Tag Archives: Roadblock Republicans

Getting That Next Vote On the Budget

( – promoted by Robert in Monterey)

A couple of days back, Robert posted Budget Update: One Vote Closer, One Vote Away.  It was an interesting discussion, and I'd like to follow up a bit on it, since we're in a position to start acting on some of the ideas that came up.  The biggest news was also from Robert — there's an effort to recall Jeff Denham, one of the 14 GOP Senate  hold-outs and probably the most politically vulnerable of the bunch.  Go to the flip for how best to Dump Denham.

A short summary of where we're at with the bill. Abel Moldonado, who's up for reelection this year, has flipped to our (and ironically enough, Arnold's) side on this.  This leaves 14 GOP Senators who are on the Other Side on this issue.

The San Francisco Chronicle, very helpfully, lists them all for us, including their phone numbers:

Fourteen of the 15 Republican state senators voted against the budget. Abel Maldonado Jr., R-Santa Maria (Santa Barbara County), voted for it along with the Senate’s 25 Democrats. Here are the 14 holdouts:

Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine, Senate Republican leader
Age: 64
Birthplace: Long Beach
Education: UC Berkeley, Hastings College of the Law
Elected to Assembly in 1995, Senate in 2000
Previous occupation: attorney
Contact: (916) 651-4033, [email protected]

Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto
Senate Republican whip
Age: 56
Birthplace: Long Beach
Education: MAI-RM professional designation, Appraisal Institute
Elected to Assembly in 2000, Senate in 2006
Previous occupation: real estate appraiser
Contact: (916) 651-4014, [email protected]

Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley (Nevada County)
Age: 61
Birthplace: Bismarck, N.D.
Education: UCLA, Golden Gate University
Elected to the Assembly in 1998, Senate in 2002
Previous occupation: oral surgeon
Contact: (916) 651-4004, [email protected]

Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield
Age: 53
Birthplace: Long Beach
Education: College of the Sequoias, Cal State Bakersfield
Elected to Assembly in 1996, Senate in 2002
Previous occupation: county supervisor
Contact: (916) 651-4018, [email protected]

James Battin, R-La Quinta (Riverside County)
Age: 45
Birthplace: Billings, Mont.
Education: University of Oregon
Elected to Assembly in 1994, Senate in 2000
Previous occupation: advertising executive
Contact: (916) 651-4037, [email protected]

Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks (Sacramento County)
Age: 69
Birthplace: Holdenville, Okla.
Education: University of San Diego, Golden Gate University
Elected to Assembly in 1998, Senate in 2004
Previous occupation: businessman
Contact: (916) 651-4001, [email protected]

Jeff Denham, R-Salinas
Age: 40
Birthplace: Hawthorne (Los Angeles County)
Education: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Elected to Senate in 2002
Previous occupation: agricultural businessman
Contact: (916) 651-4012, [email protected]

Robert Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino County)
Age: 56
Birthplace: Lincoln, Neb.
Education: Los Angeles Valley College
Elected to Assembly in 2002, Senate in 2004
Previous occupation: real estate investment/management
Contact: (916) 651-4031, [email protected]

Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach ( Orange County)
Age: 66
Birthplace: Pasadena
Education: Loyola University School of Law, Kansas State University
Elected to Assembly in 2000, Senate in 2006 (special election)
Previous occupation: attorney
Contact: (916) 651-4035, [email protected]

Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta (Riverside County)
Age: 40
Birthplace: Hemet (Riverside County)
Education: Cornell University, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Elected to Assembly in 2000, Senate in 2002
Previous occupation: farmers’ representative
Contact: (916) 651-4036, [email protected]

Bob Margett, R-Arcadia (Los Angeles County)
Age: 78
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Education: UC Berkeley
Elected to Assembly in 1995 (special election), Senate in 2000
Previous occupation: retired contractor
Contact: (916) 651-4029, [email protected]

Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County)
Age: 51
Birthplace: White Plains, N.Y.
Education: UCLA
Elected to Assembly in 1982 and 1996, Senate in 2000
Previous Occupation: taxpayer advocate
Contact: (916) 651-4019, [email protected]

George C. Runner Jr., R-Lancaster (Los Angeles County)
Age: 55
Birthplace: Scotia, N.Y.
Education: University of Redlands, Azusa Pacifica University
Elected to Assembly in 1996, Senate in 2004
Previous occupation: educator, businessman, mayor of Lancaster
Contact: (916) 651-4017, [email protected]

Mark Wyland R-Solana Beach (San Diego County)
Age: 60
Birthplace: Escondido (San Diego County)
Education: Columbia University, Pomona College
Elected to Assembly in 2000, Senate in 2006
Previous occupation: small business owner; Escondido Union School District Board trustee
Contact: (916) 651-4038, [email protected]

In the previous thread, modem points out that Ackerman, Battin, Margett and McClintock are term’ed out, and can’t be pressured by running someone against them. And the districts are fairly well gerrymandered, so the remaining districts are not really competitive.

Still, two points of pressure remain.  Many of these districts are in the Central Valley, and as sylvestrie points out in our Spanish language edition, not only are the cuts the Cavemen are seeking bad for the sick, the old and poor, it is also gratuitously anti-Mexican.

In addition, Jeff Denham, who ran as a relative moderate in a district that includes Salinas and Modesto, is an ambitious guy and appears to be preparing a run for Lt. Governor.  Herein lies an opportunity.  Denham is trying to throw some good solid chum out to GOP activists by tacking right.  So a campaign’s been started to recall Denham.

I’ve been told that some of the local labor people are concerned about diverting resources to this, which is not a foolish objection.  But I think it’s our best chance to make a difference, for the following reasons:

  • It creates a simple rallying cry on the issue, and lets us put a face on GOP obstructionism.
  • People from outside the district can help publicize this, and people within can handle the recall petitions.
  • As this picks up steam, it gives a press hook for covering the story.
  • It will make an example out of Republican politicians who run right in the primaries, center on the general, and right when elected.

A relatively simple site is up at http://www.dumpdenha….  The site’s a bit lame (apologies to the webmaster if you’re reading this, but if you are: help is available!), and needs content, but that can be fixed.

In addition, I understand that getting Maldonado to switch required a fair bit of community organization: people calling churches, local groups, and so on.  That needs to happen here, as well.

Putting enough pressure on Denham may or may not get him to switch, but I do think that if we cause enough trouble, it will encourage the Republican leadership in the Senate to cut their losses and settle much quicker than otherwise.

Budget Update: One Vote Closer, One Vote Away

Last night the State Senate met again to discuss the budget. And there was drama – my Senator, Abel Maldonado, broke ranks with his fellow Republicans to denounce the budget delay. He sounded noble in this quote, via  the Chronicle:

“I think a vote for this budget is a vote for a fiscally responsible plan and No. 2, it does not raise taxes,” he said. “If I lose my election because of this, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

Well, Abel, you’re going to lose reelection because we on the Central Coast are sick of Roadblock Republicans. Which is what we saw last night, as Maldonado’s vote for the budget was still not enough. The other 14 Republicans refused to go along, leaving the poor, the elderly, children, and schools in the lurch.

Don Perata, saying there was nothing more he could do, adjourned the Senate but told senators to stay in town in case anything happened. If senators do go home, many will be greeted with protests by the people they are seeking to harm. One also assumes that pressure will be stepped up on Jeff Denham, who has deluded himself that his path to power lies in becoming McClintock’s best friend.

What can we do about this? Some thoughts on the other side.

Democrats need to now step up their game, and treat this like the final weeks of a political campaign – complete with rallies, a coordinated media strategy, and a unified narrative. There are some specific things they need to let the public know:

1. It is the Republicans and the Republicans alone who are blocking this budget. Arnold wants it done. All the Democrats want it done. And now even a Republican state senator wants it done. Republicans are being irresponsible and reckless is holding this up.

2. The Democratic budget IS balanced. Republicans are telling the media that their cuts are necessary to restore “balance” and if this takes hold in the media, the Dems are in serious trouble. Sacramento Dems need to be pushing back on this one in particular.

3. From that, we then emphasize what the Republicans want – unnecessary and spiteful cuts to necessary public services. Cal-WORKS was a bipartisan reform program that has been a proven success. Child health care – who in their right mind would oppose this? Aid to the elderly – why do Republicans want to cut that?

4. We also remind voters that one of the core reasons behind Republican obstruction is to gut the global warming action plans that the state passed last year. They’re using hostage tactics to gut AB 32. They want the state to be totally unable to act to save our environment and mitigate our carbon output.

5. Their delaying tactics are financially irresponsible, leaving workers unpaid, schools without money on the eve of the new year, and families without health care as a result of the Republicans’ unwillingness to do their job and pass a budget.

The 2008 campaign starts today. If Dems successfully show the public that Republicans merely block effective compromise, prefer hostage tactics to good faith negotiation, want to kill our global warming law through the back door, and want to cut families and the elderly and schools off from needed funds, then we isolate them, much as the Republican Congress had isolated itself in the months leading up to their 2006 defeat.

[UPDATE] Props to the CA Majority Report, and Matt Jones in particular, who demolishes a number of the Senate Republican talking points in this excellent post.