The Biggest-Promising Political Party You Haven’t Heard Of

In 2014, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez cruised to victory uncontested when she ran for her first reelection after a year and a half in office. In 2016, her most visible opponent appears to be one of the most interesting candidates in recent history.

Louis J. Marinelli, is running as a candidate for the California National Party, which advocates California leaving the US to form a new nation. It appears that the party has a Twitter account but is not (according to the Secretary of State’s website) actually trying to qualify for ballot status.

Marinelli has made a number of, what can only be described as significant and creative campaign pledges, including seceding from the United States, moving the UN headquarters to San Francisco, and building solar panel roadways in Southern California.


Marinelli has also taken to Twitter to share his opinions on a number of very hot political topics in a more direct manner than we’re used to hearing. The day of the San Bernardino shooting, while California law enforcement was being hailed for successfully stopping the shooters, Marinelli suggested that it might be dangerous to employ military veterans as police officers because “They’re trained killers” and “many have PTSD” and calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment because Americans can no longer be “trusted with guns”. What followed was a fascinating… um… dialogue between Marinelli and former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.


Marinelli also tweeted that the blame for Wednesday’s attack in San Bernardino might fall on “a half century of American imperialism/foreign policy.”


Finally, Marinelli has announced that he will be soon release a detailed plan, which I can’t wait to read.CNP7

Term Limits Strikes Again

Beth Gaines

Beth Gaines

Today is “term out” day for fifteen members of the State Assembly. Under California’s first term limits law, legislators were forbidden from serving more than three terms in the Assembly. A court decision later clarified that partial terms of less than half a term wouldn’t count as a full term, meaning that the halfway point was when a term actually counted for the purposes of term limits.

So today, the first day past the halfway point in their third term, is past the official point of no return for Assemblymembers Achadjian, Alejo, Atkins, Bonilla, Campos, Gaines, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, Hernandez, Jones, Olsen, Perea, Wagner and Williams.

This brings the number of people who, due to term limits, are unable to ever run for the Assembly again to 226 (69 women and 157 men). There are also currently 97 people (23 women and 74 men) who are unable to run for reelection to the Senate.


Two Ways to Measure Tenure

A follow-up to the recent post about legislator age statistics… another interesting way to look at the Legislature and the passage of time is to look at the members who had the longest legislative careers.

But, as with everything else, there are multiple ways to measure “the longest legislative careers”; the easiest way to explain it is “Time in Office” vs. “Length of Career.”

Ralph Dills

The first and most common way to measure career longevity is to look at how long a member held elected office. That’s how we do it on JoinCalifornia’s Longest Terms in Office page. The longest-serving state legislator is Ralph Dills, who was a member of the Legislature for 42 years and 18 weeks. The top 25 officeholders by this measure are:

25 Legislators with the Longest Time in Office:

Legislator Time in Office
1 Dills, Ralph C. 42 years, 18 weeks
2 Thomas, Vincent 37 years, 48 weeks
3 Vasconcellos, John 37 years, 48 weeks
4 Petris, Nicholas C. 37 years, 48 weeks
5 Collier, Randolph 37 years, 48 weeks
6 Marks, Milton 37 years, 48 weeks
7 Slater, Herbert W. 36 years, 32 weeks
8 Greene, Leroy F. 35 years, 48 weeks
9 Lyon, Charles W. 34 years, 0 weeks
10 Burns, Hugh M. 34 years, 0 weeks
11 Alquist, Alfred E. 33 years, 48 weeks
12 Maloney, Thomas A. 32 years, 0 weeks
13 Donnelly, Hugh P. 32 years, 0 weeks
14 Russell, Newton R. 31 years, 48 weeks
15 Collier, John L. E. 31 years, 48 weeks
16 Brown, Willie L. 30 years, 50 weeks
17 Crittenden, Bradford S. 30 years, 0 weeks
18 Parkman, Harry L. 30 years, 0 weeks
19 Grunsky, Donald L. 29 years, 48 weeks
20 Beverly, Robert G. 29 years, 30 weeks
21 McBride, James J. 28 years, 24 weeks
22 Hawkins, Augustus F. 28 years, 0 weeks
23 Swing, Ralph E. 28 years, 0 weeks
24 Stiern, Walter W. 27 years, 48 weeks
25 Lanterman, Frank 27 years, 48 weeks


Jess Dorsey

Alternatively, you look at the total time that passed between when the elected official’s first day in office and their last. Probably not surprisingly, Dills appears at the top of this list, having a career that stretched over nearly 60 years (his service as a lawmaker was interrupted between 1949 and 1966 while he was serving as a Los Angeles County Municipal Court judge.

You’ll see some new names on this list, including Frederick Lux, who served in the Assembly in the 1860s and again 1903 and Jess R. Dorsey, who was first elected to the Assembly in 1902 and died in office in 1958.

25 Legislators with the Longest Careers:

Legislator Time Between Assuming to Leaving Office Time in Office
1 Dills, Ralph C. 59 years, 48 weeks 42.35
2 Dorsey, Jesse R. 55 years, 38 weeks 19.75
3 Dymally, Mervyn M. 45 years, 47 weeks 18.02
4 Coombs, Frank L. 43 years, 51 weeks 18
5 Clarke, George A. 43 years, 50 weeks 22
6 Godfrey, George B. 41 years, 51 weeks 2
7 Lux, Frederick 41 years, 50 weeks 4
8 Lyon, Charles W. 39 years, 51 weeks 34
9 Phelps, Timothy Guy 39 years, 50 weeks 7
10 Burton, John L. 39 years, 48 weeks 26.48
11 Vasconcellos, John 37 years, 48 weeks 37.92
12 Petris, Nicholas C. 37 years, 48 weeks 37.92
13 Collier, Randolph 37 years, 48 weeks 37.92
14 Thomas, Vincent 37 years, 47 weeks 37.92
15 Marks, Milton 37 years, 45 weeks 37.92
16 Slater, Herbert W. 36 years, 32 weeks 36.62
17 Treacy, Timothy E. 35 years, 51 weeks 3.83
18 Greene, Leroy F. 35 years, 47 weeks 35.92
19 Burns, Hugh M. 33 years, 51 weeks 34
20 Nielsen, Roy J. 33 years, 51 weeks 22
21 Durst, D. P. 33 years, 50 weeks 3
22 Bane, Tom 33 years, 48 weeks 24
23 Alquist, Alfred E. 33 years, 47 weeks 33.92
24 Johnson, Grove L. 33 years, 3 weeks 15
25 May, William B. 32 years, 50 weeks 11

Please note: the list above includes only legislators who have left office (and does not include Senator Jim Nielsen (who has served a total of 18.9 years in the California Legislature over a period of 37 years).