Bob Moretti

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Bob Moretti Speaker of the California State Assembly

Robert Moretti (June 3, 1936 – May 12, 1984) was an American politician. A Democrat, Moretti served as Speaker of the California State Assembly from 1971 to 1974.[1]

Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1936 to Marino and Mary Moretti, his family later relocated to Los Angeles when Moretti was a teenager. Moretti's father was born in Ovindoli, Italy, and his mother was of Armenian descent.[2]

Moretti graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California in 1954 and went on to earn an accounting degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1958.[3] Returning to California, Moretti was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1964 at the age of 28, making him the youngest member of the Assembly at that time.[4] In the Assembly, Moretti represented Van Nuys.[4]

Seen as a protege of Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh, Moretti was first elected Speaker in 1971 and quickly emerged as a staunch opponent of Republican Governor Ronald Reagan.[1][4] Moretti's initial resistance to Reagan, however, gave way some cooperation, particularly on the issue of welfare costs. Seeking to reach a deal, Moretti purportedly told Reagan, "I don't like you particularly and I know you don't like me but we don't have to be in love to work together." Moretti and Reagan eventually developed a sense of mutual respect that culminated in the 1971 California Welfare Reform Act.[2]

In 1973, Moretti emerged as a leading figure in the successful campaign to defeat Reagan's Proposition 1, a ballot initiative to set state spending and taxes using formulas. Seen as a vehicle to enhance Reagan's national profile ahead of a possible run for President, Moretti and other opponents argued the proposition would force drastic cuts in state services and force local governments to raise property taxes.[5][6][7]

In 1974, Moretti was a candidate for the office of Governor of California but was defeated in the Democratic primary by Jerry Brown, who went on to win the general election.[4]

Bob Moretti memorial, Sacramento, Capitol Park

Moretti died of a heart attack while playing tennis in 1984 at the age of 47.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Driscoll, James D. (1976). California's Legislature, 1976. Sacramento: Chief Clerk of the Assembly. p. 186.
  2. ^ a b Cannon, Lou (2003). Governor Reagan: His Rise To Power. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-030-1.
  3. ^ Journal of the Assembly, Legislature of the State of California. Sacramento: James D. Driscoll, Chief Clerk of the Assembly. 1973. p. 17175.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lambert, Marjie (13 May 1984). "Moretti, 47, Dies Of Heart Attack". Sacramento Bee.
  5. ^ "California Faces Key Vote Tuesday". The New York Times. 1973-11-04. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  6. ^ Daniel J.B. Mitchell, "Governor Reagan's ballot box budgeting: One that got away." Southern California Quarterly 89.2 (2007): 195-227.
  7. ^ Garin Burbank, "Governor Reagan's Only Defeat: The Proposition 1 Campaign in 1973." California History 72.4 (1993): 360-373.

Further reading[edit]

  • Burbank, Garin. "Speaker Moretti, Governor Reagan, and the Search for Tax Reform in California, 1970-1972." Pacific Historical Review 61.2 (1992): 193-214. online free
  • Burbank, Garin. "Governor Reagan's Only Defeat: The Proposition 1 Campaign in 1973." California History 72.4 (1993): 360-373. online
  • Burbank, Garin. "Governor Reagan and California Welfare Reform: The Grand Compromise of 1971." California History 70.3 (1991): 278-289.
  • Mitchell, Daniel JB. "Governor Reagan's ballot box budgeting: One that got away." Southern California Quarterly 89.2 (2007): 195-227. online

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert T. Monagan
Speaker of the California State Assembly
January 1971–June 1974
Succeeded by
Leo T. McCarthy