The Great CA Constitutional Covention of 2010?

The Lincoln Club presented a major event today  at the Irvine Marriott.  The luminaries were many….Former Governor Pete Wilson, Sacramento Bee Ace Reporter Dan Walters,  along with the great Joe Dunn, OC Democratic Chair; Steve Young,  LA Times Reporter Robert Greene and the the people from Repair California.  Mike Capaldi did a great job of moderating the various speakers and the responses and comments from the Townhall crowd of a couple hundred people, who were all motivated to find out what a Constitutional Convention might entail.

Repair California and Reform California are the two principal forces at work to create two Initiatives which would eventually allow the people of California to vote on whether to have a Constitutional Convention to re-write the California Constitution.  It wasn’t a slam dunk of opinion by any means.  Former Governor Wilson…has serious trepidations about opening a a can of worms in the midst of a convention of monkeys!  Wilson thinks that once the process is opened….the results could be devestating.  He found himself in agreement with Democrat Steve Young.

Jon Fleishman had no qualms about stating the obvious:  “Who is going to participate as the delegates?”  Reform California seemed to think that using the annual salary of State Assemblypeople….around $167,000 a year would find plenty of willing people looking for a job that would include about 2 months of training and 10 more months of focused energy, re-working the Constitution.  Fleishman was unsure how a “Jury Pool” of designated or selected and approved candidates might perform in the hardball world of changing the Constitution of the nations most populace state.  Joe Dunn, tried to play the devil’s advocate by saying that he thought a “Constitutional Convention” would be knocked down by two forces:  Prop. 13 (Stabilizes Real Estate Tax Values until sold) and Prop. 98 (Allows Public Employee Unions to Negotiate in Collective Bargining) .  Both groups having their own reasons for not meddling with the system.  Dunn also suggested that having a “Constitutional Convention” in a very dysfunctional California would probably be a good idea – if it could happen equitably!  Dunn also lobbied for former policy wonks and electeds to serve as the delegates to any proposed Convention.  “You have to know how leveraging the system works!” said Dunn.  Those that have served “know”!…Dunn  followed .

The consensus reasons for having a Constitutional Convention……are based upon a system in California which includes: (1) Public Employee Unions with big war chests that can buy anyone, from either party. (2)  An Initiative process which amounts to “Budgeting by Ballot Box”.  (3)  A Legislature that doesn’t follow the will of the people….in most cases. and (4)  Powerful Special Interest Lobbying and Labor Groups – selecting winner and loser candidates in all the various Primary races!

The discussion was spirited and included Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, and Villa Park City Councilmember Deborah Pauly.  Steve Young has grown as a politician and is showing greater maturity generally.  Dan Walters was awesome as usual.  His background on the history of Califronia since the legislature went from Part Time to Full Time in 1966 was compelling.  Pete Wilson was targeted when he said that changes to the current Intitiative process might be valuable.  “We should stop the Ballot Box Budgeting!” said Wilson.

All in all, it was an important bi-partisan event and our thanks to the litany of organizations that sponsored the event.  Special thanks to the Lincoln Club of Orange County and the Bay Area Council  for the Administration of the event.  If you want to see the complete list of sponsors you can find those on the Lincoln Club website.  If you want to see the proposal, you can go to

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.