Partner at GrassrootsLab, and a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends. In 2001, named one of America's "Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business Magazine.
As Californians anxiously watch our state government convulse with the difficulties of righting its financial ship, a new discussion of reform has sprung anew in the most unfortunate of places — the legislature itself.
When the legislature starts talking about reforming itself, that’s usually a sign of great concern, and for good reason. Few broken systems have ever been capable of self reform – Soviet Russia comes to mind!
That’s not to say it can’t be done — but it is to say it shouldn’t engender anyone’s confidence that it will. One might even question whether the effort is anything more than political theater.
Outside groups are calling for Constitutional conventions and significant systemic reforms are being bandied about as rational discourse for the first time in a century. And lawmakers, both current and former, are hell bent on making sure it doesn’t happen.
Still, the unintended consequences of a constitutional convention could be calamitous, say legislative leaders, and I have to admit — they may be right.