This time of year my email box fills up with press releases from Republican legislators, touting the passage of one of their bills through a committee, or off the floor of one of the houses of the State Legislature.
The releases, of course, are mostly crafted to draw attention, and to make a "big deal" out of this legislative feat.
Let me tell you that it is actually a pretty depressing time because all of these releases serve as dozens of reminders that the looney-left whackos control the legislature. You can tell because, almost without exception, the legislation being highlighted in these releases are…somewhere between non-impactful or of slight impact — or of no real impact at all.
I will pick an example (although that’s like shooting fish in a barrel, it seems that just about every GOP legislator is carrying some non-impactful bill). Senate Bill 944, authored by my good friend and FR contributor Senator George Runner will proclaim "Ronald Reagan Day" for California. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this, after all, Reagan did a lot of great things as Governor of California. But I have already seen press releases coming out from multiple GOP legislators praising this bill as it moves through the process, picking up support from Democrats who know that it allows them to create a patina of bipartisanship on a resolution that does not make any changes to our overtaxed and overregulated way of doing things.
I am not advocating the cessation of these kinds of bills from Republicans — but what I am concerned about is that legislative progress on these kinds of non-impactful bills not be trumpeted in way so as to make the public think that the Democrats who are killing this state’s economy are somehow acting in a bipartisan way by supporting them.
The most meaningful bills introduced by Republican legislators are routinely killed by the majority party. Most of these bills, of course, seek to reduce the role of state government (lower taxes, lower fees, reduce or eliminate regulations).
GOP legislators seeking to demonstrate an ability to legislate, even in a legislature dominated by advocates of big government, trumpet "victories" such as commemorative license plates, naming a state holiday, or a bill to study this or study that. I "get it" that while in the minority party, there is still an inherent desirability to show that one can pass bills (especially with lame newspaper articles abounding that equate competence as a legislator with the ability to navigate bills through the Democrat-controlled legislature).
That having been said, I would like to propose to our Republican legislators two things.
The first is that, by no means, should you stop introducing the meaningful and substantive bills that you know the liberals from other party will kill. But each and every time that they do so, you should put out a press release blasting the majority party for doing so. Frankly, you should also be putting out releases when they kill the great bills of other Republicans, for which you voted. The public needs to know what is (or isn’t) taking place in the Capitol.
Secondly, I think that you should add "boilerplate" disclaimers to press releases that you send out touting these significantly less impactful bills that the Democrats have either watered down, or really are not taking a step towards deconstructing California’s modern welfare state.
Here is some sample language:
"Please be advised that the Democrats who control the state legislature have killed, on party-line votes, legislation that I have either authored or supported that would work to improve California’s business climate and create non-government jobs. While I am pleased that the legislation that I am highlighting in this release is moving forward, please do not let progress on this piece of less impactful legislation present you with some impression that Democrats have joined with Republicans to make this state a better place to live and work — they have not."