February 28, 2014

California Democrats refuse to oust criminal state senators [Darleen Click]

Multiple-felony conviction? Federal corruption charges? Pffffft! Why, just put ’em on paid leave of absence so we can keep our dictatorial powers.

Democratic lawmakers in California deflected a Republican resolution on Thursday calling for the expulsion of a state senator who was convicted of eight felonies, a move Republicans say was aimed at preserving Democrats’ two-thirds majority.

Democratic State Senator Roderick Wright, who represents parts of Los Angeles and the suburb of Inglewood, was convicted last month of voter fraud and perjury after prosecutors said he did not physically live in the district he represented.

Earlier this week, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg granted him a paid leave of absence, saying that although a jury had found Wright guilty, the judge had not yet formally endorsed the verdict.

After Knight and two other Republicans objected, Steinberg said he would hear their resolution to expel Wright if it came to the senate floor. When the resolution came up on Thursday, Steinberg did allow debate.

But, in a move that angered some Republicans, he and most Democrats then voted to move it to the Senate’s rules committee, where it is expected to languish. […]

For the past year, Democrats have controlled both houses of the state legislature as well as the governorship in California, with large “super-majorities” that allow them to raise taxes and take other actions that require a two-thirds vote.

But Democrats could at least temporarily lose two seats in the Senate currently held by Wright and by Ron Calderon, who is under pressure to step down after his recent indictment on corruption charges. Should both lawmakers be unseated, Democrats would be one vote short of a two-thirds majority.

“It has been suggested by some in this chamber, and some commentators, that a leave of absence is a tactical maneuver to assure that Senator Wright or Senator Calderon could be brought back to cast a deciding vote under our vaunted super-majority,” Steinberg said before the vote. “That is insulting.

“I give you my word on this floor – and when has my word not been good? This will not happen,” Steinberg said.

Why yes, Mr. Darrell “40 cents a gallon at the pump gax tax” Steinberg, we believe you and “your word”. We soooo believe you.

Posted by Darleen @ 9:02am

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Comments (5)

  1. Hey, at least they put him on leave. Here in MA, they are finally taking steps to remove a guy convicted of beating his girlfriend. Nothing was going to happen until a bunch of folks raised a stink. The fact that a Rep that gets convicted and sentenced to jail doesn’t automatically lose his position is a surprise.

    They had to bring him to the hearing in handcuffs.

  2. I regret that Steinberg’s district includes at least one of my former homes — though not half as much as I would regret still living there.

  3. Good article on California’s woes, and a good analysis of that article.

    I especially enjoyed Driscoll commenter kersh, mostly because it supports my argument for the states to impose long residency requirement’s before allowing immigres to vote in their state elections:

    My new neighbor just came from CA and paid a premium for the house next to me so I gladly thank him for that. After a few drinks and some introductions, he tells me that he left CA because of high taxes and tells me that the normal person could not make it there. Soon after, he tells me that he is “an up and down democrat”. So although, he helped me with my comps, he brought his politics that he explicitly was trying to escape, with him.

  4. Ernst,

    great (and sad) article and every word is true

    and then some

  5. Scary too. Because that gentry-class eltism is everywhere these days.