Experts Expound

The Experts Expound

“What’s the first thing you would you do to fix the Capitol’s structural mess? Simple-majority vote for budgets and taxes? Eliminate term limits? Open primaries? Part-time Legislature? Something else?

Public floggings.

Open primaries.

All of the above. And then get a Governor who’s actually into the job rather than just press conferences.

The best way to solve our budget crisis is to win 2/3rds majority in both houses of the Legislature. and hope for an economic turnaround.

Across the board 10 percent cuts.

The part time Legislature is ripe for the picking. It will be on the front burner soon enough.

Simple majority vote will never fly. Simple majority vote on local school bonds went down in March 2000 – but passed as 55 that fall. We have a recent test on this. Why reinvent the wheel?

It is clear that systemic problems preclude even the best-intentioned legislators and governors from fixing the ever worsening budget mess in California. Voters are tired of punting intractable problems to them via the initiative process. I would start down the following list: Eliminate the 2/3rds requirement, Establish an open primary, Eliminate or elongate term limits, Make initiatives harder to qualify. Then I would convene a real constitutional convention and zero-base prior set-aside propositions and require a rainy day fund and average spending caps over five- or eight-year levels. After that, I would have a martini.

…We must re-engage the citizens of California. We currently have a democracy without citizens. Very sad.

Open primaries and the reapportionment reform would allow more moderates to come to Sacramento and would combat the political party orthodoxy that prevents legislators from confronting the tough issues that require political courage to take on. That was a mouthful!

Redistricting reform and open primary. They’re halfway there, but the second half is going to be a lot tougher.
Limit state spending to last year’s budget plus inflation and caseload growth.

Out of desperation, I would call a constitutional convention — it would be dangerous, but with the stranglehold the public employees unions have on the state, I see no other alternative.

Triple the size of both houses, part-time Legislature, eliminate term limits and get rid of campaign finance reform.

First, it is incredibly important to maintain the two-thirds vote for taxes and budgets. Second, having a Republican governor that would work with the GOP legislative leadership as part of a team in the style of a Deukmejian would make a huge difference. So having a dem COS sets up the administration for failure.

My first wish would be for a real – but moderate – Republican Governor. Fixing the problems beyond that goes directly to changing the mandates to permit less spending and finding a way to eliminate the unionization of civil service employees, and the use of union dues for other than communications and direct collective bargaining staff.

We need to create a less partisan atmosphere so that every vote isn’t a litmus test on a candidate’s ability to be elected. Open primaries would create that environment.

We need to eliminate all of the state and federal categorical funding that ties the hands of state and local decision-makers.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger.

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: