Although all these measures may have some beneficial impact, they also carry negative consequences that proponents wish voters to ignore. The LPSF has consistently served as the “loyal opposition,” ensuring that all sides of issues are examined. For example, in the case of Proposition AA, was the California Legislature even minding the state constitution when granting taxation power to an “authority” whose board members were not elected for their spot on that board? Are voters aware of the long list of “non-profits” related to “conservation” lined up to receive taxpayer cash if Proposition AA passes? Are voters aware that their taxes are already supporting several government agencies tasked with protecting the Bay and surrounding areas? Might it not be a better alternative to coordinate already existing agencies, rather than fund an additional layer of government?
Please stay tuned and hear the whole story. The LPSF will have recommendations, as always expressing not only positions but also the “why” behind the positions, closer to June 7th. For information on all the ballot measures, visit the S.F. Department of Elections at http://sfgov.org/elections/local-ballot-measure-status
“There is no obvious alternative on the right to Mr. Trump, but Republicans believe that an existing minor party, like the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party, could serve as a viable vehicle, allowing crestfallen Republicans to show up on Election Day despite their distaste for him.”
Welcome to the “minor party” fold. If disaffected Republicans are serious about finding a “viable vehicle” outside of the top-two parties, they will certainly meet some karma. While Democrat and Republican candidates are automatically placed on general election ballots, Constitution, Green, Peace & Freedom, and Libertarian candidates have constantly to fight tooth and nail for ballot access. What the New York Times article means by “There is no obvious alternative on the right,” is that there are no existing conservative-leaning political parties with ballot access in enough states, and starting a new viable party or introducing a new candidate this late in the game are options fraught with impediments. Reason.com named a few on March 1:
o The Tea Party movement helped elect a lot of Republicans to Congress, but so far has done nothing to turn the tide of government growth.
o Much talk about how the economy is rebounding has failed to mask a deep dissatisfaction within the American “working class.” Workers want work not programs, services, or political correctness. Workers are willing to get behind a presidential candidate who might prove to be a loose cannon, but who himself has provided jobs for thousands (even if forced by unions and Labor Department rules to seek H-2B visas to run highly seasonal industries).
o The Founding Fathers established a Republic not a Direct Democracy in hopes that the wisdom of elected statesmen would protect the people from rash voting decisions. Is this what we are witnessing today on the part of conservative Republicans, or are we witnessing protection of a status quo that benefits the establishment class?
The first set of debaters tackled health care. Progressives rallied behind a single-payer system under which everyone would be insured, overhead necessitated by competition would be eliminated, robust negotiation with drug companies by government would be possible, costs to individuals would decrease because out of pocket expenses would be eliminated. Libertarians argued that cost estimates of a single-payer system are unrealistic because government would need to absorb costs now borne by private employers, government’s track record running Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA would predict equally poor outcomes in a government-run health care system, competition and accountability which are principal means of quality control would disappear, and voluntarism would be further discouraged.
The interpretation of extremism becomes difficult when violence is added to the mix. “States’ rights” might sound good in light of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” However, even a modicum of morality would prompt anyone to reject the tactics of the Ku Klux Klan. What would a frank discussion of extremism in the American Civil War contain, a conflict in which 620,000 souls were claimed.
Today’s presidential elections reveal extremisms. Not violent extremism, but that bred from years of incremental visions. If the Tea Party could get droves of conservatives elected, progressives could pass the Affordable Care Act, and Ron Paul could become an icon of liberty, could conservatives not turn the nation into a quasi theocracy, progressives turn it into a socialist paradise, or libertarians/Libertarians into the small-government republic originally intended? And let’s not forget the latest vision, seemingly not yet fully understood, of "making America great again."