Skelton is Shocked! Shocked! at political manipulation

Skelton is Shocked! Shocked! at political manipulation

July 16, 2012

By John Seiler

George Skelton is Shocked! Shocked! that his beloved liberal, high-tax, big-waste Democrats are manipulating the initiative system. Did he expect they were going to run California like Switzerland?

He writes writes about Proposition 25, which allowed a budget to be passed with a majority in each house of the Legislature, instead of two-thirds of members:

“SACRAMENTO — This wasn’t the deal. Californians thought they were only allowing the Legislature to pass a budget on a majority vote. They wanted to unclog the capitol.

“They didn’t intend it as a license for Gov. Jerry Brown to rig the election ballot to benefit his tax-increase proposal.”

Skelton recently was feted for writing about state politics for 50 years, and is friends with Gov. Jerry, and he’s still surprised at this?


“You may remember how Prop. 25 was sold: California was suffering from budget gridlock. State vendors, healthcare providers and schools were being stiffed because of late budgets. State credit ratings were falling. Only two other states required a two-thirds vote for budget passage. It was a seller’s market for votes in the Capitol. Special interests were the brokers.

“All true.

“Prop. 25 has been a good thing. We’ve had two consecutive on-time budgets. No more summer-long Capitol squabbling, no more state-issued IOUs.”

No, we haven’t. Last year’s budget, for fiscal 2011-12, was so unbalanced that Controller John Chiang suspended the spendthrift legislators’ pay, as is required by Prop. 25. After that, a phony “balanced” budget was passed, and met Chiang’s approval, even thought it assumed $4 billion in increased revenues that never materialized because of the state’s tax and regulatory assault on the private sector depressed production, and hence tax revenues. The revenue shortfall triggered cuts.

This year, the budget for fiscal 2012-13, which began July 1, assumes Brown and Skelton successfully hoodwink voters into passing an $8.5 billion tax increase. It’s like basing your family budget on winning next Saturday’s lottery. Voters are in a foul mood at how badly this state is run. The tax increase won’t pass.


“But recently Prop. 25 was shamefully abused by Democrats at the behest of Brown, who paradoxically rode to power four decades ago on a platform of political reform.”

And last year, Brown rode into office promising, in his inaugural address:

“In seeking the Office of Governor, I said I would be guided by three principles. 

“First, speak the truth. No more smoke and mirrors on the budget. No empty promises.”

But his whole career, beginning four decades ago, has been nothing but smoke and mirrors and empty promises.


“Bear with me, because this makes almost no sense.”

Well, Brown, the state government, Prop. 25 and Skelton make as much sense as anything else in this state of insanity.

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