Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg plans to run for the Senate next year, taking Alex Padilla’s seat, and wants to succeed Steinberg as pro tem. Does Hertzberg have a shot? And wasn’t De Leon being groomed as the next pro tem?”

I think most assume that the new Pro Temp will come from this class … not waiting until after the next election.  Kevin DeLeon certainly is acting like it’s his for the taking – I wouldn’t say anyone is grooming him.  But, when you have the votes, rule of thumb is you call the question and work out the timing with the current leader.  No question has been called so it could turn into a longer, protracted contest and maybe even an interim person until the next group comes in.  Never been done that way, but never say never.

This is a moot issue. Senate Pro Tem election will be decided prior to the 2014 election even taking place.

Why do you think he “wants to succeed Steinberg as PT”?  As far as I know, he’s never said or implied that.  You should at least make it clear that you’re openly speculating. Also – if history is any guide, depending on how DS wants to sequence it, there will be a new PT or at least PT-designate before the next class of Senators even get here.  So I don’t understand the question.

As the great philosopher Paul Simon says: “Lord, it’s the same old story, ever since the world began. Everybody’s got the runs for glory, nobody stop to scrutinize the plan.” Someone might want to run all this past Jerry Hill as well.

It seems that Hertzberg hopes to fill a power vacuum in the Senate. Padilla had hoped to be pro tem earlier, then decided to move on to run for secretary of state. But the Senate bench is still thin.

The Senate leader is chosen by the members. If someone comes in thinking he or she is going to be elected leader, then they are in for a big surprise. The Senate Democrats do funny things … just ask Pat Johnston.

Get used to saying “Senator Hugsberg.”  He has a bearhug around that district. As for KDL…..nobody is “groomed for the job,” rather they “audition” as operating Members. Who knows yet if KDL has the votes in his caucus. Regardless, it is hard to see Sen. Hugsberg sweeping into the Senate and emerging as ProTem from the get go….not that the Senate wouldn’t be better off it that was the case.

It’s all too soon to tell. Hertzberg is a formidable campaigner, but it’s hard to see how he avoids a primary and perhaps runoff fight with a Latino candidate in that district. He would be a natural for Senate pro tem, but would no doubt face competition and resentment from others already in the Senate who are angling for the post. Never count Mr. Hugs out, though, he’s a force of nature.

Speaker Hertzberg absolutely has a shot at winning the seat. He’ll be a rare legislator who will try to shake up the dysfunctional status quo that most members protect. Solving problems may not make him many friends among his colleagues, but if he’s successful he will have earned a leadership position.

General Rule:  Win the elections before you start measuring the drapes.  Hertzberg should talk to Assemblyman Ron Smith of Lancaster.

Since the pro Tem will be named before Hertzberg gets elected the question is moot!

Ed’s Note: Those from whom we sought opinions include Andrew Acosta, Elizabeth Ashford, Hector Barajas, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Richard Costigan, Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Tom Gede, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Gale Kaufman, Jason Kinney, Dave Lesher, Elizabeth Leslie, Chris Lehane, Greg Lucas, Donna Lucas, Mike Madrid, Aaron McLear, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Jacob Mejia, Beth Miller, Paul Mitchell , Barbara O’Connor, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Matt Rexroad, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Ben Tulchin, Angie Wei, Scott Wetch. 

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