Dems listen (but only to some voices)

California’s Assembly Democrats are holding live budget forums to supposedly get the public’s input into ways to fix the state’s fiscal situation. In the Democratic explanation about the forums, the caucus makes clear what voices it wants to hear — those who think that California’s budget mess can be fixed by jettisoning the two-thirds budget vote requirement, something that will ultimately lead to higher taxes. Writes the caucus:

“California continues to face unprecedented budget challenges. Like only two other states in the nation—California requires a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to pass a budget.

“As the majority party, Democrats are willing to take responsibility for a majority vote budget. The public should have the opportunity to hold the party in power accountable for the policy decisions they make.

“Despite the 2/3 rule, Legislators still need the public’s input in this process order to make tough choices on what to fund, what to cut, and where to find the needed revenues. Your voice is important, and we would like to hear from you.”

Maybe the Democratic Assembly members can use to hear some other voices — say, from people who believe they are taxed and regulated enough, and who believe that the state ought to trim back, reduce pensions and pay for government employees and embrace some fiscally responsible measures rather than hammering taxpayers for more cash to prop up this dysfunctional state government.

As one GOP official reminded me, the Democrats will likely be busing in hordes of union workers to these meetings. Any balance to this might be worthwhile.

Meetings are scheduled on Friday May 7 at 4 pm in Los Angeles, Saturday May 8 at 2 pm in San Diego and Thursday May 13 at 7 pm in Albany. Check this Web site for details and to sign up.

–Steven Greenhut

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  1. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 5 May, 2010, 15:55

    Not only are the forums open to anyone–we had a fair number of anti-tax, anti-spending Republicans at our forum in Sacramento–Republican Assembly Members are all invited to show up. Roger Niello passed.

    And this is certainly a better way to do the budget than through take-it-or-leave it demands from the Big 5 and legislative budget sessions in the dead of night.

    How sad it is that when “hordes” of Republicans show up at meetings like these in such places as Fresno, it’s “democracy in action.” But when Democrats show up, it’s only because they are union workers and were bussed in.

    As the 2008 election clearly showed, there are a hell of a lot more Democrats out there than just “union workers” (or Republicans, for that matter.)

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  2. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 6 May, 2010, 13:07

    Hey, John, check this out:

    “Senate lawmakers have begun debate on an amendment proposed by Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) that would broaden the Government Accountability Office’s power to audit the Fed and compel the central bank to disclose details about the firms that received emergency federal aid during the financial crisis.

    Sanders’s measure reflects legislation introduced by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and approved overwhelmingly by the House last year. The effort has drawn more than a dozen co-sponsors from both parties. A vote on that measure was expected soon.”

    This is a perfect example of a Libertarian and an independent ultra-liberal working together along with Republicans and Democrats to help the country.
    Why the hell can’t we do this in California?

    Reply this comment

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