Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gang of 14 Republican Senators Holding Budget Hostage at Behest of Oil and Developer Lobbies

Sierra Club California’s Bill Magavern speaks at August 8 press conference with Senate leaders on budget impasse and global warming.

Today I induct the new members of the California Hall of Shame. Senators Aanestad, Ackerman, Ashburn, Battin, Cogdill, Cox, Denham, Dutton, Harman, Hollingsworth, Margett, McClintock, Runner, and Wyland are holding hostage the entire budget for the state of California.

This Gang of 14 privileged white men is obstructing the funding of schools, hospitals, parks and other vital services because the oil and developer lobbies that fund their campaigns want to weaken our keystone environmental law, the
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Forget about the fact that this is a policy issue 8 that should be addressed through the normal legislative process -- because of California's bizarre requirement for a 2/3 majority in each house to pass a budget, blocking the budget is just about the only leverage the Republican Caucus has, so the needs of the people who depend on state services will take a backseat to the wishes of polluters.

These 14 Republican senators (their 15th colleague, Sen. Maldonado, broke with the pack and supported the budget passed by Assembly Democrats and Republicans) want to delay for years the Environmental Quality Act's application to global warming pollution. They're clearly not listening to the people of California, who, according to last month's poll by the Public Policy Institue of California, believe in large and growing numbers that it is necessary to take immediate steps to counter the effects of global warming. Eight in 10 Californians believe global warming will be a very (54%) or somewhat serious (28%) threat to California's future economy and quality of life.

Fortunately, Senate President pro tem Don Perata, backed by the entire Senate Democratic caucus, declared today that he will staunchly defend environmental quality and refuse to flinch in the face of the hostage-taking by the Gang of 14.

Bill Magavern
Senior Representative
Sierra Club California


Paul Mason said...

Speaker Nunez sent a strong letter to Senate "Gang of 14" leader Dick Ackerman today. In the letter he indicates that he has no intention of bringing the Assembly back before August 20, and makes clear that if the budget comes back to the Assembly, he will reverse some of the cuts that were made to reach agreement on the Assembly side.

You can read Nunez's letter, and hear an audio file of his remarks, atL

Anonymous said...

I support what you're saying, but your comment about the race and gender of these "privileged" men diminishes and demeans the important cause you are supporting. Leave race and gender out of your blogs if you want to appeal to a broad base of support that includes all races and genders.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the point made by the recent Sierra Club emailing -- the only thing we can do to support this cause is public pressure. Write your local paper now! You can do it (in most cases) electronically, in just a few minutes. I just did mine, to the SF Chronicle.

Airman 1 said...

I'm sure Mr. Magavern would have mentioned privileged white men AND women if only the Republicans had a female state senator...which, uh, they don't...

Sierra Club California said...

The reason why race and gender are relevant here is that these 14 are so un-representative of California's diversity, yet they, as just more than 1/3 of the Senate, are obstructing the budget that funds services for everyone in the state -- and they're doing it as a favor to the oil and developer lobbies, not in service to any fiscal principle and certainly not in answer to the wishes of most Californians. What they're doing is fundamentally anti-democratic.

Anonymous said...

Let's see....Mr. Magavern is the head of one of the elite enviromental organizations in California, probably makes over $100k per year, and wears very stylish suits. Oh yeah, he's also white.

I guess that makes him a priveleged white man too.

Throwing racist comments around so casually minimizes the Sierra Club and makes the privleged, white, Mr. Magavern look the foo.

Tony said...

why doesn't the Sierra Club just admit that it hates roads, highways, power plants, and all other infrastructure that normal people depend on? that's why the common person is not in touch w ur position on this. swear off cars, planes, and other modern amenities, etc...then come talk... hypocrites...I love how Nunez jets to and fro Europe on a private jet yet is a protector of Global Warming...HAHA

Airman 1 said...

You missed the point, 5:19. Mr. Magavern, while stylish and obviously white, is neither a pouting Republican state senator willing to sell out the health and well being of his fellow Californians' for a little attention from the Governor, nor is he a pollution industry lobbyist who pulls in $250 to $450 an hour to lie in testimony.

Always interesting that folks who refuse to deal with the facts have to rely on hot button charges like racism -- particularly laughable when one white guy enviro calls 14 white guy knuckleheads "white."

Anonymous said...

i'm a beak

mary-kate said...

go Magavern!!! get those priveleged white guys!
hahaha! really, bill, get 'em!