Key Issues Facing the Legislature in Upcoming Races

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Barring something very much unexpected, it seems that Yolo County voters will have two contested Democratic primaries for the state legislature. One that is already well underway is the 8th Assembly District Race between West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Yolo County Supervisor Mariko Yamada. That one had their first debate last week, if you can believe that.

The other one may be getting underway soon, is the Fifth Senate District where current Assemblywoman Lois Wolk is widely expected to face John Garamendi, Jr, son of the current Lt. Governor and likely 2010 Governor candidate, John Garamendi. Last Sunday, Garamendi, Sr. spoke in Davis and sounded not only like a candidate, but looked like a frontrunner for the nomination and probably the Governor’s Mansion itself. He may be the strongest candidate the Democrats have had in California in a generation.

Key issues face both races, perhaps none bigger right now than the healthcare issue. On June 28, 2007 at 1 pm on the West Side of the Capitol Steps will be a massive rally for healthcare. Currently a couple of versions of universal single-payer health care are making their way through the legislature.

A number of advocacy groups have gotten together with some of the larger labor unions to really press the issue, but you have to wonder with Governor Schwarzenegger still in office, if all of this is a moot point. This is where Lt. Governor Garamendi spoke so forcefully, calling for a single-payer system and describing in detail how the system has worked with Medicare and that we need simply to begin expanding that system and its coverage to the rest of the population.

In the course of the push for health care and support of a number of proposals in the legislature, it was shocking to learn that one of the members targeted by the group for their weak and/ or lukewarm support was our own Assemblywoman Lois Wolk. While former Assemblywoman Helen Thomson was always a stalwart on health issues on a broad array of fronts, it seems that Wolk has been less of a champion. She was on the list of legislators to lobby, hopefully the hundreds of cards and letters have pushed her into stronger support for health care reform.

Given the number of uninsured Californians, the effect on their quality of life and the effect on the overall economy, this bill is essential. Last summer, I witnessed first hand what happens to people without insurance. My friend experienced a catastrophic illness while he was unemployed and uninsured. The county system is insufficient to deal with the needs. Even for the indigent, the result is a huge medical bill and perhaps a lifetime of debt. And when the system knows that you cannot pay, they give you substandard care. Twice Sutter Davis released a man who was too weak to walk by his own devices, once he was found sitting on the curb on Covell too weak to walk any further and the other time they gave him a cab ride home but he could not climb his stairs to get inside. It was unconscionable and yet somewhat the standard operating procedure.

Education is a perennial issue of importance. This year we see that budget shortfalls once again lead to tuition hikes for UC and CSU students. This is far from the only issue facing higher education. The loss of affirmative action in 1996, means that the then-meager numbers of African American students and instructors have fallen still further. I would like to hear from all of the candidates as to how we can reverse that trend. This is of course not just a problem of higher education, but of all levels as Davis Joint Unified has struggled to bring in minority teachers.

An issue dear to my heart is that of civil rights and unfortunately at the 8th Assembly District debate, I did not get to hear the views of the candidates on issues of civil rights. West Sacramento made news of course in recent months when its Gang Injunction was struck down. Cabaldon as mayor has been fairly quiet on that issue of late, despite his support for it in the past. Moreover, there are a number of bills currently moving through the legislature that would restore access to public records about police officers in citizen complaints as well as other civilian review functions that have been struck down by the courts who argued that they violated police officer’s rights to privacy.

Finally, a big issue in recent months has been the potential outsourcing of state jobs. Governor Schwarzenegger has at times proposed outsourcing various state level jobs, such as printing, to outside of the state claiming that it would save the state money. While that may sound like a laudable goal, his ulterior motive is to cut jobs for state union workers. He has recently proposed privatization of the CA State Lottery in an attempt to lease the lottery operations to private companies such as Goldman Sachs. The result would be the loss of hundreds of well-paying unions jobs with wages and benefits.

Closer to home the burning issue of Sodexho Workers attempting to become university employees so that they can get higher wages and benefits has been thwarted by an indifferent upper administration. While Assemblywoman Wolk has made some overtures on behalf of the students, her recent actions this week call into question her commitment on that issue. Wolk walked right past protesters on her way to Chancellor Vanderhoef’s end of the year party. In fact, the only public official who paid the protesters any heed was Assembly candidate Yamada.

Organizing and unionization should be core issues for any Democrat. Garamendi, Sr. has an excellent record on labor issues and always receives very strong union support. Wolk’s record in the Assembly has made labor unions uncomfortable and many are actively encouraging Garamendi, Jr. to throw his hat in the race. Cabaldon has earned the ire of labor unions for a variety of policy positions including bringing a Wal-Mart Superstore to West Sacramento, whereas Yamada enjoys strong support from local and state unions. Will labor matter in the upcoming elections? We’ll find out.

If Cabaldon and Yamada square off again, I hope they can ask questions that are more likely to bring out some of the differences in these candidates. Meantime, hopefully in the next month or so, we will find out if Garamendi, Jr. throws his hat into the ring. Regardless, this next year will be very interesting here in Davis and Yolo County.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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60 thoughts on “Key Issues Facing the Legislature in Upcoming Races”

  1. davisite

    “Garamendi, Sr. spoke in Davis and sounded not only like a candidate, but looked like a frontrunner for the nomination and probably the Governor’s Mansion itself.”

    Antonio Vallarigosa,mayor of LA, is said to be eyeing the Governer’s mansion as well..this could be a too-close-to-call primary race.

  2. davisite

    “Garamendi, Sr. spoke in Davis and sounded not only like a candidate, but looked like a frontrunner for the nomination and probably the Governor’s Mansion itself.”

    Antonio Vallarigosa,mayor of LA, is said to be eyeing the Governer’s mansion as well..this could be a too-close-to-call primary race.

  3. davisite

    “Garamendi, Sr. spoke in Davis and sounded not only like a candidate, but looked like a frontrunner for the nomination and probably the Governor’s Mansion itself.”

    Antonio Vallarigosa,mayor of LA, is said to be eyeing the Governer’s mansion as well..this could be a too-close-to-call primary race.

  4. davisite

    “Garamendi, Sr. spoke in Davis and sounded not only like a candidate, but looked like a frontrunner for the nomination and probably the Governor’s Mansion itself.”

    Antonio Vallarigosa,mayor of LA, is said to be eyeing the Governer’s mansion as well..this could be a too-close-to-call primary race.

  5. Suzanne

    Villaraigosa is a good Mayor and has a lot of support; however,Garamendi probably has more appeal to voters outside of LA.

    Villaraigosa may want to look at a Lt. Governor position.

  6. Suzanne

    Villaraigosa is a good Mayor and has a lot of support; however,Garamendi probably has more appeal to voters outside of LA.

    Villaraigosa may want to look at a Lt. Governor position.

  7. Suzanne

    Villaraigosa is a good Mayor and has a lot of support; however,Garamendi probably has more appeal to voters outside of LA.

    Villaraigosa may want to look at a Lt. Governor position.

  8. Suzanne

    Villaraigosa is a good Mayor and has a lot of support; however,Garamendi probably has more appeal to voters outside of LA.

    Villaraigosa may want to look at a Lt. Governor position.

  9. davisite

    I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats. Add this to LA’s Democratic population and Villarigosa’s obvious charisma and you have a formidable candidate.The keys to the Governer’s mansion are either of theirs to lose when Arnold leaves.

  10. davisite

    I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats. Add this to LA’s Democratic population and Villarigosa’s obvious charisma and you have a formidable candidate.The keys to the Governer’s mansion are either of theirs to lose when Arnold leaves.

  11. davisite

    I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats. Add this to LA’s Democratic population and Villarigosa’s obvious charisma and you have a formidable candidate.The keys to the Governer’s mansion are either of theirs to lose when Arnold leaves.

  12. davisite

    I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats. Add this to LA’s Democratic population and Villarigosa’s obvious charisma and you have a formidable candidate.The keys to the Governer’s mansion are either of theirs to lose when Arnold leaves.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    “I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats.”

    Davisite, I love the way you never let facts get in your way.

    This quote is from the June 10, 2007 NY Times.

    “In the last presidential election, Hispanic voters accounted for a significant part of the overall Democratic primary electorate in California (16 percent), New York (11 percent), Arizona (17 percent) and Florida (9 percent), all states that will hold primaries by Feb 5.”

    I would guess that the Hispanic vote in the Democratic Party is now much closer to 20 percent than Davisite’s bogus 50 percent.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    “I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats.”

    Davisite, I love the way you never let facts get in your way.

    This quote is from the June 10, 2007 NY Times.

    “In the last presidential election, Hispanic voters accounted for a significant part of the overall Democratic primary electorate in California (16 percent), New York (11 percent), Arizona (17 percent) and Florida (9 percent), all states that will hold primaries by Feb 5.”

    I would guess that the Hispanic vote in the Democratic Party is now much closer to 20 percent than Davisite’s bogus 50 percent.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    “I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats.”

    Davisite, I love the way you never let facts get in your way.

    This quote is from the June 10, 2007 NY Times.

    “In the last presidential election, Hispanic voters accounted for a significant part of the overall Democratic primary electorate in California (16 percent), New York (11 percent), Arizona (17 percent) and Florida (9 percent), all states that will hold primaries by Feb 5.”

    I would guess that the Hispanic vote in the Democratic Party is now much closer to 20 percent than Davisite’s bogus 50 percent.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    “I am told that Hispanics now make up a near majority of California Democrats.”

    Davisite, I love the way you never let facts get in your way.

    This quote is from the June 10, 2007 NY Times.

    “In the last presidential election, Hispanic voters accounted for a significant part of the overall Democratic primary electorate in California (16 percent), New York (11 percent), Arizona (17 percent) and Florida (9 percent), all states that will hold primaries by Feb 5.”

    I would guess that the Hispanic vote in the Democratic Party is now much closer to 20 percent than Davisite’s bogus 50 percent.

  17. davisite

    Note that I was referring to POTENTIAL Hispanic votes not those who actually voted. The Vallarigosa campaign will undoubtedly energize this Hispanic electorate that has a history of low voter turnout.

  18. davisite

    Note that I was referring to POTENTIAL Hispanic votes not those who actually voted. The Vallarigosa campaign will undoubtedly energize this Hispanic electorate that has a history of low voter turnout.

  19. davisite

    Note that I was referring to POTENTIAL Hispanic votes not those who actually voted. The Vallarigosa campaign will undoubtedly energize this Hispanic electorate that has a history of low voter turnout.

  20. davisite

    Note that I was referring to POTENTIAL Hispanic votes not those who actually voted. The Vallarigosa campaign will undoubtedly energize this Hispanic electorate that has a history of low voter turnout.

  21. davisite

    My recollection of a NY Times article about 5 years ago reported that the “white” CA eligible voting population was a minority(less than 50%) as compared to the “brown” eligible voting population which was made up for the most part of potential Hispanic voters.

  22. davisite

    My recollection of a NY Times article about 5 years ago reported that the “white” CA eligible voting population was a minority(less than 50%) as compared to the “brown” eligible voting population which was made up for the most part of potential Hispanic voters.

  23. davisite

    My recollection of a NY Times article about 5 years ago reported that the “white” CA eligible voting population was a minority(less than 50%) as compared to the “brown” eligible voting population which was made up for the most part of potential Hispanic voters.

  24. davisite

    My recollection of a NY Times article about 5 years ago reported that the “white” CA eligible voting population was a minority(less than 50%) as compared to the “brown” eligible voting population which was made up for the most part of potential Hispanic voters.

  25. 無名 - wu ming

    it’s all way too far out to call much of anything for 2008, much less 2010. i do find it curious that garamendi jr. doesn’t seem to say much of anything, for a guy rumored to be running for state senate next summer.

  26. 無名 - wu ming

    it’s all way too far out to call much of anything for 2008, much less 2010. i do find it curious that garamendi jr. doesn’t seem to say much of anything, for a guy rumored to be running for state senate next summer.

  27. 無名 - wu ming

    it’s all way too far out to call much of anything for 2008, much less 2010. i do find it curious that garamendi jr. doesn’t seem to say much of anything, for a guy rumored to be running for state senate next summer.

  28. 無名 - wu ming

    it’s all way too far out to call much of anything for 2008, much less 2010. i do find it curious that garamendi jr. doesn’t seem to say much of anything, for a guy rumored to be running for state senate next summer.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “ps. it’s villaraigosa, davisite.”

    His name is interesting. Before gettting married, his surname was Villar, his bride’s was Raigosa. They melded them to invent the new name, Villaraigosa. Unfortunately for Mrs. Villaraigosa, her husband allegedly is a philanderer, having melded with other women during their marriage. She has sued him for divorce. It makes me wonder if he will change his last name back to Villar, soon.

    Another interesting thing about Antonio Villaraigosa is the fact that he graduated from law school, but failed over and over again to pass the bar exam, eventually giving up on it and never becoming a lawyer.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “ps. it’s villaraigosa, davisite.”

    His name is interesting. Before gettting married, his surname was Villar, his bride’s was Raigosa. They melded them to invent the new name, Villaraigosa. Unfortunately for Mrs. Villaraigosa, her husband allegedly is a philanderer, having melded with other women during their marriage. She has sued him for divorce. It makes me wonder if he will change his last name back to Villar, soon.

    Another interesting thing about Antonio Villaraigosa is the fact that he graduated from law school, but failed over and over again to pass the bar exam, eventually giving up on it and never becoming a lawyer.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “ps. it’s villaraigosa, davisite.”

    His name is interesting. Before gettting married, his surname was Villar, his bride’s was Raigosa. They melded them to invent the new name, Villaraigosa. Unfortunately for Mrs. Villaraigosa, her husband allegedly is a philanderer, having melded with other women during their marriage. She has sued him for divorce. It makes me wonder if he will change his last name back to Villar, soon.

    Another interesting thing about Antonio Villaraigosa is the fact that he graduated from law school, but failed over and over again to pass the bar exam, eventually giving up on it and never becoming a lawyer.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “ps. it’s villaraigosa, davisite.”

    His name is interesting. Before gettting married, his surname was Villar, his bride’s was Raigosa. They melded them to invent the new name, Villaraigosa. Unfortunately for Mrs. Villaraigosa, her husband allegedly is a philanderer, having melded with other women during their marriage. She has sued him for divorce. It makes me wonder if he will change his last name back to Villar, soon.

    Another interesting thing about Antonio Villaraigosa is the fact that he graduated from law school, but failed over and over again to pass the bar exam, eventually giving up on it and never becoming a lawyer.

  33. davisite

    It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa as he violated one of Rifkin’s basic political tenets when he held the LA police department accountable for their abuse of peaceful demonstrators and news photographers recently. Villarigosa is very popular with the LA Democratic voters. His divorce,if it actually happens, will be old news by the time he runs for governer. The LA Times recently had an “ambush” newspiece from anonymous sources on the negative political impact of Villarigosa’s martial troubles…. not surprising as the LA Times’ new Chicago-based conservative owners first order of business was a political purging of the LA news staff.

  34. davisite

    It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa as he violated one of Rifkin’s basic political tenets when he held the LA police department accountable for their abuse of peaceful demonstrators and news photographers recently. Villarigosa is very popular with the LA Democratic voters. His divorce,if it actually happens, will be old news by the time he runs for governer. The LA Times recently had an “ambush” newspiece from anonymous sources on the negative political impact of Villarigosa’s martial troubles…. not surprising as the LA Times’ new Chicago-based conservative owners first order of business was a political purging of the LA news staff.

  35. davisite

    It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa as he violated one of Rifkin’s basic political tenets when he held the LA police department accountable for their abuse of peaceful demonstrators and news photographers recently. Villarigosa is very popular with the LA Democratic voters. His divorce,if it actually happens, will be old news by the time he runs for governer. The LA Times recently had an “ambush” newspiece from anonymous sources on the negative political impact of Villarigosa’s martial troubles…. not surprising as the LA Times’ new Chicago-based conservative owners first order of business was a political purging of the LA news staff.

  36. davisite

    It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa as he violated one of Rifkin’s basic political tenets when he held the LA police department accountable for their abuse of peaceful demonstrators and news photographers recently. Villarigosa is very popular with the LA Democratic voters. His divorce,if it actually happens, will be old news by the time he runs for governer. The LA Times recently had an “ambush” newspiece from anonymous sources on the negative political impact of Villarigosa’s martial troubles…. not surprising as the LA Times’ new Chicago-based conservative owners first order of business was a political purging of the LA news staff.

  37. Rich Rifkin

    “It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa…”

    Yes, it is very surprising, as I never attacked Villaraigosa. I simply pointed out a few interesting facts that I know about the guy.

  38. Rich Rifkin

    “It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa…”

    Yes, it is very surprising, as I never attacked Villaraigosa. I simply pointed out a few interesting facts that I know about the guy.

  39. Rich Rifkin

    “It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa…”

    Yes, it is very surprising, as I never attacked Villaraigosa. I simply pointed out a few interesting facts that I know about the guy.

  40. Rich Rifkin

    “It is not at all surpirsing to see Rifkin attacking Villarigosa…”

    Yes, it is very surprising, as I never attacked Villaraigosa. I simply pointed out a few interesting facts that I know about the guy.

  41. 無名 - wu ming

    i eagerly await rifkin’s “observations” on the “interesting” family lives and sexual misadventures of moral exemplars such as rudy giuliani, john mccain, newt gingrich, ronald reagan, henry hyde and arnold schwarzeneggar. or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?

    i will admit his name is pretty interesting.

  42. 無名 - wu ming

    i eagerly await rifkin’s “observations” on the “interesting” family lives and sexual misadventures of moral exemplars such as rudy giuliani, john mccain, newt gingrich, ronald reagan, henry hyde and arnold schwarzeneggar. or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?

    i will admit his name is pretty interesting.

  43. 無名 - wu ming

    i eagerly await rifkin’s “observations” on the “interesting” family lives and sexual misadventures of moral exemplars such as rudy giuliani, john mccain, newt gingrich, ronald reagan, henry hyde and arnold schwarzeneggar. or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?

    i will admit his name is pretty interesting.

  44. 無名 - wu ming

    i eagerly await rifkin’s “observations” on the “interesting” family lives and sexual misadventures of moral exemplars such as rudy giuliani, john mccain, newt gingrich, ronald reagan, henry hyde and arnold schwarzeneggar. or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?

    i will admit his name is pretty interesting.

  45. Rich Rifkin

    “or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?”

    Wu, you know nothing about me if you don’t understand that I am not a partisan. Your question reveals your ignorance — and likely your own bias.

  46. Rich Rifkin

    “or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?”

    Wu, you know nothing about me if you don’t understand that I am not a partisan. Your question reveals your ignorance — and likely your own bias.

  47. Rich Rifkin

    “or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?”

    Wu, you know nothing about me if you don’t understand that I am not a partisan. Your question reveals your ignorance — and likely your own bias.

  48. Rich Rifkin

    “or is one’s family life only fair game when you’ve got a D next to your name?”

    Wu, you know nothing about me if you don’t understand that I am not a partisan. Your question reveals your ignorance — and likely your own bias.

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