Supermajority supercharges power of unions, Dems

Nov. 8, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Now that the Democratic Party in California has won a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature, what does it mean for the state of the state’s politics?

Democrat view

Steve Maviglio, a seasoned Democtatic stratigist who has worked for former Gov. Gray Davis and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, said to expect not much will change. But he was very happy with the results.

A Democratic supermajority in the California Legislature is 54 Democrats in the 80-member Assembly; and 27 Democrats in the 40-member Senate. It renders the minority party almost irrelevant. And a supermajority can override the governor’s veto.

Maviglio said that Assembly Democrats did not expect to win a supermajority this election, but it was expected in the Senate. He added that California’s recent redistricting may have played a role.

This majority win caught many people off guard in the state.

But even within the Democratic Party, there are smaller blocks of groups, Maviglio explained. The Latino Caucus and the Black Caucus are two of the more influential Democratic caucuses that haven’t always agreed with party leadership on issues.

Maviglio also said he expected to see more of the moderates from each party work together more often on contentious issues.

What now?

Some in the state are critical of Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, asking how she could have lost the two-thirds. Others are critical of the California Republican Party.

For a grassroots perspective, I asked David Wolfe, Legislative Director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, about the impact of a Democrat supermajority.

HJTA has 200,000 members throughout California, and was very active this election. “Taxpayers will be hurt as a result of this election,” Wolfe said. “Higher sales taxes hurt everybody, and the $250,000 income tax threshhold will hurt small businesses.”

The easy voter registration and online registration played a role in this election, Wolfe said. And as for the passage of Proposition 30, Gov. jerry Brown’s tax increase ballot initiative, Wolfe suspected that the “hostage trigger cuts” and guarantee of funding for realignment in some areas of the state helped.

Local tax measures

There were 240 local tax increases, bond measures and fee hikes this election. And most of them passed, according to Michael Coleman, a fiscal policy adviser to the League of California Cities. Coleman reported that 171 of the 240 local tax increase and bond measures passed.

Four out of five school bond measures passed and four out of five majority vote taxes passed. Coleman reported that special taxes requiring the two-thirds threshhold of voters did not pass in such high numbers.

While the Assembly Speaker John Perez promised yesterday there would be no new taxes, Senate President Darrell Steinberg  promised to pursue initiative and tax reform with the goal of bringing in more revenue for schools and social services. Steinberg has vowed since the first legislative cuts were made to social services to return the funding.

But Pérez said he plans to revive his “Middle Class Scholarship” program  for college students. Perez fought very hard pass legislation which would have eliminated a corporate “loophole” to pay for the program. But the bill, AB 1500, died in the state Senate in the fall.

Proposition 39, which passed on Tuesday, was the near-identical twin to Perez’s AB 1500, ends the tax break for out-of-state businesses with the money going to a new green energy projects and the general fund. Prop. 39 is just another retread of the 2010 Proposition 24, designed to undo the Single Sales Factor tax calculation, used by out-of state businesses currently doing business in California.

Charter cities lost

On charter city proposals, which would have given cities more leeway to deal with the powerful unions: Costa Mesa’s lost by a large margin, Escondido’s lost, and Grover Beach’s appears to be losing in a close race. Anything the unions supported won big in California. Anything they strongly opposed lost.

Wolfe said that his taxpayer association will continue to fight tax increases and advocate limited government for its 200,000 members, but their job will be more difficult because of the Democrat supermajority. “We’re not going anywhere.”


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  1. Bob
    Bob 8 November, 2012, 10:29

    While the Assembly Speaker John Perez promised yesterday there would be no new taxes…

    Does anyone believe this?

    With a 2/3rds majority they are going to be like kids in a candy store

    Reply this comment
  2. Barb
    Barb 8 November, 2012, 11:08

    This all on top of the proclivity of whats about to hit on Jan 1, 2013!

    And whats stopping them from raising property taxes now? So now its either be concerned about higher property taxes ( and of course, they will exclude certain special interest groups ) or just sell and pay the Obamacare 3% sales tax fee.

    Geez, this is just gettin’ rottener by the minute!

    Hey Ulysses, where’s the UHaul?

    Reply this comment
  3. Barb
    Barb 8 November, 2012, 11:37

    I forgot to mention that the California Air Resources Board is set to have their first auction (you know, the Global Warming thingy) imposed on business. Guess who will pay for higher everything on this? It’s called the consumer.


    Reply this comment
  4. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 12:19

    Pay the Obama 3% sales tax fee?

    Go ahead, I’m sure he would appreciate it. Make the check out to him personally.

    For the rest of us. 3% doesn’t kick in until you make a PROFIT of over $500,000 on your sale, and then applies only to that portion over $500,000 ($250K for single persons)
    “When “Obamacare” was first passed the blogosphere was up-in-arms that the AHA included an additional 3.8% tax on any real estate sale, and claimed, “that’s $3,800 on a $100,000 home.”

    What you are implying is totally bogus.

    Reply this comment
  5. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 8 November, 2012, 13:21

    As a start, the taxes, fees the governor vetoed will be reintroduced, passed. I suspect there will be support to overide his veto, if he does again. This is going to be interesting to watch, a pain in the pocketbook, but the slow collapse of a state government. What will follow, a federal takevover, a right wing despot? Personally, I remain conservative and one who does charitable acts with no compensation. I enjoy living a life that is fulfilling; a little smug that many of the liberals would never lower themselves to do the work I do. Take gov t pensions earned from years of leaving work early, not showing up. Expect more handouts from the govt: fibbing on kids/grandkids financial aid forms to take more, coaching the family how to game the system. “You should file for disability.” It is the rich people’s fault. Take what you can get. The rich are screwing us.

    Reply this comment
  6. Hondo
    Hondo 8 November, 2012, 13:27

    I am a Rudy Giuliani republican, pro choice and I don’t hate gays and I have no chance of getting a nomination to any office in my party because they think I’m a baby killer. Rudy, easily was the best republican in the race in 08 but he was considered a ‘baby killer’ by the ‘Palin’ republicans. Human monsters like Akin in Missouri( who said you can’t get pregnant during a ‘legitimate rape’) or Mourdock in Indiana ( who said it is a ‘blessing’ if you get knocked up by your dad when he rapes you), control the party and can’t figure out why it is being wiped off the political map.
    Republicans like Reagan, and the two Bushs and their business leader freinds supported endless illegal immigration, but the rest of the republicans won’t support the dream act. It is immoral not to legalize alians who were brought here under the age of 12. I don’t mean the adults who came here illegally, they can wait at the end of the line to become legal.
    I have a cousin who is gay and I love him like the family he is and think he should have rights. The republicans don’t have any use for that kind of thinking.
    I believe in low taxes, securing our border, and that the best social program is a JOB.
    Rudy Giuliani republicans like me had better have a place in their party other than as voters and donaters or they will disappear like they have in Kali and Colorado.

    Reply this comment
  7. Barb
    Barb 8 November, 2012, 14:57

    Douglas – Thanks for the update! Yes, its a capital gains tax (or surtax) on the sale of investments including real estate, primary, rental, vacation. And yes, it kicks in for those who make $200K single and $250K joint filers. The tax, indeed, is calculated on any gains above $250/$500 respectively.

    Go ahead pay for it? Its not a choice, its the law! The point here is that its a new tax. It wasn’t there before Obama and the Democrats were elected. But noooooo……Obama promised he wouldn’t raise taxes. Right! Ohhh….and those evil, evil rich people! Shame on them for being rich! Ya know, if it weren’t for the wealthy in this state or the nation, this nation wouldn’t stand a chance. So go ahead and mince words or numbers! I don’t care! A tax is a tax regardless of who it effects!

    Reply this comment
  8. Barb
    Barb 8 November, 2012, 15:02

    Nice and thoughtful read Hondo!

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 8 November, 2012, 15:21

    Ulysses..he is beside himself….so much work…not enough trucks and trailers….he is back in Texas trying to get some additional stuff for ya CWD posters….

    Been watching the office…phone rings too much…need to get out in the field now….three trailers going out at 5:00 p.m.

    Reply this comment
  10. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 16:33

    A tax is a tax, but “that’s $3,800 on a $100,000 home.” is a lie. It’s scare tactics.

    That’s. What I was referring to. You sell a house for $100K and send the president a personal check for $3800. Don’t spread rumors to get others riled up.

    And drop the paranoia about rich people. I don’t hate rich people. Progressive taxation is not socialism.

    Reply this comment
  11. skippingdog
    skippingdog 8 November, 2012, 16:35

    Since you’re obviously a “low information voter” Barb, here’s a little accounting article about the “Obamacare Tax” nonsense you posted.

    OTOH, the best thing the new Democratic supermajority can do is to place a split roll property tax initiative on the next general election ballot. Prop 13 was sold as a way to help Grandma keep her house in a time of high inflation and rapidly rising assessments. It’s been used by large business interests to avoid paying the taxes that support their business activities far more than it has saved Grandma. Howard Jarvis himself pushed Prop 13 as the head of the Apartment Owners Association, and it was designed to keep his pockets lined more than anything else.

    Reply this comment
  12. Barb
    Barb 8 November, 2012, 17:44

    I’m not going to get bogged down with hyperbole! I wrote what my understanding of the new Medicare Tax is. I never suggested to pay the $3800 on $100,000, you did! Not sure where you’re coming from, but that’s okay! No paranoia or fear-mongering, just the facts! And go ahead, insult me, attack me. That’s okay! It doesn’t make any difference. We just disagree on fundamental principles. You enjoy big government and statism. I enjoy small government, free-market principles!

    Skippy – great! I don’t agree with your analysis but hey, have at it! In my opinion (not that I think you care considering your insults), overturning Prop 13 is just another way of lining the pockets of an over-spent government largess!

    Again, the whole point of Ms.Grimes article is the fact that the CA Democrat super-majority now has the ability to increase taxes at will. To me, California is at a very dangerous crossroad!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 8 November, 2012, 17:47

    Now that WE have the super majority– ( I am a dem), There will be no excuse to not balance the state’s budget. My dems better preform.

    Reply this comment
  14. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 8 November, 2012, 17:48

    No offense Hondo– But Guilliani is a category 5 moron.

    Reply this comment
  15. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 18:09

    People read comments in blogs like these and believe them without checking them out. They get repeated on other blogs.

    That’s how we “know” that state workers can retire at 50 with 90% of their pay. (It is possible, but very rare.)

    We “know” that if you work for the city of Stockton for ONE DAY, you can retire with medical coverage for the rest of your life. (IF you tranfered to Stockton from another agency with a reciprocal agreement, and you had enough qualifying time in that agency)

    We “know” that Californians pay the highest taxes in the state. (Well, in the top ten percent, anyway.

    Reply this comment
  16. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 18:14

    Hyperbole is when I say I’m so hungry I could eat a horse, or I can bench press a Buick.

    Californians pay the highest taxes in the nation is a lie. Obama’s 3% real estate tax is a lie.

    Reply this comment
  17. Bob
    Bob 8 November, 2012, 18:33

    Let the looting begin. This is just the very tiny tip of the iceburg…

    Should voter approval be lowered for school parcel taxes from 66.6 percent to 55 percent?

    Read more here:

    Reply this comment
  18. Bob
    Bob 8 November, 2012, 18:35

    Californians pay the highest taxes in the nation

    Is that so, Doglass?

    Name one state that has a higher state sales tax.

    Name one state that has a marginal income tax rate of 9.3% or higher at $48,300.

    Reply this comment
  19. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 18:57

    You’re talking tax RATES, Bob. I’m talking dollars. California has the highest sales tax rate, but does not charge tax on groceries, as about half the other States do. So we pay less per capital than several other States.

    Same thing with income. California has a high rate but, for one thing, we do not pay tax on Social Security. That, along with differences in deductions and exemptions, means we do NOT pay the highest taxes per capital.

    If I read a statement that we pay “some” of the highest taxes, I accept it and keep reading. But we are not number one.

    Reply this comment
  20. Douglas
    Douglas 8 November, 2012, 19:16

    Per capita

    Spell check

    Reply this comment
  21. Cheryl
    Cheryl 8 November, 2012, 20:01

    All eyes are on CA. and the cliff that we as a State are facing. Dems hold all the cards what will they do and who will they blame it on. Repubs get an overblown, over hyped rap put on them. No one in the White House can make abortion illegal period. Supreme Court has ruled. I do think we should take a stance on Gay marriage in that they should be able to have all civil, tax, legal rights as a Traditional couple, but why in all that is holy do they have to call it marriage. Can we not save that term for Traditional marriage. Please let us be reasonable. Not every thing, one or outcome will ever be equal. If that we that case we would all look, act, think the same.

    Reply this comment
  22. Chris
    Chris 8 November, 2012, 20:15

    With our new supermajority the DEMs have to understand that with power comes great responsibility. They are 100% completely bought and owned by the public-sector employee unions. This is pure fact.

    But, if their union-boss puppet-handlers want more money, and then the DEMs push it through and override a Governor’s veto then… The public is going to start to question what is going on.

    I just hope the assembly idiots do not try to ban jumbo eggs from the market again.

    I firmly believe the best bet is that we get the California State legislature back to the part time it was. Too many nanny bills and too much interaction between representative and special interests.

    Reply this comment
  23. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 8 November, 2012, 22:26

    Your days are numbered! Your wallet will thin….the perfect answer..


    Reply this comment
  24. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 8 November, 2012, 22:56

    California has the highest sales tax rate, but does not charge tax on groceries, as about half the other States do. So we pay less per capital than several other States.
    Dougie, NO STATE, or very FEW, charge sales taxes on groceries, and the FEW that do charge a MUCG lower rate, than their already LOW sales tax rate or they offer rebates.

    Your spin is so pathetic!

    CA has the HIGHEST gross sales tax and overall tax and also the highest % sales and overall tax.

    Reply this comment
  25. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 8 November, 2012, 23:32

    Barb, you have possibly been getting the same internet propaganda, regarding the real estate tax, that I have been getting from my cousin in “Red” South Dakota. I did my own research to find out what was going on–then sent my cousin the true information so she could send all her contacts a retraction. Do you think she did?

    Cheryl, what is your source for that “fact”? Bring your official fact sheet, or stop being a dupe.

    Rex, CA does not have the highest overall tax in the US. CA ranks in the teens, when it comes to overall taxes–if you are going to continue making false statements, you better be able to link to the official Studies. Not a very becoming way, for somebody who just got his ass kicked on Tuesday, to act. Sit down and eat a little Crow Pie, for god’s sake!

    Reply this comment
  26. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 8 November, 2012, 23:53

    Sorry Cheryl, I should have addressed my remarks to Chris. The vision isn’t what it used to be.

    Sean, you must be looking at a very tall beer mug tonight. Its causing you to have the illusion that you are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Reply this comment
  27. Douglas
    Douglas 9 November, 2012, 00:01

    Or number eleven in state plus local revenue:

    Reply this comment
  28. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 00:04

    Doglass, the fact that there is no state income tax on SS (and I don’t even know that that is correct but if it is) doesn’t make a rat’s @ss worth of difference to a struggling working stiff. He/She still pays a marginal rate of 9.3% at just 48.2K. Name one other state with that burden.

    Reply this comment
  29. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 November, 2012, 00:28

    Bob, yes its true, there is no CA State income tax on SS income. The gross, joint-income of myself and my spouse was $99,000–with CA credits and standard deductions, the CA, taxable income was $69,000–CA State Income Tax Liability, $1850. There are states that have no State income tax–perhaps you should consider moving. I marvel at how CA can survive at all, considering its breadth and infrastructure needs, and the public service needs of a population of 38 million people! Maybe you just keep looking at the glass as half-empty, when it is really half-full.

    Reply this comment
  30. Douglas
    Douglas 9 November, 2012, 00:44

    Don’t forget the differences in exemptions and deductions, Bob.

    I saw what you did with my name, Bob.

    California does NOT pay the highest taxes in the nation. That is not a bad thing.

    We are NOT number one. That is a good thing.

    If you don’t trust me, check with the Howard Jarvis Tax Foundation. We just moved to number four. We ARE in the top ten percent, if that makes you feel better.

    Ask Jon Coupal. But don’t mispell his name. That would be rude, Bob.

    Reply this comment
  31. Queeg
    Queeg 9 November, 2012, 07:46

    It is open season and triple the bag limit on CWD doomers….fiscal cliff and state super majority and……

    There are no way to hide…..add in Obamacare which sorta doubles the minimum wage…..


    Reply this comment
  32. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 09:14

    Doglass, please answer the question. Name one state that imposes a burden as high as 9.3% on a mere $48k.

    You can sugar coat it anyway you like but you can’t deny the fact that Colliefonria (as Ahnode call it) IS a high tax state and that is driving both employers and employees away.

    Reply this comment
  33. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 09:16

    Seesaw, since Colliefornia as so many needs maybe IT’S TIME to tax SS.

    And if you feel so strongly about CA’s needs you can pay more than what is due on your income tax.

    Reply this comment
  34. Donkey
    Donkey 9 November, 2012, 10:01

    As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

    “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”

    From his treatise Democracy in America, c. 1835
    We have a slave trodden future. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  35. Cloward Piven
    Cloward Piven 9 November, 2012, 10:01

    There’s only one fix for California’s budget woes: ban all corporate speech, seize all corporate property, and give every Californian what they deserve: guaranteed annual (minimum and maximum) income, guaranteed healthcare, guaranteed college education, guaranteed pensions.

    To ensure that state government represents the people, elections will be banned and replaced with a lottery, giving every Californian (including children, aged 13 and over) a chance to have a voice in their government.

    Reply this comment
  36. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 11:12

    Cloward, you ought to run for governor as a DemoNcrat. You’d win in a landslide.

    Reply this comment
  37. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 November, 2012, 11:38

    I will do whatever the law requires Bob, and I will not spend every waking moment bellyaching about it!

    Reply this comment
  38. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 9 November, 2012, 15:13

    Cloward, you ought to run for governor as a DemoNcrat. You’d win in a landslide

    Reply this comment
  39. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 9 November, 2012, 16:07

    Texas executed a scumbag today. Maybe, there is hope..

    Reply this comment
  40. Douglas
    Douglas 9 November, 2012, 19:35

    Bob.  Ever heard the expression”there is no such thing as a dumb question”?

    Congratulations! You proved them wrong. That’s what you want to know? 9.3% at $48,000?

    I never denied California was a high tax state. It is in the top ten percent. It is NOT number one. Words have meanings, “California pays the highest sales tax” is incorrect.  “California pays the highest income tax” is incorrect. As verified by Jon Coupal of HJTA. 

    “driving both employers and employees away.” may be a bit of a stretch, also, since California has outpaced Texas in job growth over the last year, Bob.

    Reply this comment
  41. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 20:24

    Doglass, please name one other state that has a higher marginal tax rate than 9.3% for people making $48k.

    Please name one state that has a higher state sales tax than Colliefornia (as Ahnode calls it).

    Business are fleeing the state in droves:

    Calif. Business Exodus ‘Explodes’ in 1st Half –
    Total Doubles Entire Previous Year

    That job growht is illusory. Colliefornia has lost jobs for years while Texas was gaining so it makes sense there would be a temporary respite from that trend.

    Reply this comment
  42. Douglas
    Douglas 9 November, 2012, 20:33

    Strike three

    Reply this comment
  43. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 20:43

    You’re putting words in peoples’ mouths, Douglas.

    The reality is that no other state has a higher state sales tax than Colliefornia.

    No other state hits so many lower-middle to middle income people with higher marginal tax rates.

    California has very high taxes on fuels and even with Prop 13 Colliefornia comes in the top 15 for highest property taxes.

    If high taxes and the Democrats calling the shots are the ways to prosperity why has Colliefornia gone to the dogs financially?

    And please don’t get so upset when you see a couple of typos in your name. After all, we all can’t be perfect like you Democrats.

    And besides it’s an easy oversight considering all the canines posting here (Skippingdog, Rex the Wonder Dog, etc.)

    Reply this comment
  44. Queeg
    Queeg 9 November, 2012, 21:47

    And state and local fees and taxes will rise. Prevailing wage replaces minimum wage. COLAS all around.


    Reply this comment
  45. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 21:50

    Would that be Pepsi or Coke, Captain Queeg?

    Reply this comment
  46. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 21:51

    Or maybe the Old Brown Buzzard could save the state some money and go for Safeway Select. They are union, after all.

    Reply this comment
  47. Bob
    Bob 9 November, 2012, 22:27

    And Queegster, regarding this Bullet Train, the Old Brown Buzzard has you by the boondoggles, and with Keynesians like you when that happens your heart and minds follow.

    Reply this comment
  48. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 10 November, 2012, 09:25

    Douglas says:

    Strike three
    Dougie= Strike #1,598 🙂

    Reply this comment
  49. Queeg
    Queeg 10 November, 2012, 21:46

    We all face the Calif. health insurance exchange, death panels and inequitable pricing by income level. We all will pay higher utilities, fuel, food costs.

    and…..we haven’t seen Buzzard’s true agenda.

    Reply this comment
  50. Bob
    Bob 11 November, 2012, 10:28

    And wait until cap-n-tax kicks in, Capt. Queeg.

    And the Old Brown Buzzard is going to run for re-election in the next election.

    How about some campaign slogans?

    Vote Brown because you’re already on a Bullet Train to Nowhere.

    Brown – looting taxpayers since 1969.

    And Steiny will be running so he needs some, too.

    Vote Steiny, he’ll tax you up the heiny.

    Reply this comment

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