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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

Post-recall Legislature is not exactly comforting but...

[John Campbell] 2/2/04

This weekend marked one of the mid-session deadlines for certain bills that were started in the legislature last year. This is the first time that we could get a taste of what the legislature might be like in the post-recall California. The Assembly dealt with about 50 bills this week excluding simple technical items with unanimous support.

There were a few encouraging signs. The first was the passage of an expansion of Megan's law. I have authored two bills in the last year to try to give parents more useful information than they have now on the whereabouts of serious registered sex offenders living near by. My bills were killed on party line votes in committee, as were all other attempts by Republicans to strengthen one of the weakest Megan's laws in the country.

But this week, after over a year of Republican pressure on the issue, Assembly Democrats finally agreed to go along with a bill that would put the addresses of these offenders on the Internet. The bill (AB 488 - Parra-D) had only a few Democrats voting no. It now goes to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future. But this was a victory nonetheless.

A couple of bad bills died. One would have eliminated any state tax deduction for 48 models of SUV's, trucks and vans, even for business usage, in a continuation of last year's "politically correct" assault on the vehicles Californians like to drive. Cars, as opposed to SUV's with similar or less gas mileage would not have been so penalized. Another bill would have placed a tax on ammunition that would have exceeded the price of the product by many multiples in some cases. Still another would have dictated credit criterion under which landlords' could not reject tenants. All of these bills are now dead. Good thing.

So maybe some recognition has set in since the recall that the legislature's majority has been out of touch with the people. But don't get too excited. There is still plenty of craziness that is passing. A new version of the bill banning Indian mascot names did pass. This bill (AB 858 Goldberg-D) bans the use of the name "redskins" from any publicly funded school or university in California. The author tearfully described the terrible humiliation caused by using this "pejorative" name. Give me a break. Mascot names are picked because they represent courage and ferocity and stamina and respect. No school calls their team the rats or rodents or cockroaches.

Mascot names are not pejorative by definition, lest you insult your own team. If this bill becomes law (it still has to pass the Senate and get the Governor's signature) the author will go back next year to add Indians, Braves, Chiefs and Apaches. Then maybe fighting Irish will have to go lest anyone be offended by that.

So, there are some signs that the legislature's Democrat majority may be getting some of the message from the people. But they just can't help themselves when it comes to using the power of government to force upon you their world view. And that wasn't the only bad bill that passed. We'll review some more next week.



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