This just in: According to the Los Angeles Times , there’s no more back bench in the California Assembly. Apparently they’ve hauled it away to a garage sale. “New members do not sit meekly and keep quiet while they learn,” says the Times . “Even rookies will rebel.”
Everybody remembers what the leaders pushed five years ago the so-called “deregulation” of the power companies and how it led to disaster. That energy legislation passed without a single dissenting vote. But more than merely historical memory is motivating these frisky freshmen. Little something I like to call: Term Limits.
In California, term limits went into effect in 1997. Since then, rookies have been skating right out into the center of the rink. Of course, there are always complaints that the assembly is both too fast and too slow in passing legislation. Some complain that their colleagues are dragging their feet about a new energy bill. According to Assemblyman Joe Simitian, one of the rookies, “My mom used to say, ‘Honey, if you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.'” The assemblyman goes on to say, “Don’t let our regret of the past or fear of the future rob us of the courage to take action now.”
But other newcomers have good reason to oppose this same energy bill a controversial multi-billion-dollar bailout of a California power company. In the days before term limits, rarely did rookies act so independently of leadership. Now it’s different . . . and good for them! After all, representatives are supposed to represent, not rubber-stamp.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.