Posted by Kellie Ryan on January 26, 2016 at 2:46 PM
Black Bart Nominee: Symbol of New Politics in CA—Steve Glazer
California politics are changing and there is no greater symbol of that change than state Senator Steve Glazer.
Glazer represents a new division in state politics. With the Republican Party losing influence, the majority Democratic Party is beginning to splinter into different factions. This situation has been driven by California’s move to the top-two primary system. Glazer was involved in probably the most high profile example of a top-two intraparty clash when he captured his senate seat in a special election last May topping Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla.
Glazer was backed by the business community looking to find business friendly Democrats. That strategy has intensified with word that many in the business community want the Republican Party to stand away from its support of Republican Assembly leader Kristin Olsen as she considers taking on Democratic Senator Cathleen Galgiani, whom many in the business community feel they can work with.
As I reported earlier, a California Chamber of Commerce scorecard of legislative action told a story from the chamber’s perspective–not who was for or against the chamber all the time, but which Democrats took the business side of the argument much of the time.
The Chamber lined up behind Glazer who supported the Chamber position 77-percend of the time.
How concerned are some members of the majority in the direction of politics in this state. According to an account from a conservative source, a progressive Democratic advocacy fundraising group backed by heavy-hitting donors intends to intervene to stop moderate Democrats from gaining strength in the state Democratic Party.
Be that as it may, when Steve Glazer took on main backers of the Democrats, the public employee unions, with his stand against BART strikes, and won he was opening the door for new challengers to the party’s orthodoxy.
In a place that is edging toward a one-party state, that stand was significant as was the election result.
Before Glazer’s election, I opined that should he win he would become a trailblazer. Glazer’s victory clearly set the stage for the California political game to come to grips with a new set of rules.
For that reason, I nominate State Senator Steve Glazer for the Black Bart award as the California political figure of the year.
Joel Fox is the Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee.