Sunday, September 07, 2003

California Hijinks and Gray Davis' Sequinned Hot Pants
Jill Stewart smites the stupid of the California Dreamin' variety in The Worst Laws I Have Ever Seen: What You Should Have Been Watching Instead of that Boring Debate
Wednesday's recall debate broke little new ground as meek journalists and inexperienced citizens lobbed softballs at Gov. Gray Davis and the candidates, failed to ask the toughest questions and let false statements go unchallenged.

The utter fallacy, repeated two or three times by Cruz Bustamante, that illegal immigrants pour $1,400 more into California's economy than they get back, for example, should have been stopped cold. Look closely at his wording, and you will see that each time Bustamante was asked about all the troubles surrounding "illegal immigrants," he altered his answer and spoke only of what we gain from "immigrants."

He well knows, or sure as hell ought to know by now, that an in-depth state audit showed only 19% of illegals bother to file taxes, and the best data on illegal immigrants, from the late 1990s National Science Foundation study, shows that each citizen-headed household in California pays out a net extra $1,178 to shore up 3 million mostly low-income illegal immigrants. Bustamante also knows that underground cash-for-work economy created by the 3 million illegal immigrants in California is one reason income taxes paid to California state coffers are so out of balance.
Good ole Cruzer is shiftier than a telemarketer talking to a senior citizen. But the newshawks were on top of him, right? Dream on.
Now, is the $1,400 he cited a figure Bustamante got from some think tank study about how much money our legal immigrants pour into California? Faced with experienced tough journalists, Bustamante would never have gotten away with that kind of slimy word game during a debate.

But look at who was doing the questioning: small-market journalists from public radio, a small Bay Area paper and a Spanish-language paper, whose questions about abortion rights and other irrelevancies betrayed their left-leaning sympathies and their intellectual flaccidity in the face of phony Davis propaganda.
What no Weekly Shopper reporter? I'm sure one of them would have asked, "If illegal aliens are such a fantastic deal, why don't we send engraved invitations to everyone in Mexico?"

But then Jill points out where the real action was - Gray Davis standing on a street corner asking passersby if they'd like to party:
The debate merely distracted journalists while some of the worst legislation in years hurtled toward Davis' desk.

Let's review some of the worst stinker bills in Sacramento, shall we?

Senate Bill 2 comes closer to socialism than anything I've seen heading for approval in 20 years. It would force California's hard-hit small and medium-sized businesses, with 20 or more employees, to pay 80 percent of employees' health coverage. Companies with more than 200 employees would be forced to pay that for the whole family. Even part-timers get this big perk.
The goal here is to co-opt workers before the recall, then let the chips fall. They'll say: "We won free health care for you! We made history!" No kidding. Watch for businesses to stream out of state.
Gosh, there's nothing like free health care! But wait there's more:
Davis says he'll sign SB 18, giving the obscure Native American Heritage Commission the power to stop development on anyone's land in California if tribes feel construction interferes with a sacred site anywhere in the region.

Initially, this turkey included a five-mile zone around each sacred site, meaning construction could be challenged five miles down the freeway from a burial grounds or other site.

SB 18 was idiotic, and opposition by cities was intense. But Sacramento is Backwards World. So its authors (Burton again, and also ditzy San Diego Democrat state Sen. Denise Ducheny) changed the law. Now, tribes can challenge development even further removed from sacred sites. Now, there's no five-mile limit at all.
Oh yeah, the proceedings of the Heritage Commission are closed to the public. I wonder how much cash will the commission members will require per building permit?

And hit the article for the details of Gray Davis' big "reform" of the already ridiculous worker's compensation laws in California. Surf's up dude, so I'm feeling poorly!