Yesterday afternoon, KFI talk show hosts John and Ken provided what has become a traditional weekly Friday update on the status of the signature-gathering effort to recall state Senator Josh Newman. They interviewed San Diego talk show host Carl DeMaio, the recall’s prime mover, who reported on the latest underhanded tactics of Newman’s supporters to thwart the campaign:
Meanwhile, in an effort to make himself look good, Newman announced Thursday in a press release that he would not be accepting the just-announced 3% pay increase for state legislators scheduled to go in effect in December. He sent letters to State Controller Betty Yee and Senate Secretary Danny Alvarez that read:
Having been recently elected, and out of consideration of the challenges currently confronting so many hard-working Californians, I have decided to forego any increase in my own compensation in the coming year.
I do appreciate the work of the Commission, and I don’t begrudge any of the hardworking members of California’s legislature, constitutional officers, or other civil servants any increase in compensation they may be due to receive as a result of the Commission’s recent action. For my part, however, the current opportunity to serve is sufficient, and I respectfully decline any pay increase as part of the current cycle.
This past Monday, June 19, the California Citizens Compensation Commission approved a 3% increase to state lawmakers salaries. All 40 members of the Senate and 80 members of the Assembly are set to receive pay hikes, effective in December of this year.
The timing of the raises for lawmakers, coming two months after legislators voted to raise gas taxes and vehicle fees by $5.2 billion annually, was questioned by Lew Uhler, head of the California-based National Tax Limitation Committee.
“They raised our taxes and spent our money and they seek a reward for that? Come on,” said a skeptical Uhler.