WHAT WE'RE FOLLOWING TODAY (MONDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2011):
Big buzz over the weekend about Chuck DeVore's surprisingly public "last one out of California, please turn out the lights" announcement that he's moving to Texas ... look for another lame poolside poke at Dan Lungren this week (a new Democrat PAC will be running ads attacking the Sacramento Republican for "helping Wall Street at the expense of Main Street") ... the Assembly Select Committee on Job Creation for the New Economy, chaired by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, kicks off its first meeting this morning at UCLA ... Speaker of the House John Boehner is expected to attend a GOP fundraiser at the Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach ... and Sharon Runner is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a broken elbow (her office said Friday the injury was sustained "during a friendly sports competition with family.")
PART OF THE PROBLEM:
Last-minute 'gut and amend' laws bypass scrutiny in California -- The Legislature wrote 48 bills in the last three weeks of the regular session, long after the deadlines for most law-making procedures had passed. They did so by deleting the text of existing bills and replacing it with something new and often unrelated - a process known as "gut and amend." Lawmakers sent 22 of those bills to the governor, who signed all but three of them. That means 46 percent of gut-and-amend bills from the regular session cleared the Legislature, higher than the 35 percent rate for bills that went through the normal process. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed gut-and-amends at about the same rate as he vetoed all regular session bills - roughly 14 percent.
PART OF THE SOLUTION:
GOP showcasing Hispanic stars -- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are popular, relative political newcomers in presidential battleground states. The rising GOP stars are also Hispanics, something the Republican Party makes no secret of hoping to capitalize on in the upcoming national elections. National Republicans are inviting them on international fact finding trips, courting them for high-profile public appearances and whispering their names as possibilities for vice presidential nominations.
JUMPING THE SNARK:
Dan Walters: A state exodus would aid California recovery - SacBee columnist has unique strategy for getting the Golden State's economy back on track: urge all the losers to leave. #heresyourhat #whatsyourhurry
$9 billion is looking for a job - Meanwhile, Jerry and his mountain of bureaucrats are sitting on a pantload of bonds that are costing the state millions in debt payments with nothing to show for it. What part of the word "job" does the Guv not understand? #jerryisaninertgasbag
GOP's Ricky Gill going after Rep. Jerry McNerney - Rising young Republican star has an impressive resume and an even more impressive campaign chest. Finally, somebody on the "Young Guns" list who's really...young.
Protesters Debate What Demands, if Any, to Make - Biggest internal argument so far: How long before we actually bathe?
Pew: Media not in love with Obama - After witnessing 1000 days of presidential ineptitude, press downgrades relationship with POTUS to "friends with benefits."
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Paul Jacob, president of the Citizens in Charge Foundation, wrote in TownHall.com over the weekend that California's problem is actually not enough legislators:
My week began with a celebration: The centennial of California's initiative process.
I wrote about it at Common Sense, the daily commentary I've penned since 1999 (you can sign up for the email version on the Citizens in Charge website). "The enormous impact of California's initiative process can hardly be disputed," scribbled I. "Perhaps the best known and most consequential initiative has been Proposition 13." I concluded by noting that politicians tend to hate being checked by citizens, and that Californians still support this limited form of direct democracy by the same margin they passed it a century ago.
Drik, one of my regular commenters - and intelligent Townhall blogger - offered a somewhat caustic addendum: "And it still didn't stop the politicians from bankrupting the state."
No, Drik, it didn't. The initiative and referendum process didn't prevent California's politicians from spending the state to the brink of insolvency.
I've written about this before. Unlike some analysts, I don't see California citizens as the cause of the state's bad spending habits, or the initiative as their nefarious instrument. Evidence suggests otherwise: legislators, for example, have dramatically hiked spending over the last decade without help from voters. Additionally, the more than 82 percent of ballot measures in the past 20 years that have required greater spending have been placed before voters by legislators, not through the state's citizen initiative process.
Of course, if you assume that politicians are always right, that every bit of spending they desire is a good thing, then the initiative has hampered their mission. Without Proposition 13, for example, state taxes would be much higher. And maybe the state government wouldn't be nearly bankrupt.
But the people would. Many, many people.
[Read the full article HERE.]
VIDEO OF THE DAY: You choose what's more hilarious--MSNBC race relations "expert" Melissa Harris Perry claiming it's "racist" when anyone points out only 53% of Americans pay federal income tax...or the looks on her fellow panelists' faces because they're not buying her agenda. [VIEW HERE.]
TWEET OF THE DAY: @meredith_turney Keep seeing tweets about The Walking Dead tonight. Is this the new code name for Occupy Wall Street?
GET YOUR OWN "WAKE UP CALL": Email MARK@CAGOP.ORG to JOIN THE LIST!