Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Governator Schmuvernator, Just Do Your Job!

While stuck in a nice sigalert this morning, I had ample opportunity to listen to several stories on my local NPR station, KPCC. One of the stories that did more to raise my blood pressure than the traffic jam was a story about how my esteemed Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is fed up with waiting for the state legislature to act on his budget reform proposals so he is taking the cause to the people. So, instead of working with the legislature to introduce well-developed reforms that might actually fix the budget problems without gutting needed programs, Arnold is pushing for a boat load of propositions all to be put on yet another special election ballot. The last thing that California needs is another special election.

Even if we ignore the cost of the third state election in four years (as if we could), it is impossible to ignore the onslaught of special interests. Oh, wait, yes, I would include Arnold in that description. Yes, Governor, as much as you decry special interests, you are one. You are only one voice in the state. Unfortunately, you are a very loud voice with a very fuzzy message. You are a real flip flopper. Oooooo, did that hurt? Ask the teachers about your reforms. Go ahead, ask.

The concept behind California's propositions is a good one. It allows many voices to be heard who might not otherwise get noticed. The problem is that the voices that really get heard are the ones hiding in the shadows. The propositions that make it onto the ballot are backed by very powerful people who do not always want to be associated with the new laws. Worse, the propositions are usually poorly worded and make for a mess of inconsistent and overlapping decisions.

Arnold, get back to Sacramento and do the job for which you were elected. Part of the job is to work with those legislators who you so easily dismiss.

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