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PolitiCal Roundup: Lawmakers' cash, the 'tea party' and its rivals

April 18, 2011 |  2:46 pm

People power may produce political impotence, the Times' George Skelton suggests as he mulls over what has really gone wrong in Sacramento.

Skelton links Gov. Jerry Brown's troubles to an unlikely source: redistricting reform. The aim was laudable, Skelton says. But an unintended result is neutered political leaders. Turns out the unseemly arm-twisting of old had its use: It helped politicians get things done.

-- First it was lawmakers' cars, now it's their cash: A state commission is scrutinizing legislators' $142-a-day tax-free benefit.

-- Pro-union workers' rights activists and a greater number of "tea party" supporters hold dueling demonstrations in Oceanside. Among the signs hoisted by the latter was one decrying Somali pirates.