I was one of those trying to sway her vote on this matter. I have always supported SB 719 for a variety of reasons, but I was not expecting the Freshman Assemblywoman to do what she did when it came to vote on the issue.
She walked off the assembly floor, instead of voting.
She chose to abstain. Admittedly her abstention was one of the reasons that SB 719 eventually passed, but her actions still makes me mad.
Cathleen Galgiani is elected to office to represent the people. I personally expect her to vote on every issue that comes up on the Assembly floor. Her vote may not always jive with what I would want her to do, but I expect her to vote all the same. She can talk to her constituents and determine how best to vote, this is why she has staff to help her. At the end of the day, if public opinion is split, she should still decide.
Abstaining is usually, in my opinion, just a political cop out. If voting following the majority public opinion would upset too many large campaign contributers, then the solution to some politicians is to not vote at all. I think this is wrong. Once elected, a politician is there to represent the people who elected you. Not those who paid the most into the campaign coffer. A politician should also never have past or future campaign financing influence their vote. This is not democratic. It may be a harsh reality, but I don’t have to like it. In fact, I think it is abhorrent behaviour.
In this case was this why Galgiani abstained? I believe it is, considering how successful her campaign financing was last time, and who were her major contributers. Galgiani was also involved in some interesting large contributions from other parts of the state due to a Prop 34, and also voted against campaign contribution limits (Prop 89), and public financing for campaigns
I will of course be contacting Galgiani soon to register my complaint.
When did the country that considers itself to be the birthplace of modern democracy become so open to elected officials being so easily manipulated by campaign contributors?