First reported by Brian Leubitz at Calitics, it appears the Senate GOP has ousted its leader, Dave Cogdill, who negotiated the compromise budget deal and was one of few GOPs committed to vote for it.


Reporting from Sacramento — As California’s government continued its grinding downshift toward insolvency, efforts to close the state’s nearly $42-billion budget gap hit a new snag late Tuesday as Republicans in the state Senate ousted their leader.

Around 11 p.m., a group of GOP senators, unhappy with the higher taxes that Senate leader Dave Cogdill of Modesto agreed to as part of a deal with the governor and Democrats, voted to replace him in a private caucus meeting in Cogdill’s office. Shortly before midnight, it was still unclear who would replace him.  

Brian has late updates:

Obviously, this throws a wrench in the gears of the budget deal. It seems likely that the three Republican votes for the deal are still there. (Ashburn, Cogdill, and Cox) But given that the Governor has left the building, I would expect this to continue on until at least tomorrow.

UPDATE: I see from my twitter feed that Capitol Weekly has heard about the Runner coup, but I can’t find anything online yet.

UPDATE2: Now the LA Times has the story, but without Runner’s name on it.

UPDATE3: Chuck DeVore tweets that it’s Runner for 45 days, but DeVore lost his own coup attempt, so take it with a grain of salt for now…

David Dayen has another late update:

UPDATE4: Dave here. Apparently Cogdill, Maldonado, Cox and Asburn abstained from the leadership vote, which remains unclear as the other 11 are still meeting. Meanwhile, Dean Florez called a vote and Cox asked for a 30-minute continuance at 12:45am. John Myers is claiming there’s no deal on a 3rd vote for the budget as currently configured, so the big question is this – would Dems have to re-negotiate with a new Senate Minority Leader on this, or are the 3 votes locked up? Everybody knew Cogdill was a goner (including Cogdill, he offered his resignation over the weekend), but what’s crucial here is if the negotiations are already over.

Far down into the constantly evolving online LATimes article, it appears my own State Senator Mark Leno may have given the GOP the germ of their idea:

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), noting that Cogdill helped negotiate the budget and pledged to vote for it, said the Republican’s caucus mates should join him — or replace him.

"You ought to follow your leader or choose a new one," Leno said.

Earlier in the week, Digby summed up what’s wrong here in California, for those of you outside the state who wonder what all the, um, hullaballoo is about:

You’ve probably all noticed the frightening lack of dday posts the last couple of days here at Hullabaloo. But it’s for very good reason. He and his colleagues at Calitics are doing the only real time analysis of what’s going on with the California budget crisis. (Seriously, folks, this is very, very bad.) Unfortunately, there is no political media in this state, so this is it.

That sound you hear is California, the eighth largest economy on the planet, being driven at top speed over a cliff by the zombie adherents to a political death cult fearful of a primary opponent with only one plank in his platform : READ MY LIPS — NO NEW TAXES.

The entire GOP has taken that pledge, and the pledge is killing California.

Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge