4th of July in 2008

Rex Hime
President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association

Ramblings of a 4th of July. It was a beautiful day – sun shining, gentle breeze, clear blue skies, surrounded by family and friends, some I had known for 50 years and some for a few weeks. Lots of food and drink, kids running, swimming, yelling, chasing, and there I was trying to take it all in. Smiling, hugging, shaking hands, laughing, chatting it up –- about the kids, about the weather, about politics… Always back to politics.

Although many of us really do care about what is going on in the world our country and in our state, the sad fact is that not enough pay close attention –- and for politicians that is probably a good thing, because who knows where they would fall on the issues. Does their vote even matter anymore, anyway?

Well, not in California where politicians have so stacked the deck that elections really don’t matter, and if you are the incumbent and you aren’t at the end of your term limited term you will have a free ride over and over again. Now some might say that should be good because all the pressures of elections and campaigns are gone – ha! A Democrat or a Republican running in a safe seat still raise campaign dollars like there is no tomorrow – and they don’t spend any more time dealing with the issues of governance – just the political issue of the day since they all want to be on the cover of Newsweek. So one has to ask what is going on in our Capitol?

Why no solution to the water crisis facing the state, why no budget resolution, yet 5,000 new laws are proposed every year. Why is there no civil discourse on the critical issues facing education, transportation and the environment? Why are there only lines in the sand and barriers – and worst of all, those who seek to find resolution are considered outcasts and minimized.

Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Hancock are all spinning in their graves. Changing reapportionment, a part time legislature, a two year budget… These might be some good first steps, but remember that first step is always the hardest and most of us would rather just laugh, eat a burger and down a coke than really try to change the system!

A sad commentary on a day that saw people of action taking steps that changed the world.

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