Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District
in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly
Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature
and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican
Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach,
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna
Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign.
Ready For An Initiative Avalanche
Liberal constituencies will fight change...
[John Campbell] 11/1/03
In just over 2 weeks, the new Governor will be sworn in and the
same old legislature will be called into special session. Democrats
who have been used to ignoring Republicans and doing whatever
they want will now have to get the bipartisan support of at least
one Republican (the Governor) to pass anything. Republicans who
have been used to playing the role of only criticizing proposals
and voting no will now be able to move proposals which the new
Governor supports and defend against criticism and vote aye.
In other words, everyone's role has changed and the dynamics
in Sacramento are dramatically different.
But sometimes people have trouble adopting to new changed roles.
Some liberal constituencies, seeing the signature disappear in
the Governor's office are running to create initiatives to do
everything from lowering the vote threshold on tax increases
to increasing property taxes on commercial property. The Governor-elect,
on the other hand, has made it clear that if the agenda he articulated
during the campaign cannot be passed through the legislature,
then he will go directly to the people to get it done. That could
mean initiatives on everything from worker's compensation insurance
to the repeal of the non-citizen's driver's license bill.
a scenario under which we could see literally dozens of initiatives
on the March and November 2004 ballots. This
could lead to a voting public throwing up their hands and voting
everything down as they did with the 2 initiatives on the recall
ballot. Then we will have done no more harm, but we will not
have done any good either. There are approximately 40 initiatives
in some form of discussion right now.
is no question that we need major, significant structural reform
in the state to right many of the wrongs of the last
5 years. These kind of reforms are usually constitutional amendments
which means that the people have to vote them in the constitution
no matter what. An example of this is the spending cap constitutional
amendment that I have been working on for the last couple of
years. Putting this limit on the growth of government must
be in the constitution to be effective and therefore the people
must vote on it. And we must do it soon to prevent a reoccurrence
of the overspending of the last 5 years.
So, too many initiatives would be bad. But we must have quite
a few to achieve the fundamental reform that we need and which
the Governor-elect wants to do. Let's hope that all of us in
the legislature understand our new roles, and that we do as much
as we can legislatively and take to the ballot only that which
May the Lord bless those who have lost possessions or loved
ones in the recent fires. May any who intentionally started these
fires be brought to justice. And may we all learn from this to
help make future such calamities less devastating.