Bummed Out Over Politics in Sacramento after hearing Assemblywoman speak tonight

@bagarad (11808)
Paso Robles, California
April 4, 2012 12:23am CST
I knew the California government was in bad shape, but I didn't realize how bad things were. An Assemblywoman from Bakersfield spoke to our tea party group tonight and she told us how the Assembly operates. They have a system whereby 41 members of the assembly can vote to not follow the rule of having the bills available to read a certain number of days before they are to be voted on. Not only that. They have a system she referred to as "gut (or maybe "cut") and replace." It means they know what a bill is about, but the Assembly members get blank pages instead of a bill and the text of the bill itself may only be put in a few minutes before the vote so those voting don't really have time to read it before voting. It's really hard to believe. She can't believe it herself. She is not a politician, but an ordinary citizen and small business owner who is taking time out to serve the people of California. She was there tonight to speak about an initiative for the ballot that would limit the California legislators to only three months a year of paid work. They would work on a two year balanced budget one year and legislation the next, so they would be on a two year cycle. The idea is that the politicians would no longer have a cushy $150,000 a year ($95,000 + $50,000 more tax free perks) job and they would only make something like $18,000. That might discourage them from wanting the job, and we might get more ordinary citizens that have experience running businesses doing the people's business instead of a political class that just doesn't care how their legislation affects people. She says very few of them do care about the affect their legislation has on businesses and farmers, etc. They aren't home enough to really be in touch with the people who elect them. Shannon Grove's official government website is at http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/32/. You can get more information on her proposed amendment at http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/02/shannon-grove-releases-video-pitch-for-part-time-legislature.html This lady is a tireless advocate for taking back our California government from unresponsive politicians. What's sad is there seem to be only about three or four people in the California Assembly who are responsive to the people they represent. I thank God there are people like Shannon, but I also came away pretty depressed after learning what really goes on in Sacramento. Can you imagine having to vote on what was a blank bill until a few minutes before the vote? Shannon says there are bills where she did not vote because she did not have time to read the bills to know which way she should vote.
5 people like this
8 responses
@anniepa (27242)
• United States
4 Apr 12
One thing I always find disturbing when people come up with plans to do away with "career politicians" and to lower the pay of legislators: I fear it will only pave the way for having only the very wealthy in office since not too many "ordinary citizens" can afford to take off work for several months every year to serve. For that reason I really don't mind our elected officials getting a DECENT salary, although I certainly agree some of them get too much, especially when you add in the tax free perks. Annie
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
5 Apr 12
Employers are by law suppose to allow employees to leave for service in the military and then return to their jobs when finished. Something like that could work I guess. What do you think? It sure would save the taxpayers money and encourage 'regular' folk to run for office. In the mean time temporary employees could fill their spots at home.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27242)
• United States
5 Apr 12
Sure, that might work but I'm actually afraid some on the right wouldn't like employers being forced to allow it. I really don't mind politicians getting a REASONABLE salary but some of them are overpaid, especially for what they actually DO and how much - (or should I say how LITTLE) - time they actually spend "working". What bothers me the most, I think, is how they can serve for a very short time compared to how long someone like you or I have to work to get a pension, and then they receive HUGE pensions for the rest of their lives. There was a PA representative who was elected in his thirties and retired from his seat in his forties, and from that time on began getting of pension amounting to around $40,000+ per year for the rest of his life. I can't remember his name right now and I don't even remember which party he was from since it was quite a few years ago. I'll have to look it up and try to figure out who it was. For all I know he's reentered politics and his somehow managing to double-dip on the taxpayers! (Now that WOULD tick me off!) Annie
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
5 Apr 12
There are politicians who committed crimes while in office and still recieve their pensions. That is something I'm sure we could agree shouldn't be. I'm not against Republicans or Democrats being held accountable. It ticked me off to use your words, that they actually HAD TO pass a law making insider trading for Congressmen and women illegal. duh, why was it legal for them in the first place? That is what I speak out against. I try to limit my labeling to conservative and liberal, because in my mind...both parties are corrupt. But as far as policy goes, the liberals and I don't agree much. I've actually listened to conservative Democrats and agreed with them. lol
2 people like this
@savypat (20247)
• United States
5 Apr 12
I would guess that there is not a state in this union, USA that couldn't use someone like her. Every government needs to be shook up every few years, with out that greed and vice move in. Pretty soon we the people are being robbed, taxes, taxes and no services provided.
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
6 Apr 12
The thing is, the people have to get involved. By that I don't mean rioting in the streets. I mean they need to educate themselves about our country's history and form of government and hold the politicians' feet to the fire. They need to attend those boring city council and county board meetings to let their views be known and to keeps notes on unresponsive politicians and judges so they can offer that information to others when it's time to vote. How many of you have watched your local judges in action? Most people just look at the ballots and vote for the incumbents without knowing anything about them. Your county supervisors and city council members are the ones who can shove Agenda 21 down your throat without you being aware of it until it's too late. Everyone is so focused on national politics, they almost ignore their local governments. We need to be concerned with all of them. In our local area, we are dividing into teams that specialize in one thing. Some attend County Board of Supervisors' meetings. Some attend city council meetings. Some keep an eye on the regional boards that are made up of some of the same people. One person can't do it all. A team of interested people can keep track of them. That's the only way this politicians in this country will learn to be responsive to the people who elect them.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
6 Apr 12
From the ground up! I agree. We just had a municipal government election too. Our paper publishes free, letters to the editor and complete bios on the candidates. Right before the election, there is a big town hall for questions and answers. I was unable to go to the townhall, but I did pay attention to the bios and always read the letters to the editors. YOu are so right bagarad, sadly it is not how things are. We need to nudge people to get more active. Bring it up in conversation. I've never agreed with the maxum that polite people never discuss politics or religion. ha ha!! as you probably figured out. Those are two of the most important subjects on earth for people to get it right. And I'm interested in getting it right. So how would I ever know if I had it wrong if people can't talk about it.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
18 Apr 12
I agree Debra. They are also the two most interesting topics for conversation, I think. The founding fathers also thought so.
@inertia4 (27605)
• United States
4 Apr 12
Thats politics for you. I know all the politicians are totally out of touch the the real person. Thats because they either forgot where they came from or they were born into it, much like the Bush's. I know that people born into money tend to think that that life style is normal. And they cannot understand why normal people struggle. The politicians make way to much money and like you said, they get tons of perks. We the people suffer for their greed. I think they should eliminate the parties. Who needs them anyway? Because as long as you have the two parties there will always be animosity and a tug of war between them. Without the parties, we can vote freely for the best man. But the political races have become so bland that we all know it's bull. They will say anything to get elected and then they never do what they say. I do understand that they have to play nice with the other party and thats where it gets crazy. Like take Obama, everything he has done was balked by the republicans and concessions were made rom the democrats. Without the parties, there would be more room to accomplish things in this country and we would be able to move forward into the 21st century. Right now, we are stuck. We cannot go back to the old days because none of that works anymore. We live in a new world and we have to embrace it and move forward. It just seems to me that Canada has more going for it then we do anymore.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
5 Apr 12
I don't know if getting rid of parties would cure the struggle for power and the sense of being a ruling class. You'd still have the PACs and lobbyists. I just know if we can't clean things up this country won't recover. Please don't believe all Obama says about Republican obstruction. They have presented several budgets and the Dems wouldn't pass them. REpublicans actually did agree to a tax hike on one of the bills ( to extend unemployment , raise the debt ceiling or the jobs bill, can't remember since it was a couple of months ago), and then Obama said they didn't and blamed them for the lack of passage. Keep in mind that the Republicans signed pledges to their constituents not to raise taxes and they are doing exactly what they said they would do. They do not want the country to go bankrupt by raising the debt ceiling anymore. They want to see spending cut. We can't keep spending more money than we will see in a generation.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27605)
• United States
13 Apr 12
Well I still think that both parties are acting like little kids. They have to stop thinking about the party itself and come together as one. It's not about the republicans or the democrats, it's about the people. And it seems like the people do not get what they have been asking for. It al comes down to big business, corporations and money. They could care less about us, the people. Government over the years has become to full of themselves. It's about time they all realize that we the people vote them in. We need more power here in america. But it does not seem to be going that way. I am almost ashamed to say I am american. The rest of the world does not view us as we view ourselves.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
18 Apr 12
Sure doesn't give someone much time to think about it. I don't think I would have voted either. I think it's a great idea to take the cushion away from the politicians. What in the world do they do to earn that kind of money anyway?
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
18 Apr 12
One thing they do is set up a bunch of departments and commissions that do studies and make reports. Our governor is doing a rare good thing. He's deleting several mandated reports that there is no real purpose for anymore but that people have still been making because they were mandated -- things like counting the kangaroos in Australia because California imports products made from kangaroo skin. They also make a lot of laws and regulations the people wish they wouldn't. That's why we'd like to limit the amount of time they have to do this mischief.
@drannhh (15211)
• United States
7 Apr 12
Yes, it is like what that one congressional leader said about the health care bill, to pass it first and read it later. NO WAY could anyone be that dumb, we the people think. Well, I think...
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
18 Apr 12
When I see the inane remarks some Congresspeople make, I really do question their intelligence. Don't get me wrong. There are a few good ones that are doing right by the people so far. So far they seem to have escaped corruption. I just wish we had a few more good people joining their ranks and replacing some of the bad apples.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Apr 12
I believe it was Herman Cain who suggested that very thing. Maybe not, if I'm wrong about who, let me know. Term limits, shortened work time, paid only for when they are in session. No perks like transportation and the like. Just come here, do your job, go home to a regular life like the rest of the Americans. I was especially supportive of this approach when I learned Congress actually had to pass a law that made it illegal for them to benefit from insider trading???? WHAT?? How was it that they were NOT under that law like the rest of us in the first place? How many more laws are they immune from? It's time folks, to clean house. And by that I mean we HAVE TO elect men and women of character and hold them to account if they DON'T follow our wishes. That is why Obama is so upset with the House right now. The 2010 elections brought in new blood, Tea Party elected Representatives who signed a contract to NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING OR RAISE TAXES when they were elected. They've listened and it's made Obama and Reid and Pelosi very mad. But it is the WILL of their constituents. That is so seldom mentioned when the progressives are speaking of the present House and its refusal to vote with them. That my friends, is the way our government was set up to work. FOR US.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
5 Apr 12
It not only makes the Dems mad. It makes the Republican Establishment very uncomfortable because they are also used to business as usual.
@dragon54u (31605)
• United States
4 Apr 12
I agree that there should be big changes and the part-time jobs will be much better for the state and probably lead to more prosperity. I hope a lot of you get behind this woman and support her, let the people know how their business is being conducted and how much they are despised by their elected representatives. It's high time we have more of these exposes!!
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
5 Apr 12
Pass the video link around to those in California. Get a petition and pass it around to people you know. You can get one on the web site: http://www.citizenlegislaturenow.com/. It also explains everything. Mike Reagan is chairman of the Citizen Legislature organization. He volunteered to head it saying this is another Reagan vs Brown year, just as it was when his dad, Ronald Reagan, ran against Pat Brown, father of our current Governor Brown.
@Rollo1 (16649)
• Boston, Massachusetts
4 Apr 12
I think you are lucky to have even one honest person who will tell you how things work in the system and urge changes, even though those changes would affect her own job. I have long been an advocate of legislators (including Congress) being part-time and not a lifetime career choice. We would have better representation if those who represent us actually lived like us, in their daily jobs and communities, and did not become part of an elite group that moves only within its own circles and works to perpetuate itself.
1 person likes this
@bagarad (11808)
• Paso Robles, California
5 Apr 12
I wish everyone I know could have heard Shannon speak yesterday. Someone asked her how our Assemblyman was doing. She said there are worse, including the one from Salinas/Monterey in the county just north of us. She said he won't even participate in the Pledge of Allegiance but just stands there, shifting his weight from foot to foot looking restless until it's over. I just hope her ballot initiative passes.