RE: [lpsf-discuss] Recall vote

In an editorial comment in the Long Beach Press-Telegram from July 20, 2003,
Tom McClintock accuses Gray Davis of violating the State Constitution by his
decision last March to triple the Vehicle License Fee. This was done by an
Executive Order from the governor's office and was not submitted to the
Legislature for approval. According to the Legislative Counsel (the
official legal office of the state Legislature), only the California State
Controller can raise the car tax, and then only on a month-by-month basis,
and only then if the state cannot write a check to reimburse local
governments for the lost revenue, and only then for the amount of the
shortfall and nothing more. Granted, this all took place after the recall
effort was launched, and McClintock is one of the candidates hoping to
replace Davis, but he narrowly lost the election for State Controller last
November, and knows this stuff pretty thoroughly. This issue is
particularly close to McClintock, who as a State Senator, was responsible
for reducing the Vehicle License Fee back in 1999, when the State had a
budget surplus, and he argued that it was time to cut taxes since the
government was collecting $12 billion more than it was spending.

McClintock also claims that if we went back to the 2002-2003 year budget for
the fiscal year ended June 30, 2002, and just froze spending at last year's
level, there would only be a $9 billion dollar deficit (state government
operating expenses exceeding projected tax revenue). The additional $29
billion added to the current fiscal year's expenses are largely due to
salary increases Davis promised to the California State Employees
Association union and the California Correctional Officers Union in exchange
for their support to get him re-elected last November. While fulfilling
campaign promises may not violate the state constitution, handing out
taxpayer money to state employee unions to secure their support in an
election is enough to make me want to throw him out of office.

After the long budget stalemate, the CSEA union representative sent out an
elated email to all State Employees announcing their new raises would be
reflected in their September paychecks. While I only do contract work for
the state government, I am on their email distribution list, so I get these
union announcements periodically when they send them to everyone on the
Global Address List. This came only a few weeks after the major press
outlets warned that hundreds of state civil servants might have to be laid
off if the budget crisis weren't resolved by the end of August. Tens of
thousands of people working in the private sector in California have been
laid off over the past two years, but when a few hundred civil servants face
potential layoffs, it is somehow seen as a "crisis" that requires billions
of dollars in tax increases.

While the Democratically controlled Legislature approved the current budget,
these numbers were submitted to them by Democratic Governor Gray Davis.
Whether his actions violate the constitution or not, that document does
allow the citizens to recall him if his actions inflame enough voters to
sign the recall petitions. In almost 100 years, there have been 31 recall
efforts against a sitting governor of California, but none have succeeded.
This is the first time a recall effort has achieved a sufficient number of
signatures to qualify for such an election. The people have spoken with a
pretty loud voice this time.

All the latest public opinion polls are indicating that the recall will
pass, and one of the replacement candidates is likely to be our next
governor. No matter who ends up winning next Tuesday, they could hardly do
a worse job than Gray Davis has done in less than a year. He has no one to
blame but himself, and should be held responsible for his actions.
Libertarians believe individuals should take responsibility for their own
actions and face the consequences of those actions. Gray Davis is more than
happy to blame other parties for California's problems, but many of the
unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves addressing are directly a result
of the Governor's decisions. It's about time he grew up and accepted some
of the responsibility of the office he holds. The buck has to stop
somewhere.

Terry Floyd, MCSE, MCDBA
Treasurer, Libertarian Party of California, East Bay Region

Terry,

Thanks for your thorough, well-written explanation of the basis for recalling Davis. It has caused me to lean toward voting to recall him.

Kelly