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Plescia Win Could Block Tax Increase

by Blaz Gutierrez, published

block tax increase 2/3 Vote Veto-Proof Super Majority at Stake

To read the political mail you would think there wasn’t anyone running for any o­ffice worth voting for. But, the 39th State Senate District actually pits two qualified candidates against each other. In fact, both Democrat Marty Block and Republican George Plescia are said to be “nice guys” who each bring significant experience to the campaign.

Independent voters will also like the fact that both supported the Open Primary. Additionally, they can each lay claim to some experience working with colleagues from the other side of the aisle. Both candidates have voting records from past service in the Assembly and it is fair to say that each have cast votes that can be attacked by the other.

Block’s web site paints Plescia as too conservative for the Democratic leaning district and Plescia has attacked Block on a procedural vote in which he sided with Democratic leaders to kill a high profile bill that would have made it easier to fire teachers accused of improper sexual contact with students.

Attention on the Plescia/Block campaign has been dwarfed by the higher profile contest for Mayor and the Peters/Bilbray Congressional slugfest. But this is a campaign being watched closely in Sacramento because of one number: 27.

The candidates’ voting records confirm their conservative and liberal credentials. The truth is though that Democrats enjoy such a large margin in both houses of the legislature that neither Plescia nor Block will have much influence except on veto overrides and tax increases which require a 2/3rd vote.

Democrats are close to gaining a veto-proof super-majority in the State Senate and winning the 39th is critical to getting to the magic 27. Governor Brown has set the tone by pledging not to raise taxes without a vote of the people and setting in motion an election cycle in which the recurring theme on the ballot is taxes. If the voters reject both Prop 30 and Prop 38, the behind the scenes fight for a 27 vote supermajority could be the only chance to override Brown and deliver a tax increase many think is necessary to continue sufficient funding for essential state services.

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