Allow us to briefly cast ourselves in Claude Rains’ role as Capt. Louis Renault in “Casablanca” as we declare ourselves shocked, shocked to find hypocrisy in the state Capitol. We’re referring to Assembly Bill 2028, which would have allowed legislative employees to form a labor union. Note the past tense: would have allowed. The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, came up for a hearing in committee a couple weeks ago and was summarily dispatched on a 2-2 vote with three abstentions.

Now we frequently find ourselves at odds with organized labor. California Democrats, who control the Legislature, do not. They are closely allied with labor. But even after a series of disclosures about sexual harassment by legislators and high-ranking legislative employees, lawmakers exempted themselves from the prospect of dealing with unionized employees, just as they have exempted themselves from many other laws. It was, as Calmatters columnist Dan Walters quoted Gonzalez Fletcher saying, “the height of hypocrisy.”

You can send a letter to the editor at