News

Joe Nu

He broke his promise by not giving our schools the $3 billion they were
supposed to get this year.

He broke his promise not to raise campaign money from special interests.

He broke his promise to be bipartisan, and to bring our state together.
Instead, he attacked California’s hard-working heroes: firefighters, nurses,
police officers and teachers.

And now, despite being in office for nearly two years, we continue to hear
finger-pointing and scape-goating instead of the leadership our state
desperately needs.

The Governor should admit it: This is a special election no one needs and
very few Californians want.

More than $300 million has been spent on this election. Just imagine how
many new textbooks that could have meant for our children. Or how many flu
shots it could provide our seniors.

This election has distracted our leaders from the real issues that
Californians want them to face. On this ballot, there’s nothing that will
foster a strong economy, build better roads, or improve the quality of
education our children receive.

This election is about power. The governor, who already has the power to
veto bills and blue pencil budget items, wants even more power — powers
meant for a king, not a governor.

Proposition 76 would devastate our public schools and other vital services.
According to the Legislative Budget Project, it would cut education by $4
billion, or $600 per pupil. It also cuts funding for local government,
cutting police and firefighters as well as local health care services that
protect children and the elderly. That’s why groups that rarely wander into
political waters – the PTA and Catholic Charities – oppose it.

Proposition 74, the “Blame the Teachers Act,” does nothing to improve public
education or deal with the real problems facing our schools. It unfairly
blames teachers for the problems in our public schools, ignoring the
realities of under-funding, overcrowding, and the lack of materials and
resources needed for effective teaching and learning. With 10,000 more
teachers needed for California schools, this initiative makes a tough job
even tougher. And it allows a teacher to be fired without a hearing.

Proposition 75, the “Paycheck Deception Act,” is designed to reduce the
ability of teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police offices to respond
when politicians like Gov. Schwarzenegger try to slash funds for education,
health care, and public safety. Federal law already allows union members to
stop having their dues go to helping political causes and candidates.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, corporations already
outspend unions 24-1. With Prop 75, the playing field would become even more
uneven.

Proposition 77 would turn over redistricting to a panel of unelected retired
judges accountable to no one. Overwhelming white, over 70, Republican, and
wealthy, retired judges do not mirror the diversity of our state and are
poorly equipped to draw district boundaries. Their plan – deemed unworkable
by both the Secretary of State and LA County Clerk Connie McCormack – would
go into effect without a vote of the people. While there is little argument
that we should reform the redistricting process, this proposal makes a bad
system worse.

We would have liked to debate the governor face-to-face on all of these
issues. The governor refused. And that’s a shame. Voters deserve a real
debate about these phony reforms, not nine months of infomercials and staged
events.

With polls showing all of the measures headed to defeat, perhaps the
governor will learn a lesson from this election: do what you told the people
of California you would do – improve our schools, work with the Legislature
instead of against it, and work with us to tackle the real challenges facing
our state.


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