Trying To Get You To Think
Over at Calitics, the editorial board (of which I'm a member) came out with our endorsements for the May 19 statewide special election. It won't surprise you if you've been reading the coverage there that we oppose all the ballot measures. I think our preamble explains it the best:
During the budget week from hell, we mildly cheered on the progress of the budget process. We were concerned about the short-term budget issues, but were also dismayed by the rapid rightward shift of the negotiations. Unfortunately, as an Editorial Board we simply cannot support the measures as they have been brought to the May 19 Special Elections Ballot. We share the concerns of the League of Women Voters that this package was poorly designed and poorly executed, resulting in a plan that will ultimately create more harm than good. And since none of these measures address the structural revenue gap, adding another layer to an already suffocating fiscal straightjacket makes no sense whatsoever.
We do not appreciate the fearmongering message from supporters of the initiatives, who obviously can't find anything to recommend in these solutions and thusly must warn of impending doom in order to get them passed. We remind voters the words of Bill Clinton: "If one candidate's trying to scare you, and the other one's trying to get you to think... if one candidate's appealing to your fears, and the other one's appealing to your hopes, you'd better vote for the one who wants you to think and hope."
As progressives, we need to think bigger than band-aids and stop-gap solutions that will make the problem worse, and move headlong into attacking the structural reforms needed to move California into the 21st century. The real failure would not be these six ballot measures, leading to a near-term budget problem, but the failure to once and for all fix the dysfunctional government in Sacramento that threatens all of our collective futures.
I urge you to read the editorial board arguments.