Douglas Johnson on Portantino's Return

From Fred Ortega’s article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:

But the assemblyman’s abrupt change of fortune surprised Douglas Johnson, a fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College.

“Normally you don’t do something like that temporarily,” said Johnson of Portantino’s brief exile. “Maybe you would be put back in another committee, but it is really surprising he got the same committee back.”

While it is impossible to know the reasoning behind Nunez’s decision, Johnson speculated that several factors could have come into play.

“It almost looks like good cop, bad cop, with Nuñez punishing him and possibly incoming Speaker Bass interceding to bring him back,” said Johnson. “It sends a message but does not cost her a vote in the long run.”

He also noted Portantino’s fundraising prowess as a reason why the Democratic leadership in Sacramento might want to keep the former La Cañada Flintridge mayor in the fold.

“It could be them wanting him as a fundraising ally, or one of his frequent donors intervening on his behalf,” said Johnson. “But with everyone being so closed-lipped, it is all speculation.”

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