San Jose City Council member Pete Constant is the closest thing that this city has to a Tea Party Republican in local politics. Or at least he was. In a surprising announcement late last night, Constant said that he is abandoning the Republican Party and registering as a Democrat.
“I’ve been watching a lot of Rachel Maddow,” he explained. “It’s one of my guilty pleasures. And by gosh, she makes a lot of sense.” The former police officer went on to explain that seeing events unfold in Wisconsin and Sacramento made him increasingly aware of the important role that unions play in defending the rights of public employees.
“The challenge,” Constant went on to say, “is to find ways to address the concerns of those who voted for me because of my conservative bona fides, while remaining true to my liberal convictions. I’ve already discussed this with the Mayor, and he agreed that I can serve as a bridge uniting both sides of the political divide.”
Appearing with Constant at his press conference was former City Councilmember Nora Campos. “Pete was always a formidable opponent,” she said, “but I knew that he would eventually come around. I am glad to have him on our side now.”
This was echoed by George Beattie, President of the San Jose Police Officers Association, who called the announcement “quite a surprise.” He said he is confident that Constant’s conversion will help to protect “the legitimate benefits enjoyed by San Jose’s finest,” especially as the city struggles to overcome a $105 million deficit.