Johnson on Prop. 93 & a New Speaker

From Fred Ortega’s article in the Whittier Daily News:

With Proposition 93 doing poorly in the polls – though a recent Los Angeles Times poll has half of likely voters favoring the measure – potential heirs to Nuñez will find themselves in the spotlight, said Douglas Johnson, a fellow with the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College.”

The governor’s late endorsement might swing undecided voters, who typically vote no on propositions,” he said. “But so far the numbers have been mostly below 50 percent support.”

Johnson predicted a wide-open race for the Assembly speaker seat, compared to the state Senate, where Don Perata’s successor has already been narrowed down to either Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, or Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys.

“Democrats had success in getting Nuñez in his freshman term and have him be speaker for four years, so they definitely would like to repeat that continuity,” said Johnson, who believes up to 10 people will run for the speaker position. “So they will focus on the current freshman group, but this is one of the biggest freshman groups in history so that doesn’t limit things much.”

He added that Portantino’s position as chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee would be a plus in any race for the speaker slot.

“It says a lot about his relationships with the teachers’ unions,” he said. “There will be a lot of backroom dealings (relating to the speaker post) involving the unions, so union ties will definitely provide an advantage.

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