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Maldonado Deal To Secure His Own Election On The Table

by: David Dayen

Wed Feb 18, 2009 at 22:13:29 PM PST

Because he knows he can get it, Abel Maldonado is offering his list of demands in exchange for being the 27th vote on the budget.  I guess Darrell Steinberg's "1 Republican Vote" sign got to him.

In what could be a break in state budget talks, legislative Democrats are contemplating a firm offer - approval of three constitutional amendments - from Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado as a means to closing the state's $40 billion budget shortfall.

Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, could provide the crucial 27th vote necessary to pass a budget package that has been stalled since Saturday. In a lunch meeting at Spataro with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maldonado asked for ballot measures to create an open primary system, prohibit legislative pay raises in deficit years and stop legislators from receiving salaries if they do not pass a budget on time.

Maldonado said in a brief interview Wednesday that there was "a good chance" for a budget vote tonight and that he wants all three of the reforms he has put forth to secure his budget vote.

Asked if he would settle for one or two, he said, "I'm asking for all three," before rushing into a meeting with Assembly GOP leader Mike Villines. "We're very close on the details and I just want to leave it at that."

The move here would be the one Rick Hasen at Election Law Blog came up with - to intentionally draft the law in a way that is unconstitutional.  But there already is a draft of it, and it sounds similar enough to the law in Washington State that passed the Supreme Court's muster.  Candidates wouldn't have to put their party on the ballot, leading to oftentimes intentional confusion.  The vindictive part of me thinks I should sue to tangle this up in court until the day after the 2010 Controller's primary just to screw with St. Abel.

Oh, and Schwarzenegger has wanted this for a while.  It's entirely possible that St. Abel is a sock puppet.

The three constitutional amendments, combined with the rest of the bill, would potentially put EIGHT measures on a hastily assembled ballot in May, all of which are essentially must-pass or it's back to the drawing board.

I hate this fucking broken system.

...the only saving grace is Roy Ashburn invoking Reagan raising taxes in 1967 on the Senate floor and shoving it in the rest of the Yacht Party's faces.  Didn't know he had it in him.

David Dayen :: Maldonado Deal To Secure His Own Election On The Table
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Well that's interesting (0.00 / 0)
The proposal you linked to includes Congressional races as well in this open primary concept.

I think Nancy Pelosi is going to have something to say about that.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

The Twitter is down! (0.00 / 0)
Apparently they are doing some maintenance. WTF am I supposed to do now? Boo!

I think?

Seriously (5.00 / 1)
The folks using Twitter have done a far better job on reporting on the budget crisis than the traditional media, although it should be noted that the best budget Twitterer, John Myers, is one of the last remaining political reporters in Sacramento.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
time to consider other options (0.00 / 0)
this is bullshit.

an "open primary" system? are you kidding me? this is what this turd blossom wants to get a budget passed?

if this isn't an example of how a small minority can hold hostage a simple majority, I dont' know what is....GOD I hate this state government, we'd be better off hitting the reset button and rewriting the constitution from scratch and frak all the goddamned bond issues the voters impose on us and all the nonsense prop 13 and their allies do, and all the just plain stupid crap that allows us to have a moronic term limited legislature and a moron like Arnie in charge.

John Vasconcellos, may I please beg you to come back and tell these idiots what to do????? PLEASE?


Agreed (0.00 / 0)
At this rate Maldonado might as well ask to be declared "Lord High Emperor" and be given a fiefdom along the Santa Maria River.

And people wondered why the Courage Campaign asked the Attorney General to investigate Republican vote-trading...

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Open Primaries =/= The End of the World (0.00 / 0)
They already exist in California.

[ Parent ]
What's the value of them? (4.00 / 1)
You like 'em.  I don't think you can make a coherent case as to why.

Parties have value.  Ideology even has value.

The muddled middle is for David Broder, the yellow line, and dead armadillos.

[ Parent ]
Right... (0.00 / 0)
...because this system has been such a failure at the local level for the last 80 or so years.

[ Parent ]
And what kind of local politics do you do (0.00 / 0)
and have first hand experience of?  I don't think much.  Your observations don't reflect that.

[ Parent ]
lol... (1.00 / 1)
so now we're taking our cocks out to measure which is bigger?

i lolz

[ Parent ]
Sacramento... (0.00 / 0)
"...The Political Pigsty of the Western World"

- Dan O'Neil, Comics & Stories, 1975?
(back when Ronald Raygun was Governator)

Ye G-ds. (0.00 / 0)
I've never lived in such a dysfunctional state before.  This seriously makes Albany look like the fucking Constitutional Convention of 1787.

When I first moved here, from Boston, and before I knew how bad politics here were, I wryly observed "Well, you can tell the California Constitution wasn't written by John Adams," in comparison to Massachusetts's Commonwealth Constitution, which was written by John Adams ;p.  Well, right now I'm of a mindset that the absolute best thing this state could do is tear the g-ddamned thing up and start over.

I'm not necessarily opposed to open primaries as a concept, but these aren't simply open primaries like the Democrats hold, whereby unaffiliated voters can vote in their primary - these appear to be primaries whereby people's party affiliations aren't listed at all, and all of the parties' candidates compete against each other - more like holding an election in September and a run-off in November.  Utter nonsense, and all of it so that this prick can keep a job?  Fuck him, I've been unemployed due to this economy and I don't see anyone writing a law that creates job security for me.  I may make it my personal mission to make sure that he doesn't get elected to whatever post that crook runs for.

Pardon the vulgarity, but I can hardly find words adequate enough for this.

I might add (0.00 / 0)
The Massachusetts Constitution is so old (older than the US Constitution) that it actually retains a privy council, now referred to as the Governor's Council, a function you usually only see in Commonwealth countries, and a holdover from colonial government that was meant to interface with the British Crown.  Yet we change our Constitution yearly or more often.  Seriously.  Scrap all of this and start over.

Unbelievable.  This kind of stuff makes me want to give up politics and take up Perez Hilton instead.

Theirs is the oldest state constitution still in force (4.00 / 2)
Dates to 1780. California's current constitution dates to 1879, but in reality 1911 was the key turning point when the initiative, referendum and recall were imported from Oregon.

Ironically, Oregon got the initiative, referendum and recall through a very similar process - there was a legislative fight and a progressive, William S. U'Ren, demanded that the state adopt the initiative, referendum and recall in exchange for his vote. This was in 1897.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
A bit of comparison. (0.00 / 0)
It sounds nice in theory, but Constitutions should be difficult to amend.  Much more difficult to amend than ours is.  I'm not opposed to sending uninteresting things to voters, things that don't need the expertise of full-time legislators - MA, for instance, recently voted to ban dog racing.  But dog racing is not the same as human rights, is not the same as equality, is not the same as the right to an adequate education, is not the same as the right to live in a state with a safe environment.

I went to law school in Boston, and the MA Constitution is a work of art - my professors treated it like a piece worthy of presentation by the Boston Symphony.

The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquillity their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them.

We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the great Legislator of the universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new constitution of civil government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, do agree upon, ordain and establish the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

I don't see the Los Angeles Symphony doing the same with the California Constitution.  It has laudable goals but the execution is infuriating.

As you can tell, if I were made Emperor of California, I'd take the Massachusetts Constitution, apply it in whole and then see if there were modifications called for by California's geographic depth and large population.  What we have now is plainly not a sustainable system.

[ Parent ]
Our founders weren't giants (0.00 / 0)
They were much more like the town fathers of Rockridge (as in: Blazing Saddles).  The ones that were all named "Johnson".  Including Howard.

[ Parent ]
While we're clearly killing time and flaunting our historical trivia... (0.00 / 0)
...can we hand Abel a Louisiana blanket primary complete with smallpox.

Just sayin.'

Seriously though, 2/3rds rule vs mandated spending caps.  Which could be more hurtful in the medium-term?  Discuss amongst yourselves...

[ Parent ]
abel maldanono is retarded (0.00 / 0)
First his political career is over unless he turns Democrat (honestly I see no difference at this point).

Second, what retard thinks that open primaries will survive an election? Who thinks that the unions won't pour a billion into misleading ads equating open elections to kid-fucking mutant scorpions sent by Satan himself? The idiots in this state always fall for those stupid ads where nurses/firefighters/cops/everyone else on the govt. dole plead about the "children" and how insert bill name here, will take money away from them and force the state to shove 2000 kids into a classroom.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN! You can't have open primaries otherwise the kids will have to eat dirt for their federally subsidized school breakfast, lunch and dinner

I don't think I've ever seen this level of political ignorance in the 18 years I've lived here. This State is so fucked.

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