It is very clear what's driving the Democrat-majority in the state Legislature as it heads toward adjournment for summer recess tomorrowdoing all members can to put the governor's tax proposal in the most favorable light with voters come November.
Earlier this week, Sen. Lois Wolk roundly criticized the $11.2 billion water bond as the "zombie bond" that just will not die. Despite her criticism, she voted to with the majority to delay the bond until 2014 so it would not compete with Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise income taxes on high earners and the sales tax by one-quarter cent.
Unfortunately, that enthusiasm to get spending measures off the ballot doesn't appear to extend to the horrifically expensive high-speed rail project that also is supposed to be acted on before the recess. The governor continues to push this $69 billion project, despite having no clue where nearly $60 billion of the funding is going to come from.
It is an amazing case of playing roulette with the taxpayers' money in a way that no business or rational individual would.
Changing gearsone of Americans' greatest qualities is their generosity and their willingness to help otherswith time, talent or cash.
Check out the response at the Alameda County Fair to the request to volunteer to pack emergency meals through Kids Against Hunger. The all-volunteer group, which normally ships meals to Third World countries struggling with food issues, instead packed emergency provisions that will be stored in a container on the fairgrounds.
The group had more than 1,500 signups for the volunteer day last Wednesday and ended up packing 130,650 meals that are stored in a container on the fairgrounds. These will be rotated after 18 months and sent to Haiti or the Philippines.
What's particularly impressive about this Pleasanton-based group is that it is entirely run by volunteers as a satellite site of the national group. The national group was founded in 1999 and now has 98 sites across the country where volunteers pack the custom-designed casseroles for shipment around the United States and the world.