How Will the Open Primary Change Things for California Voters? Can a teacher win an election when career politicians oppose her? Will progressive voters show up and the power of big money?
Bob Letcher: In the face of last year’s healthcare reform efforts, opponents screamed the inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”; now, it’s opponents of reducing collective bargaining rights for public employees who are screaming the still inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”.
Randy Shaw: As mayors, developers and Agency staff try to fend off Governor Brown’s proposed transfer of redevelopment funds to local governments – earning far more media coverage than cuts to programs serving more vulnerable Californians – little has been said about the fundamentally undemocratic nature of redevelopment agencies.
Robert Reich: The perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top; a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy; and a public becoming increasingly angry and cynical about a government that’s raising its taxes, reducing its services, and unable to get it back to work.
Wayne Williams: With Voter Owned, Auditable, Transparent and Verifiable Elections, voters will come out in larger numbers as they have more confidence in their government. More viable candidates of all races and genders will run for office, and most likely the cost of elections will go down because the public will be more educated, involved and aware.
Steve Hochstadt: We grredy American homeowners appear as co-conspirators in many judgments about what caused the great recession. In these interpretations, many of us were greedy for wanting bigger homes than we deserved, foolish to have then bought larger houses than we could afford, and stupid for agreeing to the low-interest/low-payment scams of mortgage sellers.
Friday Feedback: When Sarah Palin tells her fans to “reload,” when she uses rifle scopes to depict pictorially her political enemies, when her rhetoric in Tea Bag rallies is filled with gun/violence imagery, one needn’t wonder for too long if this might have an effect in encouraging an extremist or two to shoot the man the majority of us voted into office. You don’t have to have a psychology degree to know the power of mob “groupthink” and how it can easily spur people to violence. History and research prove the deadly effectiveness of such “mob psychology.”
Robert Reich: It seems as if more and more decisions that should be made democratically are being shunted off somewhere to a few people who make them in back rooms. Which programs should be cut, which entitlements pared back, and what taxes raised in order to reduce the long-term budget deficit? Hmmm. Let’s convene a commission and have them decide.