Editorial by John Ziegler

Should You Vote In The Special Election?


So, after almost a full year of talk and months of endless campaign commercials, tomorrow is finally the day that will determine the next direction the state of California will be heading. Most of us instinctively understand that the future of this once golden state is no longer bright and has not been shining for quite some time. For those of us who follow the news, we see this, feel this, think this, and know this sad reality almost everyday. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to a least slow or maybe even reverse the dramatic demise that this once great state has been experiencing over the past couple of decades. While the choices we will make may not seem to be earth shattering, they are undoubtedly extremely significant, and the differences they provide could not be clearer.

Tomorrow we will either decide that the status quo is perfectly acceptable or that we can at least try to do better. We will determine if the recall election of 2003 was just a mirage created merely for amusement, or that its legacy lives on as we continue to fight the battle to take back our state from the politicians and the special interests. Tuesday we will choose whether those politicians will be rejoicing in relief (not to mention laughing at us) that we have proven ourselves not to be serious about holding them accountable, or whether we will reverse the insidious deal they made to steal away from us what was left of the crumbs of our meager democracy. By tomorrow night we will know if the state wants to continue to have the bulk of its budget be controlled by union thugs who gain their power by pilfering the paychecks of their members, or by elected officials who are actually somewhat accountable to the people. We will decide if we want to continue to put up with out of control and wasteful spending that sends the state into bankruptcy and creates momentum for an inevitable and significant tax increase, or we will finally say that enough is enough and give the governor the power to get things under some semblance of control.

Unfortunately we can't save California from sinking tomorrow but we sure as hell can close a few cracks in the ship. You may ask, John, how can I be a part of plugging the holes? Well, it depends on several factors. Obviously the first decision you need to make, assuming you haven't already done so, is whether you will vote at all. Well, I have created a little test to help you out in making this choice.

For instance, if you believe that watching 30 second TV commercials paid for by people who have a financial and political self interest to lie is a good way to determine how to vote, please stay home tomorrow. If you think that Gov. Schwarzenegger really cut the education budget by even a dime, please don't vote. If you think that it is a good idea that politicians get to choose their voters rather than vice versa, then please stay home tomorrow. If you really believe that it is unfair to make unions get permission from their members before they use their money for political purposes, then I urge to wait until Wednesday to cast your ballot. If you care at all about what Judge Wapner or Warren Beatty tells you to do, please watch TV all day tomorrow. If you are under the delusion that Prop 77 is part of a right wing power grab even though the LA Times and every single other liberal paper in the state has endorsed it along with numerous Democrats and the liberal group Common Cause, then please don't vote tomorrow.

If you are unable to make the simple but profound distinction between teacher's union and teachers, firefighter's union and firefighters, or nurse's union and nurses, then I urge you to do us all a favor and not vote. If you think that being a member of a union is remotely the same thing as being a shareholder in a corporation then please do something else tomorrow (unfortunately that group includes Gov. Schwarzenegger himself). If you think that it is appropriate to wrongly claim that your free speech rights are being restricted and that you are being 'shut up' while you simultaneously shout down opponent's press conferences and physically rough up female counter protesters, then I urge you to please not vote. If you think that those who send out mailers claiming that you have been called to jury duty or that your polling place has been changed as a way to get you to open anti- prop 77 propaganda, let me assure you that your polling place has indeed been moved? to somewhere in rural Vermont. If you are someone who will be easily fooled by the Democratic Attorney General nefariously sticking the phrase 'School Funding Limits' into the title of prop 76, please let me fool you into not voting tomorrow. If you really believe that prop 75 is part of the Bush administration agenda when it has been whole-heartedly endorsed by the far left, anti-Bush LA Times editorial board, then please don't waste your precious time by voting. If you think that our public education system is in great shape and in no need of reform, then please don't vote. If you think that Fabian Nunez and Barbara Kerr are more trustworthy and less self interested than the Governor, then not only do I urge you not to vote, I would like to sell you a used car.

If you think 50 million dollars is too much to spend for an election in a state with 38 million people so that those people get their only say in what happens, then please don't vote. If you think the legislature should be rewarded for refusing to compromise with the governor and then bitching about spending 50 million dollars (which is a tiny amount based on their spending habits) on a special election that they forced, then I would really appreciate it if you found something else to do tomorrow. If you want those same legislators to be able to do anything they want safe in the knowledge that they can't be voted out of office, then please please, please do us all a favor and don't vote. And finally, if you are at all influenced by biased polls or TV forums where many of the questioners were Democratic activists who lied to get a microphone, please don't vote.

On the other hand, if you care about the future of California and want to at least slow the pace of its destruction, then make sure you DO vote tomorrow. If you are sick and tired of crazy votes like driver licenses for illegal immigrants constantly coming out of our legislature without fear of repercussions, then this is your chance to express your frustration by voting for prop 77. If you want to stop the public employee unions from owning the Democratic Party and controlling the state's purse strings, then please get to the polls tomorrow. If you want to punish the lies and the distortions of the TV ads then please vote on Tuesday. If you want to see far fewer of those ads in the next election cycle, then please vote. If you don't want to let the future of the state in the hands of the stupid, the ignorant, and the self interested, then please make sure you have your voice heard tomorrow. If you think you already pay plenty in taxes and don't want an increase, then please vote. If you think that we have more of a spending problem than a revenue problem, then please get to the polls. If you want to bring some democracy and accountability back to our political system, then please vote for prop 77. If you want at least a shot at someday getting rid of gutless politicians like David Drier and clueless ones like Jackie Goldberg, Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi, then make sure you get to the polls on Tuesday. If you want to wipe the cocky smile off the faces of the politicians, then please vote for prop 77. If you want to do the same with the public employee union thugs, then please vote for prop 75.

If want there to at least be a shot that some real education reform could be made without having to get the full approval of the teacher's union, then please get your butt to the polls and vote. If you want your favorite school teacher, firefighter, or nurse to have the power to approve of it before money is stolen from their paycheck to pay for political campaigns they may not agree with, please vote tomorrow. If you understand that the real reason the governor is unpopular has much more to do with a lying campaign to destroy him to protect a monopoly on power and money rather than him being too far to the right or having broken too many promises, I really urge you to make sure you and your friends vote tomorrow. And finally, if you actually have READ the propositions on your own and understand what they really mean, then please make sure you cancel out at least one of those many votes that will come from nitwits who can't, won't, or just don't.

Obviously the final choice is up to you. I have simply provided you with a lay of the land. No one ever said that Democracy was easy. Keeping it healthy requires us rising to challenges. With all the challenges we have failed in the past here in California, we have a lot of catching up to do. Tomorrow provides us with and important test and a golden opportunity to get us back in the game. Will we rise to that occasion or will we decide that we are just too tired, too passive, too gullible, to ignorant, and too stupid to make the grade? It is now time for you to decide how much you care about the future of this state and whether the state will be run by the politicians or by the people. The choice is yours. As another KFI talk show host might say, now go do the right thing.

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