On May 5, just two weeks before the May 19th Special Election, Governor Schwarzenegger has threatened California’s vital fire protection services unless the voters approve the package of “reforms” placed before voters by the Legislature and the Governor. His threats were immediately blasted by opponents of Proposition 1A as scare tactics.
“Right on cue, our Hollywood Governor is trotting out the firefighters and threatening Californians with burning homes unless he gets his way,” said Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “Voters can absolutely be assured that, next week, he and the California Teachers Association will be threatening public education and school closures.”
But these threats, which Coupal labeled as “simple extortion,” should not be taken seriously. First, the Governor’s own Director of Finance recently testified that the passage of Proposition 1A, the lynchpin of the so-called “reform” package would have absolutely no impact on either the current fiscal year or fiscal year 2009-10. Second, the California Legislature has had numerous opportunities to achieve cost savings in other programs which would allow vital public safety to be protected. But Coupal noted that “our political leadership last week couldn’t even bring itself to eliminate the Integrated Waste Management Board last week to save millions of dollars. Voters should not tolerate having public safety being held hostage until the Governor and Legislature start acting to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.”
Coupal also noted that, after polling showed the Yes campaign in serious trouble, its messaging changed dramatically. “Two weeks ago, it was all about needed budget reform. Now its about blood in the streets. But voters are tired of being manipulated and opposition to the $16 billion in higher taxes remains very strong.”
According to Coupal, “in short, these threats are little more than the reflective acts of a desperate campaign.”
Proposition 1A is opposed by No New Taxes Committee, a Project of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, FPPC No. 922117. For more information on Proposition 1A, go to www.NoProposition1A.com.