So it’s well known now that the Governor’s advisors have been talking amongst themselves about canceling the special election. They seem to have floated the idea just to see what the reaction would be, not because they just decided to start telling the truth. From Democrats, the reaction was not very encouraging for the Governor:
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, said in a conference call with reporters on Friday that he opposes the idea – unless Schwarzenegger makes two major concessions.
Nunez said he’d want the Republican governor to promise that his so-called “Live Within Our Means” budget initiative, Proposition 76, would be “dispensed with.” It’s already qualified for the ballot, so Schwarzenegger would have to reach a compromise with Democrats who say it cuts school funding too deeply and would give the governor too much power to make spending cuts without legislative approval.
The initiative would give governors broad new powers to make spending cuts without legislative approval in times of fiscal crisis.
Nunez said he’d also want Schwarzenegger’s commitment that he would disavow the union dues initiative, Proposition 75.
“Unless we have a guarantee that this stuff’s not going to come back to haunt us in June of next year, I say we may as well get the thing over with now and send a message,” Nunez said.
“What you’re talking about here is making a clear indication that you can’t govern by initiatives, and I think it ought to be a lesson for all of us.”
Oh, and in related news, Republicans don’t want to go there either:
Sen. Dick Ackerman, R-Irvine, said Schwarzenegger wouldn’t even get Republican votes if he asked the Legislature to call off the election.
“We would not support it,” he said. “There are still significant issues on the ballot, and we think the people should be allowed to vote on them.”
It is clear that without the Legislature’s cooperation, Schwarzenegger does not have the power to simply call off the special election he called.
These three things together equal no way is Schwarzenegger is going to risk trying to cancel this election:
“I will continue moving forward exactly as I have been,” Schwarzenegger said at an event in the Capitol that encouraged children to eat healthy foods. “We need reform.”
For progressives, it’s time to stop wondering whether there will be a special election and just start fighting these bad ideas. This is the agenda being pushed by our political opponents, and they will continue pushing it, special election or no special election.
The bottom line is that none of the initiatives that have been placed on the ballot by Schwarzenegger will do anything to move our state in a positive direction. As progressives, we have to start asking ourselves what kind of California we want, and what we are willing to do to get there.