Opinion Columns & Blogs

Sly: There's no rest for the representative

There's no such thing as an off-year for members of the House of Representatives. They're always running or collecting money or being attacked. Even though Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, won a solid victory in November, he's still considered vulnerable by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has a robocall campaign under way against him in his 11th District, which includes southern San Joaquin County. The national committee is targeting 43 congressional members in all.

Most of the time, the state controller isn't a household name. It isn't now, either, but John Chiang has a larger profile than many of his predecessors, mostly because he's squared off against Gov. Schwarzenegger over furloughing state employees and other hot budget issues. Chiang will speak Tuesday to the Modesto Rotary Club. The controller is holding the spotlight by maintaining on his Web site, www.sco.ca.gov, a daily tracker of how tax revenue is coming in. The answer: Slowly.

Assembly Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres, has joined the Republican crusade for voters to have to show identification before they vote. His proposal, AB 1356, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting. Berryhill agrees that its chances are poor. Meanwhile, Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, is heading a petition drive to put on the state ballot an initiative to do the same thing.

Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, has lost his position as Senate minority leader, but he's still a serious player in Sacramento. He asked for and got the vice chairmanship of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee.

As City Hall reporter Adam Ashton noted in his After Deadline blog, three people have filed statements of intent to run for the Modesto City Council, District 4, in November. They are teacher Jeff Perine, real estate consultant Joe Muratore and airport neighborhood activist Robert Stanford. The filing period opens in July.

Sly is editor of the Opinions pages. Contact her at 578-2317 or jsly@modbee.com.