The influential Lincoln Club of Orange County is calling on embattled Assemblyman Chad Mayes to resign as Assembly Republican Leader over his role in securing GOP votes critical to garnering a two-thirds majority to extend Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade emissions program for another 10-years.
The Club’s action comes on the heels of calls by the chairmen of the Republican parties of Orange County and San Diego County for Mayes to step down.
Brown’s program has been dubbed “cap-and-tax” by critics since it will eventually increase gas prices by nearly a dollar a gallon and boost energy costs 10%-20%. A quarter of the revenue raised goes to funding the controversial California High Speed Rail project.
Mayes rounded up seven other Republican legislators to vote for the extension, which lands hardest on the poor and working class, and small businesses. Mayes collaboration with Brown and the Democratic leadership allowed Democratic Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva to cast a “no” vote. Quirk-Silva represents the 65th Assembly District, a swing district that has alternated between Democratic and Republican representation in recent years. Quirk-Silva had already voted for the highly unpopular SB 1 gas tax increase, and voting for the cap-and-trade extension would have complicated her re-election prospects.
The practice is known as “lifeboating” and Mayes has been severely criticized for helping a top GOP target dodge a tough vote.
“Over taxed Californians and small business deserve a voice in Sacramento. If the Republican Party truly stands for working Californians, the Party cannot support leadership that openly endorses and lobbies for legislation that hurts working Californians and accelerates the exodus of businesses from our state,” said Lincoln Club of Orange County President John Warner.
“As someone who has worked in the environmental cleanup industry for 30+ years, I am passionate about protecting our environment. However, I cannot support legislation that purports to protect our environment at the cost of endangering the livelihood of poor and working-class Californians and small businesses, but will have no measurable effect on climate.” said John Ben, the secretary of the Lincoln Club.
The Club stated “cap and trade is simply another tax on energy designed to promote and finance misguided and unpopular environmental schemes such as the out of control ‘bullet train’ boondoggle” and that “new leadership is needed in the Assembly Republican Caucus to oppose these kinds of taxes and expansion of government, and promote common sense solutions to real environmental problems.”