If anything has become clear over the last month or so, it is that the teams are scattershot and unclear. But after reading the final Harry Potter book, I think I get it now. There are really four houses, and somewhere, hiding in the Capitol, is a sorting Hat. And before you run for election to the Assembly, the Sorting Hat sorts you out into your house. You’ve got the Griffindor (Senate Dems), HufflePuff (Assembly Dems), Ravenclaw (Senate Republicans), and Slytherin (Assembly Reps). I’m just thinking that Assembly Minority Leader Mike Villines would make a fine Snape. Why this elaborate analogy you ask? Well, the Perata-Nunez feud is now splashed across the pages of the state’s newspaper’s.
“The speaker was beside himself,” said one lobbyist familiar with the [early unveiling of Perata’s health care plan], who, like many, would speak candidly about the Democratic leadership only on the condition of anonymity, fearing repercussions. He was “furious that Perata hadn’t told him or consulted him beforehand.”
And thus began a chilly start to a legislative session that has seen the two increasingly at odds – one often undercutting the other in what seems to be an ongoing battle for pre-eminence at the Capitol.
The feud – mostly played out in the Capitol corridors beyond public earshot – burst into the open last week when Perata fired off an open letter slamming Núñez for coaxing Assembly Republicans to support the budget with a series of tax cuts. In strong words typically reserved for partisan opponents, Perata dressed down Núñez in public, raising questions about whether the two most powerful Democrats in the Legislature can effectively accomplish an ambitious agenda that includes health care and prison reform. (SJ Merc 7/30/07)
On the KQED forum program with Sens. Perata and Ackerman, Sen. Perata again blamed the Assembly. The tone of irritation, to put it nicely, was clearly apparent. However, the two leaders need to play nice for the Term limits initiative. At some point they’ll need to hang out and show how well they work together. A protracted budget battle doesn’t bode well for the initiative.
Now, I’m not sure how Schwarzenegger stacks up with Dumbledore though.