In the Morning Report section of today's (Wednesday 5/20) paper, page AA2, there is an article quoting reactions from several of our legislators. Fortunately, some realize that when we went to the polls yesterday we weren't just taking a break from dipping our tea bags...we had a message to send. Unfortunately, some still haven't heard the message and seem to believe the way out of this mess is to continue business as normal. Examples:
Assemblywoman NANCY SKINNER, D-Berkeley
"I don't feel it's appropriate to read this as California saying, 'We don't want to address the budget through revenue increases.' There are revenues the public supports, such as the oil severence fee and returning the income tax rates for the highest rate individuals to the level they wer under Pete Wilson. There was no blanket no-new revenue statement in this vote."
NOTICE SHE DOES NOT EVEN THINK TO MENTION THAT MAYBE THE STATE HAS TO GET ITS SPENDING IN ORDER BEFORE WE, THE VOTERS, CONSIDER REVENUE INCREASES. IF YOU LIVE IN HER DISTRICT, VOTE HER OUT AT THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY AND PUT SOMEOME IN WHO UNDERSTANDS THE SITUATION AND IS EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH IT.
Sen. LELAND YEE, D-S.F.
"When voters are confused and not clear about what they're voting, they vote no. If you read the ballot statements, it was difficult to understand what it all meant. So, voters are saying, 'Don't ask us to do your job.'"
Sen. YEE IS WRONG IN ASSUMING THAT WE, THE VOTERS, WERE UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT WE WERE VOTING AGAINST. WE ARE VERY CLEAR IN OUR MESSAGE TO LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL LEGISLATORS. HE IS CORRECT IN RECOGNIZING THAT WE EXPECT THEM TO DO THEIR JOBS AND NOT PASS ON THE TOUGH DECISIONS.
Assemblyman PAUL FONG, D-Mountain View
"I was hoping they'd pass. It would make our job easier. Now we have to go back and think of new, creative ways to solve the budget."
EXACTLY! FONG, LIKE MANY OTHER LEGISLATORS, WAS HOPING FOR THE EASY WAY OUT INSTEAD OF HOLDING HIMSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO DO THE JOB FOR WHICH HE WAS HIRED. FONG IS ANOTHER ONE THAT SHOULD BE VOTED OUT AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY AND ALLOWED TO GO TO WORK IN A PLACE THAT ALLOWS PASSING YOUR WORKING DAY IN IDLE, WISHFUL THINKING.
Congratulations to the following legislators interviewed for this story, each of whom appears to understand the message we sent and the enormity of the task at hand.
Assemblyman SANDRE SWANSON, D-Oakland
Assemblyman TOM TORLAKSON, D-Antioch
Assemblywoman JOAN BUCHANAN, D-Alamo
Assemblyman JIM BEALL, D-San Jose