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Last Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that the recall petition against Governor Newsom had the requisite number of valid signatures and was thus certified. This sets the stage for a recall election within the next six months. For those unaware of California recall procedures, the recall election will involve two questions on the same ballot, first, should the governor be recalled, yes or no, and the second vote for one candidate from a list of candidates to replace the governor. If 50% plus one vote to recall the governor, then the candidate who receives the most votes on the second question will be the new governor; otherwise, Governor Newsom will remain governor until the end of his term.
I live in California and will vote to recall Newsom. As to the second question, who to replace him with, that remains an open question. However, the candidate most likely to get my vote will need to espouse conservative principles (hopefully with a record to back up those principles) and I hope will take positions like the following;
State of Emergency Order Reform
The citizens of California have suffered under the tyranny of one-man rule for over a year. Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020, after the first in-state death associated with COVID-19. Since then, he has unilaterally issued order after order involving almost every aspect of life. He has forced some businesses to close, while others are allowed to remain open, imposed a statewide lockdown, imprisoned millions of law-abiding citizens in their homes, forced the wearing of masks indoors and outdoors, and much, much more all with little logic or justification and none with any input or assent by the legislature.
This is, as far as I’m aware, the first time this emergency order power has been so grossly abused. Historically, states of emergency have been issued to deal with discrete events at discrete locations for discrete-time periods (earthquakes, large fires, flooding rivers, and the like) and whether one agreed with the order or aspects of the order there was a clear understanding of the reasons therefor and the logical endpoint of the emergency order. That was not the case with COVID-19. Neither the time nor the place have ever had any clear or definitive boundaries. In part, that was due to the nature of the problem but also in part to and for the benefit of the emergency order issuer, his acolytes, and his political allies. It must also be noted that unilateral power can be addictive. In this case, it has certainly been so for not just Governor Newsom, but for many other governors and big-city mayors, who have, and in many cases, continue to cling to power.
This sort of abuse of power and tyranny must never be allowed to happen again. With that in mind, reform of the state of emergency laws needs to be put into place to prevent a recurrence. I would suggest something like the following. The Governor may declare an emergency which will last for 30 days maximum at which time the emergency order and powers sunset. If the Governor believes the emergency powers need to continue he must submit a request to the state legislature stating the reasons therefore and as best as possible the extent of the actions expected to be taken. Both houses of the state legislature must immediately take up this request and by recorded vote either approve or reject the Governor’s request. In any event, the emergency powers can only be extended for up to 30 days at a time and after each 30 day period the same process must take place until either the Governor calls a halt to the state of emergency or the legislature rejects his request for a continued state of emergency.
The pandemic brought into clear focus for the first time for many several undeniable facts about our education system, those being 1) public employee unions, and especially the teacher unions have enormous political power and, with their Democrat party allies essentially call the shots on all questions involving education, and 2) the system is rotten to the core.
It was clear from the beginning of the pandemic that the virus was most harmful to the elderly and those with certain health problems and the risk to the young was minimal. That has turned out to be the case. Through the end of March 2021, only 238 children age 17 or younger had died of COVID-19 nationwide, and children, even if infected, do not spread the disease. Despite that, schools at the behest of the teacher unions and in many cases Democrat politician allies remained closed to in-person teaching month after month, in some cases continuing up to the current moment. In addition, even when schools returned to in-person teaching, children have been forced to wear de-humanizing and useless masks and follow other unnecessary social distancing rules. This is child abuse.
Also, during the online teaching sessions parents in large numbers saw the toxic indoctrination of the current leftist ideology such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other neo-racist dogma. The purpose of our education system is to teach the next generation the skills they need to be productive, law-abiding citizens, not political indoctrination, and the role of the schools, teachers, and administrators is to provide that education as per the wishes of the parents and citizens who are paying the bills.
Here are three proposals I’d like to see to move back to a functioning K-12 school system. First, the power of the teacher unions needs to be reined in. A change in which all public employees, including school teachers, have to opt in to join the union and pay union dues rather than being automatically enrolled unless they opt out similar to the reform put into place by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker a decade ago. Second, school tax dollars need to flow with the student regardless of where or how that student’s parents decide she should be educated rather than to the public schools.
Finally, the mutation of the schools into left-wing political indoctrination centers needs to be confronted and vanquished. Many states are in the process of making laws that ban the teaching of CRT and its offshoots and, while I sympathize with these efforts I don’t know that this is the best way to confront this problem. Rather, I believe transparency is a better disinfectant. I would like to see the next Governor put in place a law that requires all schools or school districts (public, charter & private) to provide their curriculum posted online in detail (texts, audio-visual materials, syllabi, proposed field trips, and guest speakers) at all levels (elementary school, middle school, and high school) with significant penalties for school or districts who refuse to comply. Also, if and when there are changes in the curriculum these need to be highlighted and called out, and, finally, at the beginning of each school year, a public meeting is to be held in which parents can question and discuss the curriculum.
Repeal the theft provisions of Proposition 47 passed in 2016 which reduced a number of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) June 14, 2021
Water & Energy
California has had a problem for the last hundred years or so wherein the majority of precipitation in the state occurs north of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Area, but most of the population and irrigated agriculture occurs south of the delta. This is a problem of geography to which various engineering works have been put in place which has enabled the state to make good use of its resources although not without political friction. This problem is in the process of being exacerbated over the past couple of decades due to the idiotic attempt to reduce greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) under AB-32 by replacing abundant and reliable energy sources (fossil fuels, nuclear) with unreliable and insufficient “renewable energy” (solar, wind).
I would like to see the next governor propose the following two-part plan to deal with the very real problem. First, construct two or three nuclear plants along the California coastline mainly in southern California, and second, construct several desalination plants along the southern California coast. These two endeavors would work in tandem. The nuclear plants would increase the state’s reliable baseload power and reduce the probability of the increasing brownouts currently being experienced by Californians. The nuclear power plants would also be dedicated to supplying the energy necessary to run the proposed desalination plants when they are online, which will generally only be during drought conditions.
Desalination is still the most expensive way to supply water. However, most of southern California’s water is not all that cheap itself and is subject to disruption and rationing during droughts which occur with regularity in the state. The two main sources for southern California’s water are 1) Feather River water (State Water Project) which requires a total pump lift of a little over 3,000 feet (1,926 feet at A. D. Edmonston Pumping Plant alone) for up to 4,480 cfs, and 2) Colorado River water via the Colorado River Aqueduct which requires a total pump lift of a little over 1,600 feet for up to 1,600 cfs. The desalination cost of water still exceeds the pumped water cost, but not excessively so and has the advantages of 1) increased availability of adequate water during even prolonged droughts, 2) de-coupling southern California reliance on northern California, and 3) aid the San Joaquin Valley farmers and ranchers obtain their water allotments even in the face of Delta pump shutdowns due to the delta smelt which have decimated these San Joaquin Valley counties.
I have several items regarding transportation I would like to see the next governor take.
The next governor should kill the High-Speed Rail boondoggle as one of his first acts. Cancel all contracts and pay off all contractors and consultants and put all property (Right of Way, completed and partially completed work) up for sale or auction and be done with it. This project, passed by a proposition in 2008, was to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco at a cost of $35 billion and a completion date of 2020. The project cost is now $100 billion and rising and the portion of the line between Merced and Bakersfield is still under construction with no finalized routes for the portion from Bakersfield to Los Angeles.
The major freeway between northern and southern California and between the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas is I-5 (to be fair there is a parallel highway State Route 99 in the central valley which connects the main valley cities of Bakersfield, Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento). Interstate 5 was completed in the 1970s but large portion of the route – about 200 miles between Wheeler Ridge and Tracy is still only a four-lane freeway (two lanes in each direction). The freeway is heavily traveled by semi-trucks which makes it a hazardous and wearying road for those traveling in passenger vehicles. The freeway has sufficient Right of Way for an 8-lane freeway. I propose that the four-lane portion of I-5 between Wheeler Ridge and Tracy be widened to six lanes (three lanes in each direction), with earthwork performed for the final 8-lane alignment. This will improve safety and travel time for motorists and truckers.
Repeal Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N79-20 which mandated that only zero-emissions vehicles can be sold in the state by 2035, thereby criminalizing the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles on that date.
Voting procedures in California are conducive to voter fraud due to the measures put in place by Democrats in recent years. The next governor needs to repeal AB-1921, which put in place the corrupt practice known as ballot harvesting. And, of course, in 2020 the Democrats put in place statewide mail-in ballots wherein ballots were mailed out willy-nilly. I’m not sure offhand whether a law needs to be repealed or a new law enacted, but the state needs to return to pre-2020 voting rules regarding voting procedures (either vote by requested and approved absentee ballot or in-person).
Well, that’s not all that’s wrong with California, but it’s a good start. We’ll find out shortly what sort of candidates we’ll have to choose from.Published in