Campaign 2010

May 13, 2014

Caught in a Lie: Jeff Gorell Misleading Voters on Minimum Wage

Jeff Gorell wants voters to believe he supports a minimum wage increase, but when he had the chance, he didn’t. Gorell said he wouldn’t support a minimum wage increase with a cost-of-living adjustment – but when it was removed from a bill last year – he still voted against it. Gorell voted against giving a modest increase in pay for struggling Californians, and now he’s misleading voters on his position.

“This is just the latest proof that say-anything Jeff Gorell can’t be trusted by the voters in this district,” said Tyrone Gayle of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s clear that no matter what he tells them, Jeff Gorell doesn’t care that California residents overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage to make sure that people who work hard can earn a decent living. The only thing that matters to Jeff Gorell is putting his interests and political ambitions ahead of California’s middle class families.”

BACKGROUND:

Voted Against First Minimum Wage Increase in Five Years. In April 2013, Gorell voted against a bill that will incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.00 to $10.00 per hour by 2016, the first increase in five years. Specifically, the bill raises the state minimum wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2014 and to $10.00 on January 1, 2016. The bill passed 52 to 25. [AB10, Assembly Floor Vote, Project Vote Smart website, accessed 5/13/14; Los Angeles Times, 9/12/13]

Claimed that He Did Not Vote for Bill Due to Automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustments. In May 2014, Gorell told the Ventura County Star’s Timm Herdt that, while he does not oppose increasing the minimum wage “in principle,” he voted against California’s minimum wage bill due to concerns over the automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) contained within the bill. [Timm Herdt column, Ventura County Star, 5/08/14]

Repeated Claim that he Did Not Vote for Minimum Wage Increase Due to COLA. In May 2014, during a candidate forum with Rafael Dagnesses and Doug Kmiec, Gorell repeated his claim that he voted against California’s minimum wage bill because it tied future increases to the cost-of-living. Gorell: “In principle, I do not oppose raising the minimum wage. Unfortunately, like the bill that went through Sacramento that I voted against to raise the minimum wage, and the current federal debate, it’s also tied to an automatic increase on minimum wage tied to the cost-of-living thereafter.” [Cal Lutheran Debate, 1:44:36, 5/10/14]

...But the Final Version of the Bill Did Not Include Automatic COLA. In September 2013, the Sacramento Bee reported that the final version of the California’s minimum wage bill “eliminated” the provision providing for “automatic adjustments to the[] minimum wage based on cost of living measures.” [Sacramento Bee, 9/25/13; CA Legislative Information’s Bill Compare: 12/03/12 (Introduced) vs 9/25/13 (Chaptered)]

73 Percent of Americans Support Increasing Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Per Hour. In January 2014, a Pew Research Center survey found that 73 percent of those surveyed supported increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. [Pew Research Center Survey, 1/23/14]