The Texas Myth

California Republicans like to hit us over the head with the false meme that Texas is awesome. Republican legislators even did a photo-op tour to Texas to try to get the media to buy into this misleading thought. 

Well, then, how precisely do our GOP friends explain this headline: Texas lawmakers fail to solve big budget problems, punt tough decisions down the road.

Pardon?

The details are even worse.

Gov. Rick Perry signed a budget that was balanced only through accounting maneuvers, rewriting school funding laws, ignoring a growing population and delaying payments on bills coming due in 2013.

It accomplishes, however, what the Republican majority wanted most: It did not raise taxes, took little from the Rainy Day Fund and shifted any future deficits onto the next Legislature.

States across the nation faced major budget shortfalls this year, but none as big as Texas.

Well, I guess if you are a Republican legislator, this does sound like a Norquistian drown-the-government-in-the-bathtub nirvana.

So, perhaps we could all remember this the next time someone claims that all we need is a little more Texas to make California be governed more effectively.

Take the California Budget Challenge at our February 10 Meeting at Acalanes High School

The Lamorinda Democratic Club is teaming up with Assemblymember Nancy Skinner and the Contra Costa Childcare Council, Youth Homes, City of Lafayette, City of Pleasant Hill, Contra Costa Community College District, City of Orinda, Town of Moraga, and Shasta-Pacific Planned Parenthood this month to host an important forum about the state budget crisis. 

On our normal meeting night, Thursday, February 10, the Lamorinda Democratic Club will join Asm. Skinner for an interactive state budget exercise at 7 p.m. at Acalanes high School in Lafayette. 

Governor Brown has released his proposal for California’s budget, outlining how much will be spent on schools, health services, public safety, other state programs. How would you vote on his proposed budget?

Come take Next10's California State Budget Challenge with Asm. Skinner and other members of our community. Next10's hands-on activity lets you decide how to balance the state budget by voting on policy options that affect the budget in real-time with instant response clickers. 

This interactive presentation allows you to choose how much to spend on schools, health services, prisons, the environment, and other state programs–and how to pay for them.

Give Assemblymember Skinner the budget feedback that she needs to take back to Sacramento.

What: California Budget Challenge with Next 10
Where: Lafayette, Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Road
When: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 7:00-8:30 pm

Please click here to RSVP for the forum. For more information, contact Dorie at Perez.Dorie.perez@asm.ca.gov or 510-286-1400.

Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center Panel Discussion "California's Future at Stake in November Election"

The Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center is hosting a panel discussion about the statewide and local races and the propositions on the November ballot on Wednesday, October 13, at 7 p.m., at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek.

The panel discussion will feature Contra Costa Times Political Editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times reporter Josh Richman, Senate Senator Loni Hancock, and moderated by Lafayette Mayor Brandt Andersson.

The event is free, with donations accepted. For more information, please call the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center at 925-933-7850 or visit www.mtdpc.org.

Senator Mark DeSaulnier Discusses State Budget, Government Reform

Senator Mark DeSaulnier spoke to the Contra Costa Council on October 1 and spoke about the state budget, the need to reform California government, and his plans for the next session. 

Contra Costa Times Political Editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen attended the luncheon. She wrote a blog post reporting on DeSaulnier’s remarks. She also recorded the presentation, which you can watch here.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

The Expendables

Our Assemblymember, Nancy Skinner, mentioned the video she created during her presentation to our club meeting last week. The video is designed to help people understand the real-life impact of the Governor’s proposed budget cuts.

We all need to tell the Governor that no Californian is expendable.

Jerry Brown for Governor Launches First Ad

With Labor Day past, it’s now time for the Jerry Brown for Governor campaign to start competing on television. Here’s his first television ad.

Robert Cruickshank over on Calitics provides an astute analysis of the ad and one of Brown’s controversial pledges: for no new taxes without voter approval. He writes:

Of course, as we see in the ad, Brown is doing this by positioning himself in the supposed center of California politics. He is distancing himself from, and perhaps running at the expense of, progressives with his high profile “no new taxes without voter approval” pledge, which Calbuzz rightly predicts will become a focal point of the race.

That pledge has already begun to receive strong criticism from progressives, who recognize that California badly needs higher taxes, especially on the wealthy, in order to generate economic growth and provide for equality and opportunity in our state. However, it’s worth noting that Brown is not taking a Meg Whitman perspective that all taxes are bad and should be opposed. In fact, he is providing progressives with an opportunity to generate the revenue we need to provide economic security to Californians.

The November 2 election is only 56 days away. It’s time for Democrats to swing into action.