Today I went to the California Prop 30 Facebook page to weigh in on comments about the ballot measure only to discover I was blocked on Facebook by Proposition 30 proponents running the array of pages pushing the ballot measure. I have been commenting a lot on Prop 30 on their Facebook page, mostly because the ad for Prop 30 kept popping up on Facebook and I finally clicked on it so I could join the discussion. I weighed in with comments about how there is nothing guaranteeing the money will go to schools and how they need to use their power to go after the money that’s being stolen from the state by special interests like Walmart through programs like the California EZ program and Redevelopment which was just reinstated by the Legislature.
I did not engage in personal attacks nor did other critics on the page, but apparently those of us who were posting thoughtful comments and links supporting our arguments against the measure were no longer welcome to join the discussion.
Seems odd to me a proposition that is so supportive of education and schools would silence free speech. Shouldn’t people who love and believe in education be encouraging a dialogue about the issue not shutting down free speech because it doesn’t line up with their desires?
I am a big supporter of free speech. I think if you are coming from a place of greater good then you allow criticism no matter how harsh. The Framer’s of the Constitution believed the way to deal with criticism was with more speech not less. So this recent act on their part seems desperate and suspect.
The following were the main concerns I posted:
1: THE MONEY WOULDN’T GO TO SCHOOLS
It will go to PENSIONS: According to Bloomberg News “Most Californians would be surprised to learn that 100 percent of education’s share of the [Prop 30] tax increase proposed by Governor Jerry Brown will go to pensions instead of classrooms. But that would be no surprise to longtime observers of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which administers teacher pensions”
2: RECENT EXAMPLES OF FRAUD CONTINUE TO EMERGE
REDEVELOPMENT FRAUD: This story was just released Thursday about the city of Hercules California and 50 million dollars of redevelopment fraud. “State audits released Wednesday question tens of millions of dollars of expenditures by Hercules’ former Redevelopment Agency and slam the city for a lack of internal and accounting controls…..”
Again nothing has changed to prevent this from happening with new tax dollars.
3: CALIFORNIA CONTINUES TO MISAPPROPRIATE FUNDS
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS: State Parks hid $54 million dollars and conveniently feigned bankruptcy which allowed the legislature to pass bills privatizing State Parks.
“California state parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned and her second-in-command was fired Friday after officials discovered the department has been sitting on “hidden assets” totalling nearly $54 million.”
4: THERE’S BEEN NO REFORM TO ENSURE NEW MONEY ISN’T STOLEN
CALIFORNIA REDEVELOPMENT — Redevelopment was just reinstated by the Legislature with even less accountability than before.
“The just-concluded 2012 legislative session enacted a batch of bills re-creating it, or something very like it, albeit with new names, several of which are revised versions of “infrastructure financing districts.”
5: THE STATE CREATED NEW SPENDING PROGRAMS CREATED TO BE EXEMPT FROM OPEN GOVERNMENT LAWS
CALIFORNIA CAP AND TRADE IS EXEMPT FROM OPEN GOVERNMENT LAWS — This is another story that has flown under the media radar with enormous consequences for California. The 50- 100 billion dollars raised from Cap and Trade will be spent in secret with no disclosure requirements.