Last Friday (10/26/2012), on KQED-TV, the bay area public television station, aired a 30 minute segment discussing Propositions 30 and 38. Normally from this news segment, one would expect, at least the pretense that this would be an unbiased vetting of the issues.
Not this time. All five participants were advocating in one way or another for passage. Near the end of the segment, one panelist even brought up the fact that none of the participants were against the propositions and mentioned that “since there is nobody here opposed to these propositions……. “
On the panel was State Senator Darrell Steinberg, the Governor’s chief leader in the Senate pushing for passage of Prop 30. The increasingly heard argument, basically blackmail, that failure of Prop 30, will result in losing 3 weeks of elementary school education, was certainly echoed here. KQED-TV should be ashamed to air such a segment under the cover of unbiased news reporting.
As previously reported in this blog and elsewhere, if you read Prop 30, you realize that Prop 30 doesn’t guarantee these new tax revenues will end up on the schools. Yes, that is what the Governor says will happen, but certainly not what is written in Prop 30.
The Governor has zero credibility on the issue of how the revenues from Prop 30 will be spent, when you look at his record on High-Speed Rail.
The Governor, backed by Senator Steinberg and Senator Mark Leno in the State Senate, in July passed an appropriation for the proposed California High Speed Rail project. The funds from this appropriation are to come from selling the voter approved in 2008, Prop 1A, $9.95 billion, High-Speed Rail bond funding.
Prop 1A is very specific in how and for what the bond funds will be used. Nevertheless, the Governor directed that $1.2 billon of the bond funding be allocated to funding projects on the “bookends” of the proposed HSR project. These bookend projects are not HSR projects, but rather projects that are to be used to enhance regional / commuter rail service in these areas. This funding is certainly not what the voters approved in 2008, and is clearly prohibited by the language in Prop 1A. This illegal funding was really nothing more than a bribe to get several local legislators to vote for the HSR funding in the Central Valley.
The bottom line is, when you look at what the Governor did to pass the HSR funding, you realize that regardless of what is in law or what he says he will do if Prop 30 passes, he and his friends in the Assembly and Senate will fund with such revenues, whatever programs he wishes, be they for education or otherwise.
(Morris Brown is a resident of Menlo Park and founder of DERAIL, the original grassroots effort against the California High-Speed Rail project. Originally posted on Fox and Hounds.)