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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 1993
Well, I see where the Republican conservatives have managed to water down the "motor-voter" registration bill to essentially eliminate voter registration efforts in welfare and unemployment offices. Once again, these people betray a basic mind-set, namely a deep-seated distrust for representative democracy. Surely any real believer in our system would favor voting by every eligible citizen, which in turn calls for quick, simple, effective voter registration. Instead, those who fear real democracy where all can vote throw roadblocks in the way just as others in past years used the poll tax and literacy tests to accomplish the same thing.
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OPINION
December 7, 2013
Re "Do lawmakers deserve a raise?," Editorial, Dec. 4 It's important to note that the legislature is the most democratically responsive of all the branches of state government. It is, in theory at least, the people's representative body in the state's representative democracy. Nonetheless, in California, we've reduced the salaries of these elected officials by about $25,000 since 2007. We've also limited their terms in office, with politicians often making a game of musical chairs out of office-holding, going from one post to the next, always learning on the job, while typically focusing on self-serving and short-term goals.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1994
The Times' editorial ("This Recall Should Be Recalled," Aug. 8) is seriously flawed and demands rebuttal. First, there never would have been a recall, according to the published statement of the Recalls Committee, had the City Council placed the utility tax before a ballot of the voters. That would have been "representative democracy" at work. Instead the citizens of Fullerton were met by what they perceived as stonewalling and arrogance. That precipitated the Recalls Committee into action.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
As Los Angeles faces the prospect of not having a single woman in elected office at City Hall in July, some of California's most prominent female politicians promoted Wendy Greuel's mayoral bid on Thursday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first and only woman to serve as the speaker of the House, announced she was endorsing Greuel to become the city's first female mayor. Greuel faces City Councilman Eric Garcetti in a runoff on May 21. “I don't live here, I don't want to be presumptuous … All I can say is I love L.A.,” Pelosi said before announcing her endorsement of Greuel at at a roundtable at the Feminist Majority Foundation's headquarters in Beverly Hills.
OPINION
January 12, 2006
Re "GOP Puts Lobbying Scandal in Bull's-Eye," Jan. 9 The corrupting influence of lobbyists must not be just phased out, it must be stopped dead in its tracks if we are to return to a representative democracy. It must become unlawful for a member of Congress to accept, and lobbyists to offer, anything of value directly or indirectly to the benefit of a member of Congress -- not a dime's worth. However, a member of Congress may invite to his/her office -- on the record -- a representative of any entity in order for the congressperson to gain information that pertains to pending legislation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 1990
Amazing! One of the most fundamental changes in the U.S. government power takes place, and you bury it on Page A20. By allowing the Kansas City federal judge to force states to lift taxation limits and direct school districts to raise taxes, the Supreme Court has almost completed the transformation of the United States from a representative democracy into an oligarchy consisting of federal judges. Throughout our history, one of the hallmarks of the U.S. has been that the power of taxation belonged exclusively to the people and representatives elected by the people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1991
On the day that Brig. Gen. P. Drax Williams took over at El Toro, six military jets screamed overhead in close formation. On the day after my last letter was published asking that jets be stopped from flying together over heavily populated areas, my acreage in South Laguna was buzzed at low altitude and directly overhead by a military jet. Gen. Williams has implied that nothing can be done about noisy jets in Orange County. Surely, in our representative democracy, a People's Revolution will not be necessary to free us from the arrogance, extravagance and indifference of the military-industrial complex.
OPINION
May 10, 2005
Re "Coffers Bulging for Special Election," May 3: The initiative process is officially out of control. We can't seem to properly fund education, healthcare, transportation, etc., but more than $40 million has been raised for an unnecessary election. Rather than work with each other in Sacramento, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's folks would rather release "the dogs of war," and the Assembly speaker expects "nuclear political war." Instead of putting that money into the classroom, what are we actually teaching our children?
OPINION
August 11, 2012
Re "Voting plan rejected in Anaheim," Aug. 9 The Anaheim City Council's refusal to create voting districts was totally predictable. Politicians rarely give up some of their power. There are cities all over the state like Anaheim without city council districts and fair representation. Too often this means that an entrenched majority of well-funded incumbents can be virtually impossible to challenge. What follows is permanent employment on the city council. Term limits would only cause a loss of capable and experienced leadership.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1989
Margaret Cralle's letter (Aug. 9), on the issue of statehood for Washington, D.C., with a population of 650,000, makes a point seriously neglected throughout our history. Her example of California's 26 million people having two votes in the Senate, just as does Hawaii with its half-million population, highlights the reality that our Senate, patterned after England's House of Lords, is a gross contradiction of equitable, representative democracy. The remedy, preserving the advantages of bicameral representation of congressional districts and whole state populations, is simple.
OPINION
August 11, 2012
Re "Voting plan rejected in Anaheim," Aug. 9 The Anaheim City Council's refusal to create voting districts was totally predictable. Politicians rarely give up some of their power. There are cities all over the state like Anaheim without city council districts and fair representation. Too often this means that an entrenched majority of well-funded incumbents can be virtually impossible to challenge. What follows is permanent employment on the city council. Term limits would only cause a loss of capable and experienced leadership.
OPINION
May 29, 2010 | Richard Greener and George Kenney
Official political innumeracy, enshrined in the census, steals our democracy. We count illegal immigrants the same as citizens and assign states congressional seats accordingly. This awards some states more representatives than they deserve. The census should, instead, count citizens separately, and Congress should reapportion representatives only on the basis of citizen populations. That would ensure that the votes of citizens in all parts of the country are as nearly equal as possible.
OPINION
November 4, 2006
DANIEL ROSEN, candidate for Nevada's 2nd Congressional District, promises to never, ever, make up his own mind about anything. That's some refreshing candor right there, but let Rosen explain. He promises that if voters send him to Washington on Tuesday, he will vote only the way his constituents tell him to. They will send their instructions via their home computers and a voting software platform that Rosen has set up just for this purpose. "American Idol," eat your heart out.
OPINION
January 12, 2006
Re "GOP Puts Lobbying Scandal in Bull's-Eye," Jan. 9 The corrupting influence of lobbyists must not be just phased out, it must be stopped dead in its tracks if we are to return to a representative democracy. It must become unlawful for a member of Congress to accept, and lobbyists to offer, anything of value directly or indirectly to the benefit of a member of Congress -- not a dime's worth. However, a member of Congress may invite to his/her office -- on the record -- a representative of any entity in order for the congressperson to gain information that pertains to pending legislation.
OPINION
May 10, 2005
Re "Coffers Bulging for Special Election," May 3: The initiative process is officially out of control. We can't seem to properly fund education, healthcare, transportation, etc., but more than $40 million has been raised for an unnecessary election. Rather than work with each other in Sacramento, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's folks would rather release "the dogs of war," and the Assembly speaker expects "nuclear political war." Instead of putting that money into the classroom, what are we actually teaching our children?
WORLD
February 14, 2005 | Ken Silverstein, Times Staff Writer
When the strongman who has ruled the West African country of Cameroon for more than 20 years swept to another election victory last fall, a number of observers quickly questioned the process. International monitors led by a former Canadian prime minister said they had no confidence in the voter registration lists. Roman Catholic Cardinal Christian Tumi of Cameroon said the election, like all others in his country, was "surrounded by fraud." But former members of the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 8, 1994
Most attempts to recall California politicians partway through their terms deservedly fail. But the number of proposed recalls has risen so dramatically that the taxpayer's pocketbook is getting a jolt. There is actually an initiative planned for the November ballot to deal with those that are successful. Proposition 183 would extend the time allowed between a recall and the election to fill vacant seats, allowing consolidation with a regular election to save money.
OPINION
December 7, 2013
Re "Do lawmakers deserve a raise?," Editorial, Dec. 4 It's important to note that the legislature is the most democratically responsive of all the branches of state government. It is, in theory at least, the people's representative body in the state's representative democracy. Nonetheless, in California, we've reduced the salaries of these elected officials by about $25,000 since 2007. We've also limited their terms in office, with politicians often making a game of musical chairs out of office-holding, going from one post to the next, always learning on the job, while typically focusing on self-serving and short-term goals.
OPINION
February 4, 2005 | John Norris, John Norris is special advisor to the president of the International Crisis Group.
Just 10 days after President Bush boldly proclaimed Washington's "ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," he was presented with a fascinating test case -- not in Iraq but in the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2004 | Patt Morrison
Can you hear that, Inglewood? That's the sound of the good ol' billionaires in Bentonville, Ark. -- and their good ol' lawyers and accountants. They're sitting back there in their Ozark offices right now, counting their money and laughing to beat the band. At you. Get a load of that Inglewood, they must be saying -- ready to sell its birthright to us for a mess of pottage.
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