Reform in California
The newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a stalwart Liberal Democrat, blasted Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for allegedly abusing California's ballot initiative process to force his political agenda on an uncooperative legislature.
Four ballot measures that deal with teacher tenure, union dues, a spending cap and redistricting are supported by the man known as the Governator. Also, Liberals in California have witnessed what happens when ballot initiatives were passed throughout the country such as laws banning gay and lesbian marriage.
"I'm opposed to all of his initiatives," said Villaraigosa, a former California Assembly speaker, who had indicated during his mayoral campaign that he was eager to work with Schwarzenegger. So much for campaign promises.
"In this instance it's very clear that the initiative process is being misused," Villaraigosa complained to the Associated Press. "These are matters that could and should be addressed by the Legislature."
One of the major ballot initiatives that has government workers and union leaders up in arms is Proposition 75, a law that would require unions to poll their memberships before endorsing candidates or contributing money and time to their campaigns.
A spokesperson for Gov. Schwarzenegger countered, "The governor decided to take the issues before voters in a Nov. 8 special election because the Legislature was unwilling to work with him." Tired of the backroom deals and lack of resolve to correct numerous state problems, a majority of Californians and Americans favor the ballot initiative approach to passing legislation
The AP quotes a Schwarzenegger spokesperson as saying, "The governor could not agree with the mayor more that the Legislature should have worked with the governor to pass these reforms. Instead, the Legislature focused on its own priorities, things like gay marriage and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants." Schwarzenegger opposes both gay marriage and California drivers licenses for illegal aliens, two issues that are crucial to Liberal-Left activist groups and politicians
Villaraigosa's comments, while not out of keeping with his political loyalties, are indicative of the Liberal mindset that giving Americans direct decision-making on political issues is a dangerous thing. In fact, Liberals prefer to bypass even legislatures in order to have black- robed lawyers on judicial benches ram policy decisions down the throats of citizens.
As he pushes his ballot agenda, Schwarzenegger has been trying to rebuild his standing with Hispanic voters who helped put him win office in 2003, but whose support has eroded in recent months. Much of that erosion is the result of people such as Los Angeles' mayor, who oppose Scharzeneggers strong stand on illegal immigration, denigrating him for daring to support tough border security and Governor's support of the controversial Minuteman Project. Political insiders claim Gov. Schwarzenegger is being maligned by a strong Liberal-Labor coalition coupled with a hostile and partisan news media.