GOP IN RIGHT STATE OF MIND\Assembly's majority caucus may regret slew of conservative fringe\bills.Byline: Mark Katches Daily News Sacramento Bureau
Fresh off the biggest week of his three-year legislative career, GOP Assemblyman as·sem·bly·man
A man who is a member of a legislative assembly.
pl -men a member of a legislative assembly
Noun 1. W.J. "Pete" Knight of Palmdale stopped briefly a couple days ago to contemplate a future that until recently seemed unthinkable.
It would be a world where most adults could carry concealed firearms This is an extensive list of small arms — pistol, machine gun, grenade launcher, anti-tank rifle — that includes variants.
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"We're finally being able to move the Republican Party agenda through," Knight said. "We're now in the process of doing what the voters told us to do in November 1994. If the Democrats want to label us as moving to the right then so be it. My agenda is one of personal responsibility and I firmly believe in that."
Not long ago Knight, a 64-year-old former Air Force test pilot, wouldn't have turned many heads on either side of the aisle with that kind of talk.
But today there is enough reality to such proposals to make the Assembly's most conservative Republicans exult and dream. Moderate Republicans, meanwhile, cringe cringe
intr.v. cringed, cring·ing, cring·es
1. To shrink back, as in fear; cower.
2. To behave in a servile way; fawn.
An act or instance of cringing. with apprehension as they fear either losing control of the agenda in Sacramento or being painted with an extremist brush.
Weakened Democrats, unable to stop the assault head on, are seizing on the most extreme bills - hoping that the radical legislation can be the Achilles' heel that brings down the GOP.
Knight's Assembly bills are among those under attack. His AB 638 would make it easier for most adults to carry a concealed firearm firearm, device consisting essentially of a straight tube to propel shot, shell, or bullets by the explosion of gunpowder. Although the Chinese discovered gunpowder as early as the 9th cent., they did not develop firearms until the mid-14th cent. in California by eliminating the requirement to show a genuine need for the permit.
Another Knight bill, AB 1982, would bar the state from recognizing out-of-state, same-sex marriages Noun 1. same-sex marriage - two people of the same sex who live together as a family; "the legal status of same-sex marriages has been hotly debated"
couple, twosome, duet, duo - a pair who associate with one another; "the engaged couple"; "an inseparable .
Both bills passed the Assembly, as did legislation by another lawmaker to repeal the 4-year-old law requiring adult motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
1. The act of moving a boat by means of a paddle.
2. A spanking or beating with a paddle.
Paddling of ducks: a company of ducks on water—Lipton, 1970. of schoolchildren schoolchildren school npl → écoliers mpl;
(at secondary school) → collégiens mpl; lycéens mpl
schoolchildren school and graffiti vandals became topics of serious debate, though both were defeated.
GOP leaders acknowledge that by allowing those bills to come out of committee - with dozens of others - last week, they may have tarnished their first foray into Verb 1. foray into - enter someone else's territory and take spoils; "The pirates raided the coastal villages regularly"
encroach upon, intrude on, obtrude upon, invade - to intrude upon, infringe, encroach on, violate; "This new colleague invades my power in 15 years and threatened the stability and focus of the Republican caucus.
"Stuff like the paddling bills, it probably shouldn't have been brought up on the floor. All it does is become divisive," said Assemblyman Brett Granlund, R-Yucaipa.
Said one prominent Assembly Republican, who didn't want his name used: "We're perceived as the party with all the wacky bills. That makes caricatures of us."
Claremont College political science Professor Sherry Bebitch Jeffe said the danger is that the Republican Party could alienate To voluntarily convey or transfer title to real property by gift, disposition by will or the laws of Descent and Distribution, or by sale.
For example, a seller may alienate property by transferring to a buyer a parcel of the seller's land containing a house, in moderate voters.
"The prevailing image is that the Republican caucus in the Assembly has veered hard right and taken the Republican agenda with them," she said. "I don't see how that is going to be very good for them - not in this state and not in a general election year."
She added that Speaker Curt Pringle Curtis L. "Curt" Pringle (born June 27, 1959), is a politician from the U.S. state of California. Pringle, a conservative/libertarian Republican and onetime Speaker of the California State Assembly, is currently Mayor of Anaheim, California and runs his own public relations and , R-Garden Grove, "doesn't have the kind of control that he is perceived to have in his own caucus."
Pringle said he would not dictate legislation to caucus members.
"I'm not in a position to tell any member of our caucus that under no circumstances can they take up certain bill," he said. "That's the prerogative of that member."
Democrats have put their own spin on the Republicans' fringe bills.
"They're right on course for their own self-destruction," said Assemblywoman Jackie Speier Jackie Speier is a former Democratic member of the California State Senate who represented parts of San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. Early life
Speier was born May 14, 1950 in San Francisco, California. She earned a B.A. , D-South San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden . "What this is going to do is expose them for what they are. They are not representative of the population of this state. They are not representative of Republicans by and large, and they're going to have a real rude awakening unless they moderate their course."
Assemblyman Jim Brulte Jim Brulte (born April 13, 1956) is a Republican U.S. politician, who served as a California State Senator representing the 31st district, from 1996 to 2004. He also served as the Senate Republican leader from 2000 to 2004. , R-Rancho Cucamonga, said the caucus will become more focused, expressing some frustration that the bulk of the GOP's Assembly agenda largely has been overshadowed by what he called the fringe bills.
"We've passed historic welfare reform, tort reform and tax cuts," Brulte said. "That's the great news. The bad news is we haven't marketed that very well, so few people know we've done it."
In recent weeks there's been evidence of the leadership trying to control more conservative members.
Assemblyman Bruce Thompson, R-Temecula, one of the most conservative members in his caucus and an opponent to state-funded abortions, claims he was left off the influential Budget Committee by Pringle because of his views.
Pringle denied that he left Thompson off the panel because of his position on abortions.
Defining an agenda prompted a frank discussion among Republicans at a private caucus lunch Tuesday, where members questioned why the party was hell-bent on raising issues that were leaning heavily to the right, sources who attended said.
"You will see us put together clear packages on regulatory reform Regulatory Reform concerns improvements to the quality of government regulation.
At the international level, the "OECD Regulatory Reform Programme is aimed at helping governments improve regulatory quality -- that is, reforming regulations that raise unnecessary obstacles to , tax reform and welfare reform that refocus Verb 1. refocus - focus once again; The physicist refocused the light beam"
focus - cause to converge on or toward a central point; "Focus the light on this image"
2. our attention on what are priorities are," Pringle said.
But the Republican faction that wants to cut abortion funding and other relatively unpopular mainstream GOP proposals hasn't given up its vision, several said.
Political analysts, meanwhile, say the GOP has hurt itself by not defining its policy agenda earlier and in a more coherent form.
"The Republicans made some tactical errors essentially by not having a strategic plan," said former GOP Assembly aide Tony Quinn, a political consultant. "The problem they're facing now is they're not really delivering an agenda of items that the public can see will make their lives better."
Consolidating his party's power last week, Pringle slashed the Democratic caucus budget from $4.3 million to $2 million and gave most of the resources to Republican-held committee chairmanships, as well as $1 million to his own office.
The power the Republicans wield was evident on the floor last week, too.
Of the 199 bills flying out of the Assembly for either the Senate or the governor's desk last week, 153 were written by Republicans - about 77 percent, a review of the bills shows.
Just 43 of the successful bills were sponsored by the minority Democrats, or 22 percent. Assemblyman Dominic Cortese, the lone Reform Party member, wrote the other three bills.
Pringle held a news conference Friday to try to put the spotlight back on the bulk of the legislations, and away from gun and paddling bills.
He said the top priorities of the caucus are:
Tougher crime bills that impose stiffer sentences for felonies committed with a gun, call for the death penalty for gang-related homicides and ban conjugal visits in prison for the most serious criminals.
Business-friendly legislation that repeals the California Occupational Health and Safety minimum ergonomic standards ergonomic standards Occupational medicine A series of guidelines developed by OSHA–to address activities in the workplace with a high risk for injury that were designed to minimize repetitive motion injuries repetitive motion injury Cumulative trauma disorder Occupational medicine A work-related illness–eg, carpal tunnel syndrome caused by overuse of a particular musculoskeletal group to perform a task repeated hundreds to thousands of times/day; it is the , ends overtime requirements for part-time workers, and limits the amount of damages that can be awarded in a civil lawsuit.
Tax-cut measures that reduce the corporate income tax rate to 7.5 percent and exempt 50 percent of any capital gains.
Welfare measures that put a two-year limit on Aid to Families with Dependent Children Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was the name of a federal assistance program in effect from 1935 to 1997, which was administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. for able-bodied recipients and that place a cap on the amount they can receive.
As the bills move to the Democratic-controlled Senate, they face an uncertain future.
Because of the partisan split in the houses, some lawmakers are speculating that 1996 will be as unproductive as last year, when leadership fights paralyzed par·a·lyze
tr.v. par·a·lyzed, par·a·lyz·ing, par·a·lyz·es
1. To affect with paralysis; cause to be paralytic.
2. To make unable to move or act: paralyzed by fear. the Legislature.
"I don't think the governor is going to have a lot of bills to sign on his desk this year," Thompson said.