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Wednesday, Nov 07 2012 11:00 PM

Use new supermajority wisely, Dems -- or pay

By The Bakersfield Californian

Californians have made it clear once again that they prefer to see Democrats with the reins of power in Sacramento. Now the party that has long held a majority has grown into a supermajority. That should inspire some soul-searching among Republicans, certainly, but it should also give Democrats pause. With uber-power comes uber-responsibility.

"It's a mandate to govern in the interest of the people of the state," Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, D--Los Angeles, said of the supermajority at a news conference Wednesday. "It means we've got to be very serious about focusing on the crucial issues of the state like job creation."

That's a good start, but words are easy. Democrats won't have many tough decisions, initially. Voters approved a tax hike for them, along with a separate hike in the business tax under Proposition 39. But the ruling party will have to be serious about using those dollars wisely. As Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway put it: "Republicans will hold the majority party accountable for delivering their promise to voters that these tax hikes will go to our classrooms and not big government."

Californians want what all Americans want: elected officials of all stripes who work together. Legislative Democrats can render the other side completely moot if they so choose. But unless California is transformed into El Dorado overnight on their watch, the political ramifications could be ugly and lasting.

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