November’s Dirty Dozen

Matt Klink
President, Klink Campaigns

We’re 90-days from the November 4, 2008 General Election. Three months. Who knows, maybe California will have a budget by then.

As the Governor and Legislators debate the right mix of tax increases and spending cuts, the overwhelming majority of voters have no idea about what or whom – aside from Obama versus McCain – will appear on the November ballot.

Voters need to begin educating themselves about the 12 – yep, a full dozen – ballot measures that have already qualified for the General Election ballot. There are some usual suspects – repeater initiatives that appear every year – which also means that they fail every year. And, there are some truly creative ones…the one about the treatment of farm animals being my favorite. Here’s a quick analysis.

Read more

Let The People Decide?

Matt Klink
President, Klink Campaigns

While the California State Legislature is locked in its annual budget battle and local governments wait for the impact of any proposed statewide cuts, a motivated group of citizens in Arizona are taking an innovative approach to address the state’s tax and spend philosophy.

An initiative, called Majority Rule – Let the People Decide Act, is pending certification by the Arizona Secretary of State. If placed on the ballot and approved by voters this November, the Majority Rule initiative would significantly raise the bar for approval of any tax measure.

The ballot language, which would amend Arizona’s state constitution, is short and sweet. It reads:

“To preserve and protect the right of the people to fiscal responsibility through true majority rule, an initiative measure that establishes, imposes or raises a tax, fee, or other revenue, or mandates a spending obligation, whether on a private person, labor organization, other private legal entity or this state, shall not become law unless the measure is approved by a majority of qualified electors then registered to vote in the state.”

Read more

Same Sex Marriage – An Economic Windfall for California

Matt Klink
President, Klink Campaigns

Much hoopla or protestation, depending upon your political persuasion, surrounded Monday’s 5:01 p.m. marriage ceremonies in Beverly Hills and San Francisco. Tuesday, papers nationwide covered the ceremonies and foretold the flood of same-sex couples flocking to county registrar offices throughout California to obtain marriage licenses.

While these daily newspapers focused on the strife between proponents and opponents of gay marriage, more attention should be paid to the economic benefit that gay marriage will bring to a deeply indebted California – and what this means for our state’s future.

A June 11, 2008, US News & World Report article on the subject offered a brief analysis of the situation when its author wrote, “Almost as soon as the state Supreme Court declared a state law banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional last month, analysts saw the potential for an economic boomlet.”

Thankfully, someone had the foresight to study this situation and offer an economic analysis. According to a report co-authored by Brad Spears, J.D., and M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D., “allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in approximately $63.8 million in revenue over the next three years.” This figure is staggering given that California faces a $15 to $17 billion budget deficit this year alone.

Read more

One hour of time highlights a larger problem

Matt Klink
President, Klink Campaigns

In the grand scheme of things, what difference does one hour make?

For the Los Angeles Unified School District’s school-aged children, it’s one hour out of an otherwise mediocre education experience.  

For teachers and the union leaders who control them, they believe it’s an important statement to make in protest to Governor Schwarzenegger’s latest budget proposal.

The issue at hand is that this past Friday, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) teachers staged a "walk out" to protest the money allocated to public education in Governor Schwarzenegger’s current budget.  The Governor’s proposal would provide a $193 million increase over last year’s $56.6 billion in education funding.  The UTLA believes its teachers "must" protest, despite the proposed current fiscal year funding increase, because the revenue increase doesn’t keep up with the so-called cost of living.  These "cuts," (only cut in government budgeting) will necessitate some tough choices.

Read more