Last weekend, California Gov. Jerry Brown perpetrated his own Saturday Night Massacre. On Oct. 8, Brown signed three bills that make illegal aliens' lives cozier but impose more taxpayer burdens and create more dangers on the state's roads. Had Brown's bills been on a general ballot, all would have been overwhelmingly defeated. Brown's disgrace represents another blow to Californians desperately looking for sanity in Sacramento.
The bills are:
1) California's DREAM Act, A.B. 131, which gives illegal aliens access to Cal Grants, formerly available only to citizens. Despite supporters' claim that the DREAM Act is an investment in California's future, the bill doesn't have a citizenship provision. Non-citizen graduates cannot be legally employed.
2) The second bill, A.B. 1236, bans all public and private employers from using E-Verify, the national online database that allows employers to check their new hires' immigration status. California has a 12.1 percent unemployment rate. E-Verify would assure that only legally authorized individuals have jobs.
3) A.B. 353, the third bill, prohibits police officers from impounding unlicensed drivers' vehicles at checkpoints. A large percentage of such drivers are aliens. According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation and published in its report titled "Unlicensed to Kill," unlicensed drivers are involved in one of every five fatal crashes.
If you wonder how a law as destructive as A.B. 353 could even be considered, here's the tortured logic. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo asserts that aliens (who have no legal right to be in the United States) need their cars to get to work (it's against the law for them to drive or to be employed). Cedillo says the aliens can't afford the fees to get their cars out of impound.
Brown's bills, California Latino Legislative Caucus favorites, are insane. Being a Democrat or having liberal political leanings is one thing. But approving irrational, irresponsible legislation that works against the best interests of the majority is not only hurtful but idiotic.
Backing up, even though Brown won by a large majority, he's the accidental governor. In 1990, California passed a term-limit law restricting governors and other legislators to two-four year terms. Brown, protesting that he first served before the law passed, ignored it. Then, unchallenged on his misinterpretation of the term-limit restriction, Brown became the default Democratic candidate when no other party member could be persuaded to run for the thankless job. Finally, Brown coasted into office when Republican Meg Whitman mounted the most ineffective campaign in recent California political history.
Brown's irresponsible behavior prompted two actions, one of which could end his governorship. On Monday, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly filed documents to initiate a ballot initiative to overturn the law. A website, www.stopab131.com, has been established to help collect the necessary 504,000 signatures within 90 days.
Donnelly noted that California is billions of dollars in the hole, unemployment is 12.1 percent, schools' and teachers' budgets have been ravaged, job centers shut, state parks closed and veterans' reentry services slashed. Yet Brown managed to find a $42 million DREAM Act slush fund for illegal aliens to attend schools whose tuition rates have risen 10 to 12 percent. Colleges are so overcrowded that students participate in a lottery to enroll in the classes they need to graduate.
Even better than voiding Brown's laws is the nascent movement to unseat him. Disgusted Californians have organized a recall campaign that if successful, as it was in 2003 when Gray Davis was ousted, would force a special election. Recall advocates would need to collect approximately 1.2 million signatures, not a daunting task given the rampant statewide discontent. Making the recall easier is that it isn't tied specifically to any of Brown's treasonous bills. Registered voters angry about any issue can sign.
Brown should pack his bags. California, the state that can afford it the least, is the nation's friendliest toward aliens. Davis got the boot for less egregious offenses during better economic times.
Joe Guzzardi was a Democratic candidate in the 2003 Recall Gray Davis election. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.