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Seniority System

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2000
Re "GOP House Members Get Fund-Raising Quotas," June 15: How does it not make front-page news when the House Republicans plan on linking committee positions to fund-raising? The seniority system, for all of its flaws, at least avoided bribery. The media are supposedly biased toward Democrats, but Bill Clinton's renting of the Lincoln Bedroom made headlines while House Speaker Dennis Hastert's sale of committee positions is buried inside the paper. This is precisely the kind of corruption that Sen. John McCain campaigned against.
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OPINION
October 7, 2013 | By Peter Schrag
Monday is the 10th anniversary of the recall of Gov. Gray Davis and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Was it the great watershed in California government that some predicted at the time? Was it a "people's revolution," something like Proposition 13, that would trigger a broader national uprising against politics as usual? Was it the great reengagement of an electorate that had been alienated by the mess our leaders had made of things? Or was the recall none of these things, just a system reset that hardly changed anything?
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NEWS
September 2, 1990
Edward W. Pattison, 58, former New York congressman who helped topple the seniority system in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pattison was president of the "Class of 94," made up of 75 upstart freshman Democrats in the 94th Congress, which convened in 1975. The group revised several outdated rules and streamlined congressional procedure.
OPINION
December 23, 2012
Re "The pink-slip shuffle," Opinion, Dec. 16 Why doesn't Bhavini Bhakta argue against all teacher layoffs? Now that voters have passed Proposition 30, the time is right for unionized teachers and districts to collaborate and regain control of the budgets that have been crippled by years of cuts. Bhakta recycles the pro-charter, anti-union boilerplate that fractures unions but does little to improve funding. Energy is wasted obsessing over the elusive, tenured boogeyman allegedly destroying our children's futures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 1986 | MAURICE B. TOBIN, Maurice B. Tobin is a Washington attorney and the author of "Hidden Power: The Seniority System and Other Customs of Congress" (Greenwood/Praeger Press)
Now that the "who won and who lost" question is settled, Congress will meet to organize before beginning its 200th year next January. Reaching the two-century landmark certainly calls for a celebration, but does it also call for a face-lift? When the Senate begins organizing on Nov. 20, the underlying question will be how to get this group of 100 elected representatives--one-third freshly anointed by the voters to protect their states' interests--to act as a body called the United States Senate.
NATIONAL
April 30, 2002 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Disabled employees who say they need a less-demanding job generally do not have a right to bump workers with more seniority, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 5-4 ruling resolves a conflict created by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 1990 law that said workers with a physical or mental impairment have a right to work so long as they can do so with a "reasonable accommodation" by their employers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 1992
Your recent article on Prop. 164 failed to mention one very compelling argument in favor of federal term limitations: the abuse of power through the seniority system. Sen. Robert Byrd may be second only to God in West Virginia, but he is an insult to everything our government should stand for. As chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he has pork-barreled millions into his home state and controls any criticism by threats and intimidation. If the other members of the Senate do not go along with his wishes they are assured their state will enjoy none of the largess of the federal dole.
OPINION
December 23, 2012
Re "The pink-slip shuffle," Opinion, Dec. 16 Why doesn't Bhavini Bhakta argue against all teacher layoffs? Now that voters have passed Proposition 30, the time is right for unionized teachers and districts to collaborate and regain control of the budgets that have been crippled by years of cuts. Bhakta recycles the pro-charter, anti-union boilerplate that fractures unions but does little to improve funding. Energy is wasted obsessing over the elusive, tenured boogeyman allegedly destroying our children's futures.
BOOKS
June 11, 1989 | ELENA BRUNET
Hedrick Smith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, went to Washington in 1962 to work in the New York Times' Washington bureau. He writes in this volume that he has witnessed "a stunning transformation" in the last 15 years, not only in the increase in numbers of staff members and lobbyists, but in the methods of operation. Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974 marks the "new congressional assertiveness against the presidency, (and) the revolt within Congress against the seniority system."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1995
Re "High Court Bars States From Limiting Congressional Terms," May 23: I still say, as I said when our term-limits initiative was being prepared, that we cannot bar anybody from election to Congress, but we can bar anybody from a party nomination, and force the perpetual officeholder to run as an independent--and start his or her next term with no party seniority toward committee rank. The Constitution says nothing about political parties. The Arkansas case was bad law, and apparently our own law has been bad law. If we really want term limits imposed on members of Congress, we should start over by controlling the primary ballot, and make those who won't quit really swim uphill as independents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Jerry Brown accused GOP lawmakers of paralyzing budget negotiations by introducing dozens of new demands Friday. The governor appeared to lose patience after Republicans gave him a seven-page document of policy changes they say need to be implemented before they would be willing to vote for his budget. The dozens of items on their list include such wide-ranging proposals as ending the seniority system for teachers facing layoffs, moving next year's presidential primary to March and restoring funding to protect rural lands from development.
NATIONAL
April 30, 2002 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Disabled employees who say they need a less-demanding job generally do not have a right to bump workers with more seniority, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 5-4 ruling resolves a conflict created by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 1990 law that said workers with a physical or mental impairment have a right to work so long as they can do so with a "reasonable accommodation" by their employers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2000
Re "GOP House Members Get Fund-Raising Quotas," June 15: How does it not make front-page news when the House Republicans plan on linking committee positions to fund-raising? The seniority system, for all of its flaws, at least avoided bribery. The media are supposedly biased toward Democrats, but Bill Clinton's renting of the Lincoln Bedroom made headlines while House Speaker Dennis Hastert's sale of committee positions is buried inside the paper. This is precisely the kind of corruption that Sen. John McCain campaigned against.
OPINION
February 13, 2000 | Marc Haefele, Marc Haefele is a staff writer and columnist for LA Weekly
U.S. Rep. Matthew G. "Marty" Martinez (D-Monterey Park) isn't famous for his sagacity or much else. But he's managed to stay in office for 18 years. As the representative of Los Angeles County's intensely Democratic and Latino-heavy 31st District, Martinez seemed to have an opposition-free career cut out for himself--until last June, when a potent challenger emerged from the ranks of his own party. Facing term limits that will force her out of the Legislature in two years, state Sen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 1995 | DAVID R. BAKER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Josh Meyer is one of hundreds of senior citizens from Thousand Oaks to Ojai who rely on the county's Senior Nutrition Program for both food and conversation. Four or five times each week, the Camarillo resident visits a local meal site--one of a dozen in the county--sponsored by the nutrition program. Eye problems forced the retired veterinarian to give up driving. So to reach the center, Meyer rides a bus provided by the nutrition program.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 1995
Re "High Court Bars States From Limiting Congressional Terms," May 23: I still say, as I said when our term-limits initiative was being prepared, that we cannot bar anybody from election to Congress, but we can bar anybody from a party nomination, and force the perpetual officeholder to run as an independent--and start his or her next term with no party seniority toward committee rank. The Constitution says nothing about political parties. The Arkansas case was bad law, and apparently our own law has been bad law. If we really want term limits imposed on members of Congress, we should start over by controlling the primary ballot, and make those who won't quit really swim uphill as independents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 1988
Gloria Molina's piece on the recent turmoil in the state Assembly ("Getting Stomped by a Flawed System," Op-Ed Page, Jan. 28) misdiagnoses the situation. Molina portrays the discipline of the so-called "Gang of Five" as an exercise in power politics by Speaker Willie Brown. In fact, the Speaker took action only at the urging of the Democratic Caucus, i.e., the other Democratic Assembly members, who were tired of being undercut by these five. The irony of the situation is that the Gang of Five had, until recently, been part of the Speaker's leadership team occupying important committee slots and caucus posts.
OPINION
October 7, 2013 | By Peter Schrag
Monday is the 10th anniversary of the recall of Gov. Gray Davis and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Was it the great watershed in California government that some predicted at the time? Was it a "people's revolution," something like Proposition 13, that would trigger a broader national uprising against politics as usual? Was it the great reengagement of an electorate that had been alienated by the mess our leaders had made of things? Or was the recall none of these things, just a system reset that hardly changed anything?
NEWS
December 10, 1994 | MICHAEL ROSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Shattering the seniority system on which congressional influence traditionally is based, House Republican leaders announced Friday that they are awarding most open seats on key committees to freshmen lawmakers, ensuring them a major role in enacting the GOP's legislative agenda next year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 1992
Your recent article on Prop. 164 failed to mention one very compelling argument in favor of federal term limitations: the abuse of power through the seniority system. Sen. Robert Byrd may be second only to God in West Virginia, but he is an insult to everything our government should stand for. As chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he has pork-barreled millions into his home state and controls any criticism by threats and intimidation. If the other members of the Senate do not go along with his wishes they are assured their state will enjoy none of the largess of the federal dole.
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