Skip to comments.CA: The California Performance Review: Devolving Constitutional Government in the Golden State
Posted on 10/14/2004 1:01:34 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
"My relationship to power and authority is that I'm all for it... People need somebody to watch over them... Ninety-five percent of the people in the world need to be told what to do and how to behave."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. News & World Report, November 26, 1990
In the eyes of many elected officials, America is no longer capable of self-government. Many Americans were stunned to learn that a small group of Congressmen have requested the United Nations to monitor our federal elections this November. Yet at the same time, other elected officials are working to reinvent American government at the state and local levels. In California a hand-selected panel representing the political philosophy of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, have cast another vote of no confidence in the citizens. This time, it comes in the form of a massive new plan to "streamline government" - the California Performance Review.
The California Performance Review (CPR) began as a directive from the Governor's office to remake California government on a new premise. The governor says this reinvention of California government will "eliminate redundancies and save money". The Orange County Register reported that "Schwarzenegger said he would ignore the 'squawking' of opponents and instead work all-out 'to create an efficient, responsive and responsible government, a 21st-century government for the future of California.'"
The plan itself is no model of plain language and streamlined structure. Just reviewing its 2500 pages takes real dedication. Submerged in the warm and fuzzy words of the CPR are plans to eliminate elected representation, regionalize local school boards, eliminate separation of powers and concentrate government power in the office of the Governor. According to a recent article in the Orange County Register, the CPR "[merges] 11 agencies and 79 departments into 11 departments directly under Schwarzenegger's control."
In truth, Governor Schwarzenegger's plan effectively devolves the constitutionally based government of the State of California by creating a series of councils, conservancies and regional governments that will create new political systems, new methods for educating children and a new land use system that pretends to protect nature by limiting human action in order to consolidate economic power within an elite ruling class.
The Deterioration of California Education
The CPR plan for education is an example of the Governor's wish to limit California's choice by eliminating representatives elected by the people. Under the CPR, the Governor's Secretary to Education heads a new organization, the Department of Education and Workforce Preparation. This appointee will be granted broad powers to manage the California education system from elementary schools to community colleges.
What does 'workforce preparation' mean? (link opens PDF) It means government-private partnerships between schools and business; a centrally planned economy; replacing the learning of facts with assessment of attitudes, values and beliefs, and treating children as biological resources of the state to create global collective citizens. This is even more alarming than changing political mechanics. The significant change is about the purpose of education and the premise we hold about the nature and role of children to reach and seek their full potential as human beings.
The CPR recommends that Homeland Security become part of a very large new state bureaucracy, the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The appointed department head of this new agency will oversee the California Highway Patrol, and the law enforcement branches of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Alcoholic Beverage Control and Fish and Game. In addition the Division of Fire Protection and Emergency Management, and a new division, the Division of Victim Services, would be placed under the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
California citizens are voicing deep concerns about the elimination of elected representation and the creation of "super-agencies" like the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security that report directly to the governor. This will make it more difficult for citizens to maintain contact with elected representatives who are bound to hold open public meetings. The increasing desire to eliminate elected representation and open public meetings will make government less transparent, which opposes a stated goal of the CPR. The fact that the super-agencies created by the CPR all report to a single person, the Governor, underlines the true intent of the CPR -- it is a bold grab for power and control. Systems matter. In a system with virtually limitless power, eventually a police state will arise.
Streamlining a Power Grab
Eliminating redundancy and streamlining government are admirable goals, provided that the scope of government does not expand beyond the constitutional and moral scope of a legitimate government. By this standard California Performance Review (CPR) is troublesome indeed. CPR is a method for devolving California's constitutional government into a system of appointed boards and governing bodies run by non-elected bureaucrats. It also seeks to consolidate the offices of constitutionally elected officials, directing many of the remainder to report to appointed bureaucrats, thus creating yet another obstacle for accountability to citizens.
BTTT for later reading
thanks for the ping
Is it time for Civil War II *yet*? Sheesh.
A good analysis is longer than the original document. This is so short and so unlikely that I am suspicious of its value. Our governments have grown up like topsy and need attention.
An analysis of the original document that is longer than the originial would be more than 2500 pages. Now how many citizens do you think are going to read that? How can the voters stay educated on the issues when the governors office is purposely obfuscating them with a telephone book of changes to the California constitution?
The poster flies a Florida flag on their homepage. I don't think they are inclined to read the CPR.
I have read more than half of the 2500 pages. I found the recommendations amateur, the purported cost savings questionable and unsupported, and the reorganization implications troublesome. I think the analysis in the article you posted sums up many of those concerns quite well; thanks for posting it.
I wonder how many new rangers they will add with the SN Conservancy. 25 million acres is a lot of territory. I know the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy head is a sworn, gun-toting, Park Ranger who hands out tickets. Maybe they can put an RFK jr enviro-police in the same group. Police state?
Judgement without temperment of a democratically approved constitution can easily become tyranny of the democratically selected. Electeds who bend and break the FIXED constitutional standards are not to be trusted right along with judges that do the same thing.
Government is NOT your friend even when properly restrained, due to human nature. Human nature is VERY predictable. History records and predicts it's course. Human nature is NOT your friend, either!!!
Celebrity worship is one of the worst traits of human nature and should be feared!!! The Huns, Vandals, Goths and Visigoths were lead by celebrities who slew their fellow man as did Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. "Those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it!"
Why is this being suggested in just California?
Have you folks done something to make Arnie nervous?
Which one of you put the thorn under his saddle blanket?
It's kinda like having Bill O'Riley as your Governor, don'tcha know...
More like turning California into a european socialist kingdom with arnie holding the only sword.
Then comes the University of Michigan "Consumer Sentiment Index" with a projected drop and it poops on the market!!!
Almost proves my new tagline...
Is it any wonder that Arnold adopted the mantra "Let the People Decide"?
The phrase was an official slogan of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s.
LOL. I think it's more than a burr, unfortunately.
That's what he thinks!
The Grange just voted to support this stupid thing. I remembered there was a problem with it but I didn't have the information I needed to fight it. I can change this however.
I think the article plus those links are a good start.
The Sacramento Union is going to do an article on the CPR soon, I've heard.