Friday, July 20, 2012

Los Angeles Times Commentary by George Skelton Decries Moving California Budget Vote to a Position on the Ballot Where It Will Be Less Confusing

Another Example of Trying to Defeat Democracy

This Forum has long documented the efforts of Republicans and Conservatives to fight democracy.  Conservatives want to disenfranchise Democratic voters under the guise of preventing voter fraud, even when there is no voter fraud.  They want their wealthy supporters to have the right to drown out opposition speech under the guise of "free speech".  And in California Conservatives fought hard to prevent California voters from voting on tax increases to help fix the state’s fiscal mess.  These people just hate it when voters vote against them; for them that is illegitimate voting.

The latest controversy is raised by LA Times commentator George Skelton.  California has a tax increase on the ballot in November, and the measure was initially placed near the bottom of the ballot.  So California Democrats and the Governor used their legislative authority to move the measure to the top of the ballot.  This has infuriated Mr. Skelton and Republicans.  Here is Mr.Skelton.

But it's bad policy.

First, it unfairly changes the rules in the middle of the game.

Second, if anything, constitutional amendments should be made harder to pass, not easier. California's constitution is way too cluttered.

It's also bad politics — sleazy and smelly. Nothing like packaging a tax increase in a reeky wrapper.

And here is the ‘no tax but we want plenty of government spending’ Conservative rant.

But the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., an intervener in the suit, did appeal. A judge gave Secretary of State Debra Bowen and the Legislature until July 30 to justify the ballot reshuffling.

"Unless you're a hard-core partisan, you've got to find this offensive," says Jon Coupal, president of the Jarvis group. "This state is being run like a banana republic."

The appeal contends the ballot bill was not budget related and Democrats misused Prop. 25. Legislative lawyers counter that lawmakers have the unique power to decide for themselves what is budget related.

"That's an assertion based on the divine right of kings," says Republican political analyst Tony Quinn. "It's like Louis XIV: 'I am the state.'"

The 17th century French king also proclaimed — a la Brown and Democrats — "It is legal because I wish it."

Why are these folks so worked up?  Because they know the measure has a better chance of passing if it is given a fair chance to do so.  And they just hate the fact that voters may not buy their hokum.

As for the rationale of moving the ballot measure, Mr. Skelton unwittingly provides that himself, saying that its original position on the ballot would confuse voters.

Brown's soak-the-rich tax initiative was going to be stuck toward the bottom of the propositions pack in seventh place among 11, where it was in jeopardy of being ignored by voters.

Just as bad, his measure was bunched next to a rival income tax/education funding proposal sponsored by wealthy Pasadena civil-rights attorney Molly Munger. Many voters could become confused and simply reject both.

So using Mr. Skelton’s own words one can conclude that what he and other wants is for the measure to be ignored by voters, or for voters to become confused.  Sorry sir, this is a democracy, if you don’t like how it works there is always North Korea.  I am sure they would welcome a fellow traveler.

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