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Constitutional convention may be best treatment for our dysfunctional state

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Posted: Friday, June 5, 2009 10:00 pm

Republicans and Democrats don't always agree but there is one issue I think everyone can agree on - our government is failing. We have had record deficits for months and we have not solved the problem.

One of the reasons I ran for State Assembly was because I did not think our budget reflected our priorities as a state and I thought it was time to advocate for a new way of doing the state's business. Politics as usual has stalled difficult choices and both parties have held onto their sacred ideologies without putting forward concrete and viable solutions to really solve our problems. I have only been in office for seven months but I am trying to solve problems created by years of borrowing to make ends meet, gimmicky budgets and over committing in the good years and failing to cut in the bad.

It's time we stopped nibbling around the edges and address real reform and the way we manage this state. It's time we examine our governing document, our constitution.

I believe the fastest road to real reform is to hold a constitutional convention. Over time, we have legislated at the ballot box and taken away the flexibility of all but 10 percent of our budget. That means 90 percent of our budget is mandated spending put in place by ballot measures, spending formulas and court orders. The California Constitution is now 173 pages long compared to only 29 pages for the United States Constitution. It is the third longest constitution in the world.

We keep finding ourselves in the same dilemmas, yet we fail to address reform during the bad times, focusing instead only on the crisis at hand, and when good times return the motivation for reform is lost. I am focused on trying to minimize the pain of cuts to education, harm to working families and businesses and trying to ensure that Californians are not unnecessarily burdened by increased taxation during California's budget process. However, I will not stop advocating for real reform that allows us to respond to economic crises and implement a vision for California.

The idea of a constitutional convention is not something new. In fact, in 14 other states, voters are automatically asked every 10 to 20 years whether to authorize a constitutional convention. Unlike these other states, California doesn't ask that question.

We need to start this dialogue now. I propose that we begin legislative hearings as quickly as possible to answer the question of whether the state should hold a convention. If the answer is "yes", then we need to determine the process, delegates and other details. The proceedings must be completely open and transparent. It is important to conduct the proceedings through the legislature and allow the process to work, instead of allowing special interests to place a proposition on future ballots that would give them the ability to call a convention and determine the process and details.

Finally, approval of any new constitution must lie with the voters in order to affirm the result. This will also encourage the delegates to make it a representation of the state as a whole or risk losing voter confirmation.

This process will not be easy and it will take some time. Many will argue that it is just too large of a task to undertake and too risky given the uncertainty of the result. I trust the people of California over the system we have now and I am willing to fight to make state government more responsive to the needs of all Californians.

Assemblywoman Alyson Huber represents the 10th Assembly District, which includes Lodi.

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Welcome to the discussion.

41 comments:

  • posted at 5:20 pm on Thu, Jun 18, 2009.

    Posts:

    Kapital

     
  • posted at 5:20 pm on Thu, Jun 18, 2009.

    Posts:

    The dysfunctional legislators would become the dysfunctional constitutional convention committe and MAKE MATTERS WORSE. Our state constitution would look more like Das Kapial when it was all over.

     
  • posted at 1:52 pm on Thu, Jun 18, 2009.

    Posts:

    DanielH = Blowhard

     
  • posted at 8:24 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    jbhiker: I said, "foreclosure or war."Examples: War of 1812. Civil War. Both of these wars were caused by America's refusal to pay the debt.The War of 1812 resulted from an attempt to constitutionalize a prohibition on title of ownership on land, because land is created by God, and it is fraud to claim a title on it.Do you see the title on your real estate, or your land lord's. This title enables the bankers to securitize their loan, but it is on God's land.Hence fraud.Nevertheless, the bankers didn't like losing their right to title, so two wars resulted from it.Any meaningful discussion on a CC must account for the banks.

     
  • posted at 8:20 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    jbhiker: "We the People" were referenced in the original constitution as collateral or security for the debt, not the government or its leaders.Notice that "People" is written with a capital letter. The constitutional authors were not illiterate. They knew that if they put a capital letter, it would be a title on a proper noun, not a common noun "thing." They were not referring to people on the land. They were referring to the corporation named "People," which was accountable for the debt.As I wrote 3 weeks ago, the primary intention behind the constitution was to take responsibility for the debt, and they posted People as collateral.

     
  • posted at 8:14 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    jbhiker: a CC is statute staple event. This means that its governance is unto itself, accountable to noone, and to nothing, except itself. The only exception is in banking. If the CC doesn’t respect the bankers’ security interest in their collateral, then there will be foreclosure, or war.The only delegates that are allowed are the ones that the CC allows.The new constitution produced by the CC will not be subject to the approval of the people unless the CC decides it is so.

     
  • posted at 8:04 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    jbhiker: In paragraph #2, Alyson Huber is talking about the budget, and borrowing. This is what I am hammering with wtf about.Although Alyson Huber is talking about a state budget process, she leads into a CC, which is federal.

     
  • posted at 7:59 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    jbhiker: I respond in counterclaim.Please explain why criminal banking is not related to our failing government.If you fail to explain, then your words are charged-back, to your own account.

     
  • posted at 5:26 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    Daniel and WTF - Please stop Hijacking Threads with your crap! Stick to the Topic as the Blogging God intended.

     
  • posted at 3:31 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    The only favorable change that I can see to Washington is to delete it.

     
  • posted at 3:30 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: Do you know what a presidential signing statement is? That's where the president attaches a statement to the bill where he states his interpretation of how he is expected to enforce it.President Bush attached over 750 presidential signing statements, and these effectively changed the bills that were handed to him.Do you know what happened to two presidents who gave orders to congress to issue constitutional money? These were Lincoln, and Kennedy.Any questions?

     
  • posted at 3:27 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: For the record, I looked at the video. You can't say I didn't look at it.the last congressman who disclosed to America was granted time to speak at midnight into an empty chamber. Although he was on the public record, his record was changed, and he was arrested and convicted of a crime.Still, I stand by my word: the circumstances that govern america are not disclosed in Ron Paul's message.

     
  • posted at 12:24 pm on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    Here's an Audit the Fed update from Ron Paul. In the video, he maintains that vigilance is needed so that the bill isn't watered down; which is apparently what happened in 1978.The ultimate goal of this, is to abolish the Fed entirely and return to a Constitutional form of money, backed by gold and silver, and minted by the Treasury Department.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x797PnF06xY&feature=player_embedded

     
  • posted at 10:32 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: I also suggest that I know Ron Paul better than you think. I have shaken hands with him twice, and I did not pay $1500 like other people. I paid $45 to see him.I know banking better than you think.Did I mention a non-disclosure? It is huge, and that is why I don't trust anyone in congress.

     
  • posted at 10:28 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: My alert for caution is to beware of criminals who agree to audit themselves.Uh-uh. No. way.If your alert is not up for criminals who are promising good things, again, I am very disappointed.Tell me why this time is any different than 95 years prior.

     
  • posted at 9:30 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: Nice try. I am in these comment columns at great risk, and I have to be careful about what I say in here. I am doing something about the problem, and I am well-aware of Ron Paul.

     
  • posted at 6:48 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    danielh, I seriously doubt you're getting the same e-mails I am. I say this with almost 99% certainty from reading your posts. Either that, or you didn't bother watching the Ron Paul videos I linked to because he covers ***exactly*** what you are talking about. We are all human; but steps are being taken in the right direction...if these steps are followed through on is another matter entirely and only time will tell.But what I find quite interesting are all of the people who post only to complain; then when something is actually being done, rather than be glad, they complain about **that**!!! LOL!

     
  • posted at 5:52 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: I repeat, washington is so broke that it can't be fixed, and it can't fix itself by any form of party politics.

     
  • posted at 5:50 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: In spite of Ron Paul's reputation, even he did not mention the complete truth about banking, so I am suspicious of him, also.Every day I work around criminal activity, and when I get mail that says the criminals are going to audit themselves, I don't read the whole message.Just because the bill has a good title does not mean that the content of the bill is going to do what the people ar told it will do.Moreover, the president might interpret it otherwise and not enforce it according to its intent.Just because congress is advertising that the bill has a good purpose does not mean that this is the true purpose of the bill. Even if a private indiviual reads the entire bill or entrusts the author, there still is some non-disclosures, even in Ron Paul's campaign.

     
  • posted at 3:26 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    Ron Paul admits this will be an uphill battle since the Fed will definitely not go quietly into the night and we face a lot of opposition from vested interests. Dr. Paul addresses this on Freedom Watch (it's the first two videos) on the page.http://revolutionarypolitics.com/?p=1136

     
  • posted at 3:19 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    And by the way, more intelligent people are already preparing the paperwork and you will see it in September. Now do the right thing when you get a chance.

     
  • posted at 3:18 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    Are all of you Deef!?! Those stupid initiatives you love have taken control of over 90% of your tax monies. You cannot get rid of them unless you sue in court. You cannot even re-evaluate them! Let's see... carry the 9... BILLIONS to stop them! OR... have a CC and render them null and void. With you guys making decisions, no wonder we are living in a Bankrupt state.

     
  • posted at 3:17 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    danielh, the 222 co-sponsors, a majority, in support of HR 1207 is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are on the same mailing list, then you should know that the next step is Senate Bill S 604, HR 1207's companion bill.You should also have received this news release:"Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) today became the first cosponsor of S 604, H.R. 1207's companion legislation. We still have a long way to go before we pass real legislation to Audit the Fed, but this is yet another major step toward our ultimate goal."Sen. DeMint is highly respected and one of the most principled conservatives in Washington. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), 604's lead sponsor, is a firebrand Independent progressive. To see these two guys on a bill together has to tell you that something special is going on."

     
  • posted at 1:57 am on Fri, Jun 12, 2009.

    Posts:

    I just heard that Alyson is one of a very few who decided to decline per-diem pay. A very honorable thing to do, and it is much appreciated by those who voted for you. Great things begin with symbolic gestures like this.I remain hopeful you'll avoid the "tax and spend" crowd. Enough already! I just read that CA's legislature is considering the formation of yet another branch of government who's sole purpose would be to promote blueberries. HUH????!!!??? Sounds like make-work to me! Blueberries????

     
  • posted at 3:48 pm on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    wtf: I guess we're on the same mailing list.I advise caution of not believing anything that comes out of Washington.There are indeed that many co-sponsors, but how many of them are criminals?Suppose there is an audit. I seriously doubt that the Fed is going to open its doors with a red carpet.What is the Senate going to do?

     
  • posted at 10:49 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    **********NEWS FLASH**********This just in!HR 1207, the bill to audit the Fed has reached 222 Co-Sponsors!Congressman Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207, has reached and surpassed the level of 218 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, which means it is now cosponsored by a majority of the members.

     
  • posted at 4:29 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    Bah. Cut taxes and spending. How difficult is THAT? All we get from elected officials anymore is excuses and propaganda.

     
  • posted at 3:49 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    danielh: It is absolutely and fundamentally essential that any change in government must "constitute" for all debts that are held against property in the UNITED STATES. Otherwise, there will be foreclosure, or war.

     
  • posted at 3:47 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    There is so much criminal activity at the base of our government in Washington that I heard it said, and I agree, that the head of government has to be moved to a new location.the same person I heard it from identified the following problems:1) All legislation is based upon bribery payments (uhh, I mean campaign support)2) Judges and lawyers act in partnership with a corporation registered in London, England, which is named THE CROWN, and the BAR card held by lawyers was obtained by renunciation of US citizenship, and the "B" is British. Thus courtroom events are theatre drama intended to impress the client who has paid a lot of money for the lawyer.

     
  • posted at 2:30 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    JB, read my comments. Who do you really think they are going to send as delegates? It ain't gonna be you and me. How much you wanna bet there is a disproportionate number of gays and an under representation of hispanics. I bet the Unions will have huge representation. How many Christians do you think will be delegates? We can't have those intolerant homophobes at the convention, now can we? Los Angeles and San Francisco politicians will cram a constitution that gives the legislature a blank check and allows them to tax at will.If we really want to have a real convention, do it like they do jury duty, put everyone with a drivers license who is registered to vote into a pool and start picking names.What we have right now is a disfunctional legislature bought by special interests. Until we find a way to limit that influence, a new constitution will not help. All it will do is put more power in the hands of special interest politicians and less in the vote.

     
  • posted at 2:18 am on Thu, Jun 11, 2009.

    Posts:

    jb - I am quite well aware of what a CC is. Obviously you are not aware of the demographics of this state. The CC will be a mirror of the current mess we have and will result in the complete rewrite of the state constitution. From this and other comments it is clear you are anchoring the bell curve, so be proud of your accomplishments.

     
  • posted at 10:30 am on Wed, Jun 10, 2009.

    Posts:

    Maybe some of you should look up what a Constitutional Convention is and how it works. I excuse you TJ because you are so poor at History anyway. The CC is a convention (you know, where you send delegates from every district and hammer out an agreement) and it is ultimately decided on by the poeple. It is not a closed door meeting like they have in Washington. Come on people!! Did you not know you could read about these things? The Hidden Agenda is in the Initiatives!! We need to stop this foolishness and get on with it!

     
  • posted at 6:00 pm on Tue, Jun 9, 2009.

    Posts:

    No guts, no glory Allyson...you were sent up there to do a job, not pass the buck off to some mythical commission - exactly how long will THAT process take while the state goes up in smoke - your buddies got us into this mess..now they want to pass the buck. The reason the initiative process is such a big part of the budget is becuase the legislature FAILS TO DO THEIR JOB. Suck it up baby, this is what you signed up for..otherwise, do us all a favor and RESIGN!

     
  • posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Jun 9, 2009.

    Posts:

    Thou these are few are you getting the point that you and all your puppetiers are crooks. If not, they are.

     
  • posted at 1:29 am on Tue, Jun 9, 2009.

    Posts:

    illegalinlodi - Of course huber would be cordial to you. You are her target audience. The rest of us who lean in a different direction find her to be a lab dog for the people that have destroyed this state. The fast this sucker burns down the quicker it can be rebuilt, just not the way she want. Keep voting for the dems, they will cause it to fall faster and faster....

     
  • posted at 10:58 am on Mon, Jun 8, 2009.

    Posts:

    illegal - I am sure Ms. Huber runs a great office. And yes, she may be open to new ideas. It is just this one is not so good. All a re-write of the constitution would do is limit the input of the voters. Do you really think we will still get constitutional amendments passed with 50% if a bunch of politicians are writing a new constitution? How about the 2/3 requirement for tax increases? That will go bye-bye for sure.I don't trust any of the politicians (either party) who are bought and paid for by special interests to write a constitution that would protect the citizens of this state from their government. Unless Ms. Huber can present a plan for the convention that will eliminate special interest money's influence, I am not drinking that koolaid.

     
  • posted at 9:42 am on Mon, Jun 8, 2009.

    Posts:

    Have any of you actually been to her office and spoken to her or her assistants? You'll never meet a more cordial and honest representative and office and assistant staff. Ms. Huber has the courage to stand up and challenge her own party and stick to what she thinks is right for all of her constituents. Show me another conservative or liberal that'll do that.

     
  • posted at 2:08 am on Mon, Jun 8, 2009.

    Posts:

    Sorry Ms. Huber. Letting a bunch of politicians sit down and write away the will of the people is not going to get us anywhere. Now, if you had a convention and did not allow anyone who ever ran for or held elective office, and did not allow the representatives to accept any type of contributions for writing a new constitution, we may be able to get some where. But a constitutional convention of a bunch of politicians with special interest financing is not the solution.

     
  • posted at 4:49 pm on Sat, Jun 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Legislators are dirty, rotten, corrupt, crooked, evil, paid & purchased by special interests. We do not need a convention to make it even worse, we need Legislators to do their jobs. Cut out useless agencies, exploded pay, benefit and retirement packages, and do their pitiful, stupid jobs so we wouldn't have all the special interest propositions on the ballots. You have been a kneejerk democrat voter. Why are you any different than the rest of the crooks ? You aren't.

     
  • posted at 7:26 am on Sat, Jun 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    Huber aptly identifies the problems with the state, but is WAY off on the answer. The problem, at this point, is not structural; it's with the legislators. There's no constitutional provision we could enact that would ensure responsible legislators. There's no constitutional provision we could enact that would ensure good judgment and prudence. The answer is vote out these irresponsible legislators and vote in people that will stop the reckless spending and wasteful government. The current problem is with the legislators, not the structure (even though structural reforms are also a good idea).

     
  • posted at 4:20 am on Sat, Jun 6, 2009.

    Posts:

    NO NO NO NO.......the best best answer is to split the state, but that won't happen because of water...... The last thing we need is a bunch of wack jobs from SF and LA sitting down to write some Utopian tome that guarantees a bunch of fictional rights and creates a government to enforce those rights. The USSR collapsed, lets agree not to try to recreate a better USSR. If I thought you were unqualified before this just shows I was right. And down the slope we go.

     

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