Whipping The Assembly And Senate On The Budget Vote

(We should all be asking these questions of our lawmakers. – promoted by David Dayen)

This is a relatively short action diary to gather information on the budget vote currently expected for Thursday.  I agree with David Dayan’s diary earlier today: this budget should not pass.  And if we can’t stop it, at least our representatives should understand that this is not a free vote;  if they vote to pass, there will be consequences not only to the state, but to their careers.

The idea here is one progressives have been using with great impact since the federal Social Security fight in 2005:  using the web as a grassroot’s whipping operation.

A few details below.  

This diary can be used to trade talking points that worked/did not work with the offices of various assembly members or senators, and any information about whether the member agreed to take a stand.

To your Senator or Assembly Representative, you should ask:

  1. Will the member agree to vote against the budget, yes or no.
  2. If the member is undecided, when the member intends to make up his/her mind.

Be firm, but be polite.

If anyone has specific advice for talking points, please add them to the comments.  I’ll try to work them into the main part of the diary.

21 thoughts on “Whipping The Assembly And Senate On The Budget Vote”

  1. I called the Santa Cruz office.  No stand yet from the aide, although she was quite helpful.

    She asked if I knew the bill numbers for the vote on Thursday.  Does anyone have that information?

  2. The aide in the Senator’s Santa Cruz office sounds pretty well informed.  No stand, but I like what I heard.

  3. Was told by staffer that “he’s still looking at it”. Told her that if he voted for it he would be losing my vote. If I wanted to vote for a Republican budget I would have voted for a Republican assemblyman.

  4. I called Senator Pavley’s office.  They too said that since it hadn’t been written up she couldn’t say one way or another.  I STRONGLY urged a no vote, told her I was a democrat and saw no reason to support a republican budget.

  5. I called the offices of Senator Mark Leno and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and was told they had not made up their minds on the budget.   I then said I wanted:

    1) An oil extraction tax;

    2) Repeal of the tax breaks big business got in 2/09 and 9/08; and,

    3) No closures of state parks.

    I said if those three things did not happen, Senator Leno and Assemblymember Ammiano would never again receive my support.  

  6. I’m no fan of the current budget, but I don’t see how you get anything better passed.  Avoiding these cuts that you love just means that we’re going to have to cut elsewhere into things other people love.  There’s simply no political will right now for new taxes.  The bond market is shit.  If this budget fails, the level of political dysfunction in the state is literally going to go through the roof.  

  7. As my assemblyman is Niello, a repub, I declined to call him.

    My State Senator, unfortunately, is the Senate President Pro Tem.

    Yep, Steinberg.

    Called the main office, he’s voting yes.

    Asked if he supported the oil extraction without a tax. Yes.

    Asked if he supported reduced taxes on business as per previe bills. Yes.

    Asked if he supported the budget based on the cuts to the middle class and lower class in terms of services and such. Yes.

    Told the woman I was speaking with that he would no longer get my vote in the future due to his support of an obvious Republican Engineered Budget and that he and the dem’s had caved in to the Pubs and sold out their constituency that got him and the other dem’s elected.

    She grew icy cold, noted my call. I had to ask if she wanted my zip code, gave it to her.

    She was obviously UNACCUSTOMED to negative feedback.

    More calls people, the stupid legislature has NO idea how the public feels.

    THIS Senator and Prez Pro Tem thinks getting a budget done at all is progress .


  8. Neither office knew how they were going to vote.  I told them that I would not be voting for them again if they vote for the budget unless there is some sort of tax on oil extraction.

  9. 1.  Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-41): 24 bills, hasn’t seen all of them yet, will definitely vote NO on oil drilling, would vote yes for oil severance tax if she could (she has and knows it’s futile).  I am first person to call today (at 3:30 pm) as far as that staffer knows, although that staffer isn’t usually the fastest to get to the phones.  Overall, good news.

    2.  State Senator Tony Strickland (R-19): will call back.

  10. Called both Ammiano and Leno this evening, but no one’s home.  (Hmmm, I’m a state worker still at the office at 6 pm on Wednesday.  I need to get one of those legislative gigs.)  Left message, and sent and email to Ammiano, imploring them not to vote for this horrible budget, and that true Democrats would make Republicans own it.  In the email to Ammiano, I reminded him that voting to cut the CDCR budget by $1.2 billion without a discussion of the operational impact would be, to use a phrase, “kicking it down the road.”

    If I hear anything from anyone, I’ll report back.

  11. I decided last evening to send an email to each Democratic Senator and Assembly Member urging a no vote on the budget bills.  I went to the list of members in each house and started clicking on each one’s webpage, planning to email them.

    Lo and behold, most of them have NO way to send an email to them if you are outside of their District.  Most have a statement that says because they get so much email, they can’t handle contacts from outside of their District. I tried a couple any way, put in my address as requested, and the email would not go.  Wrong address.


    At least the Senate Democratic Caucus has a means of sending an email to the Caucus, as if the individual members read or count the emails there!  But the Assembly Democratic Caucus has no such facility.

    Do any of these people recognize that they serve ALL of California, even if their focus is on their specific District?

    I was amazed and disgusted.  

  12. my co-worker called Alyson Huber.  In both cases they were cordial and just said they’d pass along the message.

  13. To help get the word out to more people, I’ve just put up a diary on Daily Kos, They’re Voting Today To Kill California.  If you have an account on DKos, please go to this link immediately and select the Recommend button.  If we can get a rec-listed action diary, it will be seen by enough people to influence the number of calls folks in Sacramento are getting.

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