It's not as if Assembly GOP Caucus Chair is a star in the political firmament, but it is a leadership post and leaders reflect their colleagues' will. So when Republican Brian Nestande cast a critical vote for a Democrat-backed plan to quash a tax break for businesses, he felt he had to step down. Rightly, too.
From Jim Miller in the Press-Enterprise: "Inland Assemblyman Brian Nestande stepped down as the Assembly Republican Caucus Chair, less than 24 hours after casting the only Republican vote for legislation ending a $1 billion tax break for out-of-state businesses."
“I put forward my vote in good faith that, in its final form, this bill will be part of a comprehensive regulatory reform package to put Californians back to work,” Nestande said in a statement Tuesday announcing his decision."
"Nestande did not tell caucus colleagues how he was going to vote Monday. He was not present at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled caucus lunch, where Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, introduced Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, as the new caucus chair."
The flap over the Senate's decision to pull the plug on televising a hearing on the November tax initiatives was a lot more interesting than the hearing itself, which was a big snooze.
From the Ventura County Star's Timm Herdt: "The stated rationale was that someone might have used video clips from the hearing for political purposes by placing them in campaign commercials."
"Based on what actually transpired, there need not have been any fear. From 9:30 a.m. until it ended just after 12:30 p.m., I can attest that nothing transpired that would have made for even 15 seconds of compelling television."
"But the stated rationale was bunk. The decision sprang from the bunker mentality that permeates the staffs in political offices. Someone made the decision to yank the TV feed because, well, simply because he or she could."
Talk about landing guickly on your feet: Rep. Dennis Cardoza abruptly resigned from Congress, citing personal issues, but almost immediately got hired by a top political firm.
From the Bee's Dan Smith: "Hours after announcing "increasing parenting challenges" were forcing his immediate resignation from Congress, Rep. Dennis Cardoza has landed a job with a top Washington D.C.-based governmental affairs firm."
"Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP announced Cardoza would join the lobbying firm as a managing director."
"A lot of firms were recruiting Dennis, so we are doubly thrilled he will call Manatt home," James Bonham, chair of the firm's Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy Group, said in a statement.
From the LAT's Chris Megerian: "Twenty-seven cities have not forked over all of the redevelopment money the state says they owe, according to Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration."
"The state says the cities owe $129 million total, but they’ve only returned $6.7 million."
"The dispute involves an accounting shuffle that helps close the state’s $15.7-billion budget deficit. Because redevelopment agencies are being dissolved this year, Brown wants to shift $3.1 billion to schools, helping offset the state’s obligation to fund education."
The secret fund at the Parks Department that caused all the controversy when it emerged that officials were sitting on cash as parks faced closure may not have been so secret after all.
From the AP's Don Thompson: "A former California state parks employee says she told state attorneys that her department was hiding about $20 million in a special fund several months before officials announced discovering the surplus money, according to a sworn declaration filed in court Tuesday."
"The development is the latest revelation in a budget scandal that has state officials on the defensive and threatens to undermine Gov. Jerry Brown's push for a voter-approved tax increase."
"The court declaration from Cheryl Taylor, a former parks employee, raises further questions about what state officials knew, when they knew it, and what action, if any, they took before the California Natural Resources Agency revealed the hidden pot of money in July."