Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“Will the Democrats’ super-majorities really make a difference in the Capitol?”

The super-majorities have the greatest impact on shifting the legislation-blocking role away from Republicans and toward the Moderate Democrats. Or put another way, the new Dem supermajority and emboldened Dem governor can now do absolutely anything that Moderates Lou Correa and Michael Rubio will vote for.

Too soon to tell.   Since the election, the Governor’s comments make it clear the last thing he ever wanted was 2/3 in both houses.  Because that makes both the Pro Tem and the Speaker negotiating equivalents and the Governor does not like to play with others.  He’s much more comfortable with doing his own thing (as evidenced by his now ignoring the Republicans completely because he tried once and they didn’t play with him — so now they are irrelevant to him.) Putting the Governor aside, no one in the Legislature has laid out an agenda.  If they figure one out, and decide to work on a few important things this year they could have a real impact on this state.   They would actually exercise their newly acquired power and show that they are capable of leading…I’m hopeful but skeptical.

Absolutely. Democrats will continue to further the narrow interests of the public employee unions at the expense of all other constituencies. That will come in the form of lowering vote thresholds for tax increases, protecting increased pension spending, and weakening the initiative process. With no opposition, who can blame them?

The masters will change – instead of the Chamber of Commerce and Grover Norquist calling the Republicans’ every move, you’ll have organized labor calling the Democrats’ every move, and with a lot more success. The critical element of the new Legislature will be the Moderate Democrats. And the next Speaker will be a moderate Democrat. And that may happen sooner than you think.

On a few issues, a world of difference — labor, enviro, and human services. But don’t forget that the Democratic super-majority is really a coalition of several factions, split by ethnic caucuses and various degrees of ideology. That’s what will be interesting to watch.

For 40 years, Democrats enjoyed the luxury of having Republicans as the go-to whipping boy for all that ails the state. Republicans, so their story went, were the force preventing the Democrats from fully implementing their egalitarian paradise. But with Republicans now marginalized, the onus for results now rests solely on the shoulders of the Democrats.  The electorate has the opportunity to experience just how well Democrats run the show unfettered by those rascally Republicans. Voters will now see first-hand the very real difference between rhetoric and results, and that makes for all the difference in the world.

It will make a huge difference, but most Californians won’t notice it, because its effect on public policy will turn out to have been wildly exaggerated. Still, the demand for skill among leadership and in the governor’s office just went way, way up.

The answer depends on what you mean by “make a difference”? If you mean will the supermajority allow tone-deaf liberals to run wild legislatively and make a bad socio-economic climate worse than ever, the answer is a resounding yes. If you mean will the legislative agenda of this Democrat supermajority suddenly reflect long-lost virtues of civility, thrift, tolerance and good judgement, the answer is emphatically no.

Yes.  It will make it more difficult for Democrat leaders to control and Republican leaders to be a part of the process.

The brake on super-majority Democrats, ironically, is a Democratic governor.

Yes – It’s great for Dem pollsters and consultants!

Those from whom we sought opinions: 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, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Ben Tulchin, Angie Wei, Scott Wetch. 

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