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Other opinions

August 01, 2001

Chico Enterprise-Record: Will deals made be deals broken?

The nature of politics was made crystal clear this week when (Redding) Assemblyman Dick Dickerson gave the Democrats one of the four Republican votes they needed to pass the state budget.

It's hard to fault Dickerson, as a number of provisions that were favorable to the north state had been added to the budget in the quest to get his vote.

Democrats agreed to end the state's part of the sales tax on the purchase of tractors, other farm machinery and logging equipment. They lifted the sales tax on farmers' purchase of diesel fuel, at least temporarily. And they removed the sales tax from propane.

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We'd hope no one's under the delusion these changes were made due to a consensus that they were good public policy. The changes were made simply to get the votes necessary to pass the budget.

These kinds of deals have been made for years. The only thing unusual this time is that the north state and rural California would benefit for a change. Since there are more legislators from urban areas than rural areas, the plums are usually thrown at the cities.

… But now that Dickerson's cast his vote, we wouldn't be surprised to see the governor blue pencil all or most of them, although the Redding Republican probably has promises that won't happen.

But these are, after all, the promises of politicians. And they are promises to a representative of a backwater district who has now earned the enmity of his own party. Dickerson has no more leverage and few friends in the Capitol. He has played all his cards, and no one's going to deal him any more.

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