2012-06-12 (Tuesday) § 5 Comments

I think maybe any attempt to prevent stupid people from having input in governance is an existential threat to democracy.  Everybody is supposed to have input whether they’re smart, stupid, good or evil.  That’s what I understand the fundamental doctrine of democracy to be, that all of us will be better off long-term if all of us get some say in governance.  As soon as we start trying to define some set of people out of the demos, we’ll have given up on that doctrine.  Barring some well-articulated intellectual stopwall, it’s a slippery slope from there to aristocracy, which after all means the doctrine that the “best” people should be in charge.

Special interests according to Assemblymember Susan Bonilla

2012-06-12 (Tuesday) § Leave a comment

I got a call back today in response to an email I sent to my California State Assemblymember, Susan Bonilla.  I was asking what she understood by the term “special interests”.  I hear a lot of vague references by California politicians to “special interests” as an assumed public enemy, and I wonder what parties are included in that category.  The nice man who called from Bonilla’s office said he understood “special interest” to refer to any group that lobbies legislators for a particular policy that will have a general impact on the state.  So if I were to get together with my neighbors to contact Bonilla and ask for help with a local issue, that wouldn’t be a special interest.  But a statewide taxpayers’ group asking for X or Y change in tax policy would be.

I very much appreciated getting a direct, clear answer from my representative’s office.

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