I created a stir last year when I the former Democratic Senate majority leader endorsed Proposition 32, the ballot initiative that would have reigned in special interests, including enabling union members to bypass their own union executive boards and make their own choices as to how to direct their own union dues for political causes. After all, I'm a longtime liberal Democrat who supports the right to organize and I still pay union dues. But I served 12 years in the Legislature, chairing two key committees Public Safety and Education. I had a front-row seat on how the wheels of government are greased to function on behalf of politically connected interests.
Sacramento is where the action takes place to protect powerful interests. On any given day, busloads of children invade the Capitol to see their government in action. They roam audacious hallways, no tour guide giving them the kind of view to which I was privy. That view is largely inaccessible to the public; like the story of Oz, great wizards behind velvet curtains disproportionately call the shots. It's often wondered what walls would say if they could talk. I've been in almost every room of the Capitol, including rooms "across the street" from the dome where, to avoid the appearance of corruption, dominant political forces set up shop to keep tabs on their interests.
Where the real power lies
Those are the real halls of power. In the great state where Hollywood lives, legislators bang a gavel in a Capitol committee room to "debate" laws. "Showtime" has begun; usually the dice have already been rolled.
Over time, I chose not to just be a cog in the ever-churning wheel of special interests and status quo from both the left and the right. I saw a political system that was all too willing to ignore the needs of ordinary citizens, particularly the poor and minority kids I represented in East Los Angeles..."
The above is a small excerpt from one of the best articles I've read regarding how CA/Sacramento government actually works. Finally the truth from an insider - the former Democratic Senate majority leader no less. (op-ed Gloria Romero / U-T San Diego)
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