Saturday, May 18, 2013

How Did Chris Holden Become State Assembly Majority Whip? (Hint: The Answer Is Green)

Of course I've got my hand out
You'd think that a legislator would need to have at least a couple of years in the California State Assembly under his belt before getting a senior post like State Assembly Majority Whip. As the sixth ranking Democratic Party position of power in our de facto one party State Assembly in Sacramento, and someone who works directly with the Speaker of the Assembly in helping to create and enact important legislation on behalf of the people of California, it is a position that most might assume would only be given to someone with years of experience and seniority.

And yet Chris Holden, freshman Assemblyman from our very own 41st Assembly District, achieved the senior position of State Assembly Majority Whip (link) only a few short weeks after being elected to office for the very first time. Along with some other rather plum assignments. Here is how the happy news is celebrated in a press release on Chris's very own official State Assembly website (link):

Holden Named to Key Assembly Committees

Created on Thursday, 03 January 2013 16:11
Sacramento – Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) was today appointed by Assembly Speaker John Perez to several key committees. Holden, who serves as Majority Whip, will also serve on the Appropriations Committee, Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, Labor and Employment Committee and Transportation Committee.

"I am pleased and honored to participate in these important committee assignments to improve the lives of all Californians," said Assemblymember Holden. "Many of these committees are areas in which I have some experience from my years working in the Pasadena City Council, the Burbank Airport Authority, and with Metro Gold Line. I look forward to putting that experience to work dealing with the challenges facing our district and our state."

Assemblymember Holden represents the 41st Assembly District which includes the communities of Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, and Upland.

CONTACT: Wendy Gordon, (626) 720-3409

So how did he manage to get all that? The press release doesn't say. But according to the Center for Investigative Reporting (link), Freshman Assemblyman Chris Holden apparently paid Speaker John Perez $199,000 in targeted campaign donations for these prestigious and influential positions. It would seem that this is how they get it done in our vastly corrupt State Legislature.

In an article titled "California speaker gives Assembly's juiciest jobs to biggest fundraisers," here is how the Center for Investigative Reporting describes this "process:"

In May 2012 and again in June, Speaker John A. Pérez wrote memos to Democrats in the California Assembly. He wanted millions in campaign cash to win a handful of key races.

At stake, Pérez wrote, was their party’s control of the Assembly – and, as it turned out, the perks and power enjoyed by the lawmakers themselves.

“It is critical that we band together to maximize our financial resources,” the burly Los Angeles legislative leader wrote in the memos, copies of which were obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The lawmakers gave Pérez what he wanted, state campaign finance records show.

Exploiting loopholes in a law enacted to stanch the flow of big money in state politics, the Assembly Democrats pumped $5.8 million into the campaigns Pérez designated, a CIR data analysis shows. The infusion of cash helped the Democrats win a supermajority in the Capitol: two-thirds control of the Legislature for the first time since 1883.

The system also paid off for the speaker’s biggest fundraisers in the Assembly.

According to the data, Pérez gave lawmakers who raised the most money the best assignments in the new Legislature – posts on the speaker’s leadership team and seats on the powerful “juice committees.”

These are seven of the Assembly’s 30 standing policy committees. They control bills affecting the financial bottom line for the Capitol’s wealthiest interest groups: from banks, insurance companies and public utilities to casinos, racetracks and liquor distributors. For lawmakers who serve on them, the committees are a source of political campaign “juice”: abundant donations.

Pérez’s spokesman John Vigna said the speaker makes legislative assignments based on merits, not money.

“There is absolutely no connection, zero connection, between Speaker Pérez’s leadership selections and any political considerations, including fundraising,” he said.

“Speaker Pérez chooses his leadership team based on their ability to serve the people of California” and nothing else, Vigna added.

CIR’s analysis of more than 38,000 contributions to Assembly Democrats in the 2011-12 campaign shows a link between donations to the speaker’s targeted races and a lawmaker’s prospects for important legislative assignments.

Among the findings:

The mega-donors to Pérez’s targets – three lawmakers who gave more than $250,000 – obtained positions of power. Each was named to either a leadership post or chairmanship of a juice committee, along with a seat on at least one juice committee. The top donor, Toni Atkins of San Diego, was named Assembly majority floor leader – next to the speaker, the top leadership post.

Lawmakers who gave more than $150,000 were likely to get multiple important posts. All 18 got one juice committee seat, and 16 got a leadership post, chairmanship of a juice committee or a seat on a second juice committee.

Lawmakers who gave less got less. Donors who contributed less than $150,000 stood a 13 percent chance of heading a juice committee or joining the leadership. No lawmaker who gave less than $40,000 was named chairman of a juice committee.

So does Chris Holden, paid up power player in our State Assembly, give preferential treatment to those interests who fronted him the dough he needed to buy influence in Sacramento? Let me put it this way, chances are you are not someone who gave Chris a substantial check. Have you received any phone calls from your State Assemblyman lately?

And if you had given our brand new State Assembly Majority Whip a large check in the last year or so, do you think that maybe you would be able to get him on the phone if there was something you needed? Of course you could. Isn't that what you paid for?

Without that money Chris Holden would be just be another rank and file guy with nothing much of value to sell. Access is money and money is power. He owes you.

Who helped Holden buy his positions of influence in Sacramento? Thanks to Follow the Money.org, that information is only one click away (link). Just to whet your appetite, Chris has received over $1,000,000 in campaign donations from influence hungry organizations. It really is quite a list.

And who is Chris's #1 campaign donor? The California Association of Realtors.

Go figure.

For a great video that accompanies the CfIR report, click here.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

34 comments:

  1. Money? So that's how it's done? Who'd a thunk it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry, but Sacramento is not for sale. Obviously they are rental properties.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is why Holden didn't have to go out and campaign. He just made a few phone calls to Labor groups and told them it was time to pony up some money. You notice he received no money from individuals, it's all institutional money. Some groups are paying for future favors, some are paying to keep Holden and the dems off their backs. Sorta like the mafia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Special interests invest in crooks like Holden for the protection he can give them. It is the Mafia.

      Delete
    2. here's the rule of life for politics: Quid Pro Quo. It's all you need to know.

      Delete
  4. OMG! The MPT* must be dreaming "that's me in 4 years" dreams. Isn't this what he's aiming for? He just doesn't have the years to waste in the run up to office. Oh, and he's the spawn of the trash industry not the scion of a prominent local pol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Politics is the trash industry.

      Delete
    2. It is part of the process.

      Delete
  5. 20 years on the Pasadena City Council prepared Holden for the thug life.

    ReplyDelete
  6. " I have some experience from my years working in the Pasadena City Council, the Burbank Airport Authority, and with Metro Gold Line. " Well then please explain why the one use of Metro that people would value most, a connection to the Burbank airpaort, is not in existence?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The worse part of the story is that it gives a new money idea source to John Harbedian. Now we know how he is about to raise money for that next open legislator spot. Mom, Dad, law firms and a few organizations. That is government today - SICK!

    ReplyDelete
  8. No wonder California is in such awful shape. We're being run by organized crime.

    ReplyDelete
  9. And to think, it could have been Joe Mosca.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nah, even crooks have standards.
      They would never know which face Joe would use.

      Delete
    2. Good point. Organized crime is often quid pro quo. The only person Joe Mosca ever thought about was Joe Mosca.

      Delete
  10. The video is great. I love the Chris Holden bobblehead.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Johnny Process is in a bit of a quandry. The Assembly seat is Holden's for the next several years. So, JP can either move into another district (not sure his mother would allow that)or he needs to find some other low level position to run for. He's not savvy enough or a hard enough worker to be a Deomcrat strategist and work for the party, Johnny Process needs to be the elected puppet for someone else. He does understand that one needs the support of the teachers and the police; that's the reason he took their money and became their puppet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johnny Process has been crippled by his life of privilege. He has no idea how to authentically relate to the regular folks, and certainly cannot explain himself. Tom Wolfe had a great term for people like Johnny. Trust fund trash.

      Delete
  12. Remember when they had that little suck up party for Holden at Enid Joffe's house? And they made a big deal about "Republican" Bart Doyle crossing over to support Holden? All you have to do is take a look at some of the bums on the list of those who give money to Holden to know what really motivated the Bartster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bart Doyle is no Republican. He had an OBAMA bumper sticker on his car, same as John Buchanan. Bart registered as a Republican with hopes of being an Assemblyman, but the Republican Party rejected him.
      That was when Reps were elected in this area. Again, Bart is not a Republican.

      Delete
  13. wow, I knew Sacramento was corrupt, but not to this extent. Oh, Johnny knows how to relate to the "little people" all right, give them our tax $$$ and they will vote for him. It's the same for all the modern Demos, known as progressives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So Barty is even more unethical and deceptive than we thought... What a piece of c**p.

      Delete
    2. Get ready for another water rate hike to pay for his water bond spending spree.

      Delete
    3. Doyle and his messenger boys like Buchanan and Moran are a cancer on this town.

      Delete
    4. We'll be paying for Bart's boneheaded bond moves for the next 20 years. What a genius.

      Delete
    5. REPLY...

      I was told that the city has failed to pay for the water & sewer which they use.

      If that's true, the city can stick those New Proposed Water Surcharges up there _ehind where the Sun does not shine.

      Delete
  14. Water is the only issue for discussion!

    1. We can live with police & fire,

    But we can not live without water,

    Summer requires more water,

    The city employees & city council have a fiduciary responsibility to all residents who live in this town,

    If the city fails to provide water at an acceptable price, I will participate in a "Class Action Law Suit - starting with city management & city council".

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am thinking of buying a chicken suit. I want to see if I can cause a new Sierra Madre City Council meeting sensation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard that chickens get an extra two minutes at public comment. Apparently Josh is partial to them.

      Delete
    2. I understand that Nancy has a chicken phobia. I believe that a six foot 200 pound chicken might send her over the edge....

      Delete
    3. 4 or 5 bare legged men in rooster suits doing the chicken dance for the City Council could have a transformative effect on this town.

      Delete
    4. I think the kid is on to something

      Delete
    5. I hope he doesn't lay an egg.

      Delete
  16. Water issues///

    Looks like city hall really up set somebody?

    I get it...

    Most of the city residents are chickens....

    ReplyDelete

The Tattler is a moderated blog. Annoying delays when posting comments can happen. Thank you for your patience and understanding.