Will Cap and Trade Vote Cost Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes His Job?

First, you should know the names of all those GOP’ers that voted in favor of a .63 cent gasoline tax increase.  These folks also voted to make the cost of doing business in California more expensive and to kill jobs.  Yesterday morning Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez resigned as part of the Chad Mayes leadership team—because of this vote by the Minority Leader.

“Earlier this week, eight Republican legislators voted to extend the cap-and-trade bill for 10 years: State Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Stanislaus), Assembly members Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Catherine Baker (R-Walnut Creek), Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), Health Flora (R-Modesto), Devin Mathis (R-Visalia), Mark Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), and Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley).”

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, as the Leader, is a role model.  His vote to raise taxes and provide more government control over families and businesses puts him outside the bounds of most Republicans and Independents.  The only question left is who is going to challenge Mayes for leadership—we know he has seven votes—will those that voted NO on cap and trade, will they return Assembly Leadership to Republican and California values?  Looking forward to the return of the Assembly when recess ends.

Chad Mayes2

Cap-And-Trade Deal Exemplifies Chad Mayes’s Governing Philosophy, Could Cost Him His Job

Ben Adler, Capitol Public Radio, 7/21/17

It was no surprise to see California Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers take a victory lap after the cap-and-trade deal passed the state Legislature Monday night.

But then, there was this guy:

“Well, it is so good to be here,” said Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes, from the podium in the governor’s press conference room. After all, he added, “Republicans don’t get to stand on this stage very much.”

Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), who represents parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, declared himself “tired of partisan politics” – and proud of the seven other Republicans who voted for the deal.

“What they decided was that they were gonna put the people of California ahead of their own careers,” he said.

Asm. Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) represents the 42nd Assembly District.

Republicans had some political cover: Business groups, manufacturers, and the agriculture and oil industries all prefer reducing greenhouse gas emissions through cap-and-trade’s market-based approach, as opposed to top-down, “command and control” state regulations.

And while gas prices could jump under cap-and-trade by as much as 70 cents, they’d rise even more without it.

“We lowered taxes, we reduced costs, we reduced regulations, and at the same time, we’re gonna protect our environment,” Mayes said. “That’s a good deal.”

California’s cap-and-trade deal handed Brown a huge climate change victory this week, but it might never have gotten done without Mayes. And that’s placed Mayes’s leadership in jeopardy, with many Republican activists feeling betrayed.

“He was so obsessed with trying to make a difference – to be at the table, to be in the big boy chair – that he didn’t step back to realize, ’Hey, I’m about to cast my vote to take billions of dollars out of the private sector and put them in the hands of the corrupt Legislature,’” said Jon Fleischman, a leading California conservative who publishes the Flash Report blog.

The posting of this photo on Twitter didn’t help Mayes’s image among conservatives, either.

A California Republican

Chad Mayes describes himself as a California Republican. He attended Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and interned for former U.S. Senator John Ashcroft. But he never endorsed President Trump and he talks about fighting poverty. Then, there’s his “bromance“ with Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon – a running joke at the state Capitol.

“So, I hate to sound like the dating game,” began a moderator at a UC Riverside event this spring with Mayes and Rendon, “but I have to ask – how did you guys first meet?”


During the conversation, Rendon (D-Paramount) acknowledged the two couldn’t be further apart ideologically.

“That being said, I think we both are very realistic about the world, and we want to get stuff done,” Rendon said. “That’s sort of our driving force.”

Minutes later, Mayes summed up his governing philosophy for a party that holds no statewide offices and represents just 26 percent of registered California voters.

“The world is not perfect,” he said. “Sometimes, you gotta look beyond that and be able to sit down and look to figure out ways of getting things done, even though things aren’t as pure as they could be.”

Mayes wants to bring California Republicans back to relevance by showing they can help govern – rather than simply being a “Party of No.” Even before cap-and-trade, since becoming Assembly Minority Leader in January 2016, Mayes has worked with Democrats on a key health care deal, mental health funding for homeless Californians, and education incentives for welfare recipients.

A Divided Caucus

Asm. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), who represents rural northeastern California and opposed cap-and-trade, praises Mayes’s leadership.

“California is not like the rest of the country. We are different,” Dahle said Thursday. “People here believe a different way, and expect a different style of leadership, we’re trying to provide that, along with keeping our base.”

Chad Mayes by CapRadio DigiTeam

But Mayes has infuriated conservatives, and many want him to resign. Several Assembly Republicans unhappy with Mayes declined interview requests for this story. One who was willing to talk is Asm. Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who’s running for governor.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see a change in leadership,” Allen said Thursday morning. “I think that Californians demand that taxes get reduced in California. And they are going to hold any politicians accountable that are raising their taxes when they’re already among the highest in the nation.”

Late Thursday afternoon, Asm. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) resigned from her caucus leadership post.

“What I have witnessed by the Assembly Republican Leader is a dereliction of duty to preserve and promote the American Dream for every single Californian,” Melendez said in a statement. “Assemblyman Mayes’ actions on Cap-and-Trade demonstrate we no longer share the same leadership principles.”

But the governor said Mayes acted “in the spirit of Ronald Reagan.”

“There is a fringe group of Republicans that want to take the political terrorism of Washington and bring it to California. That’s not helpful. That won’t help their constituents.” Brown told Capital Public Radio in a brief interview Thursday morning.

“I’d say Chad Mayes exercised insight, courage and the members that voted with him – even some of the ones that didn’t, who were quietly applauding him – he really earned the respect of a lot of people,” the governor said.

Republicans met behind closed doors Thursday morning as questions swirled over Mayes’s future as Assembly Minority Leader. But caucus members took no votes. Instead, they aired their grievances for more than an hour.

And so Mayes lived to lead another day – another month, in fact, since lawmakers then adjourned for summer recess.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. Really??? says

    If there is any justice he will lose big time.

    Tired of partisan politics? That is what he has been faced with starting with the agendas of Moon Beam. He lost his spine, wants to be invited to the social agendas Democrats throw, and refuses to see the costs to both the social fabric and economics of the State.

    And Jack Tumb said “what a good boy ‘am I.”

  2. How many more insults to the people will it take for us to flush the toilet Sacramento has become?

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for more.

  3. John Steele says

    more DemoCrap lite repubs.. He screws his voters and us by being this friggin stupid and confirms what many of us say.. They are one and the same at the top and little reason to vote in Kaly when they show us whom they really are.

  4. “And while gas prices could jump under cap-and-trade by as much as 70 cents, they’d rise even more without it.”

    What a load of crap. For now, My wife and I still reside in Taxifornia, but not for long. We’re in escrow on a place in Yuma and should be out a here before yearend. Gas is always 40 to 50 cents a gallon cheaper in Yuma and with the new gas tax kicking in November 1st plus the increase due to the extended cap and tax scheme It won’t be long before it is a dollar or more less. Couple this with all the other issues facing Taxifornia, i.e. CALPERS, CALSTRS pending financial collapse, the time has come to leave. As much as we would like to stay in the home we’ve lived in for more than 20 years, it’s time to get out while the getting out is good.

  5. Timothy Westlin says

    The republicans don’t lead in California they follow the democrats right down the hole I thought we were supposed to lead we can’t very well lead when we become Democrat lite then people would rather have a democrat,we are obsolete in this state when Jerry Brown compliments a republican you should run the other war

  6. I would have paid a dollar to see how he got his head that far up his ass.

  7. Steve Spatola says

    Courage is the element of leadership. To call this Chad a leader is to say Chesty Puller was only a Marine! Chad should change his name to chaff because that is what he does to our collective backsides!

    To vote for C&T because it prevents gas price increase is another unbelievable canard from the no clue rebuke-i-cans is to believe the Jerry clowns never lie to you. I guess all of them are three year Jesuit students just like Moon bum!
    Anyone that runs against these seven needs to be supported. Flora was supported by the San Joaquin area unions against a far better and proven candidate, Ken Vogel, a farmer, former SJ County two term Supervisor and a real water expert! Berryhill, shame on you. Farmers should fight this C&T scam not bend over for it.
    What is this body of lame brains in Sacto going to do in another generation of elections do when the only job will be getting your promissory note welfare handout from the Democrappers?

  8. tballard says

    California: where even the Republicans are Democrats.

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