Use it or lost it

I’m beginning to wonder if any politician is still a real liberal:

After Jim Araby’s union of grocery store workers donated millions of dollars and cranked out 7,500 three-hour volunteer shifts last fall to help elect a supermajority of Democrats to the state Legislature and win statewide ballot measures, they, like many California liberals, began to dream big.

A supermajority – one party controlling two-thirds of both chambers – meant Democrats could pass a slew of progressive laws and unilaterally raise revenues without having to cajole a single Republican to join them.

But that hasn’t happened. And now, in light of Gov. Jerry Brown’s austere revision of his state budget proposal last week and two special elections Tuesday that could dent that supermajority, some of the 160,000 members of Araby’s union and other liberals are urging Democrats to use their power “or lose it.”

“We worked hard last year to help get that supermajority,” said Araby, the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, which is based in Oakland.

“Right now, some of our members are wondering if they’re going to come out for some Democrats next year. Are they going to give up their off time, their Saturdays and Sundays to make calls and knock on doors if they’re not going to see a progressive agenda come out of it? We’ll see,” Araby said.