Wednesday, November 09, 2005

California Elections: Just Say No


Yesterday Governator Schwarzenegger forced the state of California to needlessly spend 50 million dollars on 8 Propositions Californians wanted nothing to do with. It’s said by political scientists that the issues are so complex voters rely on “cues” from people and groups they trust in order to make “rational” choices. And therein lies the problem. “Cues” are simply not enough. Voters, en masse, not only voted the Propositions that irked Democrats and unions, but they voted down two pro-consumer Propositions: No. 79 and 80.

Proposition 79 would have created a drug discount program that required participation of drug manufacturers. It would have meant steep discounts for seniors, families, small businesses, and the State. The State would have saved millions of dollars, and California consumers would have received cheaper prescription drugs.

Proposition 80 was a common-sense consumer initiative that could have helped the energy blackouts we faced a few years ago and prevented the horrendous fraud committed by unregulated energy producers like Enron and others.

Yet, the “cues” that the voters heard was that the Democratic Party, the nurses, the police and firefighters, and teachers were fighting the governor by “just saying no.” And no they voted across the board. It’s a shame because Propositions 79 and 80 were consumer-friendly initiatives. Well, there is always next year.

And, I love what Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, (D-Los Angeles) said after yesterday's election:
We want a true partnership that gets things done and leaves no Californian behind. That begins with civility, no more cheap shots, no more name calling, no more dropping the grenade on the Legislature about your priorities.

In the political cartoon above, Rex Babin, who draws for the Sacramento Bee, gets it right. The Propositions, much like in Arnold’s film The Terminator, marched slowly to death yesterday.

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