Relaunching an improved version of their career politician-feared proposition, Citizens for California Reform teamed with KFI’s John & Ken Show yesterday afternoon for a petition drive at the Ayres Hotel Anaheim that resulted in nearly 1400 signatures toward its qualification for the November 2010 ballot. The Part-Time Citizen Legislature Proposition is a constitutional amendment that returns California to a citizen legislature. Petitions can be downloaded from the website www.reformcal.com.
Over 50 signed up as volunteers for the effort, and most of those making the pilgrimage to the Ayre Hotel took additional forms with them to collect more signatures. “The state’s experiment with a full-time legislature has failed and we need Citizen Legislators who are in touch with average voters and will provide real solutions to California’s problems,” says Gabriella Holt, President of Citizen’s for California Reform, the group spearheading the initiative drive.
Steve Maviglio, the campaign manager for the opposition, was reached by phone in Sacramento by the OC Register, calling the measure a "very bad idea."
"It would cause new problems and make the situation much worse," said Maviglio, executive director of Californians for an Effective Legislature. "It would give more power to the governor and to lobbyists who would know a lot more about how government works than some part-time elite that's still wondering where the restroom is inside the Capitol."
The title of Maviglio’s group may seem a bit misleading when you take a look at what the current Legislature has done in its recent sessions. Between the significant hikes to personal income taxes, taking of local revenues from municipalities & school districts, and the resultant 13% approval rating of the Legislature, the last word that comes to mind for the entity that Maviglio is defending is “Effective”. If by “effective”, he means the effective destruction of the California economy, the effective reduction of California’s education performance, and the effective emigration of income-tax payers from California, reducing state revenues by $16B a year, Maviglio could then make the case that the full-time performance of the legislators he is defending has been very “effective”.
According to CCR, the return to a part-time Citizen Legislature will help focus leadership in Sacramento on handling the basic functions of government – namely keeping the state in the black. The “professional” politicians in Sacramento are held captive to special interests, and are unable to make hard decisions to solve the state’s budget crisis.
In the interest of full disclosure, this Los Angeles County Editor was at the Anaheim signature gathering to help gather signatures, and fully supports this measure. The next largest state in our union, Texas, has one of the most aggressive part-time structures, and recent studies are showing that, despite the current nationwide economy, the economy of Texas is growing while the only metrics growing in California are the unemployment rate and the percentage of welfare recipients.
To learn more about Citizens for California Reform and the Citizen’s Legislature Project visit: www.ReformCal.com