Shock: Another Victory For Corporate Interests!
Judy Chu was sworn into office today as the first Chinese-American woman to serve in Congress. Her departure opens a whole at the Board of Equalization, a little-known four-member board that collects taxes and determines a lot of corporate tax policy. The four districts are gerrymandered to produce two Democrats and two Republicans, with the state Controller making up the swing vote. Today the Governor announced his choice to replace Chu, and boy are the richest companies doing business in California happy:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today will appoint Jerome Horton, a business-friendly former Democratic lawmaker, to the state’s tax board, an administration official said.
The pick probably will shift the balance of power on the tax panel, which, despite its low public profile, holds broad influence over corporate taxes [...]
Reliably liberal Democrats have formed a solid three-person majority on the five-member tax panel in recent years. But the moderate Horton, who was known during his tenure in Sacramento for abstaining from votes to keep himself in the political center, is expected to change that dynamic.
Well, good for the business lobby, right? It's not like they have had multiple victories in the past year, what with getting all sorts of permanent corporate tax breaks in the past two budget agreements and pushing the Parsky Commission in an effort to eliminate corporate taxes altogether. They needed a leg up.
Horton needs both houses of the Legislature to sign off on the appointment, but much like with Supreme Court appointments, I fail to see how rejecting him would somehow yield a better result.