Carol Platt Liebau

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Having a busy, busy weekend here . . .

But there was time to read this piece by John Fund on Arnold Schwarzenegger's disappointing abandonment of some of, first, pension reform and now -- it looks like -- redistricting reform.

Make no mistake -- I'm behind the Governator and what he's trying to do, 100%. But it seems that it would have made sense to start with the paycheck protection measure that others are pushing. If that paased, it would restrict union bosses' ability to command ever-greater amounts of campaign money from their workers, to be spent on maintaining the status quo.

Then, it should be on to redistricting reform. Right now, the problem is that legislators have such comfortable margins in their district that a threat by the Governor to come in and campaign against them isn't scary -- what does it matter if he can swing 20 percentage points, even, if a legislator's party outnumbers the opposition by, say, 30 percentage points?

Once unions can't spend limitless sums, and legislators have to worry about the Governor's still formidable popularity, that would be the time to start talking about pension reform and merit pay.

Until then, arrogant unions and selfish legislators can ensure that their sinecures are protected, even as the rest of the state goes to hell in a handbasket.


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