California State Senate election does not matter

Seven fundamental reforms to education, business/labor, ill-founded environmental legislation, infrastructure spending, commerce, housing, and elections would transform California. Start here.

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Whoever wins the District 7 State Senate special election, voters are screwed.

The special election does not matter. Neither candidate is willing to admit that government is out of control and no longer serves its citizens and the commonwealth. What everyone knows is this: California state government is all about serving itself. No candidate or party I know of is serious about addressing this issue and doing something about it.

Nor are voters.

The outcome of the special May 19 election hinges on how many self-interested voting blocs will vote for their guy or gal. Developers and other crony capitalist and rentier interests hope to score big with access to Steve Glazer in the Senate. Zombies and other walking dead voting for Susan Bonilla hope she defends and expands the debilitating financial impact of government bloat, job killing regulation, public employee salaries and unfunded pensions and retirement costs, not to mention countless more giveaways to the health, education, and social service industrial complex.

Seemingly, given recent bipartisan district gerrymandering favoring incumbents, Republicans and Democrats play the game of reelection and nothing else matters in a merry-go-round of bad choices paraded before voters every election cycle.

Promoting Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla to the California Senate or electing Orinda mayor Steven Glazer will not matter one ounce. These are not serious candidates. While I expect the worst and hope for the best, I beg you to come back in 4-8-12 years time and tell me either of these candidates truly made a difference.

Merry Go Round
Republicans and Democrats play the game of reelection and nothing else matters in a merry-go-round of bad choices paraded before voters every election cycle.

Both candidates support California’s failing school system and run away from the Vergara decision that threatens the security of bad teachers. The reckless and totalitarian California Teachers Association calls the shots in Sacramento.

Both candidates make noise about protecting Prop 13. Both take cover on this issue by mealy mouth support about safeguard for homeowners. But this is code for creating two-tier taxation so gluttonous government can gouge businesses with even higher tax rates. This wealth transfer must grow to fund government where 1-in-4 budget dollars will be spent on pensions and retiree healthcare, not education, or infrastructure.

Neither candidate speaks honestly as to what will stem the growing migration of business from California.

Neither candidate is serious about addressing the foolhardy water policies that have crippled California agriculture and had exasperated the most recent of many droughts in California which has been water challenged for millennia.

Both candidates prefer an undemocratic and authoritarian regulatory state, witnessed by their agreement on ham-fisted regional planning bodies unaccountable to voters and local entities.

Why do these people even run?

Why do voters even pretend to make a choice between a river of two worst options as the band plays on?

And please, don’t even yack about, “Bill, this is Democracy.” No…No, it isn’t. It is a rigged match driven by protected interests, will to power, tribalism, the rush of predation, plutocratic bed feathering for low-level electeds representing zombies and the ruling oligarchy.

The Golden Sate has become a gilded cage.

There is increasingly less civil society to defend as the public interest nears the precipice as California and other parts of the nation teeter, or in California —marches— toward full-blown corporatism and state socialism.

Fundamentals for California:

– Separation of School and State

– California must become a right to work state, with open shop to allow competition amongst unions

– Dismantle AB-32 and its ecosystem of debilitating enabling legislation, undemocratic and unaccountable regulatory, and planning agencies

– Forget the Bullet Train and (re)build reservoirs and dams, and infrastructure

– Reform California’s banking system to encourage mobile-based innovation and inclusive services for immigrants and the undocumented

– Outlaw MERS in California

– Institute statewide preference voting with multi-member voting districts for the legislature and ranked choice for the senate and governor; enable ranked choice for electoral college.

These seven fundamental reforms to education, business/labor, ill-founded and debilitating environmental legislation, infrastructure spending, commerce, housing, and elections would transform California. Start here.

Only serious candidates and voters need apply.

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K-12 Schools Must Improve to Help East Bay Economy Stay Competitive

Last month Contra Costa County Supervisors were briefed on the region’s future job outlook by representatives from the Contra Costa Community College Districtthe county’s Workforce Development Board and the Contra Costa Council. These groups work with leaders from local industry to develop job training programs to meet employer needs. The discussion focused on job growth in the context of developing Contra Costa’s 75 miles of northern shoreline and its harbors between Richmond and Oakley.

Continue reading “K-12 Schools Must Improve to Help East Bay Economy Stay Competitive”

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U.S. Supreme Court dimisses ACLU challenge to Arizona School Choice

The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, a legal challenge aimed at halting Arizona’s highly successful and popular private school scholarship tax credit program. Today’s landmark decision declared that the plaintiffs in the case lack standing to bring the challenge in the first instance because the program is funded by private contributions, not government funds. Continue reading “U.S. Supreme Court dimisses ACLU challenge to Arizona School Choice”

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The role of faith-based schools in School Choice debate; April 1, Boalt Hall

school choice, faith-based schools, superman pray, boalt hall, freedom of religion, establishment of religionMay Superman Pray? Government exists to serve the people, many of whom are religious believers, and it is required to respect their exercise of their religion. So where do faith-based schools fit in the ongoing debate concerning School Choice? Such matters will be on the agenda on April 1st, 2011, at an important conference to be held at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, “May Superman Pray?Continue reading “The role of faith-based schools in School Choice debate; April 1, Boalt Hall”

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Garamendi, Bonilla at Town Hall

A town meeting/open forum was hosted by the East Bay Democrats for Action at the Hampton Inn in Pittsburg for John Garamendi and Susan Bonilla the candidates for Congressional District 10 and the 11th Assembly District.

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and Susan Bonilla, the candidates for Congressional District 10 and California’s 11th Assembly District.

Many diverse ethnic groups attended, including a group eight people from the Sikh community of the East Bay, and organizers from the African-American, Philippine, Latinio Community and a group of vocal Antioch citizens.

The early part of the meeting focused on many of the CD-10 issues and then the last third of the meeting, when it was opened to questions from the floor, went straight off into a bitch and moan session with complaints and outright accusations of racism, discrimination and like aimed mostly at the Antioch Police Chief, while bringing up issues about Section 8 housing and the school districts in Pittsburg and Antioch.

One interesting questioner was a High School student who complained that she got into a physical fight with a school teacher and that she was blamed for it. There was also an appearance by Kenneth Sessions (who claims to be the head of the largest African American Real Estate company in Northern California) who hosts an Oakland based TV Real Estate show. Sessions blasted the City of Oakland’s Attorney for a case where he was accused of evicting an elderly tenant.

Throughout, Garamendi showed perfect poise in the face of the crowd that wanted to know what he was going to do about their local personal issues by taking the positions:

1. Illegal actions by officials need to be taken under investigation by the proper jurisdictional party (he offered to write a letter to request a look into one of the accusations),
2. The appropriate mechanism for review locally must be used, typically the school board for school discipline issues,
3. City Councils are there for getting the local mechanisms working,
4. Political action to remove elected officials that are not doing what you want is the purpose of politics

susan-bonilla-200Supervisor Susan Bonilla, who has regular contact with the County Section 8 Department, got down to taking names and contacts at the end of the meeting.

Amongst the CD 10 issues that Garamendi dealt with directly:

1. Supports Federal Funds for the widening of Hwy 4, and a Bart Extension to Antioch
2. Supports a Public Option on Health Care and the Obama Reform effort
3. Supports expanded help for schools making note that Harmer’s anti public school stance is not the way to go.
3. Supports Medicare, Social Security and is opposed to the Republican positions on privatization of Social Security
4. Supports Employee Free Choice Act.
5. On Illegal immigration Garamendi held the position similar to the McCain-Kennedy proposal to: control the borders, prosecute employers that exploit illegals, provide a path to citizenship, penalize those already here illegally, and create a guest worker program.
6. Supports the Philippine WW2 veterans family reunification program
7. Supports a two state solution in the Middle East and
8. Emphasized that he was the person with the contacts and the experience to get things done for the District and that he has the will to bring government to bear for the benefit of the community. Used the phrase: “I am in the know” when it comes to knowing who to contact to help the community.

Amongst the local issues that Susan Bonilla addressed:

1. Supports education funding being more community directed closer to the local level
2. Had seen a change in the Section 8 Housing Department head and had thought things were getting better in the department, and now will re-look at that area
3. Sees education and literacy as a key component in reduction of crime and the cost of prisons citing that over 60% of the prison population cannot read above the 1st grade level.
4. Strong supporter of the diversity in the community making note that her Father was born in the Phillipines and she had relatives held in an internment camp there during World War 2, and that she comes from a Latino home.
5. Cutting funds for fighting Domestic Violence is indefensible. There needs to be more networking to mitigate the damage to the community.

At the end of the meeting, which went on well past 9:00 p.m., there was a generally positive feeling that at least these candidates were making themselves available to the communities at large.

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