AB1208 goes to the Appropriations Committee this Fri.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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A beefed up Assembly Bill 1208 is going to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee this Friday, May 27. Yen Media will be covering this hearing for JCW.

We expect the current language to pass out of the committee intact as this language more accurately represents the agreement that the Judiciary Committee came to with Assemblymember Calderon. According to our analysts, the implementing language coming out of the judiciary committee was contrary to the agreement struck between the judiciary committee and Calderon. As such, these amendments were required.

We’ve reviewed two articles that exist behind paid firewalls. One by Cheryl Miller titled “Calderon puts new spin on AB1208 but to what end?” . This article speculates that the judiciary committee is none too happy with Calderon. He beefed up the implementing language after the judiciary committee’s implementing language, which smashed the bill and was contrary to both the agreement and the vote that passed it out of that committee. She writes that she cannot imagine that the current implementing legislation would make its way to the governors desk as written and that it will be smashed or buried by Steinberg, Corbett or Evans in the Senate.

The latter part of this article, although not a foregone conclusion, we largely agree with as both Corbett and Steinberg are looking for judicial branch favors when they’re termed out and Evans sits on the judicial council. There will be ample time for political maneuvering following this Friday’s appropriations committee vote before the bill is heard in the Senate judiciary committee. Frankly, we feel most of the AOC supporters only need to be educated to turn them over as the AOC makes this bill out to be a return to feudalism, while concealing that feudalism is the situation we currently have.

We don’t necessarily agree with Cheryl’s assessment about the governor not signing the legislation. There are many serious issues that have been brewing for some time. Our new Chief Justice was presented with an opportunity to conduct a regime change and so far, she’s only re-arranged the titanic’s deck chairs ever so slightly. By the time this legislation makes it to the Governors desk, our Chief Justice will have had nearly a year to analyze and assess the issues and the challenges. If all she has accomplished in all of that time is casual re-arrangement of the deck chairs while mostly ignoring both the detractors and the issues, not only do we see this bill being signed by the Governor but Tani C-S will likely be facing a recall election in 2012 as dissenters continue to organize and get more vocal about her inaction.

The second article is in the Daily Journal and was authored by Emily Green. That article is titled “The Judiciary goes committee crazy” and parallels much of what we said in our own article “Why the media is increasingly skeptical” and only confirms our March 30th article.

Committees are not the solution. Committees are part of the problem.

On one hand, the JC/AOC appoints committees in an attempt to represent that they’re transparent. On the other hand, these committees work behind closed door meetings which is about as non-transparent that you can get. 

It was shennagins like this that was happening in California government that underscored the need for the Brown open meeting act long ago. If the Chief Justice were serious about transparency, then these meetings would be open to journalists and the public. It is all a charade that has been played out to a dead end and we the media are calling you on it. The judiciary is not the NSA. Transparency implies that these activities will be accessible to the public and the media. Secrecy plays no part in transparency.