(Editor’s Note: With yesterday’s action to vote on expelling Sen. Wright put off by a parliamentary maneuver, Republican senators have introduced new resolutions seeking a vote on Monday to suspend both Senators Wright and Calderon. A press release announcing those new resolutions is below.)
Next up: Votes on Monday to “Suspend” Senators Calderon & Wright
Knight, Anderson & Vidak call on Senate to cut short paid vacations for convicted and indicted senators
State Capitol – After preventing a vote on the resolution to expel Senator Rod Wright, the members of the California State Senate will be back in session on Monday, with a chance to revisit the issue.
Senators Steve Knight (R- Palmdale), Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) and Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) brought Senate Resolution 29 (the expulsion of Sen. Rod Wright who was found guilty of eight felonies in January) up for a vote yesterday. The Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg scuttled the vote on SR-29 by offering a substitute motion that passed (21-13) in the 40-member Senate. His parliamentary maneuvering effectively stopped all debate, leaving the minority view unheard.
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff introduced Senate Resolutions 30 and 31, to “suspend” Senators Ron Calderon and Rod Wright, respectively. Huff’s spokesperson stated that “the resolutions are in place to ensure that action will be formally taken by the Senate.” Both resolutions are now available to be brought up on Monday. Suspension would not impact either senator’s pay.
Additionally, Steinberg has stated “With respect to Senator Calderon, I have given him until Monday to consider his options. These Republican resolutions will be addressed if they are brought up on the floor.”
Sen. Knight said, “It’s hard to support any measure that continues to allow senators to stay on payroll that have been found guilty on eight felonies.” He continued, “The Senate should be afforded the opportunity to expel a member who has violated legal and ethical boundaries. Anything else does a disservice to California voters.”
“Silencing the minority view on the Senate Floor may only be described as bullying,” said Sen. Anderson. He continued, “The million-plus people I represent deserve better than to be bullied by Senate leadership.”
“While expulsion is clearly the established precedent used by Senate Leaders in the past to deal with Senators convicted of felonies, that apparently will not happen under today’s leaders,” said Sen. Vidak. “Right now, Senator Wright is on a voluntary paid vacation, so if the Senate is going to ‘suspend’ Calderon, at the very least it ought to do the same to Wright.”
The Senate is scheduled to convene in the historic Senate Chambers of the Capitol at 2:00pm on Monday, March 3.