Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Suspense is Killing Me

For those who are keeping track, Appropriations Madness is over. More than 600 bills were rushed through the the Assembly Suspense Calendar alone. Many of these bills were "held" and virtually killed while most moved on to the floor for a full vote. Additionally, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved along hundreds more bills.

Among the bills killed on Suspense was the controversial spanking bill. Among the bills passed was the measure to legalize Gay Marriage in California.

Worth noting was an article in the Sacramento Bee this week that criticized Assemblyman Mark Leno, Chair of Assembly Appropriations, for hosting a fundraiser the day before the biggest Appropriations hearing of the year. While this is clearly an avenue that eases the ability for high powered lobbyists to reach the chair of Appropriations and, as the CRP said, "doesn't pass the smell test," it is hardly unique to Mr. Leno.

Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger held events during the months of August and September when he is expected to act on every piece of legislation passed by the Legislature during that year. Members of both parties from the Senate and Assembly routinely hold fundraisers during all parts of the year including Budgeting Mayhem and Floorapalooza.

Simply holding a fundraiser during a busy time of the year doesn't necessarily mean a politician is beholden to special interest groups. But in the case of Mr. Leno who is running against Ms. Miggy for the Senate, one must straighten up and fly right. Advice to Mark Leno: Keep Carole's exploits in the news. If this is the worst they've got on you, you've got it made.

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