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Yacht Party Member Equal In Value To An Empty Chair

by: David Dayen

Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 13:45:56 PM PDT

As Robert notes in an update, OC Assemblyman and noted utility lobbyist spanker Mike Duvall resigned his seat effective immediately.

Looking past for a moment the hilariousness of the family values Republican bragging about his multiple mistresses, and the very serious allegations of sex-for-favors with lobbyists, which should be investigated by the Ethics Committee and state prosecutors, there's a point to be made about the 2/3 requirement here.

Duvall's resignation reduces the number of lawmakers in the Assembly by one.  Democrats now hold 50 seats, Republicans 28, with Juan Arambula as a Dem-leaning independent.  However, because you need 2/3 voting affirmatively to pass a budget or tax increases, not 1/3 voting negatively to block it, this changes nothing in Sacramento.  Duvall's seat being empty is pretty much the same as him voting no on everything.  So unless Democrats can capitalize and win the seat (and I highly doubt it in that district), it's not useful from a voting perspective.  

Just thought you should know, being a Yacht Party member is literally the same as not existing.

UPDATE by Robert: See the Courage Campaign's press release, calling for the Attorney General to investigate this, in the comments.

David Dayen :: Yacht Party Member Equal In Value To An Empty Chair
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Two things: (0.00 / 0)
1)  Duvall's resignation statement is classic:  "I'm really sorry I got caught talking about my mistress, and the other mistress with whom I'm cheating on the first mistress.  Now leave me alone."  Not actually sorry about being a cheater.  Just sorry he got caught.

2)  So the way that the 2/3 rule is designed, the Republicans only show up to budget and revenue discussions in case something else gets put on the agenda?  Nice.  On the most important issues facing the state, the Republicans are literally paid to do nothing.

Courage Campaign press release (0.00 / 0)
Note: I work as the Public Policy Director for the Courage Campaign

Courage Campaign calls on Attorney General to investigate Asm. Michael Duvall
"Sex for votes" affairs cheat Californians out of honest government

LOS ANGELES - After California Assemblyman Michael Duvall (R-Orange County) was caught making obscene boasts about sex with married lobbyists on a live microphone in committee meeting, the 700,000-member Courage Campaign called on Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate.

"This isn't just a sex scandal, it's a corruption scandal," said Rick Jacobs, Courage Campaign founder and chair.

"A vice-chairman of the Committee on Utilities and Commerce was literally in bed with Sempra Energy's lobbyist. Assemblyman Duvall's 'sex for votes' affairs have cheated Californians out of honest government. We call on the attorney general to investigate Mr. Duvall to see if he can be prosecuted for selling his votes."

"Duvall's resignation shows more responsibility than many other Republicans have when exposed for unethical behavior. But his resignation does not excuse him from being held accountable."

In addition to taking orders from utility companies and voting against sound evironmental policy on Assembly Bill 64, Assemblyman Duvall was part of the Republican bloc that held California's budget hostage for months, deepening the state's worst economic crisis in modern times. He has also long opposed marriage equality for committed same-sex couples, blasting a 2008 marriage equality bill and voting to allow schools to teach discrimination against gay and lesbian families.

In March, self-proclaimed "family values" watchdog Capitol Resource Institute called Assemblyman Duval "a consistent trooper for the conservative causes" who has "voted time and time again to protect and preserve family values in California," earning him a perfect rating on the group's voting scorecard.

"If Assemblyman Duvall is who conservative groups hold up as their ideal legislator, it shows how shallow their standards are," said Jacobs.

"While Assemblyman Duvall has been fighting to make marriage a privilege for heterosexual couples only, he's been making a mockery of the institution in the California State Assembly, bragging to other elected officials about raunchy details of his affairs," said Jacobs.

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