Capitol Alert: Percentage of independent California voters inches upward.
The proportion of Californians eschewing party politics continued to gradually increase over the past two years, with nearly 21 percent of the electorate now registered to vote with no party preference, according to a report today by the California secretary of state.
Could more moderates be leaving the parties? If so, will the parties continue their slide into polarization.
NOTE: I left the Democratic Party in 2010 because I felt parties cared more about raising money and party politics than good, sound policy.
Senator Michael Rubio resigned today to head up Chevron Government Affairs, raising possible legal questions
Capitol Alert: State Sen. Michael Rubio resigns, will take job with Chevron.
State Sen. Michael Rubio announced today that he is resigning from the state Legislature and taking a job directing California governmental affairs for Chevron Corporations.
The East Bakersfield Democrat cited a desire to spend more time with his family in a statement released today, saying he “realized that my current professional path has left little opportunity to be home for those who are most important to me, which is why I am making a change.”
Big breaking news this morning that Democratic party rising star Senator Michael Rubio resigns to take a job with Chevron. Good for him for focusing on family but there are also serious legal questions left in the air with his departure.
Will he lobby in violation of Political Reform Act 87406(b):
(b) No Member of the Legislature, for a period of one year after leaving office, shall, for compensation, act as agent or attorney for, or otherwise represent, any other person by making any formal or informal appearance, or by making any oral or written communication, before the Legislature, any committee or subcommittee thereof, any present Member of the Legislature, or any officer or employee thereof, if the appearance or communication is made for the purpose of influencing legislative action.
Or did her violate the law in Political Reform Act 87407:
No public official shall make, participate in making, or use his or her official position to influence, any governmental decision directly relating to any person with whom he or she is negotiating, or has any arrangement concerning, prospective employment.
He’s going to have to take the extra effort to show when did the employment negotiations begin, did they affect his votes or what bills he would or would not put his name to, did he vote on issues that directly effected Chevron? I suspect this high profile resignation will get the attention of the Fair Political Practices Commission. They will probably start inquiries to answer some of these questions.
Nobody enjoys getting their salary reduced. You get a job with a promised salary, then BOOM, out of your control, your pay gets cut.
The Sacramento Bee’s Jim Sanders reported on Monday that there is a “100 percent” chance that elected officials salary will be on the agenda of the California Citizens Compensation Commission. A unique public agency with the sole power to adjust the salary and benefits of the state’s elected officials; any move they make will inevitably create news.
So it begs the question, if a rank-and-file legislator gets their salary reduced by 5 percent from $95,291 to $90,526 (legislative leaders will go from $109,584 to $104,104), is being a state legislator still a good gig?
1) Elected officials rarely run for office for the pay.
The officials I have interacted with will always say they wanted to make a difference in the community, society, state, etc. (i.e. Do it for the children!). If an official ran for office because of the pay, then they would not willingly admit it.
2) Before becoming a legislator, many were small business owners, attorneys, doctors, and other professions that paid quite well.
It is safe to assume they did not leave those well-paying positions because they yearned to spend 4+ days a week away from their family, participate in endless fundraising calls and events, battle through nauseating ideological fights and hyper-partisanship, and constant public criticism. I don’t think you could ever pay anyone enough to go through all that.