Patterico's Pontifications


California Tax Revolt: What Next?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:29 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The Los Angeles Times claims that the campaign over six state budget propositions on today’s ballot in California ended with a whimper, and seeks to downplay the expected result by predicting a low turnout. But yesterday was more like the calm before the storm.

Tonight’s results will gauge what polls suggest is voter fury over the failure of the Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled Legislature to balance the state’s books.

As Californians struggle with joblessness, home foreclosures and sharp losses in the stock market, the state has raised taxes, cut spending and borrowed to fix a $42-billion shortfall — and still remains more than $15 billion shy of a balanced budget.

If voters reject Propositions 1C, 1D and 1E — the three chief money-raisers on Tuesday’s special election ballot — the shortfall will grow to $21 billion.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Democratic allies trotted out the usual human shields in this fight — kindergarteners, firefighters and policemen, nurses, etc. They outspent their opponents by seven-to-one. None of it worked. Although the opposing sides here did not always follow partisan lines (e.g., the SEIU opposes the initiatives), a recent Field Poll showed 72% of voters agreeing that rejecting the measures “would send a message to the governor and the state legislature that voters are tired of more government spending and higher taxes.”

In the face of expected defeat, Schwarzenegger has fled cross-country to Washington, DC, to listen to Pres. Obama talk about new federal tailpipe emissions. There is even more of a metaphor in the trip than the obvious punchline, as California’s future is likely to be found in DC. California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has already asked Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner to backstop a wave of short-term borrowing California will need to undertake this summer. Indeed, the Busness Insider notes that the yield on California debt has already been shrinking:

We’d say that the market is probably also pricing in the possibility that Barney Frank will get his way and we’ll have a federal backstop of all muni debt soon enough. Even without a formal backstop, we think it’s unlikely that the Obama administration and a Democrat controlled Capitol Hill would let California default.

This is another way that we’ve broken the signalling function of the credit markets, which no longer provide clear indications of expected economic performance thanks to the numerous and varied government interventions.

This is more of the uncertainty that undermines economic recovery. But an administration running auto companies for the benefit of the UAW and its political viability in the Rust Belt undoubtedly considers the Golden State “too big to fail.” After all, the New York Daily News headline would write itself: “Obama to California: Drop Dead.”

However, bailouts are unpopular. Many Americans will chafe just as much at the prospect of paying to bail out California’s decades of inept govenment as they do at paying to bail out GM’s decades of inept management. Obama would bail out California to hold onto those electoral votes, but he will have to worry about how many he loses in the process.


123 Responses to “California Tax Revolt: What Next?”

  1. Republican governor–that’s a laugher. He’s the perfect portrait of a RINO. However, the state’s problems are the fault of BOTH parties, the Dems for always seeking more taxes and the Stupid party for being too weak to stand for anything in particular. Both parties are beholden to the power of the unions and the desire to be liked.

    This is one outcome when office holders’ #1 goal is reelection, rather than serving their citizens. Here’s hoping that a future ballot contains a provision for a part-time legislature, which I think would do much to swing the influence back to the people. If they all had regular jobs (non-government jobs), they’d be more concerned about job creation.

    And it will be sad, indeed, when the feds bail out the state. If it’s impossible to fail, then the system encourages failure.

    There are still some of us who appreciate the principle of personal responsibility, allowing success and failure to have their own rewards.

    ManlyDad (e3dfe1)

  2. As an addendum to my wish for legislators to work part-time and hold a real job, I use as an example liberal George McGovern, who discovered how difficult it was to make a living as owner of a small business.

    ManlyDad (e3dfe1)

  3. I, a native Californian, moved out of California in 2005. It was to escape the crowding, the traffic, the lack of housing a middle-class person could afford, and the ever-growing language barrier. Most of all was the outrageous taxation levied on virtually everything thanks to choices made by Californians at the ballot box.

    Now that I am out of there, the governor goes to DC to beg. He wants the Feds to use their badges and guns to take money from the rest of the nation to bail California out of its irresponsible spending.

    I am not the New York Daily News, but I still say “California: Drop Dead”. The rest of us owe you nothing. You voted for these programs and projects. You voted into office this bunch of carbuncles on the collective behind of society.

    Now, deal with it.

    the friendly grizzly (fe82a0)

  4. friendly grizzly, I still live here and I feel exactly the same way. The best thing that could happen to California is to let us go bankrupt. It will hurt, of course, and not least it will hurt those like myself who haven’t voted for any part of it. But in the long run, it will be a net positive.

    For one thing, can you imagine what would happen in this state if there was no longer any money for social services and health care? You’d be able to see the brown line surging south from outer space…

    (cue lefty accusations of racism…snore…my wife of twenty years is black, lefties, so don’t bother)

    danebramage (700c93)

  5. Bailouts work!
    You just keep bailing out as many people as you need to vote for you. Every announcement is heralded as a good news local story. You stay in power as long as you can buy enough votes with someone else’s money.
    Like a great Ponzi scheme, it’ll continue to work as long as you can fool the actual payors.
    Can the Democrats keep the scheme alive through 2012?

    marvls (52f293)

  6. Obama might have a look at the federal treasury auction. Clinton complained about the bond market crimping his left wing plans. Obama is oblivious but that won’t last forever. Even the federal credit card has a limit; he just doesn’t know it yet. There is no great Tony Rezko in the sky. Reality bites, as the movie once said.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. They say, “As goes California, so goes the nation, just a little bit later.” When y’all declare bankruptcy, it’ll just show us bitter people in flyover country what lies in store for us as the Obama Administration continues to borrow-and-spend, borrow-and-spend.

    Now, if y’all could lead the nation by telling the public employee unions that they are going to take a 15% pay cut, or a 100% pay cut, their choice, maybe the rest of us in flyover country could see what having a pair actually means in terms of public policy.

    The frugal Dana (3e4784)

  8. “would send a message to the governor and the state legislature that voters are tired of more government spending and higher taxes.”

    Obviously not Colin Powell country

    Neo (46a1a2)

  9. They say, “As goes California, so goes the nation, just a little bit later.”

    I want to see concrete proof this is the case on ANY issue. For example, I’m pretty certain Texans don’t have their property tax assessments based on the sales price of the home, and at 1% of that (Prop 13). I’m fairly certain that Georgia (and 46 other states) lets a majority of the members of each house of its Legislature pass a budget. I KNOW FOR A FACT that my state of Colorado doesn’t issue General Obligations bonds, and no number of Californians moving here can get the Constitutional prohibition against General Obligation debt removed.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  10. They say, “As goes California, so goes the nation, just a little bit later.”

    Great weather should only have so much influence. Cali should be seen as a giant cautionary tale to every other state. Whatever we’ve done in the last 30 years, do the opposite.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  11. I am not a Californian, but it would seem that if they have a multi-billion dollar shortfall, the Legislature and Governor ought to act like that, quit spending new money, and make the tough cuts necessary to get their fiscal house in order. Crazy talk, huh?

    JD (557367)

  12. Brad S,

    No lecture today about “emotional appeal”?

    What about those kids? The cops? The nurses? Shouldn’t those emotional appeals save California today?

    Karl (3bf5f8)

  13. Ah yes, the Hostage Negotiations model of municipal budgeting. “Send us millions of dollars for more administrative assistants, or the cop gets it!”

    I’d say there ought’a be a law, except that the folks who make that particular brand of sausage are the ones who set it up that way in the first place.

    PCachu (e072b7)

  14. Karl,

    No need to get into emotional appeal today. California is running itself into the ground, but the notion that the rest of us would follow has historically been proven to be nonsense.

    Besides, I’d love to buy a California Revenue Anticipation Warrant (the appropriately acronymed RAW), just for the delight of receiving a nice, confiscatory yield from Californians who deserve the situation they find themselves in.

    [Sorry, Brad, but there is every reason for you to get into emotional appeal analysis today. For weeks, you have presumed to lecture me about how no one cares about process issues like how much government costs, and that successful politics always depends on making emotional appeals. Your oversimplified, one-dimensional view is being disproved today, on every level. Own it. — Karl]

    Brad S (9f6740)

  15. Q: What are the last words a Californian says to his neighbor before he gets in his U-Haul truck and moves to Nevada?

    A: “Come with me if you want to live.”

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  16. JD: “Crazy talk, huh?”

    JD, I’ve reserved you a room. As a mental health professional, I can assure you that you can be helped! 🙂

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  17. i was at a local government meeting, and talking with a board member afterward, where the state budget was being discussed.

    i told this worthy that solving the money woes in Sacto was easy, and all we had to do was spend less money.

    his reply was “That kind of thinking won’t get us out of this mess.”

    that’s the problem right there.

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  18. GM Roper – Thank you for your vote of confidence.

    In general, this always makes me think of trying to put this in terms of household finances. Were people to run their household budgets in this manner, this would appear to be the equivalent of going into one’s employer, demanding a 40% increase in your take-home salary, or else you are going to kill an old person, and getting it.

    JD (db7b76)

  19. “That kind of thinking won’t get us out of this mess.”

    How did you keep from beeyotch-slapping him?

    JD (db7b76)

  20. Comment by GM Roper — 5/19/2009 @ 7:46 am

    The mess here in CA is almost unfathomable, and we might be able to work our way out of it; but,
    dealing with all of the little demons whirling about in JD’s head….
    now that’s certainly a bridge too far!

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  21. Next is to go after those with good credit and give them fees to cover people with bad credit.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  22. Oh, I don’t know AD-RtR/OS!, I like the motto that My dad taught me: The difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a little longer! 😛

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  23. Long answer on the other site.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  24. #19 How did you keep from beeyotch-slapping him?

    i didn’t want to wind up in jail for a hate crime…

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  25. Comment by GM Roper — 5/19/2009 @ 9:13 am

    Dad was a CB?

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  26. If you’re a voter in the City of LA, please vote Trutanich for City Attorney.

    He’s the Anti-Weiss. %-)

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  27. Karl

    [Sorry, Brad, but there is every reason for you to get into emotional appeal analysis today. For weeks, you have presumed to lecture me about how no one cares about process issues like how much government costs, and that successful politics always depends on making emotional appeals. Your oversimplified, one-dimensional view is being disproved today, on every level. Own it. — Karl]

    considering much if not most of your post had little factual basis to it – a hallmark of your anti Arnold anti Republican crap you spew constantly – this reply was downright hysterical

    I can tell you why California is losing out both jobs to Texas and Industry at a rapid rate.

    You destroyed your oil business

    You voted for a Democratic Legislature

    The State and Local payroll now eclispes that of the largest private sector in total dollars.

    You cannot tax the people more to bring prosperity, something obviously you do not get since you blame a Republican Governor for a Democratic Budget.

    Karl, the Democrats best weapon

    EricPWJohnson (4be6ab)

  28. Eric, try reading the post.

    SPQR (72771e)

  29. Today, here in CA, we are harvesting the results of changing to a full-time Legislature 40-years ago.
    The professionalism we were promised has only manifested itself in the refinement of self-serving greed and the enlargement of the political class into “mandarins” who are only interested in themselves, and care not a whit about those who have elected them to their positions of privilege.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  30. Karl,

    The problem California has is the lege is controlled by the unions (ohhh and that DEMOCRAT party)

    Maybe if you started putting the heat on the Budget Committee guys or the Democrats on the hot seat.

    Here is an article *gasp* from 1996 – gee this one is sourced with facts and stats not 11 editorials that you use as facts

    Note its from the Economist

    Note its from 1996

    Note the problem was at critical mass years before Arnold was there

    It could also be that Govt workers are paid too much

    EricPWJohnson (4be6ab)

  31. SPQR

    Ummm Try reading the stuff he linked to

    And maybe you should read it again as well

    There is a deficit because California has Democrats in charge of 7 of the 9 major cities and both houses of the state assembly nad has for decades

    One guy from Austria cannot veto them into submission and the fact that someone thinks they can – well – its making Sullivan look relevant by comparison

    Just more frustrated over the top emotional non-sense from Karl

    He’s good on most things just when it gets to California and the Ex Mr Universe – he loses it

    EricPWJohnson (4be6ab)

  32. I’m voting no on all of them.

    I may lose my job and have to fight off released prisoners with a shotgun, but it will be worth it if we stop this insane spending!

    Patricia (2183bb)

  33. EPWJ…The legislature has insulated itself from the voters by instituting the most heavily gerry-mandered apportionment of election districts in the history of the nation.
    As an example, in the last two General Elections IIRC, no district at any level (State Assy, State Senate, Congressional) changed political party.
    Just as in the old “Solid South”, the contest is in the primary of the party which predominates in each district. To win the Primary, is to win the General.
    Our elected representatives only respond to those who are instrumental to their elections (those orginizations that supply large amounts of funds and feet – public employee unions, predominately), and tell the rest of us how concerned they are, and thankful that we have contacted them over some issue that they will support or not depending on what their major contributors wish – not what their constituents wish.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  34. What about those kids? The cops? The nurses?

    They were quite capable of taking care of themselves at 1998 per-capita spending levels.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  35. No sympathy from Louisiana. Other states would be happy to welcome the talent and ideas many California residents have to offer.
    Cops and firemen (fire people?) welcome as well.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  36. 33

    Soo? Democrats in California are responsible for the Budget – the Budget is done by the House and voted on and approved by the State Senate.

    Your saying that gerrymandering is responsible is like Karl (who needs to review just basic civics) blaming the governor for not controlling an overwhrlming majority of Democrats – the Governor can only veto – thats about it and then if he shuts down government – boy oh boy – its used as a political weapon to REALLY get the dems to turn out and then they will control every Federal and State seat and govt

    I thought this blog was started protesting alot of the misinformation that spewed forth from the LA times which is just a mouth piece for the Democrats

    Yet we have people linking to LAT editorials and expounding on a liberal newspapers 24 year old Ivy league liberal educated reporter’s words as if they came down from the mountain from Moses.


    EricPWJohnson (4be6ab)

  37. AD: “Dad was a CB?”

    Nope, Infantry, WWII, Korea, Vietnam… guess he got it from the CB’s

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  38. Eric, Schwarzenegger is campaigning for the ballot initiatives – none of which do anything but backstop the Democratic legislatures spending binge.

    SPQR (72771e)

  39. “….For weeks, you have presumed to lecture me about how no one cares about process issues like how much government costs, and that successful politics always depends on making emotional appeals. Your oversimplified, one-dimensional view is being disproved today, on every level.”

    Yes, it’s being disproved by folks on this site who get all emotional by saying things like “California: Drop Dead”. We all know CA isn’t going bankrupt; they’ll just get put on “austerity measures,” like NYC did back in the ’70s. And one of those “austerity measures” is being forced to use high-yielding RAWs, which I want to buy because I KNOW you’ll pay those first.

    [Of course, my post says that Obama will avoid that “Drop Dead” headline, and that California will indeed muddle along with help from the feds. But I guess misrepresenting the post is what you have left now. –Karl]

    Brad S (9f6740)

  40. Arnold tried to change the culture with his special election back in ’05 IIRC, and was handed his head by the public-employee unions (particularly the nurses and the teachers) who outspent Arnold by about 2:1.
    With that defeat, he went into popularity mode by picking long-time Dem staffers to man his office, and capitulated to the P-E unions on most matters, just to secure his re-election in ’06.
    Arnold has no intention to shut-down the State Government, and wielded his line-item veto pen marginally at best.
    The GOP in the Legislature, for the most part, has put some brakes on the escalation of spending through the 2/3rds vote requirement in each house which requires the Dems to turn a few Reps to get the budget passed; but, as we saw with Abel Maldonado, the concessions they squeeze out of the Dems are mostly self-serving, and don’t help the vast majority of taxpayers in the state.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  41. Brad S….Don’t forget that after being brushed-off by Ford, the Mayor of NYC went back and terminated 40,000 CITY employees – including police, fire, and teachers.
    40,000! … City Employees!
    With the chronic budget shortfalls here in CA, not one State Employee has been terminated; in fact, the employee roles are heavier today than when Arnold was first elected.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  42. I’m voting no on all of them.

    Careful there, Patricia. No on 1F means you are voting to allow the legislators to raise their salaries at any time, even when CA is in deficit. I am guessing you wouldn’t actually favor that, and just went with the figurative “NO!” on more deficit spending by borrowing, higher taxes, or whatever nefarious schemes they concoct. Headed off the polls myself after the markets close.

    allan (0afe6a)

  43. Allan: that is not true. The legislators cannot raise their salaries; their salaries are set by an independent commission.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  44. Your saying that gerrymandering is responsible is like Karl (who needs to review just basic civics) blaming the governor for not controlling an overwhrlming majority of Democrats

    Gerrymandering is in part responsible. The 2000 gerrymander was an incumbent-protection scheme which guaranteed every sitting legislator except Gary Condit re-election; it did this by making the left-leaning districts more left-leaning, and making the right-leaning districts more right-leaning … with the result that everyone has to placate the more extreme elements of their respective bases in the primary, and has an active disincentive to irritating them while in office.

    So the Democrats cannot rein in spending, because they would lose the primary if they tried; nor can the Republicans raise taxes, because they would lose the primary if they tried.

    This is why I voted for Prop. 11 in November. I hope it helps.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  45. 1F is a joke. Oh, I’ll vote for it, but it is essentially meaningless since all they’ll do is catch up the following year, or pay themselves a larger living allowance, or redefine “deficit.”

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  46. As an example, in the last two General Elections IIRC, no district at any level (State Assy, State Senate, Congressional) changed political party.

    Not technically true: a Congressional district straddling the line between the outer east bay and the stockton/sacramento areass flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2006.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  47. Kevin: ‘deficit’ is pretty strictly defined in the measure, which is embedded in the state Constitution. It seems difficult to imagine that they could redefine it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  48. Comment by aphrael — 5/19/2009 @ 11:09 am

    Well, as a Conservative who votes in the GOP primary, that makes me feel a lot better.
    Just what the Bay Area needs: another Dem legislator!

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  49. EricPWJohnson,

    I’m not blaming Arnold entirely. There’s plenty of blame to go ’round, including the Dems in the Assembly and CA voters who previously shot down his attempts to reform the system.

    But Arnold must take his share of the blame. Once defeated, he largely stopped fighting. And he did back the current round of initiatives. And he did roll out all of the Left’s standard human shields. And he did make wild claims about having to open up the prisons. And so on.

    Karl (f07e38)

  50. I tend to view this in the same manner in which I view AGW. Until the people making the claimsm, and the people in charge start acting as though there is a real emergency, it is not going to worry me too much. As the Legislature and the Governor simply look for more short-term stop-gap fixes, it is clear that it is either A) not nearly the crisis that it is made out to be, or B) that they are fundamentally incapable of showing any modicum of fiscal restraint. Or both.

    JD (928a1b)

  51. #47

    there’s little i can’t imagine our legislature doing…..

    except, of course, acting rationally, spending wisely, encouraging business, allowing oil & gas exploration and development, allowing more power plants and refineries…….

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  52. aphrael – If memory serves, was there recently an issue in either LA or CA where a legislative body, who was otherwise forbidden from raising taxes/fees by statute, did so by simply calling it something other than what it actually was? Why would there be any doubt that they could/would not do the same thing with the term deficit?

    JD (928a1b)

  53. Comment by aphrael — 5/19/2009 @ 11:10 am

    They’ve been constantly redefining common terms to obscure the hole that they are digging for us.
    They are the ones who appoint members to the pay commission, they set their own per diem rates, and the work-around on whether or not the Legislature is in session (for purposes of paying per diem) is a scandal.
    We need to return to a part-time legislature, so that members cannot escape the consequences of the bad legislation that they pass upon the rest of us – that is what it means to be a Republic, isn’t it?

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  54. JD…Many times the Legislature here has relabeled taxes as “fees” and had their heads handed to them by the Courts, but they keep trying.
    You got to give them credit for stubborness.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  55. JD: there was discussion of that although they didn’t actually do it. odds are good that they will do it this summer and that Governor Schwarzenegger will then vetto it.

    AD – RtR/OS, rdc1c4, please look at the language of the law. The no-raises provision takes effect if:

    the Director of Finance estimates that there will be a negative balance in the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties in an amount equal to or greater than 1 percent of estimated General Fund revenues in the current fiscal year.

    now, maybe the legislatures can get the director of finance to collude with them in lying about it, but that seems fairly unlikely, since the director of finance doesn’t answer to the legislature.

    [note that i’m voting against the measure, but I think you guys are seriously underestimating its effectiveness.]

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  56. AD – Sounds like you just need to pass a law that fees cannot be raised without public support. Then they could simply rename them levies, embezzlement, extortion, hush money, or anything else they would like.

    JD (928a1b)

  57. Well, as taxes relate to Prop-13, the Legislature is required to have a 2/3rds margin to pass tax changes, some of which are required to be validated by a vote of the electorate, IIRC.

    And, general taxes must receive a 2/3rds vote in the Legislature to pass. This is why they try to rename them as “fees” – fees only require a simple majority.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  58. Allan: that is not true. The legislators cannot raise their salaries; their salaries are set by an independent commission.

    Comment by aphrael — 5/19/2009 @ 11:05 am

    Okay, I’ll grant you the technicality, Lady of the Law…but here’s the verbatim heading on my ballot:


    Close enough for me. I don’t care who is in charge of the raises, the legislators or some commissioners. Down goes Frazier.

    allan (0afe6a)

  59. Comment by aphrael — 5/19/2009 @ 11:32 am

    1-F is probably (overall) a good measure.
    However, to simplify things, most groups that are opposed to the dishonesty of this special election, but who are not strongly opposed (or even at all) to 1-F, have decided that the message is easier to sell if you say: Just Vote NO!

    Perhaps after the Legislature has been whupped real hard today, they might rethink their position on a lot of things, including how they get paid.
    The voters are in no mood to be screwed with, and those that don’t get the message will suffer the consequences. There are quite a few legislators subject to recall movements now, further intransigence will only increase that number.
    And, the ’10 primaries could be Hell on Wheels!

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  60. AD – How realistic is it to expect any grand change after 2010? Is there anything to suggest that the legislature will pay attention to public sentiment, reduce spending, lower taxes, or do anything that actually resembles real world frugality?

    JD (928a1b)

  61. aphrael…I just read your comment about the effectiveness of 1F. Right you are. But this is sometimes about pushing back right now. And then sometimes it includes future considerations. 1F to me speaks to both.

    By the way, I adore your well spoken and thoughtful commentary.

    allan (0afe6a)

  62. JD…2010 is an eternity away in political terms, this is today,
    and the electorate is in an ugly mood that had best be not defied.
    As I mentioned earlier, those that continue to deny the will of the electorate,
    will find their time consumed by recall attempts. Just as when Davis was recalled,
    the electorate doesn’t care how much a special election is going to cost, they just want to effect change.
    BTW, Arnold is the subject of a recall.
    Several of our current legislators may not be around to run in the 2010 Primary;
    and, they will only have themselves to blame.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  63. AD – I understand the mood, but quite simply, absent a sea change in the mindset of the sitting legislators, there will be no change. Simply removing an officeholder and replacing him/her with a new person that shares the exact same mindset is not going to change anything. I am sure that every last one of them will run campaigns based on reform/Hope!/Change!, but we know where that gets us …

    JD (928a1b)

  64. Well, I’m not quite so pesimistic re the self-interest of politicians.
    I think that some of them are capable of change, and that some who aren’t will be tossed aside by the electorate.
    We went through this before with Prop-13 in 1978, and some (such as Jerry Brown) survived, and some didn’t.
    If the Legislature doesn’t set things right, it could very well be “Pitchforks and Torches” time.
    I would remind all of you from points east, that the measures that have devasted the economy in CA are the very basics of what Duh-1 wishes to do on a national scale.
    If we can’t stop it here, to do so nationally will require an effort never before seen…
    at least since we decided that pesky secession thingy.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  65. Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 5/19/2009 @ 12:23 pm

    That exclamation after OS is greatly deserved after those last 2 comments. I’m an OSX sort myself, but I know a good OS! when I see one.

    allan (0afe6a)

  66. Would it be fair to say that those of us who are not Californians want to see the various propositions fail — except 1F — because we want to see a budget trainwreck, because we want to see the legislature forced to come to terms with the fact that people don’t want higher taxes?

    The somewhat amused Dana (3e4784)

  67. I just voted at the local elementary school. When I walked into the “multi-purpose” room (gym) all the election workers were sitting in the darkened room with their heads down on their tables, sound asleep. I’m guessing that is a sign of a light turnout! LOL!

    I voted NO on all the props, including 1F. The language of the prop creates a perverse personal financial incentive to legislators to balance the budget however they can – which in CA means raising taxes. Also, in the Alice in Wonderland world of political doublespeak, a prop that restricts raises in years when they don’t issue a balanced budget (which BTW is required by the state Constitution)will be contorted to yield justification for a raise every time they actually follow the law and churn out a balanced budget.

    Finally, these props going down in flames is just a one year reprieve in taxation to the skies. The Dems in Sacto put a measure on the June 2010 ballot that reinstitutes open primaries. The supposed purpose is to encourage “more moderate” candidates in both parties. What it will actually mean is that ACORN, SEIU and other ner-do-wells will be paid by the Dems to vote in the GOP primary for RINOs and Dem-lite candidates who will be compliant in towing the tax and spend line in Sacto – should they win in the general election.

    As we know there are just a handful of stalwart Republicans that stand between the taxpayer and huge tax increases to feed the voracious state government beast. Once those guys are picked off through open elections, the 2/3s vote in the legislature required to raise taxes is assured and we are all screwed.

    BTW, the Dems are very effective in marketing the 2010 open primary prop – it now has a 63% favorable level in polling. I mean who doesn’t want a kinder, gentler legislature where everyone works together and gets along…

    in_awe (bc82df)

  68. The open primary proposition was “extracted” from the Legislative leadership by Abel Maldanado to give him a way back to Sacramento, since he knew his sell-out would be punished by the GOP voters in his district in a closed primary.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  69. California’s trainwreck is a preview of what the USA is facing under the Obamanazis.

    THOMAS jACKSON (8ffd46)

  70. Someone needs to tell Brad S. to stop being so emotional.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  71. #66 The somewhat amused Dana

    I think you’ll find there are some of us in California who want to see the same thing.

    wherestherum (d413fd)

  72. #71 I’m one of those Californians.

    Soon will go vote to express my will . . . hope those in Sacto. heed the message!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (95189d)

  73. in_awe: it’s really unfair to blame the open primary ballot measure on Democrats … since its presence on the ballot was part of the price that Sen. Maldonado, a Republican, charged in exchange for agreeing to the budget compromise.

    significant parts of the Democratic party leadership is terrified of this because they think it will hurt them, too … and they may even campaign against it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  74. Well, the last Open Primary law was challenged all the way to SCOTUS in a bi-partisan attack by the Dems and Reps – and they won, with the Court declaring it an abridgement of the Right of Association.
    This time around it will be patterned after other successful systems used in, for one place, Louisiana.
    So, we shall see.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  75. …but, the Dem leadership in the Legislature had to agree to advance the bill to get it on the ballot as part of the deal with Abel for his vote on the budget.
    Personally, I would love it if they then threw their support behind its’ defeat.
    I wonder who would be around to pull Abel out from under the bus?

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  76. The last open primary law and this open primary law are wildly different, and this one has been deliberately crafted to avoid the problem in the previous case.

    The last open primary law was a blanket primary in which the top vote-getter in each party advanced. That was found unconstitutional.

    This law is more of a runoff situation: it’s a blanket primary in which the top two vote getters, regardless of party, advance. Since at that point no party is being forced to accept the ‘nomination’ of a candidate selected with votes from the other parties, it should be immune to the freedom of association challenge.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  77. It will only make the gerrymandering problem worse, as in districts that are heavily weighted to one party or the other, the run-off will be between the strongest candidates of the predominate party within that district, and will not be a true electoral contenst, because it squeezes out all of the minor parties.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  78. Alternately, it will be between the extreme wing of the party and the centrist/moderate wing of the party, and it will allow the moderates to band together with the other side’s partisans to oust the extremist.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  79. Well, that’s a fascinating scenario, but I don’t think it tracks with the reality that is Louisiana.
    It still depends on the demographic make-up of the district if we still allow our elected representatives to choose their electors. And, you only have the two proscribed choices, and not the full panoply of the electoral spectrum.
    It is a restriction of Choice, not very Progressive.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  80. AD – RtR/OS: as opposed to the current system, where the extremists in both parties choose the candidate, and the election in most places is decided in the primary?

    The proposed change strikes me as providing *more* choice.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  81. No, under the current system, the choices within each party are make in the Primary, by each political party, and only by the registered voters of those parties. Then, the entire spectrum of parties is presented to the voters in the General. If the districts were not gerrymandered, but were drawn with some degree of integrity (such as was done following the 1990 Census), then you would have the possiblity that not only would the extremes within a party might not be competitive, but that a rational, minor party candidate could capture the attention and favor of the electorate. That is the way that the occassional Peace&Freedom, American-Independent, and Green candidate has won in the past.
    Under the run-off system proposed, only the two most popular candidates of the predominant party within the district will reach the General Election if the districts are gerrymandered as they are now, and you end up with a choice between the Far-Right/Left candidate, and the Not-so Far-Right/Left candidate. That is not particularly a choice.
    It would be far simpler to just stop gerry-mandering the electoral districts, and to draw them under the standards that were observed by the Judicial Commission in 1991, that sought to preserve geographical identities and compactness.
    We can do this, we have done it before; but, we have to hold a mallet over the heads of the politicians to force them to do the right thing, and to end the incumbent protection racket they have devised.
    It starts with voting against an incumbent if there is a better alternative within the party (in the Primary), or voting for a competing party representative if you can live with his/her positions on the issues that you consider important.

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  82. It would be far simpler to just stop gerry-mandering the electoral districts, and to draw them under the standards that were observed by the Judicial Commission in 1991, that sought to preserve geographical identities and compactness.

    I’m certainly in favor of that, and voted for Prop. 11 in November in the hopes that that would be the result.

    It starts with voting against an incumbent if there is a better alternative within the party (in the Primary)

    It’s not uncommon for incumbents to be unopposed in the primary.

    voting for a competing party representative if you can live with his/her positions on the issues that you consider important.

    part of the problem I have is that I’m part of a large political minority in California: I disagree with the overwhelming majority of Republican party candidates on social and environmental issues, and I disagree with the overwhelming majority of Democratic party candidates on fiscal issues. I think the libertarians are mostly loons, as are the AIP people; I’m more sympathetic to the greens but think that most of them are wildly out of touch with anything resembling reality.

    So when my preferred candidate loses in the primary of whichever party I’m registered with this year, I’m almost always forced to choose between a Republican candidate whom I dislike (for social policy reasons) and a Democratic candidate whom I dislike (for fiscal policy reasons). Worse, because the districts are so badly gerrymandered, while a gay-marriage-supporting environmentalist fiscal conservative (whom I would like) could get elected as a candidate in the general election in my part of the state, he can’t get through either primary.

    But he might be able to get through the runoff system being proposed.

    [Truth be told, I’d probably prefer IRV, but IRV seems to be too complicated to get enough public support to be adopted statewide.]

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  83. All elections involve compormises and tradeoffs.
    No candidate will ever reflect your positions 100%.
    You have to balance what is important against what you can put up with.
    But, when you are a significant minority, you will probably be unhappy no matter who is running unless you are in a district that was designed to meet your specifications.
    Just remember, we’ve come a long way from when Henry Ford said you can have a Model-T in any color you want, as long as it is Black!

    AD - RtR/OS! (681803)

  84. All elections involve compormises and tradeoffs.


    But the fact that there will always be some trade-off does not mean that the particular set of trade-offs which are mandated by the current system need always be there.

    No candidate will ever reflect your positions 100%.


    But that doesn’t mean that jumping from 50% to 75% is unattainable.

    You have to balance what is important against what you can put up with.


    I’ve been doing that.

    It’s why I voted for Tom McClintock when he was running for Controller but not when he was running for Lt. Governor, and it’s why I voted for Tom Campbell when he ran against Dianne Feinstein: those were trade-offs I could live with.

    But, when you are a significant minority, you will probably be unhappy no matter who is running unless you are in a district that was designed to meet your specifications.

    Sure. 🙂

    Yet the fact that a perfect outcome is unattainable should never be an excuse not to work for a better outcome.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  85. aphrael,

    You may have done this elsewhere and I missed it, but do you have any predictions on how the votes will end up? You did such a good job analyzing the issues, I’m interested in what you think will happen.

    DRJ (f55947)

  86. DRJ: 1F will pass, narrowly. Everything else will fail by large margins. Turnout will be pathetically small.

    The polls have been pretty consistent on all three points for some time.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  87. I haven’t checked yet but is turnout really low or are they just putting this out as a pre-emptive strike (we didn’t get the props passed because not enough of you came out to vote but if you had….).

    I happily voted no on all. Enough is really enough.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  88. No official word yet, but my polling place (this is the first election I haven’t worked as a precinct officer at in years and one of the few since I turned 18) was unnaturally dead this morning.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  89. Thanks, aphrael. I’m not on top of California polling so I’m glad you are.

    DRJ (f55947)

  90. aphrael/AD –

    Thank you for the enlightening (and rational) discussion about the open primary issue I raised. It certainly exposed some nuances I hadn’t yet focused on.

    A few questions for you, if I might:

    1. With some major changes in the upcoming Census process viz a vis the 1990 and 2000 efforts (statistical estimation allowed which is expected to swell counts in predominately Democratic districts, the use of a large number of partisan census takers, etc.) do you think we will move closer or farther away from the incumbent biased model we currently have?

    2. Which party stands to benefit more in reality (versus theory)?

    3. Do you perceive an operational difference between the GOP and Democrats in proven capabilities in rallying large numbers of partisans in the proposed open primary system?

    4. Why not drop party primaries entirely and just hold a general election with a runoff as needed? (I believe that approach is common in other countries.)

    Thanks again for your thoughtful insights.

    in_awe (bc82df)

  91. Karl,

    Arnold knows whats going to happen to the Republican Party when the schools get closed

    You cannot lay people off at the ports – those unions will strike shutting down 33% of the United States Economy

    You cannot lay off Power Workers – they will all on on strike – shutting down the grid to 25% of the state

    These Unions are on record and in the past their actions are quite specific and other unions are just as protective

    Arnold has no choice but to end at least one grade without damaging overall education

    There are way way way way way too many firehouses in California – everyone knows that – if the people in those areas want them then Californians can do like every other state municipality – pay for their own emergency services – In rural Tennessee I pay 125 dollars a year for fire and police – in Texas it was 800 dollars – but hey they were directly accountable to the neighborhoods and could be fired at will

    And don’t get me started on the toothless and useless CHIPS – that should have been culled eons ago

    Personally I’d do a Reagan and get those 175,000 port workers thrown into the bay and hire stevedres at 60,000. but then again, Arnold really doesent want to see a 90% lege and a 90% delegation to the House of Representatives in Washington.

    Gray Davis missed two powerbills – got his ass booted – Arnold? Don’t think that they will find someway to put his butt in Jail if he shuts down the govt


    You and we – we collective we – need to concentrate on those that got California where it is in the first place

    EricPWJohnson (915b81)

  92. In other words

    Like Phil Gram says grab em by the throat don’t let go until they stop talking and moving – throw em the street with the rest of the garbage

    Elections mean things – focus on the Caifornia Democrat House members whose families are sooo up into the financial structure of the state government – it makes some of the Huey Longs in Baton Rouge appear to be vestile virgins

    EricPWJohnson (915b81)

  93. The CA Props have been handily defeated, with only 1-F passing.
    The NO’s were: 63%, 60%, 62%, 62%, & 63% – A-E.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1b5813)

  94. The YES on 1-F was 76%!
    If they could have ripped up the pols paychecks, they would have.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1b5813)

  95. Comment by in_awe — 5/19/2009 @ 6:21 pm

    To try to answer your questions:
    The Census only provides the raw data, and I don’t think they will be allowed to use statistical estimation since the Constitution requires a “numeration”. What each State does with the data is up to them – Federalism, you know. The Congress will decide how the seats are re-apportioned (by number), but it is up to the “several states” to draw the district boundaries.
    Nominally, the Party in control of the State Legislature has a leg up in the re-apportionment process. If the Governor is of the same Party, it is easier to steamroll the process. If not, it is more likely to be fair.
    I, personally, don’t believe we will see any kind of open primary that allows non-party members to select nominees – that was the sticking point that the Supremes struck down previously. Neither party is in favor of open or blanket primaries as it is a violation of their association rights. This is all a creation of the “Good Government” types, who feel that politics is “icky” and needs their gentle hand of guidance.
    Other countries do not have a Federal Republic form of government. If we wanted to be like “other countries”, we would never have broken away from England. And, if our form of government is so distastful, you would think that people would stop moving here.

    Comment by EricPWJohnson — 5/19/2009 @ 7:28 pm

    Eric, I’m not quite sure that you’re up on how things are organized in CA, but many of the items you raise could not happen.
    The vast majority of workers in the Ports work for the various maritime/transport companies, not the government.
    The vast majority of the power grid is controlled by Public Utilities (private), not government entities.
    The Governor runs no school district. The State portions out the money, local school boards decide how it is spent.
    There are many areas of CA that have volunteer fire departments, or are protected by the State Forestry Dept.; but again, the Governor has no direct control over these entities (with the exception of the Forestry Dept.) which are controlled by local pols (Counties, Cities, Special Districts).
    Again, you must remember that CA is the 8th-largest economy in the World, with a population of 38-40 million people spread over an area stretching some 600-odd miles from the Mexican border to Oregon and inland 150-miles from the Pacific surf to Nevada, encompassing both the lowest spot in North America and the highest point in the lower-48.
    I live in one of the smaller cities in L.A.Co (12 sq.mi.) but it contains over 100K people and we’re just another “bedroom community”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (1b5813)

  96. I wonder if these props being defeated in CA will make politicians take the Tea Parties more seriously.

    MayBee (c50b9d)

  97. allan,
    I mean no on all of them. The last one was a payoff to Abel Maldonado for selling out and voting for a tax hike, so the theory is, hurt him for the sellout. They always manage a workaround for more money, so why not?

    Patricia (2183bb)

  98. DRJ: 1F will pass, narrowly
    Comment by aphrael — 5/19/2009 @ 5:30 pm

    Huh?! Narrowly?! Is that actually just a tongue-in-cheek qualifier? It almost would have to be, because polls have shown that one particular proposition — unlike the others — leading by a comfortable margin for weeks. And such a finding, in fact, was confirmed by tonight’s election results.

    But if you weren’t being facetious, I’m going to guess that your prediction reveals a hesitancy about 1F (the proposition that freezes on certain occasions the salaries of already overpaid Calif politicians) borne out of a disquiet over a symbolic and technical rebuke of a group of predominantly liberal politicians.

    As for California’s squishy Republican governor, and the state’s smattering of Republican legislators, if they’re not phony, ego-driven, double-talking conservatives, they will feel strongly, if not also serenely, that the good must suffer with the bad. And so they’ll believe that for the good of the state and for the good of its non-liberal portion — I won’t say conservative, because in Calif the middle ground is far enough to the left, that even Ah-nold might be considered a staunch rightist — their paychecks will have to be squeezed right along with those made out to the legislators on the other side of the aisle.

    Mark (411533)

  99. Mark, I’ve already indicated that I wasn’t going to vote for Proposition 1F.

    No, I wasn’t being tongue in cheek; I thought there was going to be a larger number of angry “no on everything” votes. I was wrong.

    That said, in answer to the question above: in November, 13.7 million votes were cast, which was 79.5% of registered voters and 59.22% of eligible voters.

    Preliminary results from last night say 3.9 million votes cast … less than a third as many as were cast in November, and less than a quarter of registered voters (and not even 17% of eligible voters).

    That’s a pretty pathetic turnout.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  100. AD

    No they are state workers – always have been – yes there are private workers there but the key jobs are still state mandated and required and their payroll eclipses the private sector And besides the powerful unions are tied to all state workers and last time a california gov tried to have layoffs or pay cuts they threatened to wreck the country and its extremely naive to think that these guys won’t

    No the power grids are controlled by the state employees who purchase and control the actual transmission of power

    No the Governor controlls directly the funds for the school districts – they cannot subsist on their own just like every other state including Texas

    No California was the 8th its now being passed rapidly by Texas, the ten year out look is California falling to fourth trailing Texas Florida and New York.

    No according to the BLS California has the largest prc of State Employees and State salaries

    If all this is not true then there is no reason to not vote Democrat – things must be just fine

    EricPWJohnson (915b81)

  101. AD

    And I think its a shame, Itsd terrible that millions of hardworking californians are working solely to pay the family tax bill until about June – ITs horrible that people think that unions are the only answer

    That toothless prop 13 opened up a floodgate of other taxes and did nothing to achieve spending cuts

    Everyone’s voting Democrat out there and the damage is being done

    I take no joy in it at all

    EricPWJohnson (915b81)

  102. Nice to see that the LATimes still doesnt get it.

    “…….small-government zealots lecture smugly that California has gotten its comeuppance for years of prodigal spending and unrighteous living. Liberals, they exult, have taxed and spent the state into fiscal collapse, and the only route now toward solvency is to eliminate cushy services and freebies that sap the entrepreneurial energy of the populace.

    What utter nonsesne”

    The Times continues to avoid reporting how state pension obligations are now larger than the CA general fund, that the highest-paid teachers are failing our students or that spending has far outpaced population growth as new and higher taxes have helped drive native-born business owners out-of-state, all the while politicians have welcomed importing Mexico’s poverty class.

    And earth to the Times, no one is exulting. The revolt has begun but all the hard work lies ahead. How will the unions and social service recipients be forced to accept reality, common sense and fairness?

    harkin (f92f52)

  103. The revolt has begun but all the hard work lies ahead

    I agree that the hard work lies ahead. But … fewer than 25% of the people who are registered to vote appear to have cast ballots. (This includes early absentees; it’s possible that a flood of absentee ballots were dropped off at polling places yesterday, but I think it’s unlikely. Most of them were mailed.)

    So this is less a revolt, I think, than a snore; most of the voting-eligible population just couldn’t be bothered to care.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  104. Aphrael, revolutions have almost always occurred because of a vociferous minority.

    SPQR (72771e)

  105. So this is less a revolt, I think, than a snore; most of the voting-eligible population just couldn’t be bothered to care.

    And yet, we keep hearing that we need to have more people voting. I never have understood why someone who doesn’t care enough to learn about the propositions and arguments for and against ought to have their vote recorded and counted.

    If only 25% of the eligible voters cast ballots, but if most of them are motivated to learn the issues and make up their minds on what the policies should be (and I know that not all of them did), then those really are the people that should be deciding the fate of all Californians.

    JVW (eabe68)

  106. EPWJ…Re: CA!
    I’m afraid Sir, that your grasp of the facts in this state seem, to this observer, to be deficient.
    The Ports of LA/LB, which move the greatest amount of cargo of any port in the U.S. – and are the 3rd-largest in volumn in the World, the last I heard – do not belong to the State of California, but are entities within the City Governments of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The number of civil-sevice employees working within the two ports are miniscule in relation to the numbers of workers who are employed by the various terminals, or are self-employed (the truckers who schlep the containers in and our of the terminals are predominately self-employed), or working for the railroads that service the ports.
    Though the State has a regulatory role in the electrical transmission area, the State does not own or operate the transmission facilities/lines. Those are owned and operated by firms such as San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric.
    School funding is tied to Prop-13, but the money is passed up to the State, and then back down to the districts due to other factors than 13: There is the Serrano Decision that demanded that the State equalize (as much as possible) the allocation of funds on a per-pupil basis; and there is Prop 98, which allocates a certain percentage of the State Budget to Public Education.
    But, all of this has to go through the Legislature, since (just as in DC):
    The Governor proposes, and the Legislature disposes.

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  107. We end up with a far, far better form of government when a small, concerned, educated group of voters decide issues, than when a large, ignorant, mass impose their stupidity and laziness on the rest of us (sort of like the ’08 National Election).
    This is why we are a Republic!

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  108. We end up with a far, far better form of government when a small, concerned, educated group of voters decide issues, than when a large, ignorant, mass impose their stupidity and laziness on the rest of us

    I think that rather than let the blind lead the stupid at the polls, we should create a body of educated civic minded people who would receive our proxies and vote consistently to do the right thing for the citizens of the state (and nation?). Sort of a cadre of professional voters who have the time and resources to become knowledgeable about the issues before casting a vote on behalf of us all.

    What’s that you say?! Oops, sorry. Never mind.

    in_awe (bc82df)

  109. Sort of a cadre of professional voters who have the time and resources to become knowledgeable about the issues before casting a vote on behalf of us all.

    That would almost suffice as a definition of the CA legislature, especially the cadre part. But then it goes off the rails with ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘on behalf of us all’. Maybe I should ease up on those cynic capsules in the morning and stick with the usual vitamin supplements.

    allan (562fd2)

  110. No, what we need to re-institute are Literacy Tests for voter registration; and strict purging of the rolls of non-voters, the dead, etc.

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  111. allan – Bingo

    AD – I get lots of hate speech thrown at me whenever I make the case for that; here in CA you don’t even have to prove who you are when you vote – just come on in and sign the roll – here’s your ballot.

    To reprise a personal favorite of mine:

    How Obama Got Elected…Interviews with Obama Voters

    in_awe (bc82df)

  112. I, personally, don’t believe we will see any kind of open primary that allows non-party members to select nominees – that was the sticking point that the Supremes struck down previously.

    I think you’re wrong, for two different reasons.

    (a) California’s primary system currently allows non-party members to vote in primaries if the party agrees; the usual rule is that nonpartisans can vote but partisans of other parties cannot.

    (b) it’s pretty clear from the reasoning of California Democratic Party v Jones that the problem is in requiring parties to attach their name to nominees they didn’t themselves select. The two-winner runoff system would avoid that problem. So, too would a system in which party names aren’t attached to the ballot at all (which is, after all, how we elect judges).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  113. But now you’re making a partisan election non-partisan, which would be an abrogation of the right of association, since the bodies these politicians would be seeking office in are partisan in their organization.
    As long as elected officials have party identification in their official capacity, then the party has a say in how they are elected.
    FWIW, the Dem Party in CA allows other than Dems to vote in their primary, the GOP doesn’t.

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  114. Plus, the blanket primary puts all contestants on the same ballot that is voted on by all electors.
    How is that not a violation of the reasoning that you cite in Jones, since the two winners would have been theoretically elevated to their position by the votes of electors not affiliated with them?

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  115. The blanket primary system is a fraud, since it is not a primary/general election system, but a run-off system.
    As such, there is no need to have a large gap in time between the two contests.
    We might as well have the first contest on the first Tuesday following Labor Day (or later), with the run-off corresponding with the normal General Election.
    Which raises this question:
    Why do “good government” types insist on overthrowing processes that have worked successfully for so long?
    The United States is the longest lived Constitutional Republic the world has ever seen, with people clamoring to get in and to enjoy the Liberty and Freedom that it provides.
    Wake-up and smell the Roses!

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  116. Got to check out now, have a previous engagement, but will check out how this is going when I return later this evening.

    AD - RtR/OS! (47d252)

  117. Maybe I should ease up on those cynic capsules in the morning and stick with the usual vitamin supplements.

    The cynicism is appropriate. Now that the Props, save 1F, have gone down by a 2-1 margin, we are arrogantly told by Karen Bass (Speaker) that the complexities of the Props proved too much for the voters – hence the low turnout…and the Sac Bee insults us even moreso with editorials patronizing us with,

    Good morning, California voters. Do you feel better, now that you’ve gotten that out of your system?

    You wanted to show the state’s politicians just how mad you are at them. And you did. Boy, did you ever.

    I would say the cynicism is justified. We have a state where the people in power refuse to admit that the citizens, smarter than they want to believe, refuse to be manipulated and cave to fearmongerers.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  118. I’m sure government lawyers will sue, pleading that the plebiscites were defective in some way, then the CA supreme court will set aside the election results and substitute a court ruling that has the same effect as if the results had been reversed.


    tehag (da2fdb)

  119. AD – the difference is that the parties are not required to associate with the individuals; the individuals aren’t running as the candidate of the party, they are running as the top vote-getter or the runner-up.

    This system is in place in other states without Constitutional problems.

    [As for the freedom of association problem in turning currently partisan races into nonpartisan ones: there is no such problem. Such changes are made periodically … and since there is no right to have a race be partisan, there’s no right violated in taking it nonpartisan.]

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  120. Oh, you missed the first Sacto Bee editorial ripping the voters:

    Sacramento Bee Launches Scathing Attack on Voters

    You’ve got to read it, and then the pathetic excuse the paper came up with to pull the original editorial and replace it with what is posted now.

    in_awe (bc82df)

  121. Comment by aphrael — 5/20/2009 @ 10:17 pm

    Then, the solution (or one of them at least) is for the elctorate to abolish partisan offices, and to forbid faction within electoral bodies.
    Absent that, elections are a creature of the political parties, who are allowed to select their candidates in virtually any manner that they wish.
    If the Democrats tomorrow said that they would hold no more primary elections, but that all candidates would be selected through a caucus system, or at a statewide convention, that would be their right.
    What do you do then?

    AD - RtR/OS! (69f7ae)

  122. […] Several folks here have tried to address the issue of “What to Do?”.  Here’s my take. […]

    The Jury Talks Back » How to Save California: Four Reforms (e4ab32)

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