This weekend at the California Democratic Party (CDP) Executive Board Meeting several hundred board members unanimously passed this resolution:
Majority Vote BRG09.08
WHEREAS, the California Constitution requires certain bills making appropriations from the General Fund, for changes in state taxes for the purpose of raising revenue, to be passed in each house of the Legislature by a two-third vote; and
WHEREAS, this requirement amounts to minority rule by one third, plus one and has brought the State of California to a revenue crisis and a situation of paralysis because of a vocal minority of conservative Republicans; and
WHEREAS, the people of California deserve urgently to have a functional, effective and balanced government, able to respond and adjust to economic downturns and upswings for the benefit of the majority of its citizens, rather than be held hostage by the ideologies of the few;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports a change to only require a simple majority (like the U.S. Congress and 80% of states) for revenue bills, thus restoring majority rule and representative democracy to California’s government.
This resolution combined with a similar resolution for majority rule for budget put the CDP in the position of favoring majority rule for both budget and revenue related legislation.
Dr. George Lakoff spoke on behalf of the resolution before the Resolutions Committee. Flyers and buttons were handed out. Encouraging words came from all but a few. Those few would like to see majority rule but did not believe the revenue part would pass as a ballot measure. Among the few was John Burton the chair of the party, who slammed the measure during his opening comments while the buttons and flyers were handed out at the door. Shawnda Westly the new Executive Director said that his and her opinion were based on polls that I pointed out were poorly framed and amounted to asking if the person minded having taxes raised. I told her that Lakoff had written a set of poll questions and I summarized them. She suggested that we raise some money to take the poll. Then they would look at the results and reconsider their position.
I presented the argument that a “just budget” measure, if passed by voters would not end the gridlock as expected by the voters and that the Democrats would be blamed. I told her “under promise and over deliver” is a Silicon Valley marketing mantra and that a “budget only position would be “over promise and under deliver” and a disaster for the party.
It is important to have the support of Mr. Burton and his staff because the campaign for majority rule will be very expensive and they are able to raise money and induce other organizations to support the campaign.
Several prominent CDP officials are in favor of Majority rule for both budget & revenue; most vocal was Assemblymember Alberto Torrico the Majority Leader, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, CDP Vice Chairs Eric Bauman and Alex Rooker and CDP Controller Hillary Crosby. Assemblymember Nancy Skinner counseled on the importance of getting Burton’s support and the need for money for a successful campaign.
Prepare a ballot measure for submission to the Attorney General for approval.
Do you know a lawyer(s) who might be of service?
Find sponsor(s) like labor union(s) or environmental group(s) to administer Lakoff’s poll.
Can you open the door to some organization that would consider sponsorship?
Find a suitable polling firm.
Do you know of one?
Lobby John Burton and Shawnda Westly.
This is going to be one helluva fight, the kind that builds the party and draws activists into the political fray. The Obama campaign is waiting for the just cause – this is it! The Governor has been good enough to loan the Majority Rule campaign thousands of state employees for three Fridays each month to work on the campaign, in addition to thousands of pissed off college students who won’t graduate as planned because of canceled classes, and parents with kids in school who can’t find their favorite teacher or play in the band or join a team Thousands more who took back our country in 2008 will take back our state in 2010.
TriValley Democratic Club President & Webmaster www.TRIVALLEYDEMS.com
Office/home 925 831 8355
Cell 925 451 4303