Tuesday, November 01, 2005

CA Assemblyperson Jackie Goldberg: The Corporate Takeover of California

So far, I think the best short summary of our horrible up-to-no-good corporate special election is by CA Assemblyperson Jackie Goldberg in this interview in Citybeat, a local alternative weekly. Goldberg, btw, before she was an LA City Councilperson, was a public school teacher in Compton.
Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) says this particular slate of propositions is more than just another end-run around the state’s elected legislators. She calls it the “corporate takeover of California.”

This time, she argues, the issues on the ballot are carefully linked together and designed – using corporate money – to advance conservative interests and to keep Democrats away from the polls. She claims the governor even said as much in an e-mail to supporters. If he succeeds, she says, it’s a “catastrophe,” creating a governorship that no longer needs a legislature: “They’re saying, ‘Heck with this notion of democracy. It’s so burdensome. It’s so time consuming. It gets in the way.’” She calls it a short-sighted act of political sabotage.

Jackie Goldberg: If you take a look at who’s paying for all of this, it’s really extraordinarily large businesses. And they’re not even all California corporations – the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent a quarter of a million dollars on one of them. That’s in addition to the California Chamber, which tends to represent the largest corporations. You’ve got all the major pharmaceutical companies spending a fortune confusing the people about Propositions 78 and 79. You’ve got huge amounts of pharmaceutical money in Proposition 75. In fact, there is not a single one of these that isn’t being financed by the largest corporations and the biggest players – not just in California. The governor has fund-raised in New York, in New Jersey, in Florida. They’re after a Tom DeLay-kinda takeover like he did in Texas. Yup, and you can add the Walton Family to this list, per blogger SFBrianCL.

Prop. 73
... embedded in this is a change in the definition of when life begins. It is designed to force a future legislature to do anti-choice legislation that will be found constitutional by the state Supreme Court. And it has very little, if anything, to do with parental consent. That helps get the conservatives out.

Prop. 74
Let’s just take the teacher tenure issue [Proposition 74]: The chair of the Senate Education Committee, a moderate guy named Jack Scott, went to the governor in January, and said, “We have three-year tenure in the state community colleges. I was a community college president. I’ll negotiate a deal with you.” And Schwarzenegger’s staff wasn’t interested. They told him, “This is what we want” – which is what’s on the ballot – “and there is no negotiation.”
I think the decisions were already made, and it’s because this is really Pete Wilson, Part III. Pete Wilson’s whole staff, practically, is running the governor’s office. And they didn’t get it under Pete Wilson, so they’re going to try to use the panache of a famous Hollywood star to get it all done.

Prop. 76
How does Proposition 76 turn Schwarzenegger into a king?Right now, it takes a two-thirds vote of the legislature and the governor to do a budget. If this were to pass, that’s no longer going to be true. Because if eight Republicans refuse to vote for the budget, which they’re willing to do if they’ve got a Republican governor, then the budget won’t be on time and then the governor gets to decide what to put in and what to take out. Well, can you imagine a Republican assemblyperson or senator voting for a budget again, as long as there was a Republican governor? No! And if the reverse were true, the Democrats wouldn’t either. This isn’t partisan. This is about making any governor king.

Prop. 77
Proposition 77 seems nonpartisan. Why do you say that all the redistricting judges will be Republicans?Who appointed all the people who are old enough to be retired judges, who have enough money not to be paid for a year? It’s Deukmejian and it’s Wilson. Now, if they were saying “people sitting on the bench now,” you might have gotten us to go along with it. But it’s very difficult to become a judge and be anything but centrist or right-of-center. It’s almost impossible to be a liberal and be appointed a judge in this state, or any other state. Gray Davis didn’t appoint too many of them. So they’re happy with retirees.
Despite all the new polls out showing a remarkable upward momentum against the Governor's agenda (Field, LATimes, PPIC), our turnout on Nov. 8th is what matters the most.

Alliance for a Better CA is the best place to hang out with special election news. If you're in CA, you know what to do. GOTV, GOTV, and vote NO to this corporate election at our expense.