Did California State Assembly Speaker John A. Perez punish an Orange County Republican Assemblyman yesterday for balking at an alleged appalling lack of transparency in state spending proposals?
That's a question raised this morning at a "God and Governance" conference in Newport Beach by Allan Mansoor, a conservative who represents a large portion of coastal Orange County in Sacramento.
According to Mansoor, it's standard practice that members are given at least a 24-hour advance to study upcoming legislative ideas before a vote, but that in an Assembly healthcare subcommittee on Friday Democrats gave Republicans two pages of proposals--including millions of dollars in new, unexamined spending--a mere 25 minutes before a scheduled vote.
"I said, 'This is ridiculous,'" Mansoor told the audience that had gathered inside St. James Church to plot ways to combat the "evil"--homosexuality, abortion, contraception and Godlessness--overtaking the nation with President Barack Obama at the helm. "[The new legislative proposals] are not transparent to us. It's not transparent to members of the public or the press, who want to read about it and understand it."
The former Costa Mesa mayor and Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy said that he asked the majority for an additional hour to study the proposals, and won but at a potential cost.
He claims Speaker Perez, a liberal Los Angeles Democrat, got "very upset" by him demanding greater transparency in government actions.
"Coincidentally or not coincidentally, I don't know, [but] two of my bills that had been passed out of committee with bipartisan support were killed," he said about proposals involving foster care and rehabilitation homes.
"So, that's how Sacramento operates," said Mansoor, who attended the gathering with his gorgeous fiancee, Jennifer. "Important decisions aren't being debated publicly as much as they should be."
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A call to Speaker Perez's office for a response to Mansoor's charge was not answered, which was no surprise given that it's a long, holiday weekend.
Mansoor, who is in his last term, is rumored to be contemplating a challenge to fellow Republican Michelle Steel, a State Board of Equalization member who has announced she wants to assume departing Supervisor John Moorlach's seat on the all-GOP Orange County Board of Supervisors.