Blakeslee moves to the middle
October 14, 2010
Newly-elected Central Coast state senator Sam Blakeslee may be moving to the political middle. [Capitol Weekly]
Last week, Blakesleee, who was considered more conservative in his Assembly days, took the unusual step of hiring a Democrat as his press secretary.
Erin Shaw is herself a moderate who has served under both Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. But her appointment still risks alienating some of the many Republican staffers who walked precincts for Blakeslee in the heat of July and August, many of whom will be looking for new jobs come November.
The hiring of Shaw comes after the Republican set up a brand-new subcommittee — complete with a coveted paid staffer — which he hopes will foster more bipartisan agreement in the Legislature, including addressing the problem of terminally late budgets.
Two days after the special August election, Blakeslee was named to chair a new Senate Subcommittee on Recovery, Reform and Realignment. The committee has a broad-based mission: improving the job situation, reforming the tax code, and realigning “revenues and responsibilities between state and local government to improve accountability,” according to Blakeslee’s office
If Blakeslee wants to hold this seat he should continue to be seen as a moderate, even a progressive on environmental issues,” said Paul Mitchell, Democratic strategist.