Except, it didn't last. Especially the women part.
Because after all the eligible lower-office holders were elected, they too were limited, and passed right on through both houses leaving them ...no where. (Especially since [Dem] female bids for statewide office frequently seem thwarted by back-room agreements between old, white dudes on who gets what and when.)
We'd exhausted the pipeline - those typical paths by which people usually found their way into office were emptied quickly and we hadn't done any work to fill them up again.
This notion of paying attention to the pipeline and taking at least a 15-or-so year view on potential California legislative leadership seems to run throughout this Bee post on Interest Groups' salivating over the potential to "shake up" the legislative bench.
Seems there was a meeting of the American Association of Political Consultants (the mind reels) recently here in Sacramento and during this meeting, several leading interest group related consultants are already counting on new district lines and the jungle primary to present new opportunities to find leaders:
"I think after this election cycle you're going to see much, much more turnover in the Legislature, and it just gives us a great opportunity to have an impact, to start to try to look for candidates who are going to try to do things differently, to bring a new era in the Legislature and find people that can be partners," said Hegyi, a former legislative aide and Republican Assembly candidate.Of course, one group's insignificant issue is another group's . . . you know the drill.
Liz Snow, of the California Dental Association, echoed Hegyi's comments, saying interest groups are "tired of insignificant issues moving and being the focus and really tired by the lack of leadership on the part of average members."
"People are sick of playing it safe," she said. "It hasn't really gotten us anywhere."
Snow said those frustrations and the state's changing political landscape will mean that "increasingly being an incumbent doesn't guarantee you anything in terms of support for future elections." She later noted, however, that re-electing freshman Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, will be one of her organization's top priorities in 2012 because of his work on health care issues.
And incumbency is STILL likely to be a pretty damned good indicator of electoral success after a brief adjustment period with new districts.
But if I'm running a group bent on electing more of my kind or more people friendly to my kind (women, Mexicans, dentists, podiatrists, whatever), I'm going to spend that period of adjustment seeding lower, local offices to make sure I don't turn around in 6-12 years and find myself with no more friends.
Related: Here, give these gals some money.