Fewer statewide offices would help

Fewer statewide offices would help

Leland YeeHow embarrassing. State Sen. Leland Yee, D-Sacramento, came in third in the race for controller, with almost 300,000 votes, even though earlier this year he was indicted on federal corruption charges and dropped out of the race.

In the L.A. Times, Mark Z. Barack came up with the most plausible answer: Voters just weren’t paying attention in ballot cluttered with statewide offices. Yee might even have been confused with Betty Yee, who barely lost in the race for controller, but receive major endorsements.

Here’s a solution: Reduce the number of statewide offices, currently numbering eight, to two.

The governor’s office would remain, but the lieutenant governor’s office is so superfluous even the incumbent, Democrat Gavin Newsom, suggested it should be eliminated. Let’s do it.

The insurance commissioner’s job and office were instituted by Proposition 103 in 1998, which was written by Harvey Rosenfield to give his group, Consumer Watchdog, something to do. He left the group in 2004 but continued consulting with it. Democratic operative Steve Maviglio revealed in 2011 that Rosenfield was pulling down $450,000 a year. Insurance regulation could be put back in the governor’s office, making the governor ultimately responsible.

Attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, controller, secretary of state and treasurer also could be put in the governor’s cabinet, again making the governor responsible. That’s how we do it at the federal level. We elect a president, who then appoints the other cabinet positions.

Such a reform also would reduce the independent power bases the leaders of these departments form, multiplying bureaucracies across the state and increasing their expense.

Then no one would mistake “Uncle Leland” for a viable candidate.





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  1. Kneave Riggall
    Kneave Riggall 6 June, 2014, 17:30

    While you’re rewriting California’s Constitution, don’t forget to abolish the State Board of Equalization and put a “Department of Revenue” in its place.

    Reply this comment
  2. Bud Led Ted S.
    Bud Led Ted S. 6 June, 2014, 20:28

    I agree with you here John—sorry.

    Reply this comment
  3. DavidfromLosGatos
    DavidfromLosGatos 7 June, 2014, 08:18

    My own theory as to why Yee got so many votes: Open Primary.

    This is an office that most folks don’t know or care much about, and hard to get excited about who wins. But, this D-Bag is right there on the ballot like a ripe juicy peach waiting to be plucked.

    Who better to vote for to showcase what the Dem Party has to offer the Golden state? The cross-over votes were strong with this one.

    Reply this comment
  4. DavidfromLosGatos
    DavidfromLosGatos 7 June, 2014, 09:15

    According to a commenter on the LA Times web site,

    “Thousands voted for Leland Yee because he received an endorsement and campaign contributions from the NSFMA, the National Shoulder Fired Missile Association.”

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 June, 2014, 23:57

    Wasn’t Leland Yee running for Secretary of State? He could not have been running for two offices simultaneously could he? There were 16 candidates for Governor. The open-primary is the most ridiculous law ever passed!

    Reply this comment
  6. Bud Led Ted S.
    Bud Led Ted S. 10 June, 2014, 22:14

    Well said SeeSaw!

    Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
Gavin NewsomJerry BrownJohn SeilerLeland Yee

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