The governor is a liar. The so-called special election is a fraud. Voters face a single overarching referendum on November 8: Are we going to give massive new powers to a lying governor who abuses the public trust?
Education leaders know the governor’s crooked ways. Proposition 76 is a predictable stab at covering up his grossly unethical if not entirely illegal conduct. Consistent with their devotion to public service, educators accepted painful budget cuts in 2004 instead of forcing the governor to raise revenue to meet his constitutional obligations under Proposition 98. As part of the deal, the not-yet-unmasked governor issued a statement that read:
“This Prop. 98 funding will be restored as required by law and our agreement. Today, I am making that promise to our teachers and students.”
Lies, lies, and more lies. Instead, the duplicitous governor gave us Enron-style accounting gimmicks. He figured that by giving money to School districts with his right hand and taking it back with his left hand, he could say he was increasing funding for education.
PTA presidents spend time discussing how to cover the days when we don’t have a school nurse, how to manage copiers too old to be serviced, and even how to make up for a lack of funding to keep school bathrooms clean.
Meanwhile, the shameless governor, not content to be merely dishonest, uses the low-ball base provided by the previous year’s budget cuts to trumpet a seemingly large year-to-year increase in education funding while leaving our per-pupil expenditures ranked in the bottom third of the nation.
This entire election is a masquerade, designed to dress up the bullying governor’s raid on education funding. Every one of the tens of millions of dollars the special-interest governor raises from his special-interest cronies is yet another lie, contradicting his earlier pious posturing as a paragon of political virtue.
It should come as no surprise that an experienced liar with a command of the media would be able to manipulate the press, which has a bias in favor of civil discourse even when civil discourse is not indicated.
The cynical governor is a betting man, banking on his ability to crowd out coverage of his broken promises.
The best way to handle liars is to confront them with their lies.
It’s too bad that we can’t say, “You’re fired!” to the double-crossing governor in this election, but that opportunity will soon arrive. Even then, we won’t be able to block his marketing of questionable dietary supplements to kids, but we can prevent him from picking their pockets. For California voters faced with shameless power grabs like Prop. 76, the mission is clear.Go to the polls, follow the California PTA recommendation to vote NO, and let this abuser of the public trust know that his days of beating up on California’s schoolchildren are numbered.