California GOP's "Gang of 8" Who Voted for Cap and Trade Are Feeling the Heat

Posted: Jul 29, 2017 6:30 PM

The "Gang of 8" California GOP legislators who voted for Jerry Brown's cap and trade extension (which also provides funding for the bullet train) are feeling the heat from their own party, especially Assembly GOP Caucus Chair Chad Mayes.

Multiple county committees have met in the weeks since the vote and have passed resolutions asking Mayes to resign his leadership post. So far, Orange, San Diego, Fresno, Merced, Madera, San Luis Obispo County, Mariposa, Tulare, and Ventura County central committees have passed some resolutions, some unanimously. Orange and San Diego counties are populous Republican strongholds, so their lack of confidence is particularly telling.

A group of protesters visited Asm. Mark Steinorth's office to ask him to explain his vote, but his staff instead called law enforcement to have them escorted out. Just last fall, Steinorth ran a campaign video blasting his Democrat opponent and warning voters that she would pass Jerry Brown's cap and trade program, which would result in higher gas prices for working families.

When called out for the disconnect between his ad and his vote (voters got someone who voted for it anyway), Steinorth removed the ad from his Facebook page, but party activists had already downloaded it.

Jon Fleischman of Flash Report was one who had saved the video. He commented:

"It's beyond comprehension that Steinorth would support legislation when he attacked his opponent for supporting the same bill. It smacks of opportunism."

Sources within the party say that the CA GOP board will take up the issue of Chad Mayes' leadership position at a meeting in August, and that some Assemblymembers are attempting to play both sides of the issue - telling their county chairs and large donors that they will vote to replace Mayes, while telling Mayes he has their support. 

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