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California needs a total recall of Sacramento

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POSTED June 12, 2009 1:41 a.m.
I’m not a huge fan of recalls but given the fact no one up in Sacramento really got the message May 19 I’m in favor of a total recall.

That’s right. It is time to recall every one of California’s 120 legislators plus the governor and every constitutional officer simultaneously

The straw that broke the camel’s’ back was the latest proposal to raid local gas tax.

Hello. The governor and the legislature talk about getting the message and how they read the voters loud and clear that they had to cut expenses but it seems like a little voice was telling them “to raid local revenue sources” to save as many state jobs as possible. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls it “sharing the pain.” The question who is sharing the pain of local government? Certainly not Sacramento as they’re too busy trying to cannibalize local government to pay for their past and current spending sins.

 It’s kind of like your big brother breaking the piggy bank and spending all the money while you stood by completely helpless to stop him but when it’s time to pay the piper he wants to share the punishment.

I understand a recall of every elected state official except judges is a chaotic move and a waste of money as special elections don’t come cheap.

Consider, however, what they did May 19. They had to know all of those ballot measures expect for sticking it to state legislators when they can’t adopt a balanced budget would be dead on arrival. They conducted an election and now are hinting they won’t be reimbursing the counties for their costs. Great. We can just whack off 10 deputy jobs or maybe close down libraries because they couldn’t do their job in Sacramento and turned to the voters for a way out.

It’s typical of how Sacramento has done business for decades. They mandate a program with the proviso they’ll fund it and then they yank the funding but still require local schools, cities, and counties to deliver on the mandate or else suffer severe financial penalties.

And why go after constitutional officers? Unless I missed something you never heard them in advance of the May 19 election – or any time since - to come forward with bold new ideas to streamline the operations of government they oversee. There have been plenty of opportunities since the budget crisis became acute under former Gov. Gray Davis for constitutional officers to look at new ways of doing the state’s business for less.

Something has to give and it can’t be local schools, cities, counties and special districts that do the giving already.

Pandering to special interests whether they are environmentalists, businesses or “wronged” segments of society who want help dealing with their special needs is an obvious problem. Much of the costs, though, aren’t in direct funding of pet projects but in imposing rules and regulations that are stifling and costly to enforce and put in place.

California is virtually regulating you 24/7 in some of the most bizarre ways. Despite budget Armageddon finally arriving, the politicians can’t quite bring themselves to pull the plug on things such as the Integrated Solid Waste Board which is duplication at its worst. Why? Because the folks that pull down $100,000 plus a year for attending a couple meetings a year are their cronies. Their justification for leaving the board intact? It won’t save that much money.

It is proof positive that no one up in Sacramento is serious about reducing the size of government because cuts are “either too small to make a difference” or if they are bigger “it is too vital of a program to cut back.”

If a total recall doesn’t float your boat then maybe you’d consider breaking the legislature back down to part-time status.

It might limit the time they have to pursue debates about whether we need to create a blueberry commission in the middle of a $24 billion budget deficit debate.

A part-time legislature where the elected leaders have to return to their home districts to make  a living might mean they listen to people who really matter – the people they represent – instead of special interests that bend their ears to raid our pockets up in Sacramento.
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