Saturday, November 27, 2004

Phoblog Salutes . . .

The man who tried to sink my license plate bill, but decided not to - Senator Burton, thanks for the memories:

"John Burton helped keep alive the New Deal in the new millennium," said Kevin Starr, state librarian emeritus, a historian of California. "He has to go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Senate pro tems in terms of his mastery of parliamentary procedure and his ability to maintain a relationship with not only his own party but with the Republicans as well."

Burton departs as Sacramento's most outspoken proponent of liberal activism. Always willing to push the envelope in his tactics, he pressed for stronger child-support laws and to bolster unions of all stripes, to aid California's weakest citizens — the homeless, the poor, farmworkers, prisoners and Indians — and to impose responsibilities on corporations that he believed were more concerned with their bottom lines than with the health and welfare of employees, customers and the environment. . . .

"He's an old-time politician who understands that in a democracy, you're not supposed to liquidate your opponents, not demonize them, but rather to work with them, because democracy is the politics of compromise," said Tim Hodson, executive director at the Center for California Studies at Cal State Sacramento.

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