This is Part 2 of my proposals for new initiatives to liven up the Nov. 2018 ballot, written with my friend Jim Juroe, an Orange County attorney. Part 1, with a longer intro, is here.
Proposition 76: The Student Freedom Restoration Act of 2018. Makes attending K-12 school voluntary.
It’s the ultimate school choice. If school is boring and useless, why attend? Administrators and teachers would have to make it interesting and worthwhile.
Proposition 77: The Government Worker Democracy Restoration Act of 2018. Paying for government unions would be voluntary.
Unfortunately, Justice Antonin Scalia died earlier this year before the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association lawsuit could be decided definitively. The court tied 4-4, letting stand a lower court ruling in favor of the tyrannical unions collecting dues even from those who don’t want to be in a union. President Trump will appoint new justices that could decide the matter properly in the future.
But why take the chance? California’s powerful public-employee unions have defeated similar reform measures. But every election the unions should be forced to confront again their tyranny over employees who want nothing to do with them.
Proposition 78: The Sports Democracy Act of 2018. Prohibits the expenditure of tax dollars, or the granting of special CEQA rights, to the stadium or arena used by any private sports entity.
This would prevent the ludicrous spectacle of billionaire owners and millionaire players extorting tax dollars from the people, even those who aren’t fans. On Nov. 8, San Diego County voters sensibly rejected a tax hike for a new stadium. The team now might move. Good riddance.
But the initiative also would ban giving sweetheart deals to powerful sports profiteers, such as loosening CEQA rules for the Sacramento Kings’ new arena and the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium. If these teams get easy CEQA, then so should everybody through real, comprehensive CEQA reform, something long overdue.
Proposition 79: The National Guard Democracy for California Act of 2018. Prohibits using the California National Guard in foreign wars unless Congress declares war.
One of the reasons the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been such disasters is that President Bush abused the national guards of the 50 states by sending them overseas without a formal declaration of war by Congress. There only was a weak “resolution” authorizing “military action.” That let him escalate the war without proper congressional purview, which might have uncovered his folly. And it took guardsmen away from their proper duties of protecting the people of their home states during times of state emergencies. Requiring a declaration of war for their use still would let them go and fight, but only under proper, constitutional authorization.
Proposition 80: The Gold Tender Democracy for California Act of 2018. Allows all contracts, bills and debts to be settled using gold coins or certificates.
This would be a new freedom for our people, allowing the use of a solid currency, gold, instead of the inflationary dollar. It also would push the country toward a restoration of the gold standard.
Proposition 81: The Road Funding, Construction, Repair and Democracy Act of 2018. Funding for transportation is returned to the county from which the tax originated.
This would prevent the money from being wasted on the projects of powerful legislators, to the detriment of everyone else. Counties would decide how best to fund their local needs.
Proposition 82: The Public Schools Funding and Democracy Restoration Act of 2018. Shifts Proposition 49 (from 2002) funds to the general fund, meaning most of it would go to K-14 education.
It would end Arnold Schwarzenegger’s dumb Prop. 49 from 2002, the misnamed the Before and After School Programs Act. It should have been called the Arnold Political Career Promotion Act, which gave him experience and a pro-school reputation just before his 2003 gubernatorial bid. It wastes $500 million a year on dubious programs. Which means it caused some of the tax increases. And it’s a prime example of what I call “boutique initiatives” put on the ballot by rich people with nothing better to do.
Repealing Prop. 49 would be best, but would be defeated. Instead, shovel the money into the general budget and spread it around the normal way, which would garner the support of the teachers unions.
Proposition 83: The Public Education Bolstering and Democracy Act of 2018. Shifts Proposition 10 (from 1998) money from the 50-cent tax on cigarettes to the general fund, instead of to the First Five early childhood program.
Prop. 10 was Rob “Meathead” Reiner’s attempt to advance his own political career, until he was appointed the head of the program, then sank in a funding scandal. The First Five program is better termed the Flopped Five program, its waste detailed on Flopped 5 Opinions and Information.
Other arguments would be the same as for my Prop. 82, above.
In conclusion, California Republicans, if they are to have any more say in state politics, need to go on the offensive – an initiative offensive. In Part 1 and here in Part 2, Jim Juroe and I have provided 16 initiative ideas. Come up with your own. Then have fun!
John Seiler has written editorials and columns on California for 29 years. His email: email@example.com