By Phil Matier

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It’s rare but the two houses of the California legislature are about to choose two leaders from Southern California: Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, as its president pro tem, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, its speaker.

“It’s very unusual,” said former San Francisco Mayor and state Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.

“Just think about it: for the last several times we’ve had only Northern California pro tems in the Senate. It’s been different for the Assembly. The Assembly has usually been controlled by people down south.”

There are two firsts here as well: Atkins is the first openly gay woman to serve as speaker and de Leon is the first Latino to head the body.”

But no sooner are they in then they are already headed out; people in Sacramento are already talking about who will replace them because of term limits.

It’s Gov. Jerry Brown who will benefit from this situation the most because with all the changes and confusion, he’s the force that’s left standing the highest.

“Jerry has enjoyed something that no other governor has had and that is he is the only power in Sacramento—period” Brown said.

While Gov. Brown wants to gets high speed rail on the fast track, someone like Darrel Steinberg would ask for more money for mental health; he can still wheel and deal unlike the incoming crew.

“They don’t have the skill set, they don’t have the relationships, they don’t have the foundations and they don’t have tenure,” Brown said.


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