That’s what this proposition should be called. This bill is being promoted as a way to bring accountability and improve performance of government in California; as a way to bring more control back to the cities. These claims and the title of this proposition, The Government Performance and Accountability Act, are semantic deceptions meant to deceive the voters who either don’t have the time or desire to research the real meaning of this bill which will “fundamentally change” the California constitution.
This proposition sets up ‘voluntary’ regional, unelected boards to determine the ‘best’ use of taxpayer monies. You may ask, “What’s wrong with that? So what if there are regional boards? Isn’t that better than having the state budget our money? Isn’t it better than what we have now?” No! What this bill/proposition will end up doing is taking tax money from the suburbs and giving it to financially struggling schools, cities, counties, etc.
Let’s focus on what “regionalism” really means. In an article titled, The Devils Seven-prong Fork, Charlotte Iserbyt states, “Regionalism erases constitutional, geographical borders and in so doing does away with locally elected officials, creating larger and larger municipal units managed by faceless, highly trained, socialist change agent bureaucrats. A communist writer, Morris Zeitlin, admits that regionalism is communism in an article entitled Planning is Socialism’s Trademark.” Regionalism is not an idea of just the left but it is also advocated by the mainstream conservatives like the California GOP, who endorsed Prop 31.
Regional governance is not compatible within our republican form of government. Regional governance removes or, at best, dilutes local representation and eliminates borders between towns, counties, states, and even countries, as can be seen in the European Union. Zeitlin also states in the article, Planning is Socialism’s Trademark,
“Regional government and planning remain concepts of our urban scholars and planners have long advocated in vain… In socialist countries, metropolitan regions enjoy metropolitan regional government and comprehensive planning.”
In California, we already have regional governments that are known as MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) or COGs (Council of Governments) and go by the names of SanDAG, SCAG, ABAG, plus others. These are the organizations which are planning and implementing SB375 – The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 which is a planning process to implement transportation, housing, and GHG emissions tied to AB 32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act. These COGs are instrumental in decentralized cooperation, sustainable development, urbanization, social inclusion, and poverty eradication. Regionalism is based on a totally failed, socialist system of government and alien to our Republic form of government.
REDISTRIBUTION OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS
Prop 31 encourages local governments to ‘voluntarily’ develop “Strategic Action Plans” to pool local resources into regional super-governments. It provides incentives to create these regional collectives by waiving state laws and regulations, receive funding from the state, and allows them to pool their property tax receipts to “redistribute suburban tax money to the cities, schools, or counties which will create second-class citizens for those who refuse to pool their tax money by joining the regional collectives,” according to an article by Stanley Kurtz titled, California’s Awful Prop 31: Is This Your Future? in www.nationalreview.com.
According to the act,
“The Performance and Accountability Trust Fund is established for the purpose of providing state resources for the implementation of integrated service delivery contained in the Community Strategic Action Plans.”
Evaluation of these action plans will be conducted every four years and will be based on
“improving the outcomes among the participating entities and the delivery and effectiveness of the applicable governmental services; progress towards reducing community disparities; and whether the individuals or community members receiving those services were represented in the development and implementation of the action plan.”
In effect this measure will bail out California’s failing cities by raiding and redistributing suburban tax money and it will be the end of local self-government which is what our country was founded on.
Where did this bill originate? It was written by a group called California Forward. They state their goal is “a state government that works” shaped by the 3E’s of sustainability: prosperous economy, quality environment, and community equity.
What is community equity? This is not equality of opportunity where you to have the freedom to pursue your own private interest or vocation without restrictions. Equity is the belief that everyone must be equal. Action for community or social equity must necessarily involve government regulation to achieve its outcomes.
Equity is the goal of radical socialism. Their proposal would require both the state and local governments to operate under these 3E’s with five statewide outcomes: increased employment, improved education, decreased poverty, decreased crime, and improved health. They call this ‘Smart Government.’
These sound like desirable outcomes but to California Forward the ends justify the means. They want to restructure the relationship between the state and local governments and feel that a government that achieves positive social gains in a financially sustainable way is virtuous. Again this sounds great but they are talking about social change and using taxpayer money for social programs rather than allowing the free market or free enterprise to create a more sustainable and prosperous California. They feel government is the answer to California’s problems. And as Ronald Reagan famously stated, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”
Prop 31: The Government Performance and Accountability Act will transform the California Constitution into a socialist form of government with unelected, regional committees that are not answerable to “We the People.” Do not be deceived by the supposedly fiscally responsible language in this proposition nor by those who are in favor or opposed to it. This bill will turn California into a “little European Union” with one region asking for a bailout from another.
Please vote NO.