What the Legislators Did on their Summer Break

Many of them went house hunting for new districts

by Brian Leubitz

The Legislators haven’t had a summer recess for quite a few years owing to the catastrophe known as the budget.  Having wrapped that up already, they got to “enjoy” some down time.  By enjoy, I mean sweating over the redistricting maps, either looking for ways to retain their current positions, or to move on and up. Of course, there were time for some extra-curricular activities, such as Asm. Steve Bradford pretending to be a food inspector.

PhotobucketBut, the district shopping was fierce.  As I mentioned before, we will see a slew of Legislators try to wedge their way into un-term limited Congressional seats.  The merry-go-round has already begun.  But as the Republican Senate Caucus continues their freak out, at least one of the GOP Senators is in some serious trouble.  Sen. Sam Blakeslee’s district got a big GOP leaning chunk of Santa Barbara County pulled from the district, making it a more Central Coast district.  In other words, a very tough district for a republican.  And Asm. Bill Monning would like to take that seat:

A Carmel Democrat, Monning has long signaled his intentions but waited until Monday, when new statewide political boundaries were finalized, before making an official announcement. He said he was emboldened by a new, Democratic-leaning seat, and touted his two-term record in the state Assembly.

“I am enthused by (redistricting) and fired up and ready to go,” Monning said. “If the voters were to elect me to represent them in the Senate, there would be a continuity of issues, a continuity of relationships I’ve built.”(SJ Merc)

Monning is fairly popular in Santa Cruz and the area.  He’ll need to reach out to the slightly more than half of the voters who he has never represented, but many should be receptive to his message.

With Democrats needing just two votes in the Senate, and several possible pickups, a 2/3 majority in the Senate seems very possible.  What that buys us is a different question.