Asm. Wagner: 18 Month Extension on Taxes Likely to Get Needed GOP Votes on Budget

State Assemblyman Don Wagner said Friday that if Governor Jerry Brown pushed forth an 18 month extension of the taxes instead of the five year plan Brown wants, the Governor would likely get the Republican votes he needs although Wagner made it clear, he wouldn’t be one of the Republicans voting to extend the taxes. 

Wagner made the comments while attending a “Family Fun” night at my neighborhood elementary school on Friday and I got to spend a few minutes with assemblyman.  Rep. Wagner is doing one thing Chuck DeVore seldom did — he puts himself out there in public, even if it is to preach to the faithful. 

I suggested to Mr. Wagner that perhaps, since his party is in the minority, they work towards a compromise on matters of the budget.  Wagner said the governor hasn’t done enough to with the Republicans in the Legislature; I disagreed citing the billions in cuts the Democrats and Gov. Brown have already completed.  I also reminded the assemblyman that more people in California agree with me than side with him, and he offered up that that’s changing (Mr. Wagner hasn’t seen the recent Rose Institute study citing that OC Republicans are in serious trouble). 

Another neighbor volunteered to Wagner that GOP strategist and pollster Frank Luntz would be making a trip to Orange County soon. I said that I admired Luntz’s ability to rebrand phrases that are negative and turn them into something palatable.  “You mean like pro-choice?” Wagner said.  I just shook my head.

Back to Wagner’s prediction that an 18 month window would garner the Republican votes Governor Brown needs, I find naive.  If Brown threw out an 18 month extension instead of the five year extension, the pressure on Republican legislators from The Flash Report, the Howard Jarvis Foundation, and the John and Ken show would browbeat them back into submission.  And it also brings yet another example of Republicans demanding compromises to legislation, getting them, and still not voting for the bills.  It happened with Heathcare Reform at the federal level and I certainly don’t trust our Republican state legislators to compromise.

One neighbor, who’s done the legislative action battles with me for years, asked me who he (Wagner) was.  I told her Assemblyman Don Wagner.  She asked, “will he do anything to help get us more money for our schools?”  I said, “Unlikely.”

I’ll concede one thing to the Assemblyman; unless Democrats can come up with a great candidate to beat him, we’re likely stuck with him for the next five years as he keeps the seat warm while delivering no meaningful legislation to impact the amount of state education dollars to our well-below average funded local school districts.

  9 comments for “Asm. Wagner: 18 Month Extension on Taxes Likely to Get Needed GOP Votes on Budget

  1. May 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    RE: “Rep. Wagner is doing one thing Chuck DeVore seldom did — he puts himself out there in public…” I’m glad to hear you praise Assemblyman Wagner, but I am puzzled at your comment. I guess you’ve forgotten all those times I saw you at our children’s school.

    • May 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Chuck — Once on 8th grade graduation day was a singular event. Though I was glad you made it; debate was cancelled that morning and you just made the only flight that allowed you to attend which was a good thing. But that’s the only said event I remember you attending; Wagner pushes out invites regularly too but they always seem to conflict with soccer games I am refereeing.

  2. cook
    May 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Why don’t the democrats hold a fund raiser?

    Like all other “not for profits“, the democrats asking for the tax increases, can be donated voluntary. They can challenge the republicans and the DTS to a “donate voluntary” tax drive, like a bake sale or paper drive.

    I think the state senator said it best when he told the school administer complaining about a hard cap of $245,000 per year in pensions (like that is poverty) Quote “I don’t buy it”

  3. junior
    May 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    “.. like a bake sale ..”

    I like that idea cook – the guv could bake up a batch of “Jerry’s Brownies”

  4. junior
    May 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    “.. I certainly don’t trust our Republican state legislators to compromise ..”

    Thank goodness!

  5. junior
    May 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Speaking of legislators whom we never see in public –

    Does Congressman John Campbell exist in real life?

  6. May 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

    California has wounds that budget cuts and/or tax increases will not heal.

    Democrats work hard to destroy California’s economy, (and thereby reduce revenue).

  7. May 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I hope someone asked Don why he insists on backing the wasteful redevelopment agencies, when every Republican I know has been wanting to get rid of them for years. And yet the only Republican to back Gov. Brown’s plan to terminate them was Norby. We were one vote short. Don Wagner could have been the deciding vote, if he really cared about waste. It would have been fun to see him answer that one.

    Also I hope in your last paragraph you weren’t suggesting that Melissa Fox wasn’t a “great candidate.” She (and Phu) are both brilliant, charismatic, and ran great campaigns – 2010 was just an impossible year for Democrats in the OC. 2012 should be different, and I hope they both run again.

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    May 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Vern – I supported Melissa in the race not just through this blog but with financial contributions. But you clearly have reading comprehension problems.

    The last election was the last election and there is no color towards the 2012 race yet. I supported Phu as well but disagree he ran a great campaign; I think Phu learned a lot from the last race and hope he gives it another shot.

    Dems are going to need a great candidate to knock off Wagner in 2012. When someone declares, we’ll see.

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