Propositions 1A through 1E presented on the May 19th statewide special election ballot, were not merely defeated – they were crushed. Crushed like the Terminator in the first iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.
The result is outstanding, as the grassroots taxpayer advocacy groups (i.e., Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition) were outspent by 20 million dollars by pro-proposition forces (like the mislabeled “Budget Reform Now” organization). Fully informed citizens, especially those who attended “Tea Party” tax revolts and stayed informed via talk radio, Facebook, and a wide variety of new media/Internet resources, joined me and voted “NO” to the Legislature’s proposals by approximately 65% to 35% margins. Many other citizens viewed Proposition 1F like myself: Since it denied state legislators a pay raise in deficit years, it seemed a sensible idea. Therefore, 1F was the only one that passed (73% of the voters saying “YES” to the measure).
The voting outcome clearly shows that the use of fear tactics to inspire citizens to support tax extensions and budgetary shell games to solve California’s fiscal woes no longer works. Furthermore, the clearly deceptive nature of this special election ballot generated much grassroots anger. Governor Schwarzenegger and other politicians who threatened to cut vital services if this toxic proposition suite failed added “fuel to the fire” by creating more voter antagonism. Now the state’s Tea Party organizations and taxpayer advocacy groups must continue to use their new Internet-based organizations and other fresh resources to monitor Sacramento and ensure that the politicians don’t “punish” us for not falling in line properly.
The Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition started this February when I teamed up with Dawn Wildman and Sarah Bond to rally with others nationwide against deficit spending on both the local and national levels. We and the other 600 attendees of the first san Diego Tea Party on Feb. 27th by the Star of India had all protested the federal and state budget proposals via phone/fax/email put, but were thoroughly dismissed. Obviously, many other Americans felt ignored, too. Since then, Tea Party groups and taxpayer advocacy organizations have arisen to give hard working taxpayers the same respect accorded to various special interest and lobby groups. This ballot victory means that grassroots groups can be highly effective in giving citizens a true voice in local, state, and federal governments. We sincerely believe this “NO” sent a resounding message to both Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
What is the next step? Our group will be monitoring Sacramento closely, awaiting the “punishment” to be meted out because we voted “NO”. Utilizing new media sources (e.g, like SDNN.com and FlashReport.org) and newly formed connections to California legislators who have a clear history of working on BEHALF of California taxpaying citizens (e.g., Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of the 70th District), our organization will be informed of legislative proposals and be able to counter any punishment promptly. Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition also intends to work toward establishing a serious state spending cap (along the lines of the 1977 Gann Limit, which was eventually gutted by union-funded propositions in 1987), reasonable pension revision for state workers, and getting our state government to minimally meet the Clinton Administration guidelines for welfare reform. The Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition intends to vet and inform citizens of the voting history and the detailed political activities of candidates in local, state and national election cycles – so that a clearer picture of who will actually weigh the interest of taxpayers seriously can be presented.
We are partnered with many other grassroots groups who already have events planned. North County Conservatives has a rally slated for June 28th in Escondido. The ReTea Party group will be hosting the local July 4th event, highlighting the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution. We will also team up with groups such as the Howard Jarvis Tax Association, Stop Taxing Us, Inland Empire Tea Party, and other taxpayer advocacy entities for future events on important issues as well. Only through this networking and team work can our groups hope to do the extended, difficult work of trimming back on big government policies.
Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition will continue, inspired by this quote from the original “Terminator” (paraphrasing slightly): We cannot be bargained with and we absolutely will not stop. Until Sacramento special-interest politicians are gone.
As Allahpundit says: Californians know how to tea-party!
Update: I could not agree with Captain Ed of Hot Air more – especially on this point: California voters need to practice what they’ve preached in this election. Bond issues need to go down to defeat. If the state doesn’t have the money to build prisons, schools, or any other facilities it needs, voters should demand that Sacramento find the money in the general fund and not from issuing bonds that will eventually have to be repaid anyway – with interest. Perhaps California civics lessons should start including a specific unit of instruction on what public bonds are, as one way of making this point stick.
I hope the Captain thinks my team of agitators has a good start to an after-election game plan.
Finally – here is a video of my recent appearance on the Fox Business Network, where we do present an incipient “morning after” plan.