CAR Legislative Day – Some Good, Some Bad, Some Ugly

Published: June 9, 2009

I’ll be posting more specifics for you from our Sacramento Legislative trip last week, but just wanted to share a couple observations.

Wednesday was Legislative Day. In addition to our CAR Directors, we always bring up a few folks with us for that day – folks who have made an investment in our Realtor Action Fund of at least $197. It’s always a great day – including a terrific speech by former  (and future?) Governor Jerry Brown, legislative updates from our lobbyists, our march on the capitol photo op, visits with our Legislators and the Capitol Reception in the evening. For people who only think real estate is about selling houses, you should come with us next year.


That same Wednesday, the Assembly had a deadline for closing out their docket because anything that wasn’t passed to the Senate, either dies or reverts to a two year bill. Needless to say it was hectic and our schedules had to remain flexible as we sought to discuss our housing agenda with our electeds. Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries was literally on lock-down until the bills got passed and had been so all week. He managed to visit with us outside the chambers for a few minutes and joined us later at the reception after they had completed the session.

And there-in lies the tale. Between seeing Assemblyman Jeffries and our reschedule with Senator Hollingsworth, we had an hour to spare. So we sat down in the basement coffee shop in the Capitol and had a soda. They have several TV’s on the walls all broadcasting the current floor session. There were about a dozen of us talking and laughing about the days adventures. After about 5 minutes the folks fell silent – consumed by what they were seeing on TV. Over the span of the next 45 minutes we saw 19 bills passed. With one exception – every one of the bills passed on a 42 – 22 vote, (+/- 2). Not only were these bills passed hastily and on strict party line votes, virtually every bill involved some sort of spending or new committee creation.

After having their asses handed to them on our May 19 Proposition vote, these Assembly Democrats still don’t get the message on spending. They can’t help themselves. It was a real eye opener for our political neophytes who have never seen the process up close and personal. It’s times like that I’m reminded of Otto von Bismarck’s caution that – ‘People should never see either sausages or laws being made‘. It’s true – I’ve seen both and don’t advise it. The difference is with sausage you can just avoid consuming the product if it’s too unpalatable. With legislation, regardless of your efforts, you are forced to partake – and it’s generally going to cost you more money or less freedom.

You should be pleased to note that both Assembly members Jeffries and Nestande consistently had their votes tabulated among the paltry smattering of ‘red’ votes. The Assembly considered over 1,000 new pieces of legislation this session in spite of getting a late start. It took them 5 months to consider and vote on the first 500 bills, only 5 days to consider and vote the last 500. Is it any wonder we’re in the shape we’re in?

The Senate only produced about 1/4 that many bills in this first session. Here’s hoping the Senate is somewhat more in touch with Californians than 2/3 of their Assembly counterparts are when they sit down to consider the truckload of crappola the Assembly is delivering to them.

Oh, the one bill that didn’t pass 42 – 22? It was a bill introduced by Speaker Karen Bass. The Speaker does not come on the floor to introduce her own bills – she sent it in with a messenger. They trick to this one? They first had to waive the 1 day read rule. That means within the span of 2 – 3 minutes

  1. a copy of this bill was either laid on their desk or appeared on their PC and
  2. they were concurrently being asked to waive the 1 day read rule and then to
  3. vote on the bill.

Honest. And the vote was unanimous. They musta been a shell-shocked as we were.

If you’ve never seen the process by which our state is governed, take your tax rebate and book a trip to Sacramento. Maybe by witnessing first hand the fiscal depravity which our leaders display, the wanton pandering to special interests and (in some cases) their shocking lack of command of the English language, you will come to undertand how we arrived at the brink of collapse. Hopefully you will come to the conclusion that, in good conscience, you CANNOT continue to vote the same incompetent louts back into office time and again.

Or not.

Last modified: June 9, 2009 at 8:55 am | Originally published: June 9, 2009 at 8:55 am
Printed: September 27, 2020