There are few things that can drive fear into a legislator like realizing the microphone has been on during candid discussions with a colleague.
Mention "hot mic," and it's hard not to think of former Assemblyman Mike Duvall, who resigned in 2009 after an open microphone during a recorded committee hearing captured the Yorba Linda Republican bragging about having sex with mistresses.
Friday's live microphone mishap was nothing like that.
The undetected stream caught on Cal Channel's feed captured lawmakers passionately discussing the merits of a failed bill during the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, were discussing their critical views on a bill to increase the scope of practice for nurse practitioners. Senate Bill 491 had already failed, and the panel was waiting for late amendments to different bills.
"I'm like, 'Nah, I'm not going to do that,' " Weber is heard saying about SB 491, adding later, "This will be the second-tier health care program for black communities."
Three minutes into the discussion, Weber looked down and said, "Oh, my mic is hot."
Feeling weary of all the political bloodsport? How about some real sports, featuring politicians? No? Well regardless, Republican and Democratic lawmakers will take their competitive nature from the state Capitol to the baseball diamond tonight with a charity game at Raley Field. Proceeds will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area.
Jeremy B. White
"California continues to be an outlier in its use of solitary confinement, which has been recognized internationally and by other states to be an extreme form of punishment that leads to mental illness if used for prolonged periods of time."
SEN. LONI HANCOCK, Berkeley Democrat, announcing legislative hearings into the state's prison system