Eber: Beware of what you wish for

Here is how the scam works.  An attorney will send a letter to a city or school board claiming the districts or elections are racist and hinder “minorities” from winning—not running, but winning.  If you agree to changing your whole system of elections, you only pay $35,000—just for reading the letter.  Say no and a court fight will go to north of one million dollars.  So, it is cheaper to pay the extortion and ADMIT your city is racist—just like Simi Valley is doing.  Even though it is not racist, but the city is broke and can not afford to pay for attorneys.

Why hasn’t the State Bar or the Supreme Court stopped this abuse of the legal system?    That is a question we all need to know.

Beware of what you wish for By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  7/15/19 

The dust has settled following the 2018 midterm elections.  Fifty-Seven communities partook in their first experience with District elections for selecting City Council members.

This system was forced upon them by lawsuits filed by Malibu Attorney Kevin Shenkman, under the California court’s interpretation of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. It essentially claims electing office holders on at large basis discriminates against minorities and people of color.

After winning a couple of expensive court cases, Shenkman made a lot of money filing complaints around the state receiving  settlements from cities for whom he had no connections with. Such tactics were similar to what have been used by attorney’s suing businesses under the American’s with Disability Act

While Shenkman left sour taste with cities he threatened, there was little they could do but concede to an attorney whom many thought was using ambulance chaser strategies to in effect blackmail them.

Regardless of feelings or resentments district elections throughout California is now the law of the land in most metropolitan areas it is a monument to democracy being hijacked by unelected courts that have ended up acting like legislators in determining public policy.

With this said what have we learned from the “noble experiment” of district elections the first time around in California?  Initial returns have revealed:

  1. District voting has proven to be unpopular with virtually all  voters because citizens can only cast ballots to determine who wins one seat rather than 5  to 7 under the old system
  2. There is no indication that racial minorities who district elections are supposed to help, are voting in bigger numbers than before
  3. District elections tend to divide communities as city council members are given less responsibility  for governing the whole community than under the old at large system
  4. Thus far this political affirmative action has not elevated very many candidates  to office who would not have won in past years
  5. District elections tend to work better in large metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego compared to less populated communities of 100,000 to 130,000. A one size fits all approach is not a remedy that works very well in a democracy.
  6. Voters in general resent district elections because they were forced on people rather than as they preferred to leave such decisions to themselves.
  7. Even leftists who applauded District Elections providing more diversity are having misgivings about the new system because it does not tend to unite people in cities where it is now in place.
  8. One of the best parts of at large elections is that it promoted what was best for the community as opposed to divisive partisan politics which reigns in the legislature. Such effectiveness is being threatened by the micro politics of district politics.
  9. Just changing how elections are conducted does nothing to solve problems facing cities of lack of revenue to meet their commitments,
  10. The quality of city council members does not appear to be improved nor declined under the new system.

With all of these points being taken into consideration the California legislature should amend the voting rights act of 2001 and once again allow communities to decide for they how they want to elect their representatives. Of course this will not be done.  There is not one case where “Big Brother in Sacramento has taken power from local communities and ever voluntarily returned it.

Unfortunately, this is an alarming trend as Progressives starting with Governor Newsom and his cohorts in the Legislature feel that they know what’s best for everyone.  Similar thinking explains why they are pushing to cast aside local zoning regulations to build multi unit housing without the approval of the cities that most are impacted by such construction.  AB 2923, 1487 SB 50, 330, and 592, and among others reflect the dictatorial intent of the powers that be in Sacramento.

The left’s intentions of changing society unilaterally are not limited to such anti democratic acts as forcing district elections on their constituents.  On a national level they are doing the same thing using Federal Courts to overturn the decisions made by a democratically elected President.

While previous in habitants to the White House from George Washington to Barak Obama exercised Executive Privilege, President Trump has been forced to defend his policies before unelected judges who are consumed with hatred of him.  Prohibiting citizenship questions in the Census and not allowing him to adequately   protect the Southern border are examples of such behavior.

Putting the frosting on the cake are efforts by the Democratic Party to change the system of elected the President from the Electoral College to a popular vote with no geographical considerations being taken into account?

Apparently these ignorant people never read history books from when the Constitution was written.  At that time there was concern that a few large states including New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia would elect the President at the exclusion of less populated ones. This led to them forming the Electoral College and creating balance among the States along with each of them having two members in the Senate.

This concept is the foundation of our system of government.  Just because Hillary Clinton lost the last election, should we change our system of government so she or anyone else might win?  Of course not.

As we are a democracy in a Republic, do we really want the popular vote in large cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area being able to call the shots for the entire nation?  Were this the case Presidential candidates would not need to campaign in the entire country. 

In California’s case when will its citizens come to the realization that they are being herded around like sheep while losing power to govern themselves with each session of the legislature.  Perhaps forcing District Elections is not such a big deal as the composition of City Councils will likely not to change much in the coming years.

What is more troubling is that a combination of over regulation, high taxation, poor public education, and crumbling infrastructure is destroying the middle class. Good people who have made California “Golden” are being forced to flee the State.

Why are undocumented residents given free are medical care at the expense of   on helping needy low income citizens? How come government employees receive pension benefits that few individuals in the private sector receive? Why do courts protect their status under the elitist California Rule?

 If the State Government is so intent on lowering the price to rent and buying new housing, why do they insist construction be done under Project Labor Agreements which increase building costs from between 20 and 25%?  Why are the homeless hero’s for defecating in public while a homeowner who does not pick up for his dog gets fined $300.00 for doing the same thing?

These are things that concern me that most likely District Elections won’t change.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.


  1. Excellent perspectives!

  2. Really??? says

    This was the same scam run with disabilities suits of the late ’70’s and ’80’s.

    The courts finally had enough of this legal extortion. It barred the worst of the attorney’s from practicing law, and barred the rest from filing these “Nuisance” suits.

    Getter done.

  3. I second the vote: Excellent perspectives. Thank you, Richard. More folks who understand that Sacramento as well as the Washington bureaucracy are not the do-gooders that know what is best for us need to let these officials know that We the People still have the ballot box that serves us well when we wish to asset our wishes. By the way as an aside AB 1487 went into hibernation after the hearing on July 10; the push back might just have succeeded.

  4. You can blame the attorney ABC’s the courts but they’re just doing what the legislature told them to do. They’re the evil morons (it’s not either or).

  5. Anita Schmidt says

    Thanks to Shankman we are left with FOUR liberal school board members who insist on pornographic books for our young children regardless of what the parents want them to read!

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