Calitics At Netroots Nation 2009


We often engage in the day-to-day combat of intracacies of the budget or campaign news here at Calitics.  But we should never lose sight of the long-term questions.  Is California governable?  Does the erecting of procedural barriers to sensible governance in this state prefigure a political crisis for the rest of the nation?  Can we build a movement for reforming this broken system and produce a model that allows majorities in the legislature to reflect the intended will of their constituents?  

I’m pleased to announce that I have put together a great panel that will tackle all of these questions at the blogosphere’s signature event, Netroots Nation 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from August 13-15.  On Saturday, August 15, at 3:00pm, we will discuss the California budget mess and its implications for the nation at large in a panel entitled California: How Process Creates Crisis.

California is the nation’s largest state, and is often seen as a bellweather for economic and social change. However, the peculiar dynamic of state government institutions has threatened that role, as the state has slipped into an almost perpetual crisis mode. Despite an overwhelming majority of progressive lawmakers in the state legislature, the two-thirds rule for passing a budget and tax increases, among other issues, handcuffs them and empowers a radical conservative minority. Thirty years of short-term fixes and failed leadership have only exacerbated the problem and put the state-and the nation-in real danger. As Paul Krugman recently said, “Years of neglect, followed by economic disaster-and with all reasonable responses blocked by a fanatical, irrational minority … This could be America next.” In this session, we will look at the reasons for California’s budget tangle, the larger implications for the progressive movement at large, and what some organizations are doing to change these outdated rules and take back state government for the people.

In addition to myself, the panel will feature Robert Cruickshank of Calitics and the Courage Campaign; Jean Ross of the California Budget Project; and Kai Stinchcombe, a candidate for State Assembly in AD-21 in 2010.  There may be an additional special guest, which I will reveal later.

If you have not registered for Netroots Nation, you can do so at their website.  If you have, please join us for a wide-ranging discussion on California, a kind of 75-minute blog post on the challenges ahead.

7 thoughts on “Calitics At Netroots Nation 2009”

  1. On Friday at 10:30 a.m., yours truly will be on a panel about “Local Blogs: Covering City and County Government and Empowering Activism.”  I will be joined by bloggers from Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Maryland — so it should be a fascinating discussion.  I had requested that this panel not be scheduled at the same time as the California panel, so people can attend both.

    On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., Todd Beeton will moderate a panel on “Our First Fight: How the Netroots Survived the Presidential Primary.”  I think a lot of us will find that fascinating, and it should be lively.

    On Friday at 3:30 p.m., David Atkins is moderating a panel on “Turning Red Districts Blue: Organizing for Change,” where I believe Darcy Burner and Tom Perriello will both be speaking.

    It’s great all four panels are happening at a different time.  Netroots Nation is gonna be a blast!!  Can’t wait to see you all there!!

  2. As a moderate, with libertarian tendencies, which puts me out of both parties, i never get the idea of saying that the people who passes prop 13 are “fanatics”  it was a majority vote.  

    I believe that government spending is way too high, and that the taxes proposed by the legislature are ineffective and regressive.  Do i say that they are fanatics?  No, just wrong.

    What amazes me about california progressives is the regressive taxes they have imposed.  I would think that it makes more sense to lessen the welfare state than regressively tax.  The other option, to impose a progressive rate schedule in california, is not workable, as there is not enough money to tax from the rich in california without driving them away or having more of them create delaware tax deferral trusts.  

    So, i do not think i am any more fanatic than the progressives.  they seek to regressively tax the state, i seek to cut the budget all over.  

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