An interesting shift in political strategy and policy negotiations was felt through the Capitol on Friday, with news that a rising star in Democratic circles will immediately resign his seat in the state Senate.
Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, cited the need to spend time with his family in a statement announcing his resignation.
"My wife and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, from whom we have learned a great deal," said Rubio in a written statement. "Our youngest child, who has special needs, has given me great perspective as to life's priorities and our eldest has reminded me that the most critical decisions are made at home and not under the Capitol dome."
OK, so big deal, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.
There are now three vacancies in the Legislature's upper house, all Democrats who have left their elected posts early (the first two were senators who won seats in Congress last fall). That means only 26 Democrats, one short of the supermajority. While Democrats are no doubt favorites to ultimately retain enough seats to resume their supermajority status, the temporary drop in power ends talk of any immediate actions on issues ranging from taxes to urgency measures and beyond.
So until special elections can be held to fill at least one of those three seats, a united GOP bloc in the CA State Senate can now stop any major legislation. They went from powerless to minority veto power for just about anything. Again.
But here's the real kicker:
His statement says he will accept a government relations job with Chevron.
You know, "government relations". Lobbyist. Best what, couple hundred thousand ever? All spent for six months or so of being able to at least try to block any major environmental, energy, or tax laws? Seems like a damn good deal to me if you're Chevron. Well played, Evil Mustache-Twirling Dudes. Well played.