When No Means Yes

Welcome to the absurd world of the California State Assembly:

By long- standing tradition, lawmakers in California's Assembly who are running for re-election or are seeking a new seat this year will tout their yes or no votes on all manner of bills in the coming months.

But that might not be a true reflection of the stand they took when the bill was being debated. California is one of 10 states in which lawmakers are allowed to change or add their votes after a bill has passed or failed. In all cases, the lawmaker's change cannot affect the fate of the legislation.

Assembly members in California are among the most aggressive in exercising that option, frequently adding their vote to bills that were taken up while they were not on the floor or changing their votes after the final tally has been announced in the chamber.

The practice is bipartisan, with Republicans and Democrats taking advantage of the rules. California lawmakers switched their votes or added their name after the total vote was read aloud in the chamber at least 419 times in January and February, according to a review by The Associated Press. The vast majority were Assembly members who added their votes after a bill had already passed or failed.

The vote-switching and vote-adding is allowed only in the 80-member Assembly. The 40-member Senate allows it only for the Democratic and Republican leaders, but it is seldom exercised.

And now we don't even have Arnold to all the girlie-men!  The tragedy!