Tag Archives: David Dayen

Help Win David Dayen the State Blogger Award

So, you may have seen Dave’s announcement that he’s getting hitched. Hooray!  

So, we here at Calitics want to make sure that Dave is not only congratulated on that, but on all of his hard work he does as a blogger. And there’s a way to do that: Netroots Nation and CREDO Mobile are holding a Blogger Awards, determined by text message votes.  From their email:

CREDO Mobile and Netroots Nation are teaming up this year on the Blogger Awards program, under which three deserving bloggers will win a BlackBerry Curve smartphone and one year’s unlimited service from CREDO. …

Here’s how it works.  We’ll be awarding one prize in each of three categories — best national, state or local, and activist bloggers. Between now and 10 AM EDT August 15, you’re invited to text in your votes to 27336 (that spells CREDO) in the following format: keyword

bloggername.  Examples:

– National nolantreadway

– state david dayen

– activist maryrickles

So, I’m going to need everybody to text the phrase “state david dayen” (sans quotes) to 27336. If every Calitics reader does this, he is a shoe-in.

Dave really is the hardest working blogger. Not only does he contribute at Calitics, he’s also a contributing blogger at Digby’s spot, his own blog, and any number of other locations throughout the twisted tubes of the Internet.  Please tell as many of your friends, acquaintances, and passers-by. Join the Facebook event page here.

Hopefully, he’s not even reading the Interwebz while he’s off getting married and it can be one big surprise. Yeah…that’s likely!

Oh, can’t forget a tweet. Please retweet me: “Vote for D-Day for state blogger award at Netroots Nation in Pitt next week. Txt “state David Dayen” to 27336. Pls RT! http://tr.im/vKe5″

JUST SAY NO_PDLA joins Calitics on May 19 ballot initiatives

At the April meeting of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, we considered the propositions on the upcoming May 19 ballot. We urge you to READ all of them http://www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/ as well as the analysis pieces. These were put onto the ballot at the end of the budget session in February when Republican Abel Maldonado, Santa Maria, cut a deal to end the budget stalemate with Senate Pro Tem Darryl Steinberg. See this article for background: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02…  In addition to these lovely initiatives, Maldonado got the Democrats to agree to put the question of an OPEN PRIMARY to the voters. This one is NOT on this May ballot, however.  

Assemblyman Mike Feuer spoke for the “PRO” side of the initiatives, and Calitics writer David Dayen spoke for the “NO” side.

Within the discussion, comments included: most citizens are really sick of our legislature taking the easy way out and NOT dealing with the real elephant in the room–CORPORATE CONTROL of our government. No one agreed with the usual targets for budget cutting–mental health, schools, childhood programs (all funding previously VOTED FOR via the initiative process). And there was a strong reaction against the fear-mongering talking points that have been sent along for these initiatives. Questions on why there were more corporate tax breaks added during the budget session and why so little was done about the burgeoning prison-industrial complex budget which wasn’t cut.

There are many reasons for the state being in this condition today. One is the application of Proposition 13 to commercial properties from 1978 onward. My recollection, having lived through that as the political deputy to City Controller Ira Reiner (who supported 13 and helped give it credibility), is that 13 was meant to apply to single family residences. Because this was another of the many poorly worded initiatives voters have passed in frustration over the inaction of our state legislature, the so-called clarification AFTER it passed added in the commercial properties. Commercial real estate does not change ownership nearly as frequently as residential properties, and they use loopholes to avoid revaluation. They have enjoyed the lowest real estate taxes in the country ever since, as our education spending plummeted, in tandem, to become one of the lowest in the country also.  

Another reason is the continual kow-towing to corporate interests and their lobbyists. Corporate tax breaks abound, and California remains one of the few states WITHOUT an oil severance tax. Hard choices for our legislators who continue to raise campaign funds from these same corporations and try to tell us that these contributions don’t influence their votes. Yea, sure. Possibly Clean Money could make a difference if we were to believe that there will be a quantum shift in ethics once it’s put into place. This was what was SUPPOSED to have happened a few decades ago when the legislature was made full time and given full time salaries (now at $130,000). See Bill Boyarsky’s recent book for a backgrounder on the state legislature: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Dadd…

Many expressed outrage over the speaker’s revenge on those voting against this “deal with the devil” (as one person described it). Three assemblymembers lost their committee chairmanships as well as their previously assigned offices when they voted against these intiatives: http://www.latimes.com/news/lo…

Another suggested that Democrats who go along with this Republican outrage are victims of the Stockholm Syndrome (WIKI: a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger or risk in which they have been placed).

Much is being made about the need to either get a 2/3 majority in both houses of the state legislature OR to pass a simple majority rule. Either of these could work to marginalize the minority party except for the fact that Arnold and his Republican minions got Democrats to join them and pass Proposition 11 last fall (it gives them equal redistricting power regardless of their dwindling numbers). And, if they had DONE anything about either of these options earlier, we wouldn’t be hamstrung now (Feuer noted that he is new in the legislature and acknowledged the failures of the past as a cause for the present).

No one really knows what will be done if the initiatives do not pass. And legislators don’t seem to think that far ahead. https://calitics.com/diary/… Robert Cruickshank has his opinion on May 20th on this posting, and I started a list of “things to do” for our state legislators to get them focused on what real people are more interested in having them do.

Obviously, solving the healthcare crisis with immediate passage of SB810 would be a real step forward IF Democrats Susan Kennedy and Maria Shriver would push Arnold to sign it. Maybe he could leave office without having horns drawn on every picture, if he actually came through on this ONE thing.

Here’s a little reminder of the origins of our present Initiative 1A. Remember when all of the unions mobilized back in ’05 and we all shouted out a big NO to Arnold’s propositions? I do, because I walked the hills and long stairways of my Woodland Hills precinct.  Let’s take a look back to 2005’s Proposition 76 http://www.politicalgateway.co…

No on Proposition 76 – This proposition allows the governor to declare a fiscal emergency and cut any program by any amount he chooses. The issue is whether this power is properly vested in the governor.

If the initiative passes, the governor could undo decisions made by voters previously. School funding, health, police and emergency rooms, among other expenditures, would be at risk.

If the initiative fails, the governor would have less power to act in years when the budget is in a crisis.

Our state government is like the federal government in that power is shared by the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Giving the power to the governor to overturn prior decisions made by voters upsets this balance too much.

Here’s your reading set for the day: http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2…  The state pays for a Legislative Analyst to go over ALL of these initiatives and explain them in relatively clear language. On page 5: “If Proposition 1A passes, the Governor would be given new authority to reduce certain types of spending during a fiscal year without additional legislative approval.” La De Da. Just what he wanted and was denied by the massive outpouring of unions that crushed Prop 76 three years ago. What happened? This time around we see a splitting of the unions. I’ll always recall CTA endorsing Republican Bruce McPherson over Debra Bowen, so they’ll NEVER have any credibility in my book. CTA-yes, CFT-no.  http://www.cft.org/  Getting a late start on this, SEIU has joined the NO side: http://www.sacbee.com/capitola…

More on that same important page 5: “The fiscal effects of Proposition 1A are particularly difficult to assess. This is because the measure’s effects would depend on a variety of factors that will change over time and cannot be accurately predicted.”  And THIS is the initiative that our legislature is trying to tell us we MUST PASS???

And last point, many felt that pushing off these decisions onto the electorate by the initiative process is just another way for the legislators to abdicate their responsibility. Whatever happens in this election, they can just point to the voters and blame them (us)…either way. Catch 22 all over again.

So, PDLA joins Calitics and says “Just Say NO” to all of these initiatives.  

Steve Filson’s Candidate Statement for 15th Assembly

(I’ve changed the title, but all else is straight from the candidate’s fingers. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

We have a real chance to do something good for California and I think for the country since this State leads the nation in many ways. California governance is currently hamstrung by a fraction. That fraction is two thirds. We are embarrassingly only one of just three States in the Union that requires a two thirds majority to pass a budget or manage tax revenues. This is in a State, a nation state really, that is the 6th largest economy in the world-equal to France.

That is why, along with eventually achieving universal, single payer healthcare, I am running as a Democrat for the 15th Assembly seat for the California State Legislature.

It’s a long time held Republican seat right on the doorstep of the Bay area. Jerry McNerney won his race, Tauscher gets re-elected, State Senator Torlakson too and yet with these same voters the Assembly seat has stubbornly remained in red hands.  ….more on the flip.

The 15th Assembly district is ripe for the picking but I am not running this race because it will be easy-far from it. The Governor has hand picked a Republican replacement for Guy Houston (termed out incumbent) and they are pulling out all the stops because they know they may lose it. They are running a statewide race. So am I. I wanted to briefly introduce myself as a candidate for this seat.

I am a strong proponent that government, business, and labor are equal partners in protecting our families and communities. Particularly I am a strong believer in the aggressive place for government in that equation whose coefficient has been cruelly dropped by the Republican mantra of “you’re on your own” ownership society.  President Bush’s recent veto of SCHIP couldn’t be a more blatant example of that calculus.

Beyond universal healthcare coverage, I am an ardent student of our State’s water issues. The 15th Assembly district covers most of the Delta but it’s really an issue that affects all Californians. If we don’t bridge the disputes of a vast array of ardent stakeholders fast, we will find ourselves turning the tap one day with either nothing coming out or worse, a stream of salt water. Robert in Monterey and John Laird have the picture.

I support the immediate order to begin the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq-that in itself is a nine month timeline. Just throw the switch for crying out loud. As a Federal issue our impact can only come with a State resolution. I would have supported the Speaker Pro Temp, Don Perata, with his resolution to end the war.

And the one vote I will consistently cast is to support medical use of marijuana. My extensive corporate management experience with employees, who fell victim, albeit rarely, to substance abuse is based on medical and other professional training, not on the viewpoint of archaic hysteria. As an expert in employee recovery programs, I know this drug to be fully appropriate for medicinal uses and it does not constitute a “domino” step to harder drugs.

I do not seek the support from high elected officials. I have the support of teachers, environmental activists, and working families. Democracy is about the bottom up and not the top down. On that, I’ve learned my lesson.

My intent is to try and set a schedule for blogging about issues that I feel are important to you and myself on hopefully a weekly basis. Our website will try to post the plan.  I look forward to hearing from anyone who cares about the future of this State and the country or wants to know more about me. I can’t answer everything but I’ll give it my best.

Thank you. Let’s pick up this seat for Democrats!
Steve Filson, Assembly Candidate for the 15th District.