Who would have guessed that California conservative icon Tom McClintock, the former longtime legislator from Ventura County and current congressman representing a district in Northern California, would step up at a critical time to give Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown a boost in promoting one of his controversial budget proposals?
The answer is, anyone who paid attention to McClintock's position as a legislator on the issue of redevelopment. As a property rights advocate, he was a leading foe of redevelopment. Now he's stepped up and released a You Tube video in which he calls on supporters to urge their state lawmakers "to abolish these rogue agencies."
The video comes just as city governments and other redevelopment advocates are sounding the alarm about a potential vote in the Legislature on two developing bills to accomplish most of what Brown is seeking. One bill would abolish redevelopment agencies; the other would allow specific agencies to stay in business, but only if they agreed to turn over most of their current flow of property tax revenues to their local school districts.
The Assembly vote to abolish redevelopment fell a vote short of passage in March, when only one Republican joined Democrats. That provided 53 of the 54 votes needed to establish a two-thirds majority. McClintock's plea could help to put some pressure on conservative lawmakers, or at the very least provide them with some cover to justify a vote to end redevelopment.