Tag Archives: California

No legalized pot in California’s near future

8 Aug

Cynicism is the result of many factors, and in the political world, it is the product of our representatives consistent refusal to heed the voters demands. Even though a majority of Californians support the legalization of marijuana, not one of the candidates who is eyeing the Governor’s seat in 2010 supports it:

“If the whole society starts getting stoned, we’re going to be even less competitive,” Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown – who as governor signed a 1975 law reducing possession of small amounts of pot to a $100 misdemeanor – said on a recent radio show.

“Like electing Jerry Brown as governor, the idea of legalizing drugs is one more bad idea from a bygone era,” said Jarrod Ag en, spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says the state needs “a new direction in drug policy,” but opposes legalizing marijuana -though he welcomes an “open dialog” on the subject as he seeks the Democratic nomination.

The legalizing and taxation of marijuana could bring the state an estimated $1.4 billion annually, which would be a nice little dent in the state’s budget deficit. It would also move California in the direction of individual freedom and responsibility and away from the terribly tyrannical concept that the government owns your body and can therefore regulate and control what you can put into it.

It’s not surprising to see the GOP against legalizing marijuana, but it is disappointing to see the “liberal” Democratic candidates also opposing it.

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Newsom won’t be Governor

8 Aug

Just as quickly as it started, it appears that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Governor run is coming to a close. According to Carla Marinucci at the SF Chronicle blog, Newsom isn’t even coming close to raising the amount of money that former Governor Jerry Brown has, even through Brown hasn’t officially declared himself to be a candidate (yet):

Brown supporters have been promoting the line that Newsom may have set his ambitions too high in taking on Brown, who has logged four decades in state politics. Newsom insiders, though, counter that this all started when Brown himself showed up to a 75th birthday party for the Mayor’s dad — and reportedly told the elder Newsom that Gavin should be running for Lt. Gov instead.

Ouch. Newsom’s senior political consultant Garry South is dismissing the rumors as “political disinformation,” but many in Newsom’s staff have already left and that essential election medium, campaign cash, is running dry.

If Newsom really is doomed, then it is definitely a positive sign that this slick San Francisco statist won’t be the top decision-maker in Sacramento, and Jerry Brown is definitely the lesser of these two Democratic evils. Brown has already served two-terms as Governor, which might be what California needs after an incompetent Gray Davis and an airhead actor.

California is in the midst of some compelling political drama. The Governor’s seat is up for grabs, same-sex marriage proponents look to continue their good fight, and demographic shifts may shape the next election:

The profile of California’s registered voters has dramatically changed over the past three decades, according to a Field Poll report being released today – and analysts say some of those “polarizing” shifts could reshape the 2010 governor’s race as well as make it harder for the state to make changes to address its financial crises.

The shifts – particularly the rising number of nonpartisan voters – will force both Northern California progressives to run more toward the political center in the primary, analysts said.

While California’s continuing financial crisis has some calling for changes to Proposition 13, the 1978 voter-approved measure which limits property tax increases, the comparatively large number of voters over 60 (28 percent) and homeowners (74 percent) make that unlikely.

This Field Report echos the sentiment of the fed-up voters in last May’s special election, who are socially liberal, but who are also opening their eyes to the tax parasites and union leeches running the state into the ground.

The next year and a half will be very interesting.

Sacramento is California’s budget problem

13 Jul

Last May, California voters turned down every tax-hike that Sacramento threw their way by overwhelming margins in its attempt to fix the state’s $26 billion-dollar deficit. The Governor, Democratic legislatures, the California Teachers Association, and nearly all of the state newspapers labeled the May 19 propositions as the only way to solve the Golden State’s budget woes. Using the trusty weapon of fear, panic, and threats of “devastating cutbacks,” California’s political establishment tried to scare its subjects into submission, and when they refused, lashed out. The Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Beeboth pointed their pens at the supposed culprits behind the budget mess: California voters.

The arrogance and incompetence of California’s political elite is never surprising, and the fact they targeted voters for this state’s budget binging (and continue to do so) reveals that Sacramento is not only fiscally bankrupt, but is also bankrupt of ideas. After their tax-and-waste scam failed, Sacramento’s best and brightest started issuing worthless IOUs, refuse to make any serious cuts, and plan to beef up the state’s tax collecting power. Every new proposal or bill that crawls its way across the floors of the State Legislature aims to cripple private enterprise, tax our “bad habits,” and fails to place the blame where it belongs: on our legislatures and the union gangs.

Two decades ago, California was a business-friendly state that maintained a balanced budget. It has now turned into a state virtually run by public-sector parasites, and three in five of those public sector workers belong to unions, compared to the two in five average of other states.

The Democratic Party, which years ago sold its soul to the unions, has controlled the legislature and most statewide positions, translating into more government workers, higher salaries, and increased pension costs.  Last year, California spent almost $7.3 billion dollars paying its pension fund, and more than 5,000 former public employees are taking $100,000 a year from taxpayers.

For the last two decades, Sacramento’s policy has been to loot and pillage the free and productive private sector in order to fund an increasingly wasteful and bloated public sector. As businesses raise prices, cut costs, close up shop, or leave the state altogether, it’s easy to see why the trough of entitlements is losing funding.

The stranglehold that the Democrats have had on Californians has created a top-heavy, bureaucratic monster in Sacramento that can only be tamed with more and more taxpayer money. Government has the unfortunate trait of never being able to go out of business, and when it fails, as it tends to do, it simply asks for more funding. Governments have no incentive to please their customers, manage costs, to be efficient, or to adapt to ever changing demands. The market, on the other hand, is government’s polar opposite, and it continues to be squeezed by Sacramento.

While the legislatures pick apart businesses to the bone, they throw us the scraps, and ordinary citizens are forced to save, tighten our belts, and are expected to bear even more of a tax burden. Fortunately, Californians are starting to see through the Sacramento statists’ bluff, and as an election leers just around the corner, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Special election coverage: California voters deserve a round of applause

27 Jun

It was a beautiful Wednesday morning waking up to the news that California voters rejected the five ballot measures that would have raised our taxes to fund a massive budget deficit created by spending-addicted Democrats and an incompetent Governor. The propositions were overwhelmingly defeated; over 60% percent of Californians refused to pay for our legislatures’ failures, and in a splendid bonus, 76% want legislators punished if they don’t balance a budget by having their salary increases halted.

Californians sent a clear message to Sacramento: it’s not our fault that we are in this mess, and if you broke it, you should fix it. Sounds reasonable. The unemployment rate is nearing 11%, homes are being foreclosed, business are failing, and people are flocking away from the Golden State’s heavy taxation.

Not everyone thinks that our irresponsible and power-hungry government in Sacramento deserves the blame, however. According to Michael Finnegan at the Los Angeles Times, we the voters are the reasons that California is so dysfunctional. You see, because we refused to allow more of our taxes to be stolen and wasted by our elected officials, we are part of the problem:

Rightly or wrongly, voters in the special election refused either to extend new tax hikes or to cap state spending. They also declined to unlock funds that they had voted in better financial times to set aside for special purposes.

Nearly a century after the Progressive-era birth of the state’s ballot-measure system, it is clear that voters’ fickle commands, one proposition at a time, are a top contributor to paralysis in Sacramento. And that, in turn, has helped cripple the capacity of the governor and Legislature to provide effective leadership to a state of more than 38 million people.”

The voters’ fickle commands? According to Finnegan, demanding that our representatives stop wasting our money, be fiscally responsible, and not take pay raises when they fail to do these things is somehow fickle. Is it too much to ask that the people we trust with our laws and public policy act like, well, us ordinary citizens when we have budget problems: save, work harder, and make sacrifices? Plenty here in California, and in the rest of the country, are feeling the sting of their governments’ obsession with borrowing, taxing, and spending, while our mayor Gavin Newsom plans to buy a $3 million dollar home. How exactly are we responsible for this mess again?

Our Governor, who occasionally shows signs of prudent and sane public policy, is trying to scare us into giving him more of our money. Schools will lose money! Police and firefighters too! We could easily cut 50% of our budget and still leave our schools and civil servants adequately funded. What should be cut are the gangs of unions and government workers that are unproductive, wasteful, excessive, and very expensive. They provide the votes to the Democratic Party, however, and so the cycle continues.

In a time when it’s politics-as-usual in Sacramento, it’s nice to see the citizens of California tell their “leaders” that they’re sick of it.

Why California can’t cut spending

27 Jun

California, as well as every other state in the Union, is quickly becoming prey to a giant, soulless monster that even our Governator can’t stop:

“As California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to plug a budget hole that could swell to more than $21 billion next week, he’s quickly discovering a universal truth: Uncle Sam controls the strings.

The Republican governor and state officials find themselves unable to cut spending as deeply as they’d like in some areas because of the potential loss of federal funds. Schwarzenegger wants to save $750 million by rolling back the state’s Medi-Cal program, tightening eligibility and reducing benefits.”

Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts are reasonable and prudent, and no matter what California Democrats may say, cuts are going to need to be made to help manage our bloated debt and budget crisis.

The fact that our Governor can’t make these desired cuts because the feds might withhold funds reveals the flaws in our top-heavy regime in D.C. It is a highly centralized system, and it tries to make uniform, one-size-fits-all policies for every single state, despite the fact that every state has its own unique needs, landscape, and political leanings. What is good for California or New York may not be good for Montana or New Hampshire, but our federal government makes laws that ignore states’ different requirements.

Attempting to do this also requires power and authority be vested into one ruling city, whose take-it-or-leave-it policy is starting to strangle the states it’s supposed to represent. This centralization guts local knowledge and control of local problems, and will inevitably lead to self-asphyxiation.

Plenty of Americans are getting fed up with the Fed’s stranglehold on our individual, local, and state sovereignty. Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, publicly entertained the idea of secession last April at anti-tax rally:

“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry said. “My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.”

More than a dozen states from the North, the South, and the Midwest have also recently passed legislation affirming the sovereignty of their laws and affirming the rights given to them by the 10th Amendment. Even if they don’t secede or threaten to secede, it is the beginning of a trend where people are starting to see (correctly) that the federal government is not their friend, does not know what is best, tramples liberties, confiscates our income, and fights wars of aggression overseas.

Need more proof of our federal government’s tyranny? The Federal Reserve, our government’s economic “stabilizer,” can not account for $9 trillion in off-balance sheet transactions. $9 trillion???? Gone. Vanished. This is the same institution that has the job of fixing our debt-ridden economy with “stimulus” money. I say California not take a dime of this fiat money, look inward, and solve our problems locally and responsibly.

Some may scoff and argue that this position is extreme; the federal government may be a bit too large, but it’s just something that we have to deal with. Well, this country was created by liberty-loving and pro-decentralist extremists who seceded from the British Crown (a government far, far, FAR less oppressive than the parasitical one in DC).

Even if one can’t get on board with the idea of secession, the time has come to stop looking to the federal government to solve our problems. Then, and only then, can California address the problems it faces and realize the merits of political independence.

Gun control hysteria grips California legislatures

27 Jun

en years ago last April, two students at Columbine High School in Colorado opened fire on their fellow students, killing 12 students, a teacher, and injuring 21 others, before eventually taking their own lives. This tragic event should be properly mourned, but recent actions being taken here by our legislature is the wrong response.

Assemblyman Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) is supporting a bill that requires people who sell handgun ammunition to be licensed. It would also require sellers to conduct business face-to-face, band Internet or mail order sales, and require a thumbprint and other identifying information of people who buy ammunition.

De Leon has said that this legislation would close “dangerous loopholes” in current California law.

The gun-control nuts in Sacramento are on the prowl again, and what better time is there to add more and more firearm restrictions to law-abiding private citizens than near the anniversary of a school shooting? After all, as Obama’s Thug White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, has said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

Gun-control hysteria always creeps its fear-mongering head into state legislatures, street protests, and even into the office of His Highness, warning the serfs about the danger we pose to society with those evil and dangerous guns in our hands. After all, there are nearly 30,000 deaths a year from handguns.

A regrettable number, indeed, and a number that is consistently preyed upon by the media to highlight the supposed dangers of guns. But what the Statist News does not point out is that a minimum of 500,000 crimes a year are prevented by the use of a handgun, often without firing a shot. These stories are hardly, if ever, reported in the news, and people who defend themselves often do not report it, for the perfectly legitimate fear of being punished for violating some tiny federal or state regulation.

I can almost guarantee that you won’t hear about what happened in Georgia last Monday in any of the mainstream news. A group of college students were having a party at their house when two armed and masked men entered the room and separated the men and women. As the intruders were about to rape one of the girls, one of the guys grabbed his handgun from his backpack, shot and killed one of the intruders as the other got away, single-handedly saving all of their lives and preventing any of the girls from being raped.

In another similar story, again in Georgia, a law student from Mercer University was sitting on the couch with his girlfriend when he heard someone kick in the front door. He ran upstairs, grabbed his shotgun, and killed the drunken intruder, who had condoms in his pocket, probably with the intention to rape the girl who he thought was alone at the time.

It is stories like these, and hundreds of thousands of similar ones a year, that display the benefits of private firearm use, despite the media and the government’s attempt to portray guns as harmful and dangerous. Ya, guns may be dangerous, but what’s more dangerous is not having them.

Gun control proponents use the same logic as drug war advocates: if we ban them, nobody will have access to them and everyone will be peaceful and safe trusting their occupation force police force to “protect them.” Everyone knows that since drugs are illegal, nobody can get them right?

When it comes to gun control, California (and the rest of the country) should heed the wise of words of Gandhi, a professed gun nut:

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of  arms as the blackest.”