California Business Group Wants California Constitution Changed

It appears there’s an effort afoot to change the California Constitution. I noticed this news item yesterday a couple of different times.

“More than 300 people gathered to debate the idea Tuesday at a Constitutional Convention Summit. They agreed on one thing: The state’s system of government is broken.”

Reportedly, the Summit was organized by a business-interest group, the Bay Area Council. Another item that stood out for me was how some reportedly want reform of the initiative process, while it appears they might use the initiative process that exists to make these changes. Is ‘use what they don’t like’ a correct summary of their intent?

“Who should be chosen as delegates to a constitutional convention? What issues should be considered? Whose ox gets gored? How do you sell a complex issue to a public that’s turned off by politics?”

Anyway, this is something to keep an eye on. There are statements in the article that Californians are uninvolved in politics, but is this even true? Isn’t every school kid who attends education for at least 13 compulsory school years (without pay) involved in politics for those years? Isn’t everyone who votes involved in politics? Isn’t everyone who pays taxes involved in politics?

Well, I guess that’s my view. Why are we being told we’re not involved, when in some cases we have little choice about our involvement? Does this business group really mean something else?

2 thoughts on “California Business Group Wants California Constitution Changed

  1. Via an OpedNews item, a couple of proposed Articles have been submitted to the California Attorney General’s office to allow a special election for the purposes of changing the California Constitution. More information can be found here. A couple of items stood out, at least for me, in one of the proposed Articles.

    “SEC. 2. (f)(i)(4), A shredding service be provided on the Convention Site, so that the privacy and security of the Convention be maintained, until the work of the Convention is complete.”

    So they want a shredding service, presumably to destroy papers and the words contained therein to an unrecoverable state, and:

    SEC. 2. (g)(ii)(4), To set the world standard for transparency in government, translations of the public record of the Constitutional Convention, housed in the Constitution Library, shall be made available on the Internet, by the Library. Language translation into all major languages of the world, standard to global diplomatic communication, are for the benefit of the people of the world, to honor the State of California, and to honor all Nations in our global village.

    It seems the two placed together create a new definition of openness and transparency that seems defined by secrecy and shredding, and therefore I was reminded once again of Orwell’s term “Doublespeak”.

    It also makes me feel that these proposals are likely less “of the people” than the public face on display.

  2. From the same document:

    SEC. 2. (e)(i), It is the will of the elector~ of California that the new State Constitution reserve all powers not delegated to the united States of America by the Constitution of the United States of America, nor prohibited by the Federal Constitution, remain reserved to the people of California, and the State of California, in that order, in accord with the tenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

    This seems to be a power grab. Ah, I get it. The word “or” in the tenth Amendment is changed somehow to an ordered hierarchy with the use of the word “and”. Here’s text of the U.S Constitution’s 10th Amendment (bolding added by me, cut and paste from wikipedia):

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Therefore, powers under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th amendment that are reserved to the people OR the state, would, were this Article to be adopted, be reserved to the people AND the State of California.

    It seems the impact of this innocuous little textual change could be quite vast. There seems to be a lot of Internet-based information related to 10th Amendment power and States’ Rights, right now, that claim that States are trying to get power back from the Federal Government, but this particular textual change seems to take power from citizens as a response. While it might seem trivial and certainly is hypothetical, Would my right to take a ginger bath possibly be challenged by the State of California, were the state to decide that ginger baths were not good for anyone to take?

    Another thing to consider is how that would affect a citizen’s 9th Amendment rights? Does the use of this Article’s AND conjunction tread into citizens’ unenumerated rights when power is used to achieve an objective?

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