Open Letter to the new City Council and the new President of the Culver City Chamber, Part IBy Letters to the Editor @ 3:00 PM April 23, 2012
From Ross Hawkins
Now that Gov. Brown and the state Legislature have destroyed California's Redevelopment Agencies, I will suggest a way to send a message to Sacramento that may cause them to reconsider their course.
The author in 1941 at the age of one year, with his father, Clyde, on Cotner Avenue, Wet Los Angeles
At the Feb. 2 monthly Breakfast Meeting of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Mehaul O'Leary got a large round of applause for saying the governor be recalled.
The problem is, no one is nearby to replace Mr. Brown. This happens when we have one-party rule in state government. The Republican Party hasn't spent a dime in California since Mr. Reagan was President.
First, there was Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. He lost the Latino vote with his Mexican-bashing campaign promoting Prop. 187. In 2003, during the recall election of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected our 38th governor, serving until 2011. During Mr. Schwarzenegger's reign, California acquired a reputation for being one of the most toxic business environments in the nation. Currently it ranks 48th among the 50 states. Besides high taxes, California has the most expensive litigation environment. I have been told that one out of every three adults in Los Angeles is an attorney. The American Tort Reform Foundation recently named California as "one of the five worst judicial hellholes" in the country. Culver City is surrounded on three sides by Los Angeles, which Ohio University called America’s second most corrupt city.
As soon as Mr. Schwarzenegger left office, he went off to a brand new movie studio in Bosnia to make an action film with other over-age celluloid heroes, including Sylvester Stallone. When I mentioned this to a friend at the Screen Actors Guild, he replied: “Guess who paid for the new studio in Bosnia? The stupid American taxpayers."
Meg Whitman was ahead of Jerry Brown in the polls in the last governor’s race – until she was caught talking out of both sides of her mouth about immigration. Soon it was clear she had no idea how government differs from business enterprises. As a CEO, you can fire subordinates who don't follow orders. You cannot can't fire legislators who won't do your bidding.
There is a faster, easier way to change bad behavior in Sacramento than recalling Mr. Brown.
Californians don't think much of their lawmakers. A recent Field Poll, the Legislature's approval rating is 22 percent. A ballot initiative is in the works to make the legislature part time.
The initiative initially was sponsored by state Assemblywoman Shannon Grove. Now the drive is chaired by Michael Reagan, son of the former President.
The initiative would
1) Cut the Legislature's pay from $95,000 to $18,000 plus limited expenses.
2) Shorten legislative sessions to 30 days in January and 60 days in May and June.
3) Change state budgets to two years.
4) Ban officeholders from government jobs and lobbying while in office and for five years thereafter.
Now I realize that the initiative was drawn up and sponsored by Republicans but I would like to remind my Democratic friends who own small businesses and homes of an old saying, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Democrats in the Legislature will begin a frontal assault on Prop. 13. after the November election. in November
It will be chicken plucking time. California's property owners will be the chickens. Lawmakers will need funding to pay for Gov. Brown's bullet train to San Francisco. After the next election, if the present trend continues, the only businesses left in California will be run by the Trial Lawyers Assn.
(To be concluded tomorrow)