Something very fishy happened yesterday.
We again forced a vote to suspend the gas tax, beginning the day with a press conference at Stop & Shop Gasoline. You can see my remarks here. When we made the motion at the start of the Assembly Floor Session, the initial vote was 30 Yes, 32 No.
On our first attempt in March, not a single Democrat voted yes; this time 10 Democrats did. Our strategy of keeping on the pressure worked.
But then, apparently, someone read the defecting Democrats the riot act. It may have been Newsom himself, as shortly after the vote they were with him for a press conference. When they returned, they changed their votes.
One by one, they marched before the whole Assembly and announced the vote change. (See an example here.) By the time this Soviet-style reeducation was complete, only two Democrats remained in favor, and the final tally was 23-47.
That is the way of our Capitol. Even when a Legislator wants to do the right thing, they are bribed or bullied out of it. But this isn’t over: we at least got the 10 to join our entire caucus in signing a letter urging the Speaker to bring the bill to the Assembly Floor by Friday.
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