The SEIU is furious
according to Yvonne Walker, president of the SEIU Local 1000.
If that was all you heard about the budget deal struck by The Governator and legislative leaders yesterday, you’d already know that the people of California had won this round. As Krempasky wrote earlier today, Arnold drew what appear to be astounding concessions from legislative leaders in dealing with severe budget shortfalls.
The details as they come out in future days may blunt enthusiasm, but the shorthand is simple. If the SEIU hates it, and NPR hates it, it was good for California and good for conservatives everywhere.
This battle was won May 19
How California got into such a financial pickle to start with is a long tortuous story, years in the making. For years the legislature has operated the budget as a left-wing pig trough, generously funding unions, grossly inefficient school systems, illegal immigrants, enviro-whackoism, and every bit of wing-nuttery they could think of, as if the bill was never going to come due. They ignored the will of the people as expressed in various ballot initiatives (that the courts conveniently struck down as if on command).
As it became evident that the budget shortfall this year was going to be epic-scale – some $25 billion – a special legislative session was called in February to deal with it. Their answer? Cut wasteful spending? Nah. They voted, with the Governator’s support, to put 6 measures on the statewide ballot for the May 19 election. Five of them were either direct tax increases or authorizations to raid other funds (schools, mental health, tobacco tax-funded health care). The sixth was simply a measure to ban raises for state legislators in years when the state budget was in deficit.
The 5 were crushed by an average of 64-36%. The sixth sailed to success 74-26%. One supposes the legislature must have thought people would read THAT one, take note of how sensible it was and vote yes on all 6. Both before and after, Democrats, the Governor, and the press wailed loudly that by voting no on these propositions, the
citizens voters would force the state to shut down vital services and lay off teachers, policemen and firemen — but interestingly, there were no threats to end funding for non-emergency care and free schooling for illegal immigrants, or getting the snouts of bloated non-school bureaucracies out of the state trough. And certainly not suggestions they might ease onerous regulations on business. Once the legislature got their electoral beat-down, the Sacramento Bee wrote this pathetic bit of whinery (scroll down to read) on their web editorial page – then pulled it and even removed it from their Google cache, presumably after catching bloody hell from hordes of angry readers.
California people heard the threats, and shot down the propositions anyway. Sometimes it’s better to take the hit than to give in to the thugs. [sidebar – you know, that’s not all that bad a foreign policy as well]. Down in the details of this agreement, it’s probable that many of the things cut are things CA people would rather have NOT had cut. Schools, the prison system, and some low-income medical assistance took hits that will be painful.
But there were no good options, thanks to years of reckless and politically motivated spending by the all-Democrat all-day state leadership. The people of California instructed the legislature that the tax-and-spend cycle was going to be broken. Governor Schwarzenegger surprised us all by getting the message and sticking up for the people.
This is how brutal a defeat it was for far-left partisans. For crying out loud, they even authorized the first new offshore oil drilling project in 40 years. I’d love to see the hate mail they get over that in the next few weeks…..
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Almost from the beginning of his tenure, the Governator has disappointed Republicans by governing pretty completely as a Democrat would. Unsurprising, given his history and his in-laws, but we had surely hoped for better. But on this day we salute him. You know what they say.
The enemy of my enemy is……. is…… gasp….. gulp……
OK, I can’t bring my self to say it. But I will own that for a little while at least, I pledge to diminish in both frequency and intensity the severe beatings of the Governator about the head and shoulders.