California's civil war of the judges apparently will continue, even though a rebel organization scored a major victory this year.
The state budget incorporated many provisions of legislation that the breakaway Alliance of California Judges had sought over the opposition of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in a quest for more local control of court funds.
However, with the Brown administration likely seeking further court cuts, the alliance has elected one of its most combative members, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White, as president.
The alliance also declared in a letter to its members this week that it will independently lobby the Legislature on budget and other matters, saying that management by Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts "clearly has been a failure."
The alliance has accused the court bureaucracy of wasting money on a failed computer system while local courts are starved for funds.
In October, White reiterated those criticisms in a letter to Cantil-Sakauye and sought an advisory seat on the Judicial Council for an Alliance representative, similar to one held by the California Judges Association. The chief justice didn't promise such a seat but said she is "open to expanding representation."
State Sen. Jerry Hill today will push legislation aimed at requiring third-party review of proposed grants awarded by the Public Utilities Commission. Consumer advocates also want PUC President Michael Peevey to recuse himself from a decision on awarding a $150 million grant to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, claiming that he's biased because of his involvement in the project.
"I'm mindful of ... not making the mistake ... that the tea party members made in Congress when they thought after the 2010 election that they had a mandate for enormous sweeping change."
ASSEMBLYMAN ROGER DICKINSON, Sacramento Democrat, suggesting Assembly Democrats will not overreach with their two-thirds majority