national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















Eric Hogue- Contributor

Eric Hogue is a talk radio host at Sacramento station KTKZ and s the principal behind the blog Hogue Blog. [go to Hoge index]

Fabian Nunez Is Holding Up The Budget Vote, Why?
It must be those obstructionist Republicans...
[Eric Hogue] 7/9/04

Why is Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez refusing to allow the budget vote to reach the floor of the assembly? Could it be that he is fearful of the actual vote?

Speaker Nunez is calling the Republicans "obstructionists" can this be when the vote is being ''held hostage'' by Speaker Nunez?

Last Saturday, in the LA Daily News, in reference to Republican “Big 5” member Kevin McCarthy’s charge that Nunez is holding up the vote. Speaker Nunez was then quoted as saying, "Mr. McCarthy...can say whatever he wants - McCarthy is full of (expletive), if you ask me," Nunez said, upon exiting the governor’s office. "Mr. McCarthy needs to act like an adult and stop playing games. Last time I checked, I was the speaker and I can shut down the session whenever I want."

Today on my morning show I decided to speak with one of the leading, ‘moderate’ Democrats in Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, here is the transcript from our conversation:

EH: I am more than happy to welcome to the Hogue show, I think he’s been on prior, but Assemblymember Joe Canciamilla joins us now, a Democrat, other side of the aisle from the perspective of this talk show host. Sir, how are you doing this morning?

JC: Good, Eric, how are you this morning?

EH: I am doing marvelous today. Nice weather outside. At least it’s not 103 with a budget impasse today. So, good news for you guys and gals down there in the beast.

JC: I don’t know. It might be better if it were a little hotter. It might get done sooner.

EH: Maybe we’d get a vote out of this thing, huh?

JC: Might be possible and if we turn the air conditioning off, I suspect.

EH: We could do that. It’d be a lot of fun. I could build a remote around that and get some promotion.

JC: It’d be fun for you.

EH: Yeah, not you guys? Joe, let me ask you about the budget as it stands right now. I know there’s an impasse, and Friday there was an attempt to get a vote on the Assembly Floor there, and Fabian Nunez said no, and we walked away for the weekend. As it stands right now, how would Joe Canciamilla vote on the proposals here?

JC: Uhh, as it stands today, I’d be a no across the board.

EH: You’d be a no across the board? How would your vote have gone Friday if it would have went to vote?

JC: I probably would have been a no as well. I met with my local mayors’ conference representatives quite a while back and told them that I was opposed to the constitutional amendment and that I felt that, under the circumstances, locking in another piece of the budget, without an overall fix, was irresponsible. And I still feel that way.

EH: So your problem rests here, sir, with Prop. 13 and its relationship to 98, is that a big problem or?

JC: Well, my frustration deals with having been on a school board, a city council, a board of supervisors, and now in the legislature, seeing one group after another fail to address the underlying problem with the state budget. And what we’ve done is try to protect individual groupings of constituencies that was done with Prop. 98, it’s been done within social service programs. Now local government’s talking about doing it. But we haven’t addressed the underlying instability in the budget. We haven’t addressed what we want local government to pay for and what we want the state to pay for. So, my frustration is that until we fix the basic problem with the budget and decide who’s going to pay for what, simply locking in pieces so that groups are protected just feeds the underlying problem we have and leads us to increasing deficits.

EH: Once again, we’re speaking with Democrat Assemblymember Joe Canciamilla. Uh, Darrell Steinberg offered a comment here, Joe, here it is. This may be a mirroring comment for what you’re suggesting here. Here’s Darrell.

DS: We cannot lock into the Constitution the specific sales property tax formula that everyone agrees is dysfunctional, that would be a mistake.

EH: Is that a concern of yours?

JC: Well, it is. Probably for different reasons. I think Darrell wants to lock in a different kind of formula. He has a different agenda in trying to, I believe, manage the way in which local governments make their decisions. I’m not really concerned as much about that as I am with just trying to get to a system of stable funding and then I’d be happy to let the local government make their own decisions when it comes to how to spend their money.

EH: Hmm, see that the fine example. And I said earlier on the show that if there were any Democrats who would have offered a supportive vote on Friday, I predicted you would be on the Assembly side for the Democrat party. And I’m assuming, I’m guessing here that Dean Florez might be in the State Senate side. And your comment right there is the second part of me bringing you on the show because I find great integrity in how you approach budget dealings here in California being a Democrat. You’re representing a little peel away of what Darrell Steinberg is offering. Darrell Steinberg is offering a different perspective when it comes to what some of the Republicans are saying. I mean all of this is worthy conversation. It would nice if we could hear it on the Assembly Floor and you get that if you call things to debate and then go for the vote. Why on Friday, and I’m going to reference a sound-bite here from Tony Strickland, did this happen? And, Joe, here it is.

TS: What’s amazing is on Friday, we went out and started gaining support among Democrats, you know what we call not-as-liberal of Democrats. And the minute we started gaining steam, and it looked like we might pass Arnold’s plan. The Democrats, who announced that “be 30 minutes away because we’re going to call you in and in 30 minutes we’ll start session.” They ran to the gavel, they closed down the house, with no one in the chamber, and I had to run in to try and call a Republican caucus, they ignored me because they didn’t want us to get enough Democratic votes to roll the Speaker.

EH: Joe Canciamilla, why is the Speaker not allowing this to go to a vote?

JC: Well, I think you’d have to ask the speaker, Eric. I certainly wouldn’t want to try and answer why they operated on Friday in the manner in which they did. I do think that there was some concern that members. You know, like I said, I’ve been to my mayors’ conference. I told them to their face that I could not support the local government initiative. And I explained why. We had a good conversation. There are many of my colleagues who have gone to their local agencies, both Republicans and Democrats, and have pledged support for the original initiative, or they pledged support to protect local government. If the measure had been brought up on Friday, they’d have been forced to put their money where their mouth was. And I don’t know what would have happened. And I suspect that that was part of the rationale behind adjourning. I also suspect it was because there was just not a desire to have something brought up in a hostile way. But I would agree it’s partly born out of the frustration of not having a real open and honest debate about the budget.

EH: Yeah, we would all like to see that. And, ultimately, I’d like to count the votes on the show, because then we’d know where everyone stands. And I appreciate the fact that you come on the show. I ask and you tell me no, and you tell us why. We need to see more of that, don’t you agree?

JC: Oh, absolutely. I think it would be helpful if we had a real debate about a real budget. Instead of all of these pretend battles with, you know, every constituency under the sun, marching around the Capitol. And everyone pledging “oh no, we’re going to protect you, you’re our highest priority.” And, at the end of the day, all we’re doing is creating a greater impending crisis for California, that we’re ultimately all going to have to deal with. The fact is that the debt’s not going away, the deficit isn’t going away. The obligations of the state aren’t going to go away. And we’re going to have to address the reality sooner or later.

EH: So, when you mention the reality and topics like stability come up, Joe Canciamilla, does this mean you see tax increases as the long-term budget solution here?

JC: You know I’m not locked into that, Eric. I think that what I would like to see is a debate over what the priorities are going to be. What they should be. What people are willing to pay for. And then we decide, whether or not, it warrants either cuts in one area to pay for what people want or whether it requires a tax increase. I don’t go into it with a preconceived idea that you need to have one or the other. I go into it saying, “let’s figure out what it is we want. Let’s figure out what services we want the state to provide. Then we’ll figure out what is necessary to pay for that.” I think it’s backward to simply go in and say, we assume we’re going to need a tax increase and so let’s push for taxes.

EH: Well, I tell you what, Joe, Democrat party’s the majority, that gets the speaker position down there. What do I have to do to put you in the Speaker’s spot, there, huh? What can I do?

JC: First you’d have to get elected to the Legislature. That might be an interesting race in and of itself.

EH: Oh my, I’d like to see you in that chair. I mean, obviously, full disclosure here, I’d like to have the Republicans in the majority, and Kevin McCarthy there, but if the Democrats have the majority, I’m thinking Speaker Canciamilla sounds pretty good.

JC: Well, I will tell you one of these days there will at least be a focus on policy. There’ll be a focus on how to fix problems. And I hope that whoever is going to be in that chair will be pushing to at least begin to address some of these tough choices. ‘Cause they are going to be tough choices. There are going to be difficult issues for us to deal with. And the sooner we start taking ‘em on, the easier it will be to solve them. Each time we put up a bad budget, it simply makes the cliff, we’re gonna ultimately have to climb down off of or jump off of, that much [tougher].

EH: Joe, you’re a famous guy. Um, thanks for the time. I greatly appreciate it. We will do it again soon.

Keep this in mind every time the Speaker uses the word "obstructionist" in reference to the Republicans:

1. The Speaker has refused to consider a vote on the original local government proposal that Governor Schwarzenegger agreed to - in good faith - with local government, likely because he wasn’t part of these negotiations.

2. Last week, the Speaker attempted to jam through a flawed local government proposal without sharing the language with the Assembly members, or more importantly the public. He knew it was a bad agreement, but still tried to call it a compromise.

3. While Republicans were preparing to bring up the Governor’s proposal on the floor, the Speaker ordered only Democrats to the chamber so he could gavel down session immediately.

4. The Speaker has not called a floor session since the abrupt ending last Friday, before a July 4th weekend recess.

5. Why is the Speaker afraid to convene Session? Is it because he’s afraid he can’t hold his members from voting for the Governor’s local government proposal?

Remember, Democrat Speaker Fabian Nunez is a “not ready for prime time” speaker. He is afraid that the assembly holds enough votes to pass this budget along to the ‘red carpet’ of the California State Senate. If that happens, Nunez would lose his “speakership."CRO

copyright 2004 Eric Hogue






Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005