Nothing but the Truth!
By Will Power
June 7, 2010 (San Diego’s East County)--If California were a woman, she'd be arrested for illicit propositions. But the propositions are of the political not romantic kind. Ever since the Initiative, Referendum and Recall were put into the California Constitution to counter the power of the railroads, the Initiative has been abused.
Now corporations are using the Initiative process to bypass the legislature, Two of the Propositions Proposition 16 and 17, are wholly financed by Corporate Power. These are written in doublespeak legalese and purport to be pro-consumer, but are really pro-monopoly gifts to corporate wealth.
Proposition 16, the "Voter's Right to Vote Act" is an anti-democratic, pro-monopoly scheme to prevent competition in the electricity business. PG&E, which sponsored the bill, hopes it can swindle voters into making PG&E the only power company in California. You'd think voters would have learned, after $30 billion went out of the state in the phony "California Power Crisis" when Enron and others defrauded the state by overcharging for power.
Then there is Proposition 17, sponsored by Mercury Automotive Insurance, which is advertized as pro-consumer. Here's a hint. when an Insurance company spends $15 million to change a law, it is not going to help consumers. Mercury is angry at the legislature for reining in price increases for car insurance. Proposition 17 lets them resume gouging consumers at will.
The Initiative Process in California has been captured by pro-business corporate subsidies who cleverly bypass the legislative process with doublespeak mumbo-jumbo initiatives.
The only response consumers can effectively fight this misuse of the initiative process is to flatly refuse to sign any petition at the supermarket, no matter how enticing it sounds. Why sign a petition that takes away your rights. The Right to Vote Act takes away your right to vote. How stupid is that?
Will Power is a retired history teacher and creative writing instructor. The opinions expressed in this column reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.