Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Californians On Ballot Measures Seldom Suffer Knaves and Fools

We've seen it before, and we wertainly saw it yesterday. California voters, when it comes to ballot measures, seldom tolerate knaves and fools, whether they are in the governor's office or on the L.A. Times editorial pages.

So, every one of these measures, with the exception of the Los Angeles school bonds, went down to defeat. And good riddance.

It was very unwise of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to think that he could simply abandon his pledge in the Recall election not to bow to special interests, and, to turn around in this election, and cater to every slimy corporate special interest that afflicts this state. Now, he will pay the price, and it could be his reeelection next year. Because. as L.A. Times writers Peter Nicholas and Mark Barabak note this morning, quoting GOP Reagan strategist Stu Spencer, "a lot of personalities have a short shelf life," and, as the writers say, "Schwarzenegger's celebrity may not be the tonic it once was."

There are a few other things to say about the California election results.

For one thing, the public employee unions got together and, for once, fought effectively. They spent a lot of money, and their advertising message was right on the proper line. What it shows is that the union message is not unpopular if it is put right, and ir's a good lesson for organized labor throughout the country. Millions of Californians, like millions of Americans, realize that big business and the Republican party are all too often ready to slash into the income of ordinary Americans these days, whether it's their wages, their medical care, or their pensions. Most people are fed up with these moves, also seen in the court system, and they're not going to take it any more. So the unions can fight and win, as they did in California yesterday.

Another development marked these elections, and that was the emergence of Warren Beatty and his wife as potent political figures. Beatty's radio commercial for the California nurses was the most powerful of the election. He sounded great, and this and his suave public appearances around the election just could mean that he would be the Democrats' strongest candidate for governor next year.

I say that, even though, after Schwarzenegger, many people may feel they have had it with actors for awhile. Beatty, however, looks awfully good. Certainly, he has more pizazz than Phil Angelides or Steve Westly, the main Democratic gubernatorial contenders thus far.

If Beatty looked and sounded good, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and U.S. Sen. John McCain did not, with their repeated unwanted telephone calls and recorded messages. I got a lot of them being a registered Republican. These phone calls belong on the "do not call" lists. In any case, every one I received made me more determined to vote no across the board on the Schwarzenegger proposals.

There was a lot of talk by do-gooders across the political spectrum in this Special election that California ought to finally do away with Hiram Johnson's initiative system. Maybe so, but so often in these elections the people of this state do assert themselves in a rational and excellent way, as they did yesterday, even with all the money that is spent on campaigning.

The Times editorial pages, so often so filled with nonsense, certainly were in this election with their inconsistent endorsements. Who on these pages wanted to strike at the teachers and the unions, with Propositions 74 and 75, both of which the Times endorsed?

They were as foolish and knavish as the governor, and they too got their comeuppance yesterday, as did "Lawrence," my anonymous commentator, not satisfied with expressing his opinions once at the end of my blogs, but twice.

I should make it clear that when I use the terms "knaves and fools," I'm not talking about the people who voted for the governor's initiatives, since most of them I'm sure felt they were doing the right thing. The knaves and fools were Schwarzenegger and others who lined up with the corporate interests to push these measures.


Anonymous Kellie said...

>> "Millions of Californians, like millions of Americans, realize that big business and the Republican party are all too often ready to slash into the income of ordinary Americans these days" <<

That's such a ridiculous, anti-mean-ol'-capitalist statement, particularly when unions whose members feed at the public trough, otherwise known as bureaucrats grabbing tax monies for all their worth, aren't exactly shy about demanding very generous wages and cushy benefits, or policies that make it harder for incompetent employees to be ferreted out. But there's a sucker born every minute, and when it comes to people like you, I'd love to flash a union card, whether counterfeit or not, allow some tears to form in my eyes, and take you for a ride.

And, again, if the people at the Los Angeles Times you've been excoriating for poor stewardship are as gullible or simpleheaded as you are about basic economics and the real world, then you better not complain when they make a mess of things.

11/09/2005 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Ken, feeling pretty full of yourself today, eh?

Before you assume the Governor (and us fools and knaves) were handed an overwhelming repudiation, lets take a moment and look at one of the props a little more closely:

Prop 75
YES % NO %
Public Union Dues 3,092,495 46.5 3,551,011 53.5

So what was the margin? A little under half a million votes, or about the number of state workers and their family members. Not exactly the repudiation the tone of your column would indicate. And at what price? Short term, about $100 million of union workers funds, including the $60 for three years seized without consent from people that don’t even belong to the union. On top of that, the union may need to borrow to keep solvent. But who cares, it’s the union’s money, right?

The long term cost will be a little higher though. The unions have demonstrated to their supplicants in the Democratic party the extent of their power by their willingness to commit financial suicide and to shamelessly retail blatant falsehoods to achieve their objectives. Make no mistake, the unions own the Democratic party, and a weakened Herr Schwarzenegger and the few Republicans willing to stand by him will be inconsequential to the Democratic controlled House and Senate.

So what’s the cost? As I’ve said before, just look south to San Diego and the pension mess created by the unions and their proxies in the city government. Look at what Gray Davis did to the state’s finances for the benefit of the prison guards union.

Ken, I suspect that in 5 years you will become one of the legions who have sold their overpriced CA real estate and moved to a nice tax free state like Nevada or Florida to collect you pension, all the while clicking your tongue and commenting on how California has gone down hill since you left.

Meanwhile, those of us that have some investment in CA will be left trying to fend off the latest assault on Proposition 13 or some other revenue enhancement scheme because you and your fellow travelers either lack the most fundamental understanding of economics, or have elected not to care since the burden will fall to someone else.

Lawrence (sometimes AKA “anonymous”)

11/09/2005 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And so it begins:

Nissan Motor Co. announced Thursday it is moving its North American headquarters and nearly 1,300 jobs from California to the Nashville area to take advantage of the lower cost of doing business in the Southeast.

"The board of Nissan decided to relocate our North American headquarters, and we're coming to Tennessee," Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said at a news conference at the state Capitol attended by Gov. Phil Bredesen and other top state officials.

The headquarters, which has been based in Gardena, Calif., will relocate to Williamson County, a suburban area south of Nashville. . . .

Ghosn cited lower real estate and business taxes as major reasons for the move.

"The costs of doing business in Southern California are much higher than the costs of doing business in Tennessee," he said.

Tennessee is one of those states without a state income tax. And what do you know – it’s also a Right-To-Work state too!

Lawrence “second post” Anonymous

P.S. Thanks for the concession appended to your original post:

I should make it clear that when I use the terms "knaves and fools," I'm not talking about the people who voted for the governor's initiatives,…

11/10/2005 4:34 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home