“Californians call shots, set agenda in the 110th”

So runs the title of Jonathan E. Kaplan’s article in The Hill:

Californians have “infiltrated all the different power centers in the House so they heavily influence the dialogue,” former Democratic Whip Tony Coelho (Calif.) said.
The Bay Area Californians have known each other their entire professional lives from having served in the California legislature; most have known Pelosi since her days as chairwoman of the Northern California Democratic Party. There is an esprit de corps, said Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), because they all helped Pelosi become Speaker.
[Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.)] credited Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chairwoman of the California Democratic delegation, who has organized a formal weekly Wednesday luncheon in a room on the Capitol’s first floor. Pelosi occasionally drops by and each week there is a different topic of discussion, ranging from redistricting to emergency preparedness.
Districts in California have been gerrymandered to the point that most incumbents do not have to worry about competitive general elections. On the other hand, the practice can make certain members, like Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D), susceptible to primary challengers.

The Democratic delegation is much more liberal than the GOP delegation is conservative, according to the National Journal’s survey in 2006. Seven of the 10 most liberal members of the House wereCalifornia Democrats, whereas only three of the 20 most conservative members were California Republicans. (Bono is the most liberal Republican in the delegation; Rep. Jim Costa is the most conservative Democrat.)

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