48 terms

PS 171 California Politics

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East/West Divide
California's dominant political divide was once north and south. Now California is more democratic on the west side, while conservatives take the east part of the state.

Evidence:
o Difference in: education, religious, voting preference, congressional delegations divide
o Effects of Balkanization and props like 187 that portray inner friction
Balkanization
people self-select into their communities that are similar to themselves, whether it be religious, economic, political, etc. makes it difficult to keep competitive districts when voters are more likely to vote in the same way.

the fragmentation of a country into autonomous geographic and political entities, formed to the detriment of the preexisting political territory. In California, the high level of autonomy of the different local governments creates the conditions of a form of balkanization.


Increased diversity of California's population does not translate into an increased diversity of all its regions or neighborhoods"
Prop 187 (1994)
Pete Wilson was for it.
It passed on the 1994 ballot but was never enforced. Goal was to make illegal aliens ineligible for public benefits (social services, schools, health care services). It came in the middle of a deep recession in CA and was popular because it was estimated to save $200 million per year. Because of this prop, Latino community has seen Republicans to be against them.
Recall
Vote of the people to remove an elected official from office.

Requires 12% of signatures to qualify and 160 days to collect signatures.

Outcome: If not recalled, official stays in office. If recalled, Official is removed from office and newly elected official is instated
Referendum
Vote of the people to repeal a statute (with limits like taxes, emergency bills, and appropriations)

Requires 5% of signatures to qualify and 90 days to collect signatures.

Outcome: Nothing changes or statute is repealed

The referendum is a petition from citizens to seek an election to put legislation that has passed the executive and legislature up to a vote of the citizenry. The referendum provides a form of citizen veto for legislation. Sometimes even the referendum causes politicians to reverse course of legislation. In California the referendum process was used to qualify a referendum on SB60, a piece of legislation that would have extended drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The legislature quickly responded by repealing the unpopular legislation instead of defending it in a spring election the following year.
Initiative
Vote of the people to create a statute or amend the constitution

Need 5% of signatures for statutes, 8% of sigs for amendments and 150 days to collect signatures.

Outcome: Nothing changes or statute/state constitution is amended
Initiative: Why we use them?
- Lobbying tactic to put pressure on legislators to pass the issue. Legislators usually don't want it to go against them.
- Bypass legislature. It's a way for the governor/constitutents people to get things done
- Bring awareness to an issue
Hiram Johnson
Father of direct democracy. Progressive style reforms. in 1911, he passed the initiative, referendum, and recall process through Prop 7.
Prop 13 (1978)
Set a limit on property tax. It required a 2/3 majority in both houses to increase taxes, including income tax. Huge implication on the overall budget, especially funds allocated for education.

3 implications:
1) limited property taxes to 1975 levels
2) capped the growth of taxes to 2%
3) requires 2/3 majority vote for tax increases, made it difficult for legislature to increase taxes
Rules Committee
Assigns bills to a committee. This step of the bill process proves to be significant in that where a bill is assigned to, can largely influence its fate. Thus, this part of the bill process can sometimes have political motivations.
Gut and amend
The process of removing the original provisions of a bill and inserting different provisions. It is a last-minute tradition among lawmakers, and moreover, proves to be significant because it is a means to get bills passed during the last days of a legislative session.

A legislator introduces a bill that has little significance and passes through introductions easily. Then when introductions have passed, the author has the power to change the language and replace it.
Prop 11 (2008)
Transfers authority of redistricting to the Citizen's Redistricting Commission to help eliminate corruption and increase accountability. Priorities include continuity (respect for city/county boundaries) and protection of minority rights (Voting rights act)

Citizen's Redistricting Commission (CRC): consists of 14 members - 5 dems 5 republicans 4 decline to state. If they don't come to a decision, the task of redistricting goes to the Supreme Court.
Baker v. Carr (1963)
Supreme Court decides that redistricting issues present judicial questions, not a political one, thus enabling federal courts to intervene and decide redistricting cases. Provides enforcement that all states must redistrict and congressional districts.

Provides enforcement that all states redistrict state and congressional districts every 10 years.

African Americans were getting screwed by redistricting.

Changed the nature of political representation in America. It helped promote equal representation between country and city dwellers in an increasingly urbanized nation.
Reynolds v. Sims
Supreme Court case that formulated the "one person, one vote" standard which held that every individual had to be counted for legislative districting. All districts need to be roughly equal in population except for U.S. Senate seats.

Led to an increase in representation for urban and southern representation and a decrease for northern and rural places.
Prop 140 (1990)
Limited the number of terms that California state senators and representatives can stay in office.

Assembly: three 2-year terms
Senate: two 4-year terms

It also imposed a lifelong ban against seeking the same office once the limits were reached.

Stopped the practice of state legislators earning retirement benefits from their service in the state legislature. Limited the total amount of the legislature's expenditures on staff salaries and operating expenses.
Prop 28 (2012)
An initiative which allows state legislators to serve no more than 12 years in either house or the legislature, with no restrictions on how they divide their time.
Willie Brown
Democrat politician that served over 30 years in the State Assembly, with 15 years as speaker. He had the longest tenure in the State assembly and was one of the most powerful state legislators despite a Republican majority.

Term limits were introduced as a result of his long tenure and political power. It limited the terms of state legislator.

Under new term limits, no one will be able to have a career as long as his.
Rose Bird
Appointed to the California Supreme Court by Jerry Brown even though she wasn't the most qualified. She was very liberal and didn't approve of the death penalty. She also made it easier to sue insurance companies. Money interests led a campaign to oust her from office when her retention election came.

Only chief justice in history to be removed by voters.

She was removed from office. This demonstrates a major check on the judicial branch through the recall vote, and also how judges are political actors.
Recent Governors
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 2003-2011. Republican. Very popular and well known. Had personal wealth and political capital.

Gray Davis: 1999-2003. Democrat. Started as radical then became more moderate. Only governor to be recalled.

Pete Wilson: 1991-1999. Republican. Started out as very progressive then later became more moderate. Blamed for alienating minorities.

George Deukmejian: 1982-1991. Republican. Increased prison spending, advocated "law and order". Conservative

Jerry Brown: 1975-1983. Democrat. Opposite of Reagan. Very radical and appointed radical staff (like Rose Bird) and pushed the limits.

Ronald Reagan. 1967-1975. Republican. Increased welfare, signed pro-choice bill, signed environmental bills. Cracked down on the free speech movement in Berkeley which voters approved of.

Pat Brown: 1959-1967. Democrat. Developed lots of infrastructure and construction. Beats Richard Nixon in second term beaten by Ronald Reagan in 3-time.
Line-item veto
the governor has the power to veto provisions of a bill while approving others
Quid Pro Quo Corruption
when an elected official accepts money, goods or services from an interest group/lobbyist pushing for a certain issue and the elected official agrees to vote in favor of that issue in return. An example used by the professor was when explaining instances where the FBI went undercover in the capital.
Semi-Closed Primary
Democrats and GOP primary elections are separate for registered voters. "Decline to State" voters can choose to vote in either primary.

Registered party members can only vote in their own party's primary, however unaffiliated voters may participate and vote in either primary.

Increases party power.
Top Two Primary
No party ballots, all candidates are on one ballot and the top two vote getters run against each other in the general election. Arguably encourages more moderate candidates and more people to run against incumbents. Decreases party power. Current type of election in CA.
Prop 9 (1974)
Passed. It established the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Elected officials must disclose their income, assets, and gifts they receive each year.

Additionally, it requires lobbyists to register and file reports showing receipts and expenditures in lobbying activities.
Buckley v. Valeo
landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down limits on campaign spending, but set limits on the size of individual contributions to campaigns.

Also changed the method of appointing members to the Federal Elections Commission.
Prop 208 (1996)
Campaign Contributions and Spending Limits Initiative. Declared unconstitutional.

It limited campaign contributions per candidate and limited fundraising to a specific time before elections. It also prohibited lobbyists from making contributions and increased penalties under the Political Reform Act.

- Limited campaign contributions that an individual, lobbyist, or group could make to a candidate for state and local elective office.
- Prohibited lobbyists from making contributions.
- Established voluntary campaign spending limits.
- Limited when campaign fundraising may occur.
- Established penalties for violations of the measure and increased penalties for existing campaign law violations
Prop 34 (2000)
Limits the amount of money an individual can give to candidates and contributions to political parties. It expanded the financial disclosure requirements. Prohibits contributions from lobbyists to election campaigns of the politicians they lobby.

It limits contributions and spending, speeds up disclosure, increases fines and closes loopholes for wealthy candidates without public financing.

Pro: sets enforceable, constitutional limits (unlike Prop 208) on campaign financing where none exist today.
Citizens United
Follows the major campaign case Buckley v. Valeo. US Supreme Court determined that campaign spending is equivalent to free speech. Additionally, campaign donations of corporations are protected by free speech and there should be no limits on independent expenditures fro individuals or corporations.
Boom-bust budget cycle
During the boom, the economy grows, jobs are plentiful and the market brings high returns to investors. In the bust the economy shrinks, people lose their jobs and investors lose money.

Because of CA's reliance on income and sales tax, its budget is said to experience a boom-bust cycle. During periods of economic prosperity where income and sales taxes grow and contribute significantly to the state's revenue, the budget experiences a "boom". However, during bad economic times, where income and sales taxes provide much less, the budget suffers from a lack of revenue and falls into a deficit. THis phenomenon is significant as it makes CA's budgeting process extremely volatile.
Prop 25 (2010)
Majority vote for legislature to pass the budget. Initiated Constitutional Amendment. end the previous requirement that 2/3 of members of the leg. had to vote in favor of state's budget in order to pass it. Now we just need a simple majority.

Prop 25 also requires state legislators to forfeit their pay in years where they have failed to pass a budget in a timely fashion.
Big Five (Big Three)
Big 5: Governor, majority leaders and minority leaders make decisions and pass the budget. Process was extremely inefficient because they needed a supermajority to pass the budget, however they could never agree and would end up delaying the budget. Changed from Big 5 to Big 3 (Governor and Majority leaders) because we changed the threshold of passing the budget from a supermajority to simple minority.
Prop 30 (2012)
Initiated Constitutional Amendment by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Increases personal income and sales tax over a certain period of years. Allocates temporary tax revenues for K-12 schools and community colleges. Provides local school governing boards the discretion to decide how funds are to be spent.
Ballot-box budgeting
is a term used to refer to the process of making decisions about government budgets through direct democracy

Voters aren't required to find a funding mechanism, whether in the form of spending cuts or tax hikes, to fund what they work for They're simply asked if they'd like to be charitable on someone else's dime. The result is the unsustainable mix of opposition to tax hikes and enthusiasm for new spending projects that has put the state in its current fiscal morass
Rainy-day fund
Passed by Jerry Brown. Setting aside money when the economy is prosperous/stable so that in cases of bad economic times, there is money saved that we can use.
Board of Supervisors
Every CA county has one, and it's made up of 5 elected members.

5 member governing board for counties, which has executive, legislative, and quasi-judicial roles. Members are elected by voters in their respective districts and are limited to 3, 4 year terms. The board of supervisors proves to be especially significant because as administrators of the state, counties implement and as necessary, refine the local application of state law and public policy.
City Council
Set in place to administer state laws in cities

Is a locally elected legislative body that governs the city.
County executive
appointed by the county board of supervisors, the County Executive (County Executive Officer or CEO) plans, organizes, directs controls and coordinates County activities.
City Manager
City managers oversee all administrative tasks necessary for city operations. Hired by the city council, they supervise city departments, maintain the city budget and represent the municipality in a variety of settings. They research issues important to the city and advise the mayor and council on the best course of action.
Fiscalization of land use
Counties want to maximize the amount of profits they'll receive from dividing their land. For example, they'd rather have more commercial/industrial sectors because they'll be able to generate more revenue from those sectors, unlike residential sectors.
Land use and planning
Counties can regulate their land in an efficient way. It gives local governments the ability to exercise police power in land use planning matters.
Serrano v. Priest
California Supreme Court case that mandated education funds to be distributed equally among public schools across the state. Shifted the role of funding education from the counties to the state. Before this, the California constitution guaranteed the right to free education, but the inequalities that developed among counties were unconstitutional because they differed from high income to low income counties.
Common Core
Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards. In 2010, a number of states across the nation have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the CCSS to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.
Local Control Funding Formula
finance reform passed in 2013. All schools get the same base rate per student and additional money for English learners, high poverty students and foster students. Recognizes the differentiated needs of teaching students. Makes the system more local and more equitable.
Vouchers
Is a certificate issued by the government, which parents can apply toward tuition at a private school (or, by extension, to reimburse home schooling expenses), rather than at the state school to which their child is assigned. An alternative to the education voucher is the education tax credit, which allows individuals to use their own money to pay for the education of their children or to donate money towards the education of other children. Under non-voucher education systems, people who currently pay for private schooling are still taxed for public schools; therefore, they fund both public and private schools simultaneously. Via offsetting the cost of private school tuition, vouchers and tax credits are intended to allow students and families to choose the school that best fits their needs. Opponents of school vouchers say allowing families the option of both public and private schools undermines the public education system through threatening its funding and enrollment.
Prop 98 (1988)
Set a baseline in which at least 40% of the state budget must be spent on K-12 education. Although it was meant to be a baseline for education funding, it's become more of a ceiling
Parcel tax
similar to property tax, but based on parcels of land. for every acre of land someone owes, they have to pay a certain tax for it. counties have used this flat tax rate to help fund local schools.
Realignment
In 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld a lower district court ruling in Brown v. Plata that California's state prisons were so overcrowded that inmates were being denied adequate medical and mental healthcare to the point of it being unconstitutional. The Court ruled that California would have to decrease its prison population to 137.5% of building design capacity by the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

This meant that within two years, California had to crack down and cut its state prison population from 150,000 inmates to 110,000 prisoners. In response, in an effort known as Public Safety Realignment, the responsibility to house people convicted of specific non-serious, non-violent, and non-sex felony offenses shifted from state prisons and parole to local jails and probation in the 58 California counties. Supporters of Public Safety Realignment stressed that it would help increase the state budget, as less money would need to be spent on supporting an exorbitant number of inmates at approximately $47,000 a year (How Much, N.d.). However, opponents to Public Safety Realignment stressed that it would lead to local cities, towns, and neighborhoods being awash with criminals, and that the crime rate in the state would significantly increase.
Charter Schools
Primary or secondary schools that receive public money (and like other schools, may also receive private donations) but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools. Instead, charter schools are expected to produce certain results, set forth in each school's charter. Charter schools are attended by choice. In exchange for being exempt to these rules, charter schools receive less funding than public schools in the same area - typically, they receive only 'head' funds (a certain amount per student) and do not receive any facilities funding which typically pays for a public school's maintenance and janitorial needs.