Debra J. Saunders

Canciamilla added that he tried to think of what it would be like to be in the minority if the Republicans were in power. In that event, he is not sure that GOP lawmakers would listen to him, a Democrat, without the two-thirds requirement.

Former GOP Rep. Tom Campbell made a similar point when he told the San Francisco Chronicle that he enjoyed working in the Legislature because "there my voice counted. They needed my vote. The two-thirds requirement is a moderating influence.''

Canciamilla wouldn't say that he would never change his mind. "Perhaps my view will change in a couple of years if we have an open primary, if we have an independent redistricting," he mused. (Both of those changes should elect more moderate lawmakers from both parties, so that the Legislature would better reflect the political center of California, not the extremes.)

Until that day, the status quo makes more sense.

Think of how quickly state pols spent California into the red, despite a two-thirds threshold. As GOP consultant Sean Walsh observed, "You can get into trouble very quickly."

Debra J. Saunders

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