Bass Takes Heat for Speakership Race

Since Willie Brown was termed out, the Assembly Speakership has been pretty much an LA thing.  The LA members, and some other muckety-mucks, particularly now the former speaker and current mayor, get together to decide who will be the next speaker. While it might not actually be that simple and quick, it is the gist of it.  So, people knew it was pretty much over when Speaker Karen Bass said this:

“I really very deeply believe that John will be a speaker that reflects the strong Democratic values that brought all of us here,” Bass said. “The momentum is such that it’s time for a resolution.” (SacBee)

Of course, the other big competitor, Kevin De Leon, still hasn’t conceded anything as he attempts to get 26 votes within the caucus despite Bass’s remark that she was Perez’s “29th vote.”  

During such a contentious process, there are always going to be some hard feelings.  It’s hard to imagine it any other way, such is the system that term limits has given us. Willie Brown’s days as Ayatollah of the Assembly are over, and the consistency that Willie provided with his iron grip of the office are also gone. And pretty much everytime, there’s a story like this:

Hurt feelings and allegations of treachery are de rigeur when it comes to the politics of the speakership. But the story of Assemblyman John Perez’s rise as a candidate for speaker reveals the little talked about Machiavellian side of Karen Bass, a speaker who is often cited for her calm personal demeanor and affable political style.

Bass, D-Los Angeles, came out publicly in support of Perez’s speakership bid Wednesday, telling the press about her decision before the caucus had formally chosen a new leader. But Bass’s press conference has angered some Assembly Democrats, who complained that they had the idea of a Perez speakership forced upon them with no time to coalesce as a group. (CapWeekly)

In the end, everybody will move past this, and this will be just one more little private score in a town full of scores to settle.  One can only hope that the bitterness doesn’t extend to policy and that the caucus can move forward with the business of the state. I am sure this will happen in due time, but with a pending budget battle, moping time is a luxury we may not have.

7 thoughts on “Bass Takes Heat for Speakership Race”

  1. …term limits solve nothing.

    There is no substitute for an educated engaged citizenry exercising their franchise. Problem is in this age of the fat, lazy and stupid we have the ‘LeaderShip’, and this includes all the white liberal bloggers, of the now defunct ‘progressive movement…’ continuously looking for shortcuts.

    There ain’t none folks.

    Education on real progressive policies and how they would help everyone is the only way; once we create such policies…

    …that is.

  2. It is all decided in the back room and then “sold” to the gullible public. It is even done that way on the inside between LA Democratic Machine factions. It is nice to know that the LA Democratic Machine is as fractured as the rest of the parties in the state.  

  3. I’ve watched Bass for a long time and she’s no dummy. She would never have made a comment,  if she couldn’t confirm the 28 other members.  Congratulations Speaker Perez.

  4. As an observer of the process from what I can tell this decision was made with careful thought and consideration by the members themselves based on Perez’ merits. They felt that putting him in this position was what was best for the institution and the membership, and I wish him all the best!

  5. I’ve now heard from several folks that I trust that Kevin De Leon is now recruiting homophobic Republicans to combat John Perez’s Democratic vote majority for speaker. The buzz is that he’s abandoning trying to get more Democratic votes and is now telling Republican Assembly members that there is still time to have a “straight speaker.” I have always respected De Leon, and thought of him as a standard bearer for the Dem Party. But if he is indeed going down this path, he and any Dems that align themselves with the hateful right need to be held accountable. Let Jerry Falwall and Glenn Beck fund their future campaigns. This is flat out shameful.

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