| 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.