Help save California: circulate petitions for the Majority Vote Initiative

Letter

Posted by
Wed, January 27, 2010


I have signed on as the Coastside Coordinator for this most important initiative that affects every Californian.

The full wording of the initiative that would appear on the November ballot is but fourteen words.

 

“All legislative actions on revenue and budget must be determined by a majority vote

Why is this important?

There’s one main reason:

Under California law, a two-thirds vote is required to pass a budget or raise revenue. That means a minority of legislators—one-third plus one, in either the state Senate or Assembly –– controls the legislature by saying no until they get what they want. This is minority rule, not democracy. A minority of ideological extremists, who do not believe
that state government should serve public needs, have used these two-thirds rules to block the will of the majority, take control, and drive our state into chaos and near-bankruptcy.

Our target for the coastside is more than 3000-signed petitions. To date we have 600+ signatures.

We need petition circulators to man our outreach tables at the local supermarkets, coffee houses, post offices, etc. To help please call me at 650-726-9280.


John, this hardly a “most important initiative”, vs. a power grab in it’s finest hour. Reeks of Barney Frank complaining about the filibuster power in the House, when things don’t go his way.

Majority vote sounds good in theory, and it might be the right move. But it does provide a more open checkbook for the ruling faction. Making the checks and balances quite minute, vs. bi-partisan and vetted. The initiative requires the assumption that the state’s current fiscal crisis is due to the minority limiting taxation (insert anti-wealth tag line here), and not the spending, programs that never die, and ballot box budgeting. In other words, while the minority may prevent the ‘egg’, some may argue the problem is with the ‘chicken’.

Bizarre it was drafted by a linguistics professor. He used the term “revenue”... which comes from fees, which already only requires a simple. I/we know he means MOSTLY taxes… so just say it out loud professor. Curious if AG Moonbeam will change the wording like he does on another initiatives to “provide better clarity”. The thought of the ‘possibility’ of plugging loopholes for revenue increases is too vague, and won’t be nearly enough.

I like how brief it is. Sounds simple, but will still require a heap of legality to amend gobs of the constitution. You just can’t take a magic marker and write over certain parts of the constitution. I get the feeling this will provide the state legislature the ability to extend the state ... deeper into the prohibitive area of the ol’ Laffer Curve. And let’s be clear this is also about the bottom-half of the majority sticking it to the top-half of the majority. Thusly, why you see mixed levels of support throughout the current ‘majority’.

In fact, I’m going to guess. No actually I know that if YOU were in the minority, and this was being presented to you, that you would exploit the term “democracy” and “power grab” et al to the hilt, and your color would be 3x more cankerous. Let’s call a spade a spade, this is about political control. Democracy… that’s a hoot. The state’s fiscal problems are because of the minority vote over the last 40 years???... another knee slapper (that’s the rhetoric I see throughout the ‘progressive’ blogosphere).

A simple majority might make better sense, but lowering how many signatures you need on the check doesn’t solve the bigger problem of the amount and to whom it’s being paid to.

Sign away, but be careful. In your lifetime, things could swing the other way, and I’ll assume you’ll be just as ‘democratic’. Last I checked, without responsible government or constitutional protections of individual liberties from democratic power it is possible for dissenting individuals to be oppressed by the “tyranny of the majority”. Them greek dudes wrote that, then them dudes in the powdered wigs and wooden teeth kinda felt the same way.

On a side note, your take of “A minority of ideological extremists, who do not believe that state government should serve public needs”. Really now…  that’s a bit ‘extreme’ yourself to make that claim. I have to believe that those folks do feel the state gov’t should serve the public needs (bizarre you even threw that out). They more than likely don’t like the way, manner, or cost of what is being proposed most of the time. For example, everyone wants 99.9999999% clean water, but if it’s at a cost of $60B within a fiscal year to taxpayers… would you call me an IDEOLOGICAL EXTREMIST if I refused to vote for that? (and I’m not that far off in terms of reality)

Comment 2
Thu, January 28, 2010 9:26pm
John Lynch
All my comments

Kevin.

WOW!!!

John

Comment 3
Fri, January 29, 2010 3:57pm
Carl May
All my comments

“Reeks of Barney Frank complaining about the filibuster power in the House, when things don’t go his way.”

As a sidelight, tell us more about these filibusters in the House. Or is Barney just doing one of his flashbacks to before 1842?