Why California Can’t Pass A Budget

Dave Johnson, Speak Out California
Sunday’s CBS show 60 Minutes featured our own Governor Schwarzenegger! One of the things said on the show was the following,

“The governor proposed to close that budget deficit half with tax increases and half with budget cuts. Republicans and Democrats opposed him.”

This is why California does not have a budget.
I don’t mean that we do not have a budget because “Republicans and Democrats” oppose the Governor, won’t compromise, won’t “meet half way,” etc. or that “Democrats won’t agree to cut spending” as most of the public is told. I mean that we do not have a budget because the public is told that this is the reason. If the public understood the real reasons that we do not have a budget, representative government would work and the citizens would apply the necessary pressure to bring about the passage of a budget.
It is simply a fact that the reason we do not have a budget is that a small number of extremists are blocking the passage of a budget and are doing so because they can. They have voted against every budget compromise offered. They have been able to get away with this because the public believes that both sides are refusing to compromise. The Democrats have agreed to cuts and have moved more than half way. The Republicans refuse to move at all.
Our news outlets are not meeting their responsibility to keep the public informed. This failure is contributing to our state’s inability to govern itself.
And by the way, we at Speak Out California wish you a Happy Holiday Season!
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Republican Budget Choices

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California.
Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger ordered 10,000 state government employees laid off and ordered the wages of 200,000 more cut down to the bare minimum allowed by law.
This is 210,000 people who will not be keeping up with their mortgages or car payments or attending “back-to-school” sales. This is thousands of local retailers that will see a sales decrease. This is how many foreclosures and car repossessions. What will this do to our own jobs and housing prices?
This is 210,000 families disrupted.

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Governor Schwarzenegger’s Chance to Lead

By John Van de Kamp
Health care reform hasn’t made it to the Governor’s desk this year, but 3 crucial public safety bills have. Governor Schwarzenegger has the opportunity to sign landmark legislation that would help prevent wrongful convictions in California, and make this state a leader in addressing a serious nationwide problem.
How serious is the problem? When the innocent go to prison, the guilty go free. That is a very serious public safety problem. And it happens more often then most people think.
Just recently, Stephen Colbert interviewed the 200th DNA exoneree, Jerry Miller. Colbert gave him a card on behalf of “society” saying “Sorry.” Here in California, Herman Atkins spent 12 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Here is Herman Atkins’ story:

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