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Trick or treat: Californians propositioned
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First comes Halloween. It’s just a warm-up for the real scary event — Election Day.

And while everyone is fixated on the top of the ballot and astutely pointing out that the Electoral College in the day of mail-in elections is more archaic than a crank phone making a vote in the blue sea that is California inconsequential regardless of which way you lean, the scariest thing on the ballot in the Golden State requires either “yes” or “no” votes.

Yes, Californians are being propositioned once again. But this time around there are 17 reasons to shudder as you are asked to play Russian roulette with your vote.

That’s not saying the propositions aren’t addressing serious issues. It’s just that politicians have a nasty way of contorting the will of the people after they approve or reject straightforward language often with the complicity of cherry picking judges.

The bonds for the high speed rail project are a prime example. Voters authorized $10 billion in high speed rail bonds after being told of specific costs, a specific route, and specifically what the bonds would finance. Bureaucrats looking to ride a 20-year plus career of fat compensation to move the project forward working in collusion with politicians catering to special interests from construction unions to manufacturers, have successfully argued in court the conditions given to the voters made no sense.

If that was the case, why not simply toss the project out as it was written and ask the voters to approve what state officials really were pushing? Instead we get what are essentially lectures on how the ends justify the means.

It just clarifies that there are two sets of rules in California and America: One set that entrenched bureaucrats, corporate farms, politicians, and their corporate cronies and/or special interest groups follow and the one that the working stiffs from middle class to farm workers, family farmers, and small businesses follow.

It is one reason why Proposition 53 is a no brainer and why folks up in Sacramento and the special interests and those corporations that feed at the public trough are so adamantly against it.

The measure is straight-forward with no legal mumble jumble for bureaucrats and state lawyers to slice and dice to give a judge an opening to overturn the will of the people without blatantly high jacking the election process and the state constitution.

Proposition 53 requires statewide voter approval if revenue bonds are used or sold by the state for certain projects that exceed $2 billion. It reasonably allows the limit to be adjusted upward based on the annual inflation rate.

Note that it doesn’t bar all sources of funding for mega projects coming in at $2 billion or more, only revenue bonds. That’s because revenue bonds unlike many other forms of public financing are laid squarely on the back of all taxpayers and impacts the general fund’s ability to support trivial things such as public education.

This naturally has politicians seething that believe unrestricted taxing and spending is their birthright.  

It also would blow a big hole in the state’s plan to bore the Twin Tunnels to lay waste to the Delta ecological system and devastate the economies of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties.

Passing Proposition 53 would expose another major lie told by Sacramento politicians. That lie is that the Twin Tunnels will be paid for by those that benefit in the end — Southern California water users and mega corporate farmers on the west side of the Southern San Joaquin Valley.

Imagine the gall of the voters having final say on being saddled with debt in excess of $2 billion for 30 years with the caveat it is only debt secured by the state via revenue bonds.

It is why Democratic Party financial head honcho Annie Tate in an Aug. 9 letter to fat cat donors stated that defeating Proposition 53 is a high priority for the party and Gov. Jerry Brown. 

The Goliaths of the California politician/special interest/mega-corporate complex worried that they won’t be able to raid taxpayer pockets at will are funding the opposition campaign.

They are targeting the David of the campaign to make sure taxpayers are reduced to serfdom status in California. David, in this case, is Stockton farmer Dean Cortopassi.

They are acting like a successful farmer in San Joaquin County of all places is the equivalent of Darth Vader as they repeatedly villainize Cortopassi in a bid to prevent voters from allowing Sacramento carte blanche access to their paychecks to pay for mega projects. They are projects that clearly benefit those in positions of power and wealth to benefit them at the expense of those who have to pay for them.

And don’t be fooled. This is a fight to save San Joaquin County’s economy and the Delta as we know it.

The Twin Tunnels won’t be financed by end users as promised because polls clearly show Los Angeles area voters view the ramp up of their water bills by $100 more a month as insane for a project that is being marketed publically as not producing another drop of water for their use.

Gov. Brown, of all people, knows that the people of this state are highly unlikely to vote for revenue bonds to build the Twin Tunnels. During his first go around as governor in 1982, voters soundly rejected funding to build the non-stealth Twin Tunnels below ground that was known as the Peripheral Canal.