Sigh. The LA Times reports that California Democrats are drawing out the state budget crisis to increase their party's power.

SACRAMENTO — In a meeting they thought was private but was actually broadcast around the Capitol on Monday, 11 Assembly Democrats debated prolonging California's budget crisis to further their political goals.

Members of the Democratic Study Group, a caucus that defines itself as progressive, were unaware that a microphone in Committee Room 127 was on as they discussed slowing progress in an attempt to increase pressure on Republicans to accept tax increases as part of a deal to resolve the state's $38-billion budget gap. ...

Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chairman John Campbell (R-Irvine) said he listened to about 20 minutes of the meeting on the squawk box in his office.

"It sounded like they were hoping to create a crisis at some point to further their political gains in other areas," he said. "I thought that was outrageous." ...

"They were worried that if the Legislature appeared to have dealt with the budget crisis, the initiative may not play well," he said. "This is very surprising, considering they are in charge."

After about 90 minutes, a staffer interrupted to alert lawmakers that their meeting was not private at all:

"Excuse me, guys, you can be heard outside," an unidentified staff member said.

"Oh [expletive], [expletive]," Goldberg said.

"The squawk box is on," the staff member said. "You need to turn it off right there."

"How could that happen?" Goldberg said.

Hopefully this gives Californians some insight into why our state is so screwed. I haven't seen much reporting on this yet, but it should get play in California at least.



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