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Shift of Power
Breaking the grip of special interests…
[by Ray Haynes] 10/17/05

The upcoming initiative fight is all about a shift of power, a shift from the interest groups that currently control all of the levers of power in Sacramento, except the Governor’s office, towards other groups. The Governor has chosen to fight some very powerful and entrenched groups, and has paid a price. This election has been a roller coaster for political junkies.

Make no mistake, if the first five initiatives pass, a new order will arise in California, and the old regime will pass away. Just take a look at the initiatives, and people can see how the balance of power in this state will shift dramatically.

Proposition 73 shifts power from the well-financed abortion industry to moms and dads. Today, any child can be spirited away by a wealthy doctor, subjected to a very dangerous procedure that could endanger the child’s life and mom and dad would never know. Taxpayers pay for this surgery, the child is abused, the parents are kept in the dark, and the doctor profits. Proposition 73 shifts that power away from the profiteer, and towards the parents.


Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]


Proposition 74 actually empowers voters in the education system, and shifts power away from union hacks who protect bad teachers. Today, a teacher gets a permanent job after two years, essentially eighteen months of teaching. If the school board or the principal doesn’t fire the teacher in the first two years, it takes $300,000 and hundreds of lawyer hours to get the teacher out of the system. As a result, a lot of less-than-competent teachers get and keep lifetime jobs. Proposition 74 simply extends that time to five years, and gives school boards and principals more power over the quality of the education system. Union bosses lose power.

Proposition 75 is a broadside shot at those powerful union bosses. Today, government employee union bosses take anywhere from $300 to $600 per year from each government employee to fund the political ambitions of the union bosses. Proposition 75 requires those bosses to get the employees permission to take the money. Union bosses don’t like that shift of power either.

Proposition 76 shifts power from the current free spending Legislature to the Governor, allowing the Governor to cut dollars from the budget when the Legislature is out of control. If Gray Davis had had this power, he might have been able to hold his seat as Governor, because he tried to cut $4 billion from the budget at the beginning of the budget crisis. The Legislature said no, and the Governor lost his job. The spendthrifts in the Legislature however kept theirs, and the current Governor is still fighting them. Since those Legislators are usually beholden to the same union bosses that Proposition 74 and 75 target, those union bosses don’t like this initiative either.

Finally, Proposition 77 shifts power away from the Legislators and to an independent commission to draw legislative districts. Redistricting is the most political job any politician performs, since his or her job and power rests on the outcome of the district lines. It is natural for them to protect themselves. It is also smart of voters to not give them the power, given the inherent conflict of interest. Redistricting will still be political; it will be, however, one step removed.

This state has entrusted power over the years to certain groups, who have abused that power. The current initiative election seeks to shift that power away from the abusers, and into the hands of others that may use that power more wisely. The powers that are will not give up that power without a fight. It is going to be a wild ride for the next month. I, for one, as a political junkie, am looking forward to the trip. CRO

Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to


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