That the California Meeting would spend its first day of the 12 months calling for the removing of President Donald Trump — per week after he sicced a mob of white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and hooligans on Congress — is about as shocking as summer time fog in San Francisco. Democrats maintain a super-majority in each chambers of the Legislature.
But it surely was not a welcome first vote for California’s elected Republicans. The selection offered to them: Both castigate a president nonetheless wildly common inside their very own celebration or take a vote that may be construed average and unbiased voters as, if not pro-insurrection, then at the very least insurrection-tolerant.
In its first vote of the 2021-22 legislative session, the Meeting voted 51-to-6 on a nonbinding decision calling for the president to resign — and absent that, for his removing his Cupboard or Congress.
The outcomes had been partyline, with solely Democrats voting “sure” and Republicans voting “no.” Leaving out excused absences, 11 lawmakers ducked voting both method — all of them Republican, together with the GOP’s Meeting chief, Marie Waldron of Escondido.
That the decision was authored Assemblymember Chad Mayes of Rancho Mirage solely bolstered the robust dilemma going through the chamber’s remaining Republicans. Mayes, a former Republican Meeting chief, deserted the GOP early final 12 months citing what he referred to as his colleagues’ blind loyalty to a harmful president. In November, Mayes received reelection to the Legislature as a political unbiased — the primary such victory in 20 years.
“The president’s continuous, unsubstantiated and false claims that the election was rigged and fraudulently stolen from him had been the sparks that lit the fireplace that has now engulfed our nation,” Mayes stated as he launched the decision.
Talking after the Meeting recessed, Mayes stated he had hoped his colleagues would have handed it unanimously.
“On this difficulty, once you take the celebration blinders off, this was a quite simple query to reply and that’s: Did the president of the USA incite a mob? Did he incite insurrectionists?” he stated. “And if he did, what are we going to do about it?”
Assemblymember Waldron didn’t reply to a request for remark.
California Republicans have confronted the political drawback since Trump’s rise to energy. Fealty to the president is a precondition for incomes the assist of a lot of the celebration’s base. However allegiance to him is disqualifying within the eyes of the vast majority of state voters, who disapprove of Trump’s job efficiency a two-to-one margin.
In the present day’s vote exhibits that the bind will persist for California Republicans till the very finish of Trump’s presidency — and maybe lengthy after.
Others who didn’t vote on the Meeting decision included Republicans from the state’s remaining purple districts: Jordan Cunningham of San Luis Obispo and Tom Lackey of Lancaster, for instance, each symbolize districts the place registered Democrats outnumber Republicans.
Newly elected members Kelly Seyarto of Murrieta, Janet Nguyen and Laurie Davies of Orange County and Suzette Valladares of Simi Valley additionally sidestepped voting.
In a press release, Valladares stated that whereas she was “appalled the actions of final week…Congress is already empowered to behave. Californians have requested California legislators to resolve the issues we face particular to California.”
Devon Mathis of Visalia, one of many six Republicans to vote in opposition to the decision and the one one to talk in opposition to it made an identical argument, condemning the violence however questioning the Legislature’s priorities.
“We’ve got folks dying of COVID, we’ve areas in our state the place households nonetheless can’t put meals on their tables, we’ve folks in my district that also dwell in Third World situation and nonetheless don’t have working water,” Mathis stated. “However as an alternative, the very first thing we do on the ground in California is throw a political punch at a lame duck. I believe that’s lame.”
One more non-voting Assemblymember was GOP Republican Randy Voepel. This marked a step again from feedback the reliably conservative member made to the San Diego Union-Tribune this weekend, wherein he in contrast the violence on the U.S. Capitol final week to the “shot heard ‘around the world” on the battles at Lexington and Harmony and warned of the approaching “tyranny” below a Joe Biden administration.
Voepel later issued a press release saying that he does “not condone or assist the violence and lawlessness” and provided his condolences to the households of those that died.
Nor was he the primary California Republican to stroll again feedback made in response to the storming of Congress. On the day of the occasions, GOP Senate Chief Shannon Grove tweeted the unsupported and wildly implausible declare that the violence was the work of leftist activists in disguise. Grove deleted the tweet quickly after and issued a brand new assertion which appeared to melt the declare with out solely contradicting it.
In his speech on the Meeting ground at present, Mayes appeared to deal with Grove’s tweet particularly.
“We’ve got colleagues that took to social media to deflect blame, however the photos of Accomplice flags, MAGA hats and the ever-present QAnon image leaves little question whose mob it was,” he stated. Quoting again a line from Trump’s 2017 inaugural tackle, Mayes declared: “This American carnage lays on the toes of just one particular person.”
Within the California Senate — additionally going through a legislative plate stuffed with COVID reduction payments, a coming eviction wave and upcoming affirmation hearings for secretary of state and legal professional common — there aren’t any plans but to go an identical decision.
However some Democrats have responded to the violence in Washington in their very own method. Two Southern California senators — Henry Stern of Calabasas and Tom Umberg of Santa Ana — say they are going to introduce payments requiring state regulation enforcement to redouble its efforts investigating and prosecuting white nationalist gangs and anti-government militias, lots of which had been well-represented in final week’s Capitol riot.
What the dysfunction in Washington confirmed is that “we’re not doing sufficient — whether or not it’s on the federal, state or native degree — to deal with these threats,” stated Umberg. “I hope we no means have one other day like this once more. I hope it’s memorable.
“If it’s not memorable, disgrace on us.”