results of the Special Election have on the
Legislature when lawmakers get back to Sacramento in January? Regardless of
whether the governor’s proposals are approved or rejected, does this
election set an agenda for lawmakers in 2006?”

“It certainly should. If the Legislature reads any of the polls, they know
that the governor is not the only one that the people are unhappy with. All
of them are running for re election.”

“Regardless of what measures pass or fail, the effect will be the
same-legislators and the Governor will all trust each other a little bit
less, the partisan rancor will get a little bit worse (if that’s possible),
and the threats to ‘Do it my way or I’ll put another initiative on the
ballot’ will begin anew. The lingering bitterness from the special
election, combined with the Governor running for re-election, open seats in
virtually every other constitutional office and 100 legislative seats on the
ballot threaten to bring the Capitol to a new dysfunctional low.”

“It’s not going to be easy to forgive and forget. Expect to see Democrats
trying to control the agenda from the get-go, particularly from a
newly-empowered Speaker Nunez.”

“Are we talking policy agenda or political agenda? One (politics) drives the
other (policy), especially in an election year. One would think that
everyone on the ballot–especially the governor–would lay off any kind of
behavior seen as polarizing, that cooperation would be in the air on a
variety of issues. The electorate is sick of it, and those who continue to
be seen as divisive influences do so at their peril.”

“In terms of specific policy, I doubt the 2006 ‘agenda’ would include any of
the issues fought over this fall: redistricting reform, parental consent,
union dues for political purposes, gubernatorial power or energy
reregulation.”

“The Governor is forced to negotiate from weakness, and McCarthy/Ackerman
will have less relevance than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.”

“Health care is a different matter, and all sides will want to be seen as
addressing access to health care and the high cost of prescription drugs.
That will be before the governor and lawmakers regardless of what happens…”

“The results of the special election will just harden the battle lines.
Democrats will cite the defeat of Proposition 76 as evidence of public
support for tax increases. Arnold will call for a new cooperative spirit and
the Democratic leader will agree. But it won’t happen, at least not on the
budget or on other big ticket issues.”

“The biggest mistake the legislature can make is believing that the outcome
of the election is some kind of mandate for their issues to govern. Big, big
mistake –one they are very likely to make.”

“When all the talk is about the governor losing control, power, leverage, we
have to remember he still has the veto at his disposal. The threat of
‘taking it to the people’ will be diminished.”

The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Don
Wilcox, Evan Goldberg, Dan Schnur, Jason Kinney, Karen Hanretty, Kevin
Spillane, Matt Ross, Sam Delson, Mike Madrid, Morgan Crinklaw, Richard
Zeiger, Ralph Simoni, Bob Hertzberg, Scott Baugh, Steve Maviglio, Tony
Quinn, Peter Demarco, Dave Sebeck, Adam Probolsky, Barbara O’Connor, Jack
Pitney.


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