Saturday, December 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Democrats lose supermajority, but could get it back this year

walters column sig

By
From page A8 | March 05, 2014 |

With two of his fellow Democratic senators facing criminal charges, it’s been a stressful last year in office, at least so far, for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

The usually unflappable Steinberg even snapped at reporters last week as he was peppered with questions about Sen. Rod Wright, who’s been convicted of felony perjury, and Sen. Ron Calderon, who faces federal corruption charges.

Steinberg had just announced that Calderon would be given a week  to either resign or take a leave of absence, and if he refused, the Senate would then suspend him indefinitely.

That triggered pertinent questions about why the Senate was not doing anything about Wright, and finally, Steinberg – for the first time – said that were Wright’s conviction to be ratified by the trial judge before sentencing on May 16 he could “no longer remain in the Senate.”

A day later, Wright announced that he’d take a leave of absence, and on Friday, a still-testy Steinberg and other Democrats sidetracked a Republican move to expel him immediately.

For the moment, therefore, the ranks of Democratic senators are reduced to 26, one under the “supermajority” that they won in 2012, and they can no longer move constitutional amendments, tax increases and other measures requiring two-thirds Senate votes without GOP help.

Steinberg also faces a strong possibility that Democrats will lose their supermajority outright in the November election.

While supermajorities in both houses were scarcely used in 2013, there have been some plans to employ them this year, mostly for constitutional amendments that liberal activists seek.

Just one – partially repealing the 1996 constitutional ban on affirmative action – has cleared the Senate this year, but others are in the pipeline.

But could the Senate supermajority return before the end of the legislative session on Aug. 31?

Yes, but it depends on if and when the embattled senators depart. A resignation is not likely in the case of Calderon, because it may be many months before he’s tried and he must leave the Senate due to term limits later this year anyway.

Wright is another matter. Even were he to remain on leave until sentencing in May, state law would allow a special election quickly enough to get another Democrat – probably Assemblyman Isadore Hall – in place before the session ends, assuming his successor won the seat outright in the special primary election with more than half the votes, avoiding a runoff.

Were Wright to resign or be ousted sooner, in a week or two, Gov. Jerry Brown would call a special election and a replacement could be seated as early as May.

Thus, how soon anything happens hinges on whether Wright believes that the judge will ratify his guilty verdict or grant a new trial.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Suisun Valley celebrates appellation’s anniversary

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Girl’s selfless act boosts Suisun Wildlife Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Beer for 1st butterfly of year challenge returns

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SF Giants championship trophy coming to Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fire damages Fairfield home

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Car rolls over on Highway 113

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
 
.

US / World

California braces for first widespread frost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California gears up for migrant driver’s licenses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

4 dead in fiery Northern California car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police officer shoots woman in leg in Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Inmate breaks out of jail through ventilation duct

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
People slide down bedsheets to escape motel fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Dog not gone: Rescue in the Columbia Gorge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Bodies of woman, 3 grandsons found in burned home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Truck crashes into home; 93-year-old resident dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Baby ostracized by other gorillas will switch zoos

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands attend 8-hour wake for slain NYC officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Can GOP shatter ‘Obama coalition’ in 2016?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
GPS used to track some immigrants caught at border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sony hack is reminder of broader Sony dysfunction

By William Pesek | From Page: A8

A proud man, a good honorable man

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 26 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Remember, caregivers need some care attention, too

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Cow that fled slaughterhouse in 2006 has new home, again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Suns outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Anthony Davis, Roman meet over tweet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Cleveland reaches 50 years of sports futility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Games to Remember from 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rutgers beats North Carolina in Quick Lane Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

La. Tech beats Illinois 35-18 in Heart of Dallas Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Arizona’s Lindley back at starter, Stanton has infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prep JV boys basketball: Vanden gets win in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Could Watt be 1st NFL MVP from defense since Taylor in 1986?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dan Uggla joins Nationals for minor league deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Georgia’s Richt: RB Todd Gurley heading to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping New Jersey Devils fire coach Pete DeBoer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Louisville resume rivalry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders rookie CB makes most of opportunity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High-scoring offenses create longer college games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Globetrotters’ Robert ‘Showboat’ Hall dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl to cap turnaround year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Weather for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Holiday deliveries improve but hiccups continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Missouri 1st to see average gas price below $2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 12/27/14

Average US 30-year mortgage edges up slightly

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2