Why Flash is Right on Redistricting
By JOHN SEILER
As CalWatchDog.com’s John Hrabe has detailed in a series of articles, the California redistricting process was corrupted from the get-go. The California “Citizens” Redistricting Commission, which was supposed to produce un-gerrymandered districts, instread was riddled with partisan gamesmanship. No wonder Commissioner Mike Ward charged, in an exclusive interview with CalWatchDog.com, that the commission “broke the law.”
In response, Jon Fleischman of Flashreport has called for a referendum to overturn the 2011 gerrymandering.
Fleischman just was attacked by by CalBuzz, “Why Fleischman Is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong on Redistricting.” CalBuzz wrote:
The hissy fit pitched by our pal Jon Fleischman this week over at Flashreport, where he thundered about the over-arching, Save the
Unfortunately, CalBuzz uses that annoying cross-out style. And the comparison to Jayson Blair is inapt. Blair was a liberal reporter at the liberal New York Times who plagiarized and fabricated stories, as Wikipedia explained. It was done in the New York Times tradition of their notorious Stalinist reporter, Walter Duranty.
By contrast, Fleischman was just giving an opinion CalBuzz doesn’t like.
CalBuzz mentions how the only power left for Republicans in the Legislature, if can maintain more than one-third of the seats in at least one house, is to prevent tax increases.
So Democrats are salivating like Pavlov’s Dog about raising taxes ad libitum.
But as I have been noting here on CalWatchDog.com, what already is developing is a split in the Democratic Party between the wild spenders and those more fiscally prudent. I likened it to the split in the Democratic Party in the old “Solid South” before the 1970s.
Because, once Democrats actually do control two-thirds of the Legislature, they will assume 100 percent of the blame for every economic calamity in the state. No more saying, “If the Republicans would just let us raise taxes on those greedy capitalist rich people, we could establish paradise!”
Another development might be that, to win back at least that one-third of seats needed to be relevant, Republicans finally would get serious about nourishing some Latino political talent. So far, their main entrants have been Mike Villines and Abel Maldonado, who did the bidding of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwazenegger in the 2009 tax-increase debacle, then were defeated in statewide elections in 2010.
Republicans are noticing that neighboring states are governed by small-government, tax-averse Republican Latinos, Gov. Brian Sandoval in Nevada and Gov. Susana Martinez in New Mexico. Certainly, similar candidates could be found in California, especially with the ridiculous Arnold out of office and spending most of his time in divorce court.
CalBuzz also brings up Lincoln:
If we recall our U.S. history, the whole notion of using tax dollars for the government to help build and sustain the private sector goes back to the administration of Abraham Lincoln, who we heard had something to do with starting the Republican party.
The Republican-dominated Congress passed a series of measures that transformed the nation’s economic landscape for all time. The weakness of the northern Democratic minority and the defection of southern lawmakers enabled Republicans to enact a legislative agenda that significantly expanded the role and financial reach of the government and helped to create a national economy that dwarfed its predecessor both in scale and in wealth.
You could look it up.
The italicized part is from the new book, “America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a New Nation,” by David Goldfield.
But this isn’t 1861. As Goldfield also notes, “When Lincoln took office, the main role of the federal government was to deliver the mail.” The war changed that.
Is that the situation today? Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute posted a useful graph of Cost of Government Day, including federal, state and local costs. It’s the day when, if you started on Jan. 1 and continued, you could stop paying for government taxes and regulations.
The day now is Aug. 12 nationally, as shown in the graph. But as Joseph Perkins wrote yesterday on CalWatchDog.com, Cost of Government Day is even later in California, falling on Aug. 18.
August 18 is the 230th day of the year. That means you work for the government 63 percent of the time. Didn’t the Civil War abolish slavery? Wasn’t there something called an Emancipation Proclamation?
In famous “House Divided” speech, Lincoln said, “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.”
California today is 63 percent slave and 37 percent free.
And note on the graph that Cost of Government Day declined somewhat during the presidencies of Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Bill Clinton, but grew sharply under both Republican Presidents Bush and has spiked under Democratic President Obama.
It’s ridiculous to think that Lincoln would want government to be this big — and want it to grow even bigger.
Redistricting always is a problem. But it’s an especially sticky one now because the weight of government is so big in America that the underlying foundation — the private economy — is being crushed. Unemployment remains stuck above 9 percent at the national level.
And according to new numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rose again in July in California, back up to 12 percent. Government is so gargantuan in the Golden State that jobs are dying or moving elsewhere.
Whatever happens with redistricting, what’s needed is a California Emancipation Proclamation — for California taxpayers.
May 25, 2013