Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Tough Week for Lawmakers: No Guns, No Wheels, No Rails

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If I were a California state legislator, I might just curl up in a ball and stay home.

    It's been a tough week. Assembly Speaker John Perez won't let me carry a gun, even though polls showed I'm loathed by overwhelming majorities of Californians. A state commission just took away my state-provided car, replacing it with a $300 monthly allowance -- even though wheels are necessary since California legislators represent districts that are three times more populous than the next largest districts in the country (Texas) and 10 times larger than the national average.

    I thought I might be able to take the train to compensate for my lack of wheels, but the high-speed rail dream in California was delayed by federal budget cuts, according ot the Mercury News.

    What's next? Banning booze for lawmakers?

    Is there a worse political job in the country than being a California legislator? You represent too big districts. You're overtaxed because there simply aren't enough legislators to staff committees properly. You have little power, particularly on fiscal issues, where voters and previous constitutional amendments have already made all the decisions. But the people of California, whose constitutional messes you spend your days cleaning up, blame you for everything wrong in the state -- including and especially your own mistakes.

    Being a member of the state iegislature is like being a political janitor -- except your dry-cleaning bills are higher.