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Mon, Mar

CA June Primary: Prop 50 Matters Not

LOS ANGELES

CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--Are you immortal? If so, you might take some time to read and consider Prop 50. But if there’s a good chance you might die some day, don’t waste another precious second on this earth thinking about Prop 50, which appears on the June ballot here in California. 

Seriously, leave that part of the ballot blank. Or vote for it. Or against it. It doesn’t matter. 

You can stop reading now. 

For those who might want an explanation of why they shouldn’t care, I wasted my time reading the measure and ballot arguments. 

And here is a very abridged argument – hey, I have better things to be doing – of why Prop 50 doesn’t matter. 

It only applies in the rare circumstances when a legislator has broken the law or been indicted for a crime and the legislature wants to kick them out. (Photos above: Indicted CA State Senators Leland Yee, Ron Calderon, Rod Wright.) Vote yes, and it would take 2/3 to suspend a legislator, and the legislature could stop paying them. Vote no, and the status quo prevails: it takes a majority vote to suspend the legislature, and there is no provision to get rid of their salary. 

I guess you could argue about which is better -- but both sets of rules seem OK for me. I suppose I prefer the status quo -- maybe some legislature might try to make mischief and suspend the pay of someone they didn’t like in a Prop 50 world -- but really, why should this matter? 

The legislature put this on the ballot to show that it was responding at a time when three state senators were facing very different charges. But it’s pretty meaningless. 

And if you’re still reading this post here, you might think about getting a life.

 

(Joe Mathews writes the Connecting California column for Zócalo Public Square. This was originally posted at Fox and Hounds. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.