SACRAMENTO — A bill that would for the first time establish public financing for legislative election campaigns and set spending limits on candidates sailed through the Assembly Elections Committee on Wednesday.
The vote was 6 to 1, split strictly along party lines, and just to make sure the bill passed, its author, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco), appointed himself to the committee at the last minute.
But the same committee members who voted for Brown's measure then all but ensured its defeat by declaring it an urgency measure, meaning it will require a two-thirds vote when it reaches the Assembly floor.
"It will not get Republican votes, that's for sure," Assemblyman Richard L. Mountjoy (R-Monrovia), said afterward. Mountjoy was the only Republican to attend the committee meeting and provided the only dissenting vote.