Courage Campaign urges vote-trading probe

The Courage Campaign – a progressive, grassroots online organizing network for California claiming more than 500,000 members – reports it delivered more than 6,000 petition signatures to state Attorney General Jerry Brown today, urging him to investigate whether Republican lawmakers violated California Penal Code section 86 by engaging in vote-trading over the state budget.

I’d first reported on this last week, after the California Labor Federation, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, Sierra Club California and the Planning and Conservation League wrote a letter to Brown urging such a probe. “It’s a serious question and we’re reviewing the matter carefully,” Brown had responded in a statement issued through a spokesperson; GOP legislative leaders called it an unfounded intimidation tactic.

“Illegal is illegal. The California Penal Code explicitly prohibits this kind of vote-trading and the Attorney General is duty-bound to investigate this felonious activity,” Courage Campaign founder and chairman Rick Jacobs said in his news release today. “But Republicans, whose oath to anti-tax extremists supersedes their oath to the constitution, seem to be ignoring the law. If they want to rollback environmental and worker protections — which aren’t connected to the budget — they should do their jobs as legislators and write up a bill and have an honest debate. This should not be tolerated.”

More on grassroots efforts supporting a vote-trading probe, and an example of why you shouldn’t let someone else control your Facebook page, after the jump…

Besides the Courage Campaign’s petition effort, a “Jerry Brown: Investigate GOP Legislators” Facebook group has sprung up, attracting 261 members so far.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi’s Facebook page (accessable only to Facebook members) indicated he’d joined this group Saturday, and group founder Bob Brigham of San Francisco posted a note thanking him on Sunday. But Garamendi — the only Democrat who has formally declared his gubernatorial candidacy for 2010, although Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom are presumed to be in the race too — was gone from the member list by this morning.

“Garamendi needs thicker socks if his feet get cold while standing with labor, environmentalists, and the netroots to defend the rule of law,” Brigham told me today.

But Garamendi spokeswoman Beth Willon said it was all a misunderstanding; he never meant to sign up for the group in the first place.

“This had nothing to do with him, it was inadvertent by somebody else here… He had no idea,” Willon said, adding Garamendi has been too busy with his duties on the University of California Board of Regents, the State Lands Commission and elsewhere to spend much time monitoring his Facebook page.

I’m betting that faint whistling-and-snapping noise we’re hearing in the background is the whipping being applied to some unfortunate intern in the lieutenant governor’s office…

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR

    Could someone explain where “Courage” comes into this campaign?

  • Elwood

    Another fine puff piece by Josh Richman for “democrats”, “progressives”, “liberals” etc.

    What’s Your Poo Telling You? – by Josh Richman (from Google)

  • Josh Richman

    Yeah, that’s a different Josh Richman. I’m guessing he makes a lot more money than I do.