Hold Sacramento accountable to the people
By Scott Harris
Whittier Daily News
Apr. 24, 2006[
IT is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that California's Legislature is responsive to the needs and voices of its constituents. Having spent the last couple of years traveling the state and meeting with numerous individuals, groups and organizations trying to make changes, I have encountered one common complaint: Our elected officials do not feel responsible to us, the voters and citizens of California. This frustration is not limited to a single issue or party, but rather is universal.
Why is this?
The simple answer is that the two main parties in the state, Democrats and Republicans, have total control over the 120 legislative seats, 40 Senate and 80 Assembly. They do this through the Unholy Trinity of the status quo: districting, closed primaries and term limits. Through these means, the two parties virtually guarantee the victor in every district and ensure that an incumbent almost never loses, despite all-time lows in approval ratings for the Legislature.
Let's take a look at these three election manipulators and their impact on us. .....more