Prop. 31 would have ended California’s republic

Nov. 9, 2012

By Wayne Lusvardi

How could all of the following so-called impartial ballot guides miss a key controversial component of Proposition 31 that would have ended the original republican form of local government in California?

* The California Legislative Analysts Office;

* The Official State Voter GuideArguments FOR and AGAINST;

* The League of Women Voters of California;

Voter’s Edge California;

* The California Voter Foundation.

Prop. 31 was titled the “Government Performance and Accountability Act.” It promised good government reforms, such as:

* A two-year budget cycle;

* Granting veto power to the governor in case of a fiscal emergency;

* Three-day advance notice of all bills in the state legislature;

* Requiring performance budgeting in all state and local government agencies;

* Requiring all new funding bills in legislature to find new money or cut other programs.

Hardly anyone but this writer pointed out that all of the above reforms were already on the books in one form or another.

On top of that, Prop. 31 had a provision to allow the relaxation of existing laws and regulations under newly formed local government “Strategic Action Committees” if new procedures were “functionally equivalent” to existing laws.  Prop. 31 promised to allow local governments to use gasoline and property taxes routed through the state with few purse strings. This must have seemed like a dream come true for those who have been seeking the deregulation of environmental laws, affordable housing quotas and labor laws.

Who in his right mind could have been against Prop. 31 with all of the above promises?  Why did it go down at the ballot box by a margin of 1,864,603 votes if it would have resulted in all of the above reforms?  Was it because Prop. 31 would have ended, for the most part, California’s republican form of local government?  Noooo!  That wasn’t the reason cited by most news sources!

Republicanism Upheld Only by Accident

The reason attributed to Prop. 31 losing by most sources was not that it would have replaced a republican form of government with unelected regional councils controlled by the Legislature.  The only opposition George Skelton and the Los Angeles Times had to Prop. 31 was that it was “long and complex.”   TV station KQED in Northern California said it was just “too complicated.”

But even those who found it too complicated never mentioned that Prop. 31 would have mostly ended California’s republican form of revenue sharing.   In its place would have been a hybrid regional form of governmental revenue sharing.  The new revenue sharing mechanism under Prop. 31 would have funneled gasoline and property taxes to the Strategic Action Committees, rather than cities, counties, and school districts.  And some of Prop. 31’s provisions could have trumped the “home rule” of zoning, housing, etc.

This would have been one of the most radical changes in California history.  But none of the official voter guides mentioned it.  For the most part, neither did the mainstream media.  And neither Prop. 31’s supporters nor opponents made any mention of this.  Nobody seemed to care if California’s republic effectively ended.

Except for this writer, the only other source to alert the public that Prop. 31 would end the republican form of government in California was Stanley Kurtz of the New York City-based National Review magazine.  Kurtz’s opposition to Prop. 31 was based on his timely book, “Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

Imagine all those liberal, leftist, green and even big government Republican Party-hating libertarian voters out there who might have voted for Prop. 31?  Satirically: If only they had known it would have ended republicanism and replaced it with regionalism and socialized wealth redistribution, they might have voted for it?


So the next time you look at one of those so-called neutral state or third party voter guides, think again about whether you should trust their analysis or recommendations.  One should be reminded of the definition of a neutral person from the New Devil’s Dictionary:

“Neutral, n.  A person whose prejudice is so terribly obscure, so incomprehensible, or so transparent that others see no purpose in silencing that person.”

California’s republic was in peril, but hardly anyone noticed it. As Machiavelli wrote, “The people, when deceived by a false notion of the good, often desires its own ruin.”

Which raises the deeper question of whether much of the media and citizenry entirely miss historical social change?  The winners may write history; but the winners only in error write the news.

Proposition 31 was rightly defeated at the polls but for the wrong reasons. But who would have known or even cared?


Write a comment
  1. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 9 November, 2012, 10:39


    The state missed being wiped out by a meteor and no one even noticed….

    Reply this comment
  2. Tax Target
    Tax Target 9 November, 2012, 11:03

    Too bad the meteor missed… it would have been an improvement. (And I don’t mean Prop 31.)

    Reply this comment
  3. Ron Kilmartin
    Ron Kilmartin 9 November, 2012, 23:20

    Vince, we have you and Kathy and others at Cal Watchdog to thank for dodging this bullet. Somewhere there ought to be medals for all of you! Maybe next time around the R party will “read the bill” before endorsing.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ron Kilmartin
    Ron Kilmartin 9 November, 2012, 23:35

    One more thing. When the liberals realize what they missed, this proposition will come up again and again, buried just as this one was. And according to Kurtz’s book, Obama’s plan to kill the suburbs contains nearly the same scheme as the unelected councils of Prop. 31. We dodged a state bullet, but we are continuing to be assaulted by Agenda 21 and its unelected councils, and Obama’s next term will see “Building ONe America” implementing Obama’s purge of the suburbs.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 10 November, 2012, 07:41

    LOL– Obama’s plan o kill the suburbs!

    And the republican’s lightbulb never went on……..

    Reply this comment
  6. Paul Preston
    Paul Preston 11 November, 2012, 04:24


    You are exactly right. California almost became the first Soviet style state of the ‘United States”. California’s Proposition 31 was defeated by California Voters by a margin of 60.8% to 39.2%. In fact this one defeat of a California Proposition is resonating throughout the world and their supporters outside of California are not happy. Proposition 31 was supported by the Berggruen Institute a think tank of intellectual elites who wanted to “reshape” California. Reshape in the image of United Nations Agenda 21. If you read any of Proposition 31 you recognized the language of Agenda 21 albeit you had to read several pages into the proposition but there it was. Berggeruen is a billionaire internationalist who lives from hotel to hotel and throws his money around especially in California to foist Agenda 21 onto the state in the hopes that other states will follow California’s lead. We called Proposition 31 the ‘Capstone’ for the United Nations Agenda 21 activists. The defeat of Proposition 31 puts the environmentalists who have been until election day doing everything possible to dismantle California on notice. The opposition to Proposition 31 began when the initiative was first ‘quietly’ registered in July for the November election. As the document circulated on the web those who understood Agenda 21 saw exactly what it represented. Much credit needs to be given to the Tea Party who got the word out early and often. On October 17, 2012 we interviewed on our radio show ‘The Inside Education Show’ Dr. Stanly Kurtz to specifically address Proposition 31. What started out as a 12 minute interview turned into nearly an hour long ‘get the word out’ session about the perils of Proposition 31. Proposition 31 was soundly defeated by a strong coalition of Tea Party members and others who saw it as a confusing law. The defeat of Proposition 31 is a major victory for the Tea Party and like-minded Californians who do not want totalitarianism here in this state.
    Oh the Berggruen Institute while it has offices in Santa Monica is centered in Berlin….Yes Berlin, Germany.

    Paul Preston
    American Exceptionalism Radio News Network
    Agenda 21 Radio
    The Inside Education Show

    Reply this comment
  7. Wayne Lusvardi
    Wayne Lusvardi 11 November, 2012, 11:25

    Opposition to Proposition 31 came from the political Left as well.

    Environmentalists saw it as a way to circumvent green laws and their green regulatory jobs.

    The Coastal Commission was in a panic that they would be replaced by one of Prop 31’s regional committees.

    Many liberals just saw it as too confusing with too many unknowns.

    Teacher’s unions saw it as providing more money for charter schools.

    Union prison guards saw it as a way to privatize prisons.

    So the Tea Party wasn’t the only opposition. But maybe this blazes the pathway for a Left-Right coalition on future issues. Think about it. How do you make your enemy your ally? This is what the Romans did?

    Reply this comment
  8. Michael Warnken
    Michael Warnken 11 November, 2012, 20:02

    One thing that made Prop. 31 a big Trojan horse is because it had almost 9,000 words. They took into account that no one would read it all. It is simply too big and did too many things. It was one giant snow job. The Devil was indeed in the details and they were hoping that we did not read it all.

    California Forward needs to be scrutinized more closely. In fact, the presumption might be that their reforms are not citizen friendly.

    Reply this comment
  9. Paul Preston
    Paul Preston 12 November, 2012, 00:21

    “But maybe this blazes the pathway for a Left-Right coalition on future issues. Think about it. How do you make your enemy your ally? This is what the Romans did?”

    Wayne your statement is a rational statement. You are not dealing with rational people when it come to Prop 31 and Agenda 21 issues. You are dealing with totalitarians. These are different folk that we are not used to dealing with in California.


    Reply this comment

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