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a weblog | current tally
1,383,930 out of
898,157 petitions

53 days to go
[go to the Recall Follies]

  • Neumayr: Gray Hounds...
  • Stewart: Greasing Gray...
  • Goldberg: Too bad voters...

a weblog of
contributor commentary

[Streetsweeper] 8:56 am

Rosario Run: The SacBee notes that Rosario Marin formed an exploratory committee to go after LeBoxer's seat. Please, somebody go after that seat and send that woman home! Hey, even Jerry Brown would be a relief! | Our Children's Mentors: The Washington Post reports on Howard Dean's fire-breathing speech to a group of public servants we're supposed to trust [Howard Dean was angry. Ropy veins popped out of his neck, blood rushed to his cheeks, and his eyes, normally blue-gray, flashed black, all dilated pupils. / "The only hope Democrats have to beat this president," he said, his left fist punching the air, "is to behave like Democrats and stand up for what we believe!" / "YEAH!" the crowd cheered, standing and applauding. / "Can we afford tax cuts," Dean continued, reddening to his gray temples, "when we have the largest deficit in the history of the country?" / "NO!" the crowd shouted back. / Dean was addressing a California Teachers Association convention in Los Angeles.] Now, doesn't that make you feel great about our state's public education system?

more at CRO Blog
[Glenn Ellmers] 7:56 am
Slash This: In May, we Angelenos got some hopeful news about our local paper. John Caroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times, circulated a memo decrying the liberal bias of his reporters and editors. [I want everyone to understand how serious I am about purging all political bias from our coverage. We may happen to live in a political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values (and is unreflective of the nation as a whole), but we are not going to push a liberal agenda in the news pages of the Times.] Well, these things take time one supposes. Certainly Mr. Caroll still has some work to do. From today's paper: [A Senate Republican plan to close the state's $38-billion budget gap without raising taxes would significantly scale back environmental protections, slash money to education and threaten health insurance for thousands of children, according to a draft obtained by The Times.] The day we read about how the Democrats plan to "pummel Californians with onerous new taxes, while further increasing the regulatory burden--even as California leads the nation in job loss and businesses flee the state" then I will gladly sing a Caroll to the Times.

more at CRO Blog

OC Register
Deficit Index

$82.3 million
The amount needed per day through June 30, 2004, to balance budget.
OC Register

being Tom McClintock


California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03
go to Shadow Governor

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Capitol Report
Car Tax Refund

Demand your refund when you pay your car tax
[John Campbell] 7/11/03 |
I have told you that the Governor's tripling of the car tax is illegal and probably unconstitutional as well. I have told you that the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association has filed a lawsuit (on which I am also a plaintiff) to overturn this illegal tax. But, starting with new and renewal registrations October 1st, the new tripled tax will be in effect and you have to pay it unless you want to get pulled over by the police for having expired tags. | Over 10 years ago, the state imposed another unconstitutional tax on cars called the "smog impact fee." When the court eventually overturned this tax, very few taxpayers received refunds because they had not kept records and were unable to file an official claim for refund. | Not this time. Go to my website and you will find a car tax refund form that you can print and send in to the DMV at the time you pay your illegal tax. [more inside]

A Real American Remembers California

Review - Victor Davis Hanson's Mexifornia
[Ken Masugi] 7/10/03 | Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson. Encounter Books, 166 pages, $24.95 |
In Mexifornia, classicist, military historian, and farmer Victor Davis Hanson writes movingly about the deterioration of California caused by unlimited immigration and a mindset that denies the need for an aggressive program of Americanization. But he also praises the ambition of immigrants and the energy and lower cost of living they bring to the country. Thus, he takes on the "paradoxes, hypocrisies, and hilarities that characterize California as a result of changing attitude and more immigrants" Hanson's reflections should become the reference point for national conversation about immigration and the proper course of action. Hanson writes with a grace that makes any easy summary a distortion of the author's soul: "Because of the disparate angles of my perception, this book is part melancholy remembrance of a world gone by, part detached analysis by a historian who knows well the treacherous sirens of romance and nostalgia, and part advocacy by a teacher who always wanted his students to be second to none." Having grown up in the 1950s as a minority in the predominantly Mexican central-California town of Selma, Hanson now sees a cultural chasm between the Mexican-Americans he grew up with and newer arrivals. The latter have brought chaos with them and make life on his family farm not only burdensome but increasingly dangerous. [more inside]

the Shadow Governor
Highway Robbery
[Tom McClintock] 7/9/03 | Illegal taxes are what political revolutions are made of. Just ask King John, whose illegal taxes produced a taxpayer revolt that ended with the Magna Carta. Or George III whose illegal taxes provoked the American Revolution. California’s Royal Governor could profit from their example. |
Governor Davis’ action to triple the car tax is brazenly illegal. According to the Legislative Counsel’s Office (the official legal office of the state legislature) only the Controller can raise the car tax, and only then on a month-by-month basis, and only then if the state cannot write a check to reimburse local governments for lost revenues, and only then for the amount of the shortfall. | Not one of these conditions has been met in the Governor’s decree. He has simply ordered the theft of $4.2 billion of taxpayer money that he has no legal authority to collect. King John would be proud. [more inside]

Fabulous Budget
Brother, Can You Spare A Nickel?

Liberal illusion: tax cuts cause deficits, not overspending
[Ray Haynes] 7/8/03 | Over the last four or five months, some of my Democrat friends have been complaining that, since 1997, Californians have received $26 billion in tax breaks, which, they claim, is almost equal to our budget problem. They add wistfully that if the legislature had not cut taxes, the state would not have a budget problem. | Except the fact is that the total yearly amount of those tax rate reductions cost state government only about $5 billion per year (assuming that letting you keep your money costs government anything). These math wizards get the $26 billion number by adding up the tax saving you got each year one on top of the other to get the $26 billion number. Using that logic, California state government has spent $148.6 billion more since 1997. What do you think caused the $26 billion per year deficits? $26 billion total in tax cuts or $148.6 billion total in spending increases? Or, to compare apples to apples—what do you think caused our $8 billion per year overspending problem--$5 billion in tax cuts or $20 billion in spending increases? [more inside]

"If you receive the Weekly Standard, you may already have seen Glenn Ellmers' article on the recall effort against California Governor Gray Davis. Ellmers, the Claremont Institute's director of research, explains how the recall is one of the direct democracy measures, along with the initiative and the referendum, cooked up the Progressives about 100 years ago. In theory, these devices are problematic, and certainly conflict with the Founders' idea of representative, constitutional government. But in practice, conservatives have used these measures, often successfully, to battle liberal, big government—the modern-day legacy of Progressivism." Claremont

The CRO Monday Column
A “Taxing” Responsibility

The Power to Change Sacramento Rests With Us
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/7/03 |
Independence Day is a wonderful time to be an American – and almost the only time the miracle of our country’s birth is widely discussed, at least in the major media. | Today, notwithstanding the ongoing celebration of our country’s birthday, it is more unusual than ever to catch any reference to the anti-tax outrage that played so prominent a role in our nation’s founding. American colonists were enraged by the Sugar Act – which taxed sugar, wine and coffee imported into the colonies, and by the Stamp Act, which mandated that tax stamps be first purchased and then affixed to virtually every paper good from newspapers to cards. The Townshend Acts of 1767 provoked opposition by taxing tea, paper, paint, glass and other vital imports. And, of course, the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was at its heart a tax revolt – colonists were expressing their displeasure with the Tea Act, which exempted Birtain’s East India Tea Company from the regular taxes imposed on colonial merchants. | Given the widespread opposition to the taxes imposed upon them, it is no wonder that the colonists who wrote the Declaration of Independence – our Founding Fathers – condemned the King for “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.” | And so one can’t help wondering what the Founding Fathers would have thought about our tax system. The mind reels imagining the Founding Fathers’ reaction to California – land of SB 204, a proposed statewide tax on disposable baby diapers and adult incontinence products (is there anything Sacramento won’t try to tax?). [more inside]

Fabulous Budget
Taxes Raised by a Phantom
Cost Taxpayers Real Dollars
[Jon Coupal] 7/5/03 | As president, Harry Truman kept a sign on his desk that read "The buck stops here." Unfortunately, taking this kind of responsibility is a foreign concept for many in Sacramento, including the governor and the majority in the Legislature. | After all, according to state officials, the dreaded VLF (the car tax) has just tripled without anyone's approval. Without any law or legislative action, California drivers have been hit with a $4 billion tax increase. If we don't like it, who are we supposed to complain to, the Phantom of the Bureaucracy? | Lawmakers favoring higher taxes and big government are quick to point out that the car tax was equally high years ago, so that auto owners are no worse off than they were prior to 1998. Also, they say, the tax was never really "cut" because the legislation that authorized the reduction actually provided a mere "rebate." Therefore, since the state now needs money, the trigger taking away the "rebate" has been pulled. There is a word for this kind of sophistry, but this is a family newspaper. [more inside]

California Exports: Film & Life
Machines Vs. Man

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
[Ken Masugi] 7/4/03 | If nothing else, "Terminator 3" is worth seeing for the pleasure in imagining how Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would terminate the budget crisis in Sacramento. Unfortunately, he is scarcely a principled conservative and is surrounded by former Governor and Senator Pete Wilson's political operatives. The recall raises enough problems, as my Claremont Institute colleague Glenn Ellmers notes in the current Weekly Standard. But there are other reasons to see this movie. |
Despite the violence and sex, the first "Terminator" played off Christian themes: A man comes from outside of time to save the human race, to lead its fight against machines, who have come to imitate men. But to be truly human is to be something other than a machine, a mere mechanical artifact. To save what is distinctly human, the future men must use technology to reassure the continuity of history and give humanity a chance to win. [more inside]

Capitol Report
A 4% Solution

We propose no new taxes
[John Campbell] 7/04/03 | Budget: This week, Assembly Republicans introduced an updated version of our budget proposal that we first made about 2 months ago. The salient point of our proposal is that it contains absolutely no new taxes including the illegally raised car tax. You will no doubt hear from Democrats how our proposal will result in "people dying" and "the end of life in California as we know it." | But let's analyze that. Our proposal cuts state spending by a whopping 4% from last year. 4%!! So, spending 96% of what we did last year will result in death and destruction, according to the opposition. Is there anyone who really believes that? Is there anyone who thinks that the worst fiscal crisis in the history of this or any state shouldn't result in a spending reduction of at least 4%. Does anyone think that there isn't at least 4% waste in government? Some of you probably think we should be cutting more. And you are right. But we are trying to offer a compromise to which some Democrats who have not completely lost their minds can subscribe. [more inside]

findings in today's web trawler

RECALL FOLLIES/From American Spectator
Gray Hounds  
[George Neumayr] 7/11/03 | Leading California businessmen warn of "chaos" if Davis is recalled, reported the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. They "denounced the proposed recall of Gov. Gray Davis as a threat to the state's economy." Having pumped millions into Gray Davis's re-election, these blue-chippers are loath to cut the strings on their battered puppet now. |Davis owes his career to this cynical business roundtable. Businessmen know that he is ideologically anti-business but have given him millions anyway for the sake of protection and perks. Since 1973, Davis has collected over a $100 million through fundraising, much it from businessmen eager for a spot at the state trough. | Chris Martin, managing partner of the Cannery marketplace in San Francisco, told the San Jose Mercury News last fall that at an interview for a state commission slot "he was grilled by the governor's first appointments secretary about his political donations." Martin said the first question in the interview was "How much did you donate to the governor?" and the second was "How much did you give to the other guy?" | Understanding this message, businessmen shoveled cash to Davis. His recall may mean "chaos" for them -- they lose a powerful pol bought at great price -- but it is hard to believe his recall would create any more chaos for Californians than already exists under his administration. [more at American Spectator]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Capitol Punishment
Greasing Gray with Fat Checks
California's Richest Look to Protect Themselves as Recall Takes Off
[Jill Stewart] 7/11/03 | As the Gray Davis recall moves into overdrive and the noxious consultant Chris Lehane--who helped Clinton formulate his creepy Monica Lewinsky strategy--prepares to launch an assault on the truth unlike anything we've witnessed in a California election, a phrase keeps circling inside my head. | Follow the money. | Most political junkies know by now that Lehane and the rest of Davis' advisors plan to paint the recall as right-wingers stealing an election from liberals. Lehane is said by some to be the most negative campaigner in the United States, a guy who will shimmy so low to win that Davis---the most vicious campaigner California has seen in modern times---imported Lehane from Back East. | Many voters won't easily dismiss their own boiling fury at Davis, nor at the $38 billion in debt that materialized on Davis' watch after our fibbing governor and catatonic leaders like Democratic Sen. John Burton of San Francisco insisted things were under control. | Even so, if you are tempted to buy into any of the Davis camp's whoppers---such as the one making rounds that a recall "hurts" California's economy (compared to how rosy things are by keeping Davis), merely remember to follow the money. [more at Capitol Punishment]

Oh, No! A 4% Cut? Horrors!
Dems could end budget crisis with a small step, but even that's too much
[John Campbell] 7/11/03 | Have you ever worked at a company when profits were in a squeeze? You probably have. And you probably have seen the management say, "We have to cut back 5 percent or 10 percent or 15 percent." It was done so the company could survive and stay profitable. | And how about your personal budget? We've all experienced a time when the bonus didn't come in or commissions were down or hours cut back. And then you paid more attention to prices at the market and you didn't eat out as often. In short, you cut back some. | Earlier this week, Republicans in Sacramento proposed that the state government do what everyone in private life has had to do: Cut back a little. As you no doubt know, the state is mired in the worst budget and fiscal crisis in the history of this or any other state. The state got there because Gov. Gray Davis' administration and Democrats in the Legislature increased spending by 37 percent when population and inflation grew by only 22 percent. We have a deficit exceeding $30 billion. We have the lowest credit rating of all 50 states. A national survey recently ranked California as the worst- managed of all 50 states and in the bottom three of states in which to do business. We are losing jobs every month, and our economy is underperforming the nation. [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
Advice To Democrats On The Budget: Give Up
[Daniel Weintraub] 7/11/03 | Democratic lawmakers searching for a way out of this summer's budget mess should consider a bold strategy: Surrender. In as public and dramatic a fashion as they can manage, they should declare defeat, make a scene of handing the keys over to the Republicans, close the remaining gap with spending cuts alone and walk away with their heads down, muttering about the unfairness of it all. | The next day, they could begin the great 2004 ballot campaign to wrest control of the budget process from the minority party and raise taxes to support the services they think are crucial to the well-being of California. | I suggest this course not because I agree with the policy, but because it kills me to see the Democrats continue to torture themselves -- and the state. Unable to persuade the Republicans to go along, unwilling to ask the voters for a mandate, the majority hobbles from year to year, borrowing to prop up the programs they value and hoping against hope that the economy eventually will bail them out. Enough already. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Hidden Costs
Sacramento's failures hit home every day
[the Editors] 7/11/03 | To our elected officials in Sacramento, the state's never-ending budget mess must seem like a game.| Too bad this is a game with real losers: the residents of California.| While the governor and legislators of both parties dawdle, the state suffers. For the better part of two years, as the politicians have shifted money around to maintain the farce of a balanced budget, they have robbed Californians of crucial funding for quality-of-life concerns.| Nowhere is the impact felt more than in the area of transportation, especially for Southern California residents who have wasted months if not years of their lives idling on clogged freeways and stuck at jammed traffic intersections. | And it's only going to get worse. [more at LA Daily News]

Bobbing Heads
[John McCaslin] 7/11/03 | No sooner did we write that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice may try to muscle out fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bid for California's top political seat - dethroning embattled Gov. Gray Davis - and "Rice for Governor" campaign buttons have hit the streets. | The GOP Shoppe (, official vendor for the 2000 Republican National Convention and the 2001 presidential inaugural, started peddling the Rice buttons this week for $3 each - half of which goes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. | "The Leadership California Needs," the buttons say beneath Rice's name, although she and Schwarzenegger have only expressed an interest in the California post.| Meanwhile, CNN talking head Tucker Carlson displayed an "Arnold for Governor" button on TV this week, then surprised former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville with a personalized button that read: "James Carville supports Bush/Cheney '04." [more at Town Hall]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From Sacramento Bee
'96 Power-Market Fiasco Haunts Efforts To Write New Scheme
[Dan Walters] 7/11/03 | When both houses of the Legislature approved a sweeping utility deregulation bill in the waning hours of the 1996 legislative session -- without a single dissenting vote -- it was evident that only a handful of those voting had more than a cursory understanding of its historic provisions. | The lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike, acted at the behest of their leaders and members of a bipartisan, two-house conference committee that had spent at least 100 hours working out details of the measure with lobbyists for consumer groups, utilities, power generators and commercial energy users. | The most vocal cheerleader for the measure was state Sen. Steve Peace, a Democrat who chaired the conference committee's lengthy meetings, which had become known to Capitol wags as "the Steve Peace death march." [more at Sacramento Bee]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From American Spectator
Crime and No Punishment
[George Neumayr] 7/11/03 | One of every 14 adult males in Oakland, California, is a parolee or a con on probation. An "estimated total of 11,400 parolees and probationers" call Oakland home, reports the Los Angeles Times, making it the "ex-con capital of California." | As the city teems with dangerous ex-cons, its homicide rate continues to climb. One hundred thirteen homicides occurred last year. So what conclusion does the Los Angeles Times draw from these numbers? "Message From Oakland: How 'get tough laws' victimized a fragile city," read the headline on its piece last Sunday. | That's right: criminal laws, not criminals, left 113 people dead on the streets of Oakland last year, according to the logic of the Los Angeles Times. Notice the headline says "get tough laws victimized" the city. Law-abiding Oakland residents are under the delusion that criminals victimize them. No, no, it is the criminal code that they should fear. [more at American Spectator]

Too Many Murders
[the Editors] 7/11/03 | Oakland officials must do more than wring their hands over the city's escalating murder rate.
The slaying of Francisco Lopez as he watered his lawn by a gunman who then entered Lopez's home and killed his wife, Gloria, achieved a new level of barbarity. The deaths brought the homicide total to 59, four more than this time a year ago. And there has been no discernible improvement in the social and economic conditions that contributed to the 113 murders last year. | Oakland has beautiful hillsides, tree-lined streets, downtown office towers and a nicely revitalized waterfront at Jack London Square. But it also has flatland neighborhoods suffering from years of political and economic neglect. | A floundering school system, a dismal economy, staggering unemployment, a distrusted police force and an enduring drug epidemic all keep the city ripe for chaos. [more at SF Chronicle]

Judge Not
[Debra Saunders] 7/11/03 | The issue starts with the bogus argument, advanced by former president of the Bar Association of San Francisco Angela Bradstreet, that judges shouldn't be Boy Scouts because they may not appear to be impartial in cases involving homosexuals. It's a smarmy guilt-by-association argument: The Scouts bar gay Scout leaders, so Scout/judges are suspect -- even if Bradstreet couldn't name a single instance in which a city Scout/judge misbehaved when we talked last year. | That's when San Francisco Superior Court judges, to their undying shame, unanimously voted to bar Scout judges. Other local bars followed suit. The local rules, however, had no legal force, so the anti-Scouts asked the California Supreme Court to bar Scouts from the bench statewide. | Last month, Chief Justice Ron George released what has been touted as a compromise measure: Judges can be Scouts, but they have to disclose their membership or recuse themselves in cases "in some circumstances" -- that is, cases involving sexual orientation. | Before I beat up on the decision, let me give George and the justices who voted unanimously for the compromise their due. They must recognize the Code of Judicial Ethics, which says, "A judge shall not hold membership in any organization that practices invidious discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation." The code then exempts "membership in a nonprofit youth organization" -- a loophole designed to shield the Boy Scouts. [more at Town Hall]

Fatalist Blockbusters
Hollywood embraces inescapable destinies.
[Jim Geraghty] 7/11/03 | There's something odd going on at the multiplex. Two of this summer's blockbuster sequels — Terminator 3 and The Matrix Reloaded — tackle the same philosophical question: Do we control our fates, or is every event that happens to us part of an inescapable destiny? | Without going into climax-spoiling details, both sequels come down solidly in the fatalism camp.* That is, they both appear to suggest that all events in the history of the world, and, in particular, the actions and incidents which make up the story of their heroes, are predetermined, and that their efforts to avoid that fate are futile. | It's counterintuitive to see this fatalist argument out of Hollywood, and in action movies no less. [more at National Review]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Opinion Journal
Gray to Fade

A recall election for California's governor now seems a sure thing.
[John Fund] 7/10/03 | Both political parties dislike the recall of Gov. Gray Davis that is now heading for the California ballot; Democrats and Republicans alike prefer stability to uncertainty. The White House is cool to the idea because it would prefer a crippled Democrat in the governor's mansion as President Bush seeks to win the state in the 2004 election. The Business Roundtable and Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce favor the devil they know and oppose the recall. The only supporters appear to be the people: 51% of people surveyed in last week's Los Angeles Times poll backed a recall, including a majority of Hispanics and a third of Democrats. | It is hard to overstate Mr. Davis's unpopularity. His gross mismanagement of the state's 2001 energy crisis and this year's $38 billion state deficit has sent his approval rating crashing to 22% in the latest Times poll. Over two-thirds of union members disapprove of his performance. Pollsters note he is the first politician in anyone's memory to have less than 50% support in all demographic groups. | That is why the Davis forces are planning to fight the recall by first deploying what Democratic consultant Darry Sragow calls "endless legal challenges." [more at Opinion Journal]

State Tax Follies
[Alan Reynolds] 7/10/03 | California's taxes are already bad enough -- with an income tax rate of 9.3 percent on incomes above $38,291, a 10.4 percent tax on financial institutions and a 7.25 percent sales tax. California's problem is runaway spending, and the right thing to do about that is to do the right thing. A "Citizens Budget" produced by the Reason Foundation and Performance Institute offers a perfectly sensible list of $18.2 billion in spending cuts, in addition to the governor's modest proposal -- enough to balance a two-year budget and leave room for a badly needed reduction in the state's punitive income-tax rates. | The Tax Foundation ranks states according to their tax climate for business. By their impressively rigorous analysis, states with the very worst tax systems are Mississippi, California, Arkansas, Ohio, Nebraska, Hawaii, New York, Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana. At least three of those 10 -- Arkansas, Nebraska and New York -- have been busily making the worst state tax systems even worse. Ohio, too, if you count an increase in the sales tax (both income and sales taxes were raised in New York and Nebraska). California is close to making the same mistake. [more at Town Hall]

DC-CA/From American Spectator
Going Around
[Prowler] 7/10/03 | House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi appears to be turning up the heat on longtime ally Rep. Bob Matsui. Pelosi has let it be known among leading Democrats in Washington that she is looking to hire someone with serious lobbying connections for her leadership office to help with fundraising. | "She doesn't think we've done enough or been successful enough drawing money off of K Street," says a Democratic leadership staffer. | Matsui, who was handed the plum chairmanship of the House Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by Pelosi, over the objections of moderate and even liberal caucus members, is viewed by many as a failure in his first year on the job. These same critics view Pelosi's attempts to bring in a fundraiser type as an attempt to bypass Matsui by consolidating some fundraising responsibilities in her office. | But members of the leadership staff deny this is what's going on. "You can never have enough fundraisers," says the Democratic leadership staffer. "The fact that we are adding people to help raise money just reinforces the fact that we are gearing up for a tough 2004 race." [more at American Spectator]

Dishonor On The Campus
[Suzanne Fields] 7/10/03 | Just when you think the politically correct clowns on the campus can't get any more ridiculous, they shoot another live white man out of a canon. | Steve Hinkle is an undergraduate at California Polytechnic University. He has been found guilty in the campus kangaroo court of posting a flier on a student bulletin board offending the sensibilities of a small group of students so intellectually fragile they belong in a day-care center. | The flier invited one and all to a speech by Mason Weaver, a black man, author of a book called "It's OK To Leave the Plantation," comparing black dependency on government to dependency on the old massa down on the old plantation. | The metaphor is hardly new, but the book was not written for the faint of heart. The offended students hadn't read the book, indeed had not heard of it and didn't know anything about it, but the title upset them. They called the campus police to report "a suspicious white male passing out literature of an offensive racial nature." [more at Town Hall]

For Good of All, Hike Fees at CSU
[Shirley Svorny] 7/10/03 | California State University trustees will vote next week on a 30% fee increase, hoping to ease the pain of state funding cuts. This, coupled with increased financial aid for low-income students, makes sense. For many CSU students, the current fees are not high enough. | Fees are so low at CSU that many students do not take their education seriously and waste state resources. | Also, it is perverse for the state to heavily subsidize students who attend college; this is a group that tends to be relatively wealthy and will have higher-than-average lifetime earnings. | When something is too cheap, people waste it. [more at LA Times]

The Wrong Initiative On The Budget
[the Editors] 7/9/03 | As California faces a budget deadlock, with Democrats refusing Republican pro- posals to make major cuts in government and Republicans refusing to approve new taxes, some observers are calling for a dubious solution to the impasse. | Liberal interest groups and government employees unions are backing what they deceptively call the Budget Accountability Act, an initiative that would reduce the two-thirds vote requirement for passing budgets to a mere 55 percent majority. | In supporting the plan, Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag blamed the current mess on "a set of constitutional rules that make it easy for legislators to dodge responsibility. ... The rule means that political minorities, in this case the Republicans, can veto any budget that they don't approve of, as they now are. It means that both parties can use the resulting fog to avoid blame and dodge the tough decisions that real compromise requires." | Actually, the authors of the California Constitution knew what they were doing. The two-thirds vote requirement is a useful check on outrageous government spending. [more at OC Register]

Terminating Gray
[John McCaslin] 7/9/03 | For several years now, conservative actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has considered following Ronald Reagan's path from Hollywood to the California governor's mansion (and we all know where that can lead). | Also interested in California's top job, it turns out, is President Bush's trusted national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. | We don't find any "Rice for Governor" in 2006 buttons while visiting with the Republican Party's official vendor for both the 2000 Republican National Convention and the 2001 presidential inaugural, but just released are "Arnold for Governor" buttons, warning: "Hasta La Vista Gray Davis." | The GOP Shoppe's ( Button Factory is offering the yet-to-be-announced Schwarzenegger campaign buttons for $3 each - half of which goes to the actor's Special Olympics charity. | If any Rice buttons appear, we'll be the first to let you know.
[more at Town Hall]

A Rare Moment Of GOP Glee

Between Bush's gains and Davis' woes, state Republicans are finally smiling
[Doug Gamble] 7/9/03 | Although the words "Republican" and "fun" are seldom used in the same sentence, never in recent history has it been so much fun to be a Republican in California. | Following a 2000 presidential face-off in which George W. Bush was shellacked in the state by Al Gore, Bush may well win California next year to top off a feasible 50-state blowout. And after elections in 2002 that saw the GOP shut out of every statewide office, Gov. Gray Davis could be ousted as early as this fall covered in the tar and feathers of an unprecedented recall. The urge for Republicans to celebrate our good fortune is almost enough to distract us from our mission of starving children, killing the elderly, poisoning the environment and depriving women and minorities of their rights, if my Democratic friends will excuse a little sarcasm. | Although California's Charlie Brown Republicans have had the football yanked away Lucy-style where past promises of commitment by the GOP presidential ticket is concerned, 2004 looks to be the year the Democrats could have their heads handed to them instead of an automatic 55 electoral votes. [more at OC Register]

FABULOUS BUDGET/ From SD Union Tribune
Bargaining Time
Both sides must talk and deal to pass budget
[the Editors] 7/9/03 | Although Republicans certainly didn't expect their budget proposal to be approved by the Democratic-controlled Assembly, they did present a spending plan that was – and still is – worthy of serious consideration. Now it's the Democrats' move to counter with a credible compromise of their own. | GOP lawmakers had been saddled with a negative image for simply opposing the budget plans of Gov. Gray Davis and Democratic lawmakers. By accepting the challenge to put forward a specific proposal, Republicans have begun a constructive process that could lead, ultimately, to a budget deal. | Assembly Republican Leader Dave Cox of Fair Oaks suggested as much at a press conference, showing a small space between his thumb and index finger: "We're about this close." Punctuating his point, Cox said a deal could get done that day were the Democrats to drop their insistence on tax increases. [more at SD Union Tribune]

'Saving' Bay Meadows
[Thomas Sowell] 7/9/03 | In typical California style, T-shirts have begun to appear with the slogan, "Save Bay Meadows." | What are Bay Meadows? A lovely pristine natural vista? Not really. Bay Meadows is an old race track that has seen better days, both physically and financially, and is scheduled to be torn down. | Who would have thought that people who play the horses would become sentimental about the place where they lost their money? Actually, this too is not quite what it might seem to be. | The drive to save Bay Meadows is being spearheaded by a woman who never went to a single race at Bay Meadows in all the 19 years that she has lived in San Mateo County, where the track is located. Why then the concern, the angst and the T-shirts? | Like so many campaigns to "save" this or that, the campaign to save Bay Meadows is as phony as a three-dollar bill. An old race track is not the issue. | The real issue is that there are plans to build housing and offices on the vast acreage currently taken up by the race track, its stables and its parking lot. More than half of San Mateo County is already off-limits to building anything. [more at Town Hall]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From Sacramento Bee
Bills to fix lawsuit abuse contain big sweetener for lawyers
[Dan Walters] 7/9/03 | Thousands of California small businesses, many of them owned by recent immigrants from Asia and Latin America, were hit with lawsuits or threats of lawsuits under the state's broad "unfair competition law" (UCL) but were told that they could buy their way out by sending checks to the law firms involved. | Attorney General Bill Lockyer and others labeled the mass mailings as ill-disguised attempts at extortion. He filed a lawsuit -- alleging unfair competition, ironically enough -- against one of the law firms, and the State Bar hit the firm with tough sanctions. But the syndrome has continued, albeit on a smaller scale. | Clearly, the Legislature should step into the legal scandal and impose some reasonable regulations on how the UCL is used, protecting small-business operators from being coerced into sending checks to aggressive law firms. But it's become a major skirmish in the perennial political war between personal injury lawyers and business and professional groups. | The Legislature decides, in effect, who can sue whom and how damages can be collected, so lawyers and their rivals joust constantly over the rules of the tort game, with multibillion-dollar consequences. [more at Sacramento Bee]

It's All Over, Mr. Fox
After a disastrous election, the Mexican leader's presidency is in ruins. He'll remain popular but he'll be politically impotent.
[Denise Dresser] 7/9/03 | Mexico's midterm elections confirm what many had suspected: Vicente Fox's presidency is over. | Trapped once again by a divided Congress in which his party failed to obtain a majority, Fox's reform agenda doesn't stand a chance. He will continue to live at the official residence at Los Pinos but he won't be able to enact any changes from there. He will kiss babies and inaugurate events, but none of this will amount to anything. He will talk about pending legislative initiatives but they won't be approved. | The remaining three years of Fox's term will amount to little more than a Potemkin presidency, in which a popular president serves as a front for a paralyzed government. [more at LA Times]

A Budget Plan That Could Work
[the Editors] 7/8/03 | Despite a $29 billion deficit over the next 12 months, the California state budget can be balanced without tax increases or even major cuts in essential government programs. All that's lacking is the political will. | That's the message of the "Citizens' Budget 2003-05: A 10-Point Plan to Balance the California Budget and Protect Quality-of-Life Priorities." Although released in April as a joint project of the Reason Institute and The Performance Institute, two state think tanks, it is being updated today to include the latest budget developments. | "California has about 30 days" before the state's finances could lead to bankruptcy, warned Carl DeMaio, director of the Citizens' Budget project, in a meeting Monday with the Register editorial board. | But he said Californians need to look not only at the immediate crisis, but at the structural cracks in the state budget process. "This is the state with the least jobs-friendly climate" in the country, he said. "We have become a jobs-killer state" through high taxes, uncontrolled spending and jobs-killing regulations. He hopes to make it the most jobs-friendly climate. [more at OC Register]

Deal Before The Hole Grows
[the Editors] 7/8/03 | Republicans say they won't balance the budget by forcing businesses and consumers to pay more taxes. Democrats say they won't balance the budget by slashing aid to the aged, blind and disabled. Somewhere between, legislative leaders and Gov. Gray Davis must find compromise on a new budget before the state runs out of cash, possibly in late August.| All of this, of course, is against the backdrop of the effort to recall Davis; supporters of the recall say they're so confident they have enough signatures to qualify the recall that they have pulled back signature-gatherers from the field. The disturbing political potential here is that there are those who would wreak havoc with the state's budget to make a political point. The state budget can't wait for Davis' enemies to settle scores through a recall attempt. State legislators should be working around the clock to approve a spending plan for the nation's most populous state — a state whose reputation is sinking along with its credit bond rating. [more at LA Times]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Sacramento Bee
As Recall Scenarios Multiply, What Would Be Best For State?
[Dan Walters] 7/8/03 | Clearly, Davis has lost the confidence of Californians, as numerous public opinion surveys have confirmed. Even two-thirds of labor union members, supposedly Davis' strongest support group, disapprove of his performance, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll. | Even if Davis survives a recall by demonizing his Republican foes, his own standing will not be enhanced. He will still be a very lame-duck governor who lacks the public credibility, or the demonstrated ability, to lead. But if he's ousted and replaced by a Republican, we will have years of political gridlock while the underlying crises continue to fester. A GOP governor would thwart a Legislature dominated by liberal Democrats, but they would checkmate him as well. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Davis' Terminator?
[the Editors] 7/8/03 | We certainly can appreciate the prospect of Ahh-nold trying to undo a past election by terminating a politically hobbled and mendacious governor, even if his last foray into politics - a November 2002 proposition that funds afterschool programs out of the growth in state revenues - promoted more rather than less government spending. | Nevertheless, during our October 2002 editorial board meeting with Mr. Schwarzenegger amid the Proposition 49 debate, we were impressed by his grasp of the intricacies of the proposal and his self-effacing manner. | This is no Hollywood figurehead whose name was plastered on someone else's initiative. The initiative was Mr. Schwarzenegger's baby, and he was skilled at promoting it, as evidenced by the electorate's strong (though unwise, in our view) vote in support of it. [more at OC Register]

How I Changed My Left-Wing High School
[Steve Miller] 7/8/03 | I just graduated from Santa Monica High. My teachers compared this country to the worst regimes in world history while excusing the atrocities of its enemies. And the well-entrenched left-wing bias seemed to take its most extreme forms in the classes most responsible for teaching students about civic behavior: History and Government. | SMHS history courses routinely omitted essential components of U.S. history—everything from the pioneers to the Second Amendment—but spent an inordinate amount of time condemning this nation's past.  My own U.S. history teacher instructed us that our nation's past fears about Communism were unjustified; in fact, capitalism had been a sinister force in the world. The Mexican-American War (or, as it was referred to in class, the “North American invasion”!) was labeled a barbaric undertaking.  Through America’s history as a “terrorist nation,” she brought upon herself the sinister attacks of 9/11. | Government class served up more of the same. [more at Front Page]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/ From Sacramento Bee
Water 2025: Lessons To Learn In California's Stormy Water History
[Gale A. Norton, Secretary of the Interior] 7/8/03 | California faces some of the most contentious water issues in the West, yet the state has come up with some of the region's most innovative solutions. This experience holds valuable lessons, and a conference Thursday in Sacramento -- Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West -- seeks to learn from California's efforts to avert crises and conflict. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Lilya and Uncle Tom
Film: Lilya-4-Ever - A landmark work of the contemporary abolitionist movement.
[Donna M. Hughes] 7/8/03 | In the progress of every human-rights movement, there is often one story that transforms human consciousness. It is one story that puts a human face on atrocities that are committed on a larger scale. It is one story so powerful and heartbreaking, that touches the hearts and outrages the minds of enough people that society's perception and tolerance of this injustice is changed forever. |
In 1852, the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the fictional, but realistic account of chattel slavery in the United States, is credited with raising the nation's consciousness about the horrors of slavery. This novel profoundly influenced public opinion about the cruelty of slavery and helped popularize the abolitionist movement. When Mrs. Stowe met President Lincoln, he reportedly credited her with starting the Civil War. | One hundred fifty years later, in 2002, Swedish filmmaker Lucas Moodysson has written and directed another consciousness-altering landmark work on slavery. Lilya-4-Ever is a film that tells the story of Lilya, a 16-year-old girl from "somewhere in the former Soviet Union." Betrayed and abandoned by family, friends, and societal institutions, Lilya becomes a victim of sexual slavery, also known as trafficking for prostitution. The contemporary slave traders and owners — the trafficker, the pimp, and the men who rent her by the hour — brutalize her until she is destroyed. [more at National Review]

Jobless-Rate Jump A Warning To State
[the Editors] 7/7/03 | The 6.4 percent national unemployment rate announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor is a warning to Gov. Gray Davis and the state Legislature: Get your act together on a budget that doesn't increase taxes. | By itself, the 6.4 percent number for June, up from 6.1 percent in May, is the highest since 1994. But it is not uncommon for unemployment to rise at the beginning of an economic recovery, Esmael Adibi, director of the Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University, told us. | "Unemployment is a lagging indicator," he said. "As the economy improves, people who gave up looking for a job re-enter the market. The total number of unemployed people picks up. This trend will continue for a couple of months, even up to 6.5 percent. That does not mean the recovery is stalled." | But California is different from the national economy. He said state unemployment figures, which will be released this coming Friday, could rise to 6.7 percent or 6.8 percent for June, up from 6.3 percent in May. [more at OC Register]

Davis Turns To Rush Hours For Anti-Issa
[Rick Orlov] 7/7/03 | Now, it's getting personal. | Supporters of Gov. Gray Davis, trying to fight the recall against him, have begun airing radio commercials attacking Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, who's leading the charge to oust the governor. | If that wasn't bad enough to Issa forces, it is the fact the commercials are being aired on the radio show of the icon of conservatives, Rush Limbaugh. | The hard-hitting 30-second spot raises old charges against Issa of car theft and other issues and carries a warning: "The next time you see Issa or one of his petitions in your neighborhood, lock your car, get your kids in the house and go directly to | Issa spokesman Jonathan Wilcox just sighs when asked about the commercial. | "Of course I expected it," Wilcox said. "I expect twice as much. Every Gray Davis campaign is characterized by desperate tactics." [more at LA Daily News]

Can The Terminator Save California?

As the recall of Gray Davis goes into high gear, the White House worries that what's good for Arnold may not be so great for George
[Terry McCarthy] 7/7/03 | Governor Gray Davis of California may have the charisma of a coatrack and he may irritate aides by taking conference calls on his exercise cycle in the morning, but he has not been accused of any crime, there are no state funds missing and no interns telling stories to the tabloids. So why is he facing a burgeoning movement to have him recalled from office less than a year after he was re-elected? [more at Time]

Charter Schools Get An A
[the Editors] 7/7/03 | California charter schools received a gold star last week in a report by the Rand Corp. The analysis was requested by the state Legislature to examine the state's 400 charter schools, which teach about 150,000 students. | "[W]e generally found comparable scores for charter schools relative to conventional schools," the report concluded. "Most noteworthy, charter schools are achieving comparable test scores despite a lower reported level of revenue." | Also noteworthy was that the report refuted critics' charges that charters take largely the top performers among mainly white students, leaving the less academically inclined, the poor and minorities behind. "[C]harter school students are more likely to be black and less likely to be Hispanic or Asian but no more or less likely to be white," the report found. "Many charter schools ... have student enrollments that are primarily Hispanic or black." [more at OC Register]

A Check on Consultants
[the Editors] 7/7/03 | Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson (D-Culver City) has appointed a task force to tackle the growing problem of aggressive lobbying tactics and conflict of interest by political consultants who lobby legislators they helped elect. | This shouldn't be hard: Prohibit political consultants and campaign managers from being registered lobbyists. | Imagine the influence of a consultant who gets Assemblywoman Jane Doe elected and will be her ticket to another term two years hence. Then the consultant dons his lobbyist hat, goes to Doe and says he has a client who wants her to sponsor a bill. Imagine further if Doe still hasn't paid all the consultant's $100,000 bill from the last campaign. Such bald conflicts of interest should be outlawed. [more at LA Times]

All the News That's Fit to Print and Won't Upset the Faculty
[Naldy Estrada and Julio Robles] 7/7/03 | As reporters for our student newspaper, it was only natural that we would do a story about Jacqueline Domac, a 39-year-old health teacher at Venice High School who had led a controversial crusade to ban junk food on campus. But when we began our research, we never imagined what we would learn about Domac or that our story for the paper would be unceremoniously killed, our reporting would come under attack and our rights as student journalists would be trampled on. [more at LA Times]

The Worst-Managed Of All 50 States
[the Editors] 7/6/03 | Gov. Gray Davis is a master at blaming other people and out-of-his-control situations for the state's increasing number of crises. The current budget crisis, with a deficit as high as $38 billion, isn't the governor's fault, or the fault of a free-spending Democratic-controlled Legislature. It is, as the governor has said, the fault of the federal government's tax code and the troubled economic climate. | Davis administration supporters have insisted that critics are off the mark and that the governor is running the state government in a means consistent with other states. Yet an in-depth analysis of budget problems in all 50 states shows that California indeed is in a league of its own in the way it has mismanaged the economic downturn. [more at OC Register]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Sacramento Bee
The Recall's A Democratic Revolt Against Ruling Elites
[Daniel Weintraub] 7/6/03 | The other day I was interviewed on the radio along with Ted Costa, the man who started the campaign to recall Gov. Gray Davis. Costa, who is chief executive of the anti-tax group Peoples Advocate, was asked what he has against the governor. | "We're upset with government in general," Costa replied. "Sure, we picked him out. He's the CEO of this operation. But government in California has become utterly corrupt. Every bill that seems to go through the Legislature, it's because money was given to the political arena. We want that mess cleaned up. | "We are starting out with him," Costa said. "And this is a continuous thing that will go on. It will not stop once he's thrown out of office." | As far as I know, this was the first time Costa had so clearly stated his desire for a California political revolt. He and his allies are aiming for the head. But it's the whole body they're after. | And that, I think, is what really has the elites in this state panicked. They have no love for Gray Davis. But they fear that the recall could be the start of something over which they have little control. [more at Sacramento Bee]

How Bad Maths Sent 'LaLaland' Plunging $38 Bn Into The Red

[Mark Steyn] 7/6/03 | The last time I discussed California's government in these pages was when their attorney general wanted to introduce Ken Lay, the then Enron boss, to the benefits of California justice. "I would love," said Bill Lockyer, "to personally escort Lay to an 8 x 10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey'." | In those days, Mr Lockyer and his Democratic colleagues were still doing a passable job of blaming everybody else for the state's woes. Now, alas, voters seem inclined to believe that what the attorney general wanted Spike to do to Mr Lay, the state government has done to them, and very comprehensively. [more at Telegraph]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Sacramento Bee
Davis Is Up To His Old Tricks, Demonizing Political Foes

[Dan Walters] 7/6/03 | Gray Davis' modus operandi as a political campaigner has been to spend millions of dollars demonizing his opponents, often on the flimsiest of grounds, and hope that voters will find him to be a more acceptable alternative. | Davis' scorched-earth approach to politics became evident during his first bid for major office, a 1992 campaign for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate when he aired television ads likening rival Dianne Feinstein to Leona Helmsley, the New York hotelier/tax evader. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Democrats Putting Davis At Risk
[Tony Quinn] 7/6/03 | By the time the snow flies in the Sierra this fall, California will have a Republican governor — if the Democrats have anything to do with it. That's the only reasonable conclusion to draw after all prominent California Democrats took themselves out of the running to replace Gov. Gray Davis should the recall against him qualify for a fall vote, which seems probable. | We can predict who's likely to vote if the recall election is held this fall and, based on past recalls, how they are likely to vote. It's not good news for Davis. [more at LA Times]

Fraud And Workers' Comp
Costly, never-ending treatments for minor injuries key factor in state crisis
[Jeff Spira] 7/6/03 | President of KMS Bearings, Automotive in Anaheim The crisis in the exploding costs of California workers' compensation insurance is widely reported, but rarely have the reasons been thoroughly outlined. As the manager of a small Anaheim-based manufacturing company that builds component parts for the big three automakers, I frequently come across glaring proof of what's wrong with the system. Our company, with fewer than 30 employees, has seen workers' comp insurance costs escalate from $12,000 per year to more than $50,000, and all indications are that we will face more increases in the near future. [more at OC Register]

We're Becoming The State Of 'Mexifornia'
[Steven Greenhut] 7/6/03 | Unfortunately, a politically correct ethic has squelched a forthright discussion of the matter. There's talk about tax burdens and changing demographics and increased needs for public services. These often are euphemisms for the real issue - the aging of the wealthier Anglo population, and its replacement by new residents mainly from poor regions in Mexico, who often break the laws to get here.| If the forthrightness of that sentence takes you aback, then you'll appreciate "Mexifornia," an analysis of the immigration issue by Cal State-Fresno classicist Victor Davis Hanson. It's a fair-minded and refreshingly honest account of how California is changing in the face of the immigration influx, and draws heavily on Hanson's experiences on his family farm in a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. | Hanson laments the loss of the old assimilation ethic, which has been replaced by the multicultural, grievance-mongering, government-preferences model. The book is not an anti-immigration diatribe, but it might strike some readers that way simply because Hanson deals directly with questions that are often left unanswered in polite company. [more at OC Register]

Indian gaming: Now That Davis Has Given Away The Ranch
[the Editors] 7/6/03 | The Davis administration, which has a dismal track record on regulating Indian casinos, is currently engaged in negotiations with the tribes. Engaged may be an exaggeration, inasmuch as little seems to have been accomplished since the talks began several months ago. | The governor caused a stir last January by suggesting the tribes should be willing to shell out $1.5 billion from their considerable casino profits to help California balance its books. Davis dipped his begging bowl to $680 million during the May revision of his budget proposal, while the tribes have remained characteristically noncommittal. And why shouldn't they, since the state has been so accommodating to them? [more at SD Union Tribune]

Model Of Inefficiency
[the Editors] 7/6/03 | The city that Los Angeles could becomLet's see whether we've got this straight: Los Angeles residents pay city bureaucrats the handsomest wage and benefit packages in the nation in order to get the basic needs of urban life taken care of. | But the system doesn't work. | So L.A. residents endow the nation's highest paid municipal elected officials, their 15 council members, with million-dollar staffs. That way, there will be someone to call who can get the bureaucrats to fill potholes, remove abandoned sofas, pick up the rubbish, and dispatch the police to deal with neighborhood problems. | But the system doesn't work. [more at LA Daily News]

Informal War Memorial Loses Its Final Battle With City Hall
The tribute took root in a park in Irvine. Despite support from the public, it fell victim to laws banning such displays on municipal property.
[Ashley Powers] 7/5/03 | You know the story, right? she asked, nodding toward the wooden stakes planted in tight rows. How a guy put them up, just because he couldn't sleep. The war in Iraq bothered him. These are for its dead. | "It's a beautiful graveyard," Mary Laurin said softly. "Why would they want to take it down?" |  At the corner of Yale and Bryan avenues in Irvine's Northwood Community Park, a makeshift memorial has become local lore. It appeared in March, 10 days into the war in Iraq, as the brainchild of a local medical company executive. |  Only a few wooden stakes, topped with nametags for the dead and votive candles to be lit at sunset, dotted the corner at first. Two weeks later, a core of regulars was coming nightly to pay tribute. As the number of dead grew, so did the number of mourners. [more at LA Times]

RECALL FOLLIES/From SD Union Tribune
Capitol Melodrama

A recall filled with false fronts and effrontery
[Ashley Powers] 7/5/03 | Karl Marx, who famously wrote that history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce, could have just as easily been describing California's descent into the budgetary and political twilight zone. | Not content with amassing a deficit that dwarfs the entire budgets of 48 other states, California is flirting with recalling its governor, who was re-elected some eight months ago but is now wildly unpopular. | The recall controversy was roiled earlier this week when Secretary of State Kevin Shelley told election supervisors in all 58 counties that, while they should keep a continuous count of the petition signatures supporting the recall, they can wait a month before validating them. [more at SD Union Tribune]

Voters Must Face Gray Consequences
[Jonah Goldberg] 7/4/03 | California must be punished! | No, this isn't fire and brimstone about how the sinful ways of Californians warrant a plague of locusts, frogs and hairless cats (that's a subject for a future column). Rather, it's my sincere belief that American democracy and republicanism will be severely damaged if Californians are allowed to recall Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. | When former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was asked to run again during his successor's disastrous term in office, Koch replied, "No! The people threw me out, and now the people must be punished." Whether Koch knew it or not, he grasped one of the most fundamental principles of democracy and republicanism: Everyone should pay the price of mistakes made at the ballot box. | Californians stupidly elected Davis in 2002, but now they refuse to suffer the consequences. They want Davis gone for, among other reasons, they think he lied about how bad the deficit was -it's now $38 billion, more than all other state deficits combined. Davis' approval rating hovers around 21 percent. If things get much worse, he'll be able to list his supporters by name.
[more at Town Hall]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/From Sacramento Bee
Fireworks And Barbecues Aside, Holiday Celebrates Liberty
[Dan Walters] 7/4/03 |
While conservatives want to criminalize what they consider to be immoral, be it personal drug use or private sexual activity, liberals want to impose rigid regulatory controls on virtually every human activity -- except the ones they prefer -- and tax anything that moves. Conservatives don't like drugs or pornography, liberals don't like cigarettes or soda pop. Conservatives want to regulate adult sexual conduct, liberals want to tell us when we can talk on the telephone. Latter-day Cotton Mathers fill the legislative coffers with their nostrums. | A pithy example involves Jackie Goldberg, one of the Assembly's most liberal members. Goldberg has two very high-profile bits of legislation this year, one that would expand the rights of homosexual "domestic partners" to near-marriage status and another that would prohibit public school athletic teams from using Indian names. Thus, Goldberg the sexual liberator is also Goldberg the official censor. [more at Sacramento Bee]

A Faulty Decision
Interior teams with MWD to thwart water deal
[the Editors] 7/4/03 | A decision yesterday by Interior Secretary Gale Norton may touch off a massive legal battle that will roil the state for years and kill the critical water deal between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Imperial Irrigation District. | Earlier this year, the Interior Department, after a series of meetings with the MWD on how to take the Imperial district's water, ordered a cut in Imperial's supply on the grounds that Imperial was wasting water. Imperial then sued Interior, with the MWD joining Interior as co-defendant. A federal judge ordered Imperial's water reinstated, but also called on Interior to determine whether Imperial was indeed wasting water. After a brief study, the Interior Department announced yesterday that Imperial was wasting about the same amount the agency had cut earlier this year. [more at SD Union Tribune]

a week in the bin


Your Car Tax Estimate
posted at OC Register
Say you bought a new Toyota Camry in October 2000 for $20,360.
Here’s how the new vehicle license fee will affect you.

$ 105.87
You paid this in 2002

You’ll owe this in October


Last Week's Front Page: 6/28-7/4
[go to Front Page Archive Index]

And some
Lingering Observations

Pull My Trigger. . .
An unaccountable, self-triggering tax that only a liberal could love
[Ray Haynes] 6/28/03 [more inside]

The Pillage People
Band in Sacramento is bent on big addition to state's already-high taxes
[K. Lloyd Billingsley] 6/20/03 [more at OC Register]

California's Coming 100-Year Political Storm
[Tom McClintock] 6/18/03 [more at Claremont Institute]
Wannabe the Next Governor?
[Streetsweeper] 6/13/03 [go to CRO Recall Follies]
It's The Spending, Stupid
[Jill Stewart] 6/13/03 [more at SF Chronicle]
Such a Lovely Place
Talking with Victor Davis Hanson about the future of California — and the United States.
[Kathryn Jean Lopez] 6/11/03
[more at National Review]
The Governor's Enron-style Accounting
Davis' definition of frugal: $2 billion in new spending, $17 billion in loans
[Tom McClintock] 6/10/03 [more at OC Register]
Slap the Greedy Hand [Reprint 6/16/03]
Authorizing Local Taxes Is Just Plain Wrong
[Carol Platt Liebau] 6/9/03 [more inside]
People Must Demand Recall
After the Damage Davis Has Caused In One Term, Can State Afford to Go Through Another?
[Shawn Steel] 6/2/03 [more inside]
Memo to My Wife
A household budget - Gray Davis style
[Tom McClintock] 5/29/03 [more inside]
Wild and Wooly in California
The prospect of a recall vote on Governor Gray Davis has the state's political establishment in an uproar.
[Hugh Hewitt] 5/21/03 [more at Weekly Standard]
Recalling Our Principles
Why the Davis Recall is Worth Reconsidering
[Carol Platt Liebau] 5/9/03 [more inside]



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