So what’s so special about Proposition 16? Like the original proponents of Proposition 13, the measure that has crippled state government and given large corporations a tax holiday for a couple of decades now, it’s about money. Money is more important than war, more important than civil rights, or even life and death decisions.
It is this misplaced sense of what is important that seems so odd to me. I like money, but I think it’s a pretty harsh view to place it above everything else.
This is a democratic shell game to persuade a slim majority of voters to make it impossible for municipalities to get into the energy business, even if it’s a damn good idea.
Requiring a simple majority vote on whether a city can get into the energy business isn’t a bad idea — we can start taking all of the decision power away from government, I suppose, so that every night we can gather around the television and vote whether to put a street lamp at Adams Street and Palmer Avenue, but that’s getting ridiculous.
It’s the super majority part that makes it tyrannical. It’s like having our own little filibuster process at the local level. Instead of a power company having to pony up the money to convince 50% of the people to take away the competition, they only have to pay to get 34% to go along. And they know that 34% of the population pretty much votes no on everything.
If a super majority is so important — more important than all the other things that could really kill you or throw you in jail — it should require a super majority to pass it in the first place. But it isn’t about that. It’s about creating a monopoly of an energy company in Northern California and tricking the rest of us into buying it.
The supporters of Proposition 16 should be ashamed of themselves, and we shouldn’t let them get away with it.
Get in touch MICHAEL TEAHAN lives in the Adams Hill area of Glendale with a clear view of the Verdugo Mountains so he can keep an eye on things. He can be reached at michaelteahan@ espressoresource.com.