As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yacht Party Throws Cogdill Into The Ocean

There's some overnight craziness going on in Sacramento. The Yacht Party staged a putsch, deposing their leader in the middle of the night.

Around 11 p.m., a group of GOP senators, unhappy with the higher taxes that Senate leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto agreed to as part of a deal with the governor and Democrats, voted to replace him in a private caucus meeting in Cogdill's office. Shortly before midnight, it was still unclear who would replace him.

Cogdill's ouster could be a major setback to budget negotiations. Cogdill was a lead negotiator on the budget package and had committed to voting for it. If he were removed from his leadership post, a new Senate minority leader would likely try to renegotiate the deal, which lawmakers spent three months forging [...]

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), noting that Cogdill helped negotiate the budget and pledged to vote for it, said the Republican's caucus mates should join him -- or replace him.

"You ought to follow your leader or choose a new one," Leno said.

They took Leno's advice.

We've been following this at Calitics all night. Apparently Cogdill, Maldonado, Cox and Asburn abstained from the leadership vote, which was unclear for a while until the rump Yacht Party chose as their leader Dennis Hollingsworth, who's 12 shades of crazy but with the Yacht Party it's all a matter of degree. Everybody knew Cogdill was a goner (including Cogdill, he offered his resignation over the weekend), but what's crucial here is if the negotiations are already over. The big question is this - would Dems have to re-negotiate with a new Senate Minority Leader on this, or are there three votes locked up?

John Myers asked Hollingsworth if he would ask for the budget to be re-opened, and he simply said "a majority of Republicans oppose tax increases." That's a no, to me.

Steinberg's on the floor right now congratulating Hollingsworth and saying "We're tired of waiting." Hollingsworth, in his speech, says "I honestly don't know how the vote is going to turn out." And now voting has begun on the $14.4 billion dollar tax package.

...which failed. All the necessary GOP votes abstained.

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