The deadlock in the state Assembly should be seen as an opportunity, not a crisis. Now is the time to start an initiative petition to dissolve the Assembly permanently. A generation ago, the purpose of the Assembly was to represent population, but since the U.S. Supreme Court in Reynolds vs. Sims (1964) dictated that the state Senate also has to represent population (not counties) both houses of the state Legislature have represented population. So, for a generation, one of these branches has been superfluous.
Now with the Assembly deadlock, the one to be done away with has identified itself. Happily, it is the larger of the two bodies, so more money will be saved by its demise. The action will put us one step closer to getting our fiscal house in order. The elimination of the Assembly will not be a partisan measure, as both parties share equally in the deadlock.
* Surely I'm not the only one that is tired of watching politicians play "King of the Hill" in Sacramento and Washington. To make it even more painful, these ego-pumping exercises and power plays are being carried out while earning salaries paid for by taxpayers.
The photo (Dec. 7) shows a smiling, very-pleased-with-himself Willie Brown leaving the Assembly floor while the caption refers to the house's paralyzed functions. The Assembly is deadlocked due to a power struggle between the Democrats and Republicans. Nothing is happening, elected officials are not doing their job and I see nothing to smile about.
This same kind of drill is being carried out in Washington by Sen. Bob Dole and company and what remains of the Democratic Party. Needed health care reform went in the dumper this year not because it was a bad idea, but because it was an idea from the Democrats.
I am still searching for someone that can give me one good reason why we need a two-party political system since so much time and money is wasted in fighting for control and power. I find it absolutely astounding that the American people sit by and allow this kind of self-serving behavior on the part of our country's "leaders."
* On Dec. 5 I flew to Sacramento and, by chance, shared a shuttle van from the airport to downtown with four Republican Party workers--advisers to assemblymen. They had all come to be part of "this historical day," as one of them put it.
Obviously the day was not historic in the way they wanted it to be. But after hearing them talk about "all the things Jim (Brulte) is going to do for us" and the lucrative jobs they and their friends were going to get and what they were going to do to the people they didn't like, I'm glad Monday didn't go the way they wanted. There was not one word about the future of California or the welfare of the people. It was all "me me me" and "us us us."
Then I realized that, given the circumstances, Democrats would probably act the same way. It's too bad that term limits would only affect the elected and not those in the back rooms.
* How is it that the governance of California can be held hostage to 80 egotists? Is there no remedy? Why do we have to put up with this nonsense? We would be better off to recall the whole bunch and start over.
When do we finally get rid of Willie Brown?
JAMES S. McBRIDE JR.
* Pretender to the Assembly speakership Willie Brown says he is seriously considering calling a special session of the lower house to deal with the Orange County fiscal disaster, adding "I think the banking world would love to see some action by respected elected types in Sacramento" (Dec. 10). What a joke. Where does the "acting" Speaker think he'll find respected elected types in Sacramento?
Under the leadership of Brown in the past, California, and especially the Legislature, has become a laughingstock throughout the country for not being able to pass a budget, and not being able to lead the state. Now this same clown says he is going to find some "respected elected types in Sacramento" to calm the fears of bankers.
His best action would be to move out of the state.
JAMES E. VINT
* C'mon, give Willie Brown his due. The man brightens up a dull, mean California political scene. That his opposition points a finger at Brown's ethics is hilarious. That bunch should give thanks that there is among them one person who stands out with wit and intelligence in a field bristling with "a jail on every corner" and "food stamps to provide only bread and water" idiots.