Californians, Meet Your Acting Governor, Tom Torlakson

California’s Governor, Jerry Brown is in Philadelphia, leading California’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention. So is the Lieutenant Governor and Brown’s apparent successor after the 2018 election, Gavin Newsom. So is the Speaker of the Assembly, and so on.

So the Superintendent of Public Education, Tom Torlakson, serves as the Acting Governor until Brown’s return on Friday. He is ninth in the line of succession. On the Federal level, that’s like the Secretary of Agriculture becoming President. The joke upon someone returning after such an event is usually, “So, did the place catch fire while I was out?” Problem is, in Torlakson’s case, the truthful answer to that question is “Unfortunately, yes.”

Which may may you wonder, who’s going to be acting as Editor-in-Chief while I’m at Leaguefest this weekend? You know, most if not all of the editorial staff will be there, and many of us are likely to be in states of questionable sobriety for a substantial fraction of it.1 But don’t worry, the show will go on! As for Acting Governor Torlakson, well, this week certainly adds an interesting ornament to his career. I hope he enjoys it.

Image by Port of San Diego

Image by adrielhampton Notes:

  1. Hmm. We probably ought to have a procedure for things like that. []
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16 thoughts on “Californians, Meet Your Acting Governor, Tom Torlakson

  1. Maybe you want this more like the UK – if a wormhole swallows up the Parliment building, the Royals would take charge for a while.

    So ED Kain needs to emerge from the video game survival shelter and reassert his authority.


  2. Can someone that far down the line of succession act, in good conscience, when the Governor can be in Sacramento in six hours? Let’s be honest, it’s wasn’t that long ago that the Governor could be in California and struggle to get to the capital in six hours.


      • The telephone seems like the more important change.

        So long as the written rules keep up with things.

        When I was a youngster, there was a point where the Nebraska legislature wanted to pass a particular bill, the lieutenant governor approved of the bill, and the governor strongly opposed it. There weren’t enough legislative votes to override a veto. Per the state constitution, if the governor is out of the state, all of the powers — including the ability to call a special session and sign bills — devolve to the lieutenant governor. To block the bill, the governor was effectively confined to the state for most of a year.


  3. I’ll run things. I mean, I routinely organize a dozen (or more) 4-year-olds into a quasi-functioning community. I should be up for the challenge of doing the same with you nincompoops!


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