Bullying Hits Close To Home

Katy Grimes: The fur was flying today in the Assembly as partisan politics trumped time-honored political decency.

Just as the controversial health care bill (AB 52) was about to be introduced, Assembly Republicans’ made a formal request to caucus. But the request was denied by Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez (Los Angeles).

Republicans immediately walked off the Assembly floor, and met in private for nearly 45 minutes. Capitol staff members were stunned, and several said that they had not seen such a denial in several decades of Capitol employment.

Unfortunately, the Democrats used the opportunity to pass another batch of really bad bills, including another anti-bullying bill.

“My own party was just bullied,” said Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, referring to the Speaker’s denial to caucus.  “Before we pass another bullying bill, we should address the bullying in our own house,” Norby said as he voiced opposition to AB 1156.

And during this time, Capitol staff members were denied entrance to the Assembly chambers, leaving many speculating whether the Speaker made the order. However, while the timing might have been bad, access to the Assembly was denied because a celebrity guest was en route. Chico native, Green Bay Packers quarterback, and Super Bowl XLV MVP, Aaron Rogers was honored by Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Linda) and the Assembly.

Apparently, the last time a Super Bowl champ was at the Capitol, too many Capitol staff took advantage of the celebrity meeting and rushed the chambers, causing a human traffic jam. Apparently Perez wanted to avoid another such incident, as well as prevent a call to the Fire Marshall.

But this does not diminish the biting partisanship and politicizing of just about every political process at the Capitol under Democratic control. From stories of denials of Republican’s gallery pass requests, to limits on Republican legislator’s family member passes during swearing in ceremonies, complaints abound surrounding the Democratic partisanship on policies that have historically been bipartisan.

Even CalWatchdog has experience with the petty partisanship, when approval of our Capitol press passes last year took more than seven months – first at the hands of former Democratic Speaker Karen Bass, and then by Democratic Speaker John Perez.

Bullying takes on many forms and is not limited to school kids – and we know that kids learn bullying from adults.

But the most ridiculous comment during the bullying debate came from Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena: “If your child hasn’t been bullied, then perhaps your child is the bully.” It appears that those who were bullied as kids are getting even as powerful legislators, legislating controls and restrictions on those they subjectively deem bullies.

With one-party rule in the state, bullying opportunities are abundant… and Democrats do not seem to shy away from offending Republicans, nor appear to care much about standing on ceremony.

JUNE 2, 2011

 

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