January 28, 2008

Props to Caleefornia’s Hornful Governator

Hatched by Dave Ross

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is so full of baloney that it is almost coming out of his ears! We could make sandwiches!

The governor who promised that he would never raise taxes is now engaged in an elaborate game of hocus-pocus -- now you see it, now you don’t -- that will end up tacking a 1.25% “fee” or “surcharge” onto all of our homeowner’s insurance payments in order to pay local fire districts back for money that he is going to swipe in order to balance the budget!

He calls it a fee, or a surcharge, although, of course, it’s a tax! Don’t get me wrong. Ronaldus Magnus as governor said things he had to back off from. In his first term he said that his “feet were set in concrete” about his opposition to a tax increase. Later, when he had to back down on that, he announced something to the effect that the “noise you hear” was the concrete cracking around his feet.

That’s honest. What Schwarzenegger is doing is dishonest. It’s in line with other dishonest statements he has made (perhaps the most egregious of his dishonesties is his assertion that he’s a Republican!).

For instance, he’s supporting the top Democratic hacks in Sacramento, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate President Pro Tem Don Perrata, who put Prop. 93 on the ballot to give themselves four more years in office. Under current law they would be term-limited out of office at the end of 2008. But under the Byzantine provisions of Prop. 93, which Schwarzenegger supports as term limit “reform,” both pols, and quite a few other legislators, would be grandfathered in and able to continue screwing up the budget for several more years.

According to our RINO (Republican in Name Only) governor:

The current system of term limits -- which allows members of the Senate to serve two terms (eight years) and members of the Assembly three terms (six years), with a total maximum of 14 years -- is contributing to Sacramento's problems rather than fixing them. I am endorsing Prop. 93, which would lower the total number of years a member could serve to 12, but also allows him or her to divide them between the houses as they choose. I am convinced that this would result in the people of California getting a more experienced, more independent Legislature.

And it gives two corrupt hacks four more years to cut deals with Schwarzenegger!

Aside from the pig’s breakfast that is the combined Republican and Democratic primaries on Feb. 5, there are several other interesting items on the ballot. Most are concerned with Indian casinos and their compacts on the ballot this time.

Props. 94, 95, 96 and 97 are tossing Indian gaming compacts to the voters -- compacts that the legislature was unable to act on last year. They were negotiated between Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Pechanga, Morongo, Sycuan and Agua Caliente bands. These tribes own large casinos that they want to make even larger, with 5,000 slot machines for two casinos and 7,500 slots for two other casinos, as the upper limit. The state would get a larger percentage of the revenues than it has gotten from the original compacts signed in 2000 that limited tribes to 2,000 slot machines.

None of that money would come to local communities. It would just go to fill the bottomless black hole that Arnold and Fabian Nunez have created in the state budget. The new compacts would also require the tribes to work more closely with the state on addressing environmental concerns.

Many voters will look upon these four propositions as a referendum upon California Indian gaming itself. I can’t argue with someone who roundly hates Indian gaming because it has increased traffic or because he feels it has degraded the quality of life. People have a right to their opinions. But voting against these propositions won’t make Indian gaming go away -- and it won’t affect it a jot locally. It might make you feel better.

Ironically, if the voters reject the compacts, the governor will just go back to the drawing board and try to get something that will pass muster with the legislature, which mainly dragged its heels because of union opposition.

Prop. 91 would prohibit gasoline taxes from being used for anything other than transportation and would require that if the legislature borrows money from the fund to pay it back the same year. If you think you’ve voted on something like this before, you have -- a couple of times. Prop. 42 in 2002 protected fuel taxes from being raided except in an emergency. Of course, the legislature got around that by declaring a fiscal emergency on a regular basis.

So people who had put Prop. 42 on the ballot started to collect the signatures for Prop. 91. Meantime, Schwarzenegger and the group that collected the signatures for Prop. 91 were able to include the protections they sought in Prop. 1A. But too late to stop Prop. 91. So the folks who put Prop. 91 are no longer supporting it, although some small splinter group says that Prop. 91 would tighten the loophole even more. I say that anything that forces the legislature to spend gas taxes on roads and only roads is worth voting for -- so that’s the box I’m checking.

Prop. 92 would limit fees for students attending community colleges to $15 per unit. That would have the effect of increasing state spending on education. My personal feeling is that if your community college costs too much to attend, see if your local 7-Eleven has an opening so you can get a second (or even a first!) job. That’s what I did when I was younger.

Hatched by Dave Ross on this day, January 28, 2008, at the time of 9:05 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

The proposition system has been utterly corrupted it should be scrapped. What purpose did it ever serve other than to force the legislature to do what they should have been doing anyway? Isn't every proposition essential a slap at the government for not doing its job? Now it has been taken over by various agenda driven groups, and is actually detrimental to the state.

The California constitution desperately needs an overhaul. Rip it up and start over.

Re. Arnold - The way the government runs in California many legislators have more power than the governor. This has always been the case. Therefore, Arnold gets to sit in the front of the train, but make no mistake, the legislature is laying the rails where they want to go.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 9:32 AM

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