Reformers: Outcome Of Special Election Boosts Constitutional Convention Campaign

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The special election is barely over...but a campaign is already underway to get a constitutional convention on next year’s general election ballot.
Reform advocates believe voters are ready to overhaul state government after they rejected the five budget related propositions yesterday (Tuesday).

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...

Supporters of a state constitutional convention are pushing lawmakers to put the measure on the November 2010 ballot.
That would take a two-thirds majority in both chambers.  But, reformers say if lawmakers don’t do that...they’re ready to gather the 600-thousand petition signatures to do so themselves.  Derek Cressman is with the political watchdog group Common Cause.  He’s says voters are fed up because lawmakers have failed to change how government operates... 

"It’s time to bench the A-Team and take them out.  They’ve been playing hard, they’re throwing balls in the air but they’re not sinking them.  We need to bring in the bench and the bench in this case is the voters through a constitutional see if we can get the job done that way...”
But, some lawmakers have reservations about the idea of a convention.  Assemblyman Chuck Devore is an Irvine republican... 
"It certainly doesn’t do California any good if what comes out of a constitutional convention is a structure of government that’s even larger and even more unwieldy that takes even more of our liberties and is more tyrannical than the current government that we are now burdened with...”
 If a convention passes, it would be held by citizen delegates who would recommend changes to make state government and the budget process more efficient.