A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pre-Convention #3: Just Say No to Propositions 1A-1F

The California Democratic Convention, starting tomorrow, will have the most fireworks when it comes to the upcoming Propositions 1A-1F in the upcoming election. I predict that it will be a battle between the MACHINE and the GRASSROOTS for the soul of the CA Democratic Party.

Here's the deal: The Democrats in the California Legislature, as a way to compromise the minority rule of the Republican Party, have teamed up with the Republicans to write Propositions 1A through 1F, and then heavily promote them as a way to solve our state's budget crisis. Only this "solution" is not going to actually solve anything in the long term.

Most Democratic activists know this. Democratic clubs around the state (including our own City of Alameda Democratic Club) have rejected these propositions and are urging a NO vote. But most of the political insiders — almost all State Senators and Assemblymembers except, well, ours (Loni Hancock and Sandré Swanson) plus a few brave others, are pushing at the delegates to help the Democratic Party, when it meets this weekend, officially endorse these measures.

These propositions are a nightmare. They are a Republican's Wet Dream. They are the Democratic Party selling their souls to the Republicans. They are a wedge designed to split the party (1B sounds enticing, but it can only pass if 1A passes).

As a delegate, I've been bombarded with flyers and emails over the last couple of weeks from so-called progressive electeds. Mark Leno, Karen Bass, Jerry Brown, and others are trying their darndest to get us, the grassroots, to support their compromise.

I understand their "hands tied" position, but the reality is, if these propositions pass, the legislature's hands will be welded down, almost permanently. It's horrible that we are placed in this position where Democrats are pushing for permanent spending caps.

Fortunately there are are groups who are opposed to it. The League of Women Voters has come out strongly against 1A and most of its sisters:
The League would support real budget reform, but we regretfully conclude that this measure would only make things worse.

Bob Burnett writes in the Huffington Post:
It's clear that California's Democratic legislators were between the proverbial rock and a hard place and tried to do the best they could. But that's no excuse. It's not enough to put a temporary budget fix in place. The fundamental problem needs to be addressed.

At the convention this weekend, if the grassroots can resist the pressure from Democratic leadership to go along with this Faustian bargain, maybe we can defeat this horrible band-aid, and come up with a long-term solution that actually works.

By the way, I want to just express how fortunate I feel that we are represented here in the State Legislator by Hancock and Swanson. I haven't agreed with everything they have said or done, but in this case, they are sticking their necks out for what's right, and not caving into pressure or even retaliation for their principles.

I'll have more to say on these measures as we get closer to the election. But in case it's not clear yet: Please vote NO on the special election ballot measures, especially NO on 1A, the "lynchpin" of them all.


Blogger goldcoastjon said...

I agree with all of your points and the LWV's about these measures, but a no vote May 19 just puts the problem back in the lap of the legislature, which consistently fails to deal with these problems because of the 2/3 budget requirement and the intractable Republican minority. How many months or years will it take to reach another budget compromise, given how long it took to get the last one?

There are no signs whatsoever that the Republicans will change their approach, so where does this leave us?

who sees only one light at the end of the tunnel--another approaching budget train wreck

2:53 PM  
Blogger A Progressive Alamedan said...

That's a good question. Fortunately there is already a strong movement afoot to abolish the 2/3 rule and others to restore the vehicle registration fees, and so forth. They will of course be big battles....

3:37 PM  

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