Even at full throttle, there is little the Capitol’s air conditioners can do to alleviate the thick, warm air generated by all the bodies thrust into the building as summer winds down in Sacramento. These are the final days of the legislative session – tensions are amped and the activity is frenetic. Some serious late night oil is being burned and staffers are eagerly awaiting for Interim to begin.
Truth is, in the last days of session, most members are tired. And big surprise – sneaky! This time of year, legislators and lobbyists alike take advantage of the long hours and even longer agendas to weasel things through the process that wouldn’t stand muster in the light of day. With hundreds of bills up for a vote and literally thousands of pages to digest, it’s a perfect storm for scheming “stakeholders” to legislatively benefit themselves (or a client) without anyone from the outside taking notice.
This is just one of the reasons why GOC’s Sam Paredes pretty much lives at the Capitol in the waning days of session; all it takes is a simple majority rule waiver vote, and voila – hundreds of pages of new language can be dumped on member’s desks while the clock ticks toward adjournment. An in-your-face tactic? Yeah, because it’s pretty hard to ignore the enormous stacks of paper. The sheer volume makes it darn-near impossible for staff to review – and for legislators to know what the heck they are voting for or against. It’s especially a nightmare for the minority party since the absurd staff ratio between Republicans and Democrats averages roughly 8 – 1.
Business as usual at the State Capitol is business gone wrong.
It’s good to know there are some scrappers in the Capitol who are willing to call out the bully tactics of their liberal colleagues. They may be few, but what they lack in number is made up for in their desire to switch things up – and they are eager to partner with GOC to make it happen. Watch for upcoming details as 2016 rolls ever closer.
Remember – “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”