A few quick comments on the doings around town and beyond.
The Good: California Republicans. Last month Republicans filed a state initiative for the June, 2008 primary to switch California from awarding its 55 electoral votes from a winner-take-all to apportioning them by Congressional District – which ever candidate wins a plurality in a particular district gets that district’s one electoral vote.
The motivations for the move by Republicans are obvious. Democratic Presidential nominees can count on winning all of California’s electoral votes under the current system. But George W. Bush won in 22 of California’s congressional districts in 2004. Under the proposed plan those electoral votes would go to a Republican candidate in 2008. As the Sacramento Bee points out, that’s like creating a new state the size of Ohio and giving it to Republican candidates.
If this change gets passed into law it is going to be that much harder for Democrats to take bake the White House.
Democrats are screaming that this is a naked Republican power grab. Duh. But since when are power grabs, naked or otherwise, illegal? What Democrats a really mad about is that they didn’t think to do this first – or to create a legal firewall before now to make it impossible to do what Republicans are doing. Like passing a law prohibiting changes to the California electoral system less than six months or a year prior to the election.
Meanwhile, Republicans, like ‘em or hate ‘em, you’ve gotta admire their moxy. And Dems – maybe you guys better smarten up. This is hard ball, for heaven’s sake
The Bad: California Democrats. Not only are they letting Republicans possibly steal their state’s electoral votes, Democrats in the state legislature are letting 14 Republicans in the State Senate publicly spank them over the budget while all they can muster in return is to cry like little girls. Yo, Fabian, Don – Republicans play hardball, you play hardball. When you return from your Iraqi parliament-like summer recess (California grinds to a fiscal halt while the legislature recreates) time to bust heads. Call both chambers into floor session, invoke quorum and keep all lawmakers chained to their desks for the duration (turning off the A/C would be a nice touch) until the combined peer pressure/hostility and lack of personal hygiene drives the renegade fourteen to their knees. And then, after the dust settles, strip each and every one of them of any and all powers you can, right done to reassigning their parking spaces to the far side of Mongolia.
Or you might just try and address the root cause of this calamity which is the system of safe gerrymandered districts you’ve adopted in a Faustian deal to give Democrats enough safe seats to keep control in the legislature without ever having the chance to get the two-thirds majority needed to really achieve an agenda. Maybe if State Dems got a little more spunk they’d make more Districts in California competitive. Sure, you might lose seats. But you might gain ‘em, too. Competition might actually give the Sacramento Democrats more spine, more spunk and more soul.
The Uugee: San Diego Government. Just when you thought San Diego couldn’t become more dysfunctional, word comes out (from much maligned Mike Aguirre, please note) that City Development Czar James “I didn’t read that memo” Waring continued lobbying to let Sunroad developers exceed FAA height standards right up through last week. In other words, weeks after the Mayor said that it was the City’s position that the building had to be reduced to FAA standards.
Just who’s in charge at City Hall, Mr. Mayor? It doesn’t look like you are. And, given all the Sunroad shenanigans, it doesn’t look like you’ve been for a while. Yes, Waring has resigned. But the fact the mayor had no clue what one of his chief staffers was up to – either last year or last week – when it comes to Sunroad makes one wonder just how far out of the loop he is on other issues.
Voters voted for Jerry thinking they were getting an affable, capable administrator. Looks like only the former was correct. As I wrote a few weeks ago, any more problems and Jerry might become a one term mayor. Looks like those problems keep mounting up.