Joe Mathews: Rich old homeowners are California’s future, so why shouldn’t we take our subsidies to the grave?
Bobbi Murray: “Most people don’t even realize that commercial property is part of Prop. 13 and certainly don’t realize that there is this minority of corporations and wealthy individuals that are essentially paying 1975 levels of property taxes.”
Joe Mathews: Anti-corruption laws actually make it harder for us to keep tabs on local elected officials.
Randy Shaw: Expect a record percentage of absentee votes next week, which might lead to calls to make June contests vote by mail only.
Ellen Brown: California, like North Dakota, is resource-rich. A state-owned bank will allow it to capitalize on its resources to full advantage, by providing the credit needed to realize its potential.
Craig Williams: The best cure for California’s budget problems might be a big statewide tax reform campaign based on the commercial property tax legislation proposed by the progressive organization Cal Tax Reform (CTR) and sponsored by Assembly member Tom Aminao.
Adam Eran: My best wishes to Ms. Cronan, and anyone else commited to willful blindness about facts, with an added plea: Please, be careful not to bump into the furniture. Meanwhile, I will refrain from calling Ms. Cronan “the barbarian.”
Sheila Kuehl: From the beginning, Arnold Schwarzenegger has exhibited a woeful ignorance about the role of a Governor and the role of governance.
Adam Eran: Consume-atives proclaim we should cut something but seldom propose anything specific. The plan is for bankruptcy court to sort that out, rather than making consume-atives a target for blame. “Take 10% off the top” is another, meaningless Republican proposal in recent budget negotiations. What does that mean, though? Let 10% of the prisoners out? Only treat 90% of the sewage?
Craig Williams: In a sense the Golden State is now a near corporate dictatorship, between an executive office that can be bought and usually is, minority rule in the legislature and underfunded local party organizations masquerading as party organizations, party organizations that don’t responsibly communicate and mobilize their members. Most registered Democrats are for all practical purposes ex-communicated from the party, except at election time.
Any trace of the Jerry Brown who sounded like Dennis Kucinich when he ran for President is gone. At this weekend’s California Democratic Party E-Board meeting, Brown got into an argument with Party Chair John Burton about single-payer health care. Brown insisted single payer “will not happen” – even though the state legislature passed it twice, only to have Arnold Schwarzenegger veto it. The only thing stopping single payer in California from happening is a Republican Governor – yet the only Democratic candidate left in the race has insisted that it will not happen.
New York City provides a case study of a large, ethnically diverse, California-like entity where citizen ballot measures are not an option. The result? A profoundly undemocratic city where large real estate developers call the shots.
The state is ungovernable for many reasons. Republicans know that California is getting younger and browner (and therefore more liberal), so they bitterly cling to the two-thirds budget rule – starving the state into oblivion.