Using Online Resources to Qualify Ballot Measures

There is a mass delusion afflicting millions of Californians. They endure a cost-of-living nearly twice the national average, high taxes, the highest incidence of poverty, the most hostile business climate, some of the worst K-12 schools, well over a $1.0 trillion in bond and pension debtunaffordable homes, among the highest prices in the nation for gasoline and electricitywater rationing, and they drive on congested and decaying roads and freeways.

Yet the latest PPIC poll, released this month, finds 49 percent of likely voters approve of Governor Newsom’s job performance, and 47 percent approve of the state legislature.

Meanwhile, on the streets and in the parks of every major California city, over 150,000 homeless people are permanently encamped. Literally tens of thousands of them are either insane, diseased, drug addicts, criminals, or all of the above. As working Californians attempt to keep their shops open, or walk to work, or live in peace, these homeless, who need help, not “lifestyle tolerance,” defecate, shoot heroin, and shriek in terror of schizophrenic demons. But instead of declaring an emergency, Governor Newsom just throws additional billions at what is a well documented scam, where politically favored cronies build “supportive housing” at average costs of over $500,000 per unit.

Yet this same poll finds that “fifty-eight percent of Californians are optimistic that the governor and legislature will be able to work together and accomplish a lot in the next year.”

This is mass delusion. Because as long as a clique of leftist oligarch cronies and public sector union bosses control everything that happens in California, they will enrich themselves, and none of these problems – homeless, housing prices, cost-of-living, high taxes, etc. – will ever get solved. Eventually, Californians will realize that Newsom and his entire gang’s supposed solutions are scams, and their incessant virtue signaling on issues of social equity and “climate change” are diversionary cons.

California’s Red Pill Moment is Coming

In the movie Matrix there is a scene where the main character is offered a choice: He can take a blue pill and continue to live in a dream world, or he can take the red pill and confront harsh reality. As rebel leader Morpheus warns, “all I can offer you is the truth.”

The truth is this: California is a feudal state masquerading as a democracy. A supermajority of voters are either ultra-wealthy, or they are the well heeled professional class that serves them, or they are public employees whose pay and benefit packages exempt them from the laws and the costs they impose on everyone else, or they are low income residents who’ve been bought off – some by state funded benefits, others by socialist rhetoric. But it can’t go on.

It will only take a few influential Californians to take the red pill, and accurately view the harsh reality of life for most Californians, and a preference cascade will ensue. By the millions, Californians will suddenly realize that their supposed saviors are actually the exploiters. They will see social justice excess and environmentalist extremism for what it is, cover for the corporations and the bureaucrats to consolidate their power over every aspect of economic life, making it almost impossible for working people to live here.

Overnight, California will transition from having not millions, but tens of millions of engaged, politically disenfranchised residents who want to do something, anything, to save their state. And there is something they can do. They can file state ballot initiatives.

Building An Open Source Ballot Initiative Capacity

The one way Californians can bypass their legislature is via the initiative process, even though that process has been undermined by lawmakers. Recent legislation requires signature gatherers to be paid employees instead of independent contractors, greatly raising costs and liabilities. The minimum one can expect to pay to place an initiative on the California state ballot is $5 million. What if that cost could be reduced by 80 percent?

What if a comprehensive online resource for any state ballot initiative campaign could be developed, posted as open source, and made available to California’s beleaguered serfs? Who cares if the aristocrats also get their hands on it? They don’t need it. They already have all the money in the world, and they already do whatever they want. It doesn’t help them. But for the serfs, direct Democracy restores the balance of power.

With access to lists from well established, supportive grassroots organizations, along with viral endorsements from celebrities and influencers, activist Californians could be driven to a set of online resources that would comprise a one-stop shop for volunteer sustained ballot initiatives, from concept to polling to signature gathering. Those who shared their lists could have input into what initiatives would be promoted. But that would just prime the pump. The project would acquire its own momentum and attract followers who immediately recognize its breakthrough potential. These resources would include:

1 – Central online dashboard – a website that explains the project along with how the initiative process works, and provides links to all areas.
2 – YouTube instructional videos explaining each step in the process (for example, petition downloading and petition verification).
3 – A “polling” module (and report generator) where registrants vote on various initiative concepts.
4 – A status report module showing where various initiative concepts are in the pipeline.
5 – Downloadable petitions that can be printed and signed.
6 – Signature verification module to be utilized by volunteers (with professional assistance) in each county.

The technology for all of this exists. It is an idea whose time has come. In most cases utilizing off-the-shelf plugins (along with gaining access to the current California voter file from the Secretary of State), this entire online resource can easily be built. If it were built as open source and shared, multiple populist insurgencies could operate simultaneously.

Leveraging online technology and volunteers to greatly reduce dependence on paid signature gatherers has already been done by San Diego based Reform California. They successfully put a gas tax repeal measure, Proposition 6, onto the state ballot in November 2018. Although the initiative was defeated, the innovations implemented by Reform California dramatically reduced the cost to qualify their measure for the ballot, and paved the way for future efforts.

There are several populist reforms that would appeal to Californians of all political sentiments and across all backgrounds of income, ethnicity and gender. In education, union work rule reforms, more charter schools and school vouchers would all have broad appeal. In other areas, for example, spending more on water and transportation infrastructure, repealing crippling environmental edicts, reforming the disastrous downgrades of property and drug crimes, changing policies governing treatment of the homeless, and requiring pension fund investment in infrastructure revenue bonds would all have broad appeal. Californians want these reforms, but the legislators won’t do any of it.

This could be a game changer. A slate of activist generated state ballot initiatives with broad populist appeal could offer candidates a platform, it could offer opportunities to educate the electorate on alternatives to the one-party rule, and it gives activists something tangible to work on. Initiatives successfully placed onto the ballot will drain tens, if not hundreds of millions of opposition dollars out of the coffers of the aristocracy, and some of them will still win, transforming the political landscape of California.

This article originally appeared on the website California Globe.

Comments

  1. Bill Saracino says

    Red pill – blue pill is a brilliant analogy. Our side needs to use it a lot on issues like this… Thanks to Ed Ring for the great piece.

  2. I don’t know what kind of fraudulent piece this is but I DO NOT believe that Newscum is getting a 50% approval rate or that the legislature is getting near the same. This appears to be another government Propaganda piece Put out by Government to prepare the way for a rigged to fail Recall effort of THE most Corrupt and criminal Oligarchy governments that California has ever endured. This poll must have been of Demoncraps only , if there was a poll at all.

    From the Sword of ——

    • Steve Bingham says

      Damocles – it’s hard to figure your logic, calling this a “government propaganda piece” when the poll being cited is only used by the author as evidence of “mass delusion.” The poll, by the way, was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, a fairly credible organization.

      The author was trying to explain that there is a disconnect between voter preferences in California and actual conditions in California, writing “The truth is this: California is a feudal state masquerading as a democracy.”

      • showandtell says

        Steve Bingham, I like your style, and agree with your point, but have to disagree that PPIC is a fairly credible polling operation. From what I’ve seen over the years, the PPIC, with its polls, tries to create public opinion with a bandwagon effect (usually in advance of some tax item on an upcoming ballot), not reflect it. If you look at the full poll itself, whatever poll it is, you can better detect how it has been manipulated, if it has. PPIC has been so baldly manipulative, for so long, I don’t bother myself with that anymore and usually just dismiss it.

    • nicely said

  3. I am speaking of the poll and it’s results before anyone starts in .

    • The People of California like living in sh##t. They like paying high taxes. They like the bad roads. They are the Woke. They are taking one for the communist team. When they realize how bad things are; they move and destroy the good States. The future is he##.

  4. You want to put propositions on the internet to be signed. There is one problem with that idea. If it is on a computer connected to the net it can be hacked and changed. which is why we should go back to paper ballots.

    • He’s talking about using online sources for organizing, something the left does very well but the right has never learned.

      If there was an online community to join combined with physical meet-ups we could organize throughout the state more effectively to get things on the ballot. As a Republican in the Bay Area for 20 years I can tell you nobody has EVER reached out to me on anything while the left does all the time.

  5. California resident, for a little while longer anyways, and I just received a 700.00 electric bill, this did not include anything else JUST ELECTRIC for the month of Jan..How they are screwing calfornians now is that between 4 and 9 is HIGH USEAGE times, they changed this from 9 to 3 because they found out hardly anyone is home during this time so with the help of the DEMOCRATE SCUMBAGS they changed the time while EVERYONE IS HOME and they can make way more money..VOTE THE DEMOCRATES AND THE UNIONS OUT….California is by far the most CORRUPT NAZE RUN STATE..

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