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In Sacramento, the Democrats control the governor’s mansion, every statewide constitutional office and supermajorities in both houses of the state Legislature. They have the ability to pass any legislation they want — including tax increases — without a single Republican vote, and the authority to physically remove GOP lawmakers from legislative debates if they dare to besmirch the reputation of any of Jane Fonda’s ex-husbands from the well of the Senate.
When it comes to who has a say in the state capitol, the Democrats are Penn and the Republicans are Teller.
The one and only time that Republicans have any influence at all is when Democrats need a two thirds majority to raise taxes and can’t keep all of their own troops in line.
In these cases, if Republicans stick together, they can hold the line on tax hikes.
Unless, of course, Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, is calling the shots; he rolls over faster than a Chevrolet Corvair.
That’s exactly what happened last week when Mayes hoodwinked seven of his GOP colleagues into voting for Gov. Jerry Brown’s “cap-and-trade” legislation.
As a result of this legislation, the state’s gas tax will be upped by somewhere between 63 to 90 cents per gallon and electricity rates will jump by 10 to 20 percent. Brown has pledged to use the massive infusion of cash from California’s workers to fund his $68 billion “high-speed” train, low-income housing and other programs that promote “environmental justice.”
In return for rubber-stamping Brown’s tax increases and slush fund, Mayes was able to negotiate the repeal of a rural fire-prevention fee, get an extension of a manufacturers’ tax credit to utility companies and score $26…