Vanessa Wilk: Cast a vote for balance

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

I’ve spent my life, along with my husband, raising our two beautiful children. As any mother knows, a household is not a dictatorship, as much as it might seem easier at times to run it that way.

In practical application, though, it takes input from the whole family to maintain a properly functioning, happy household.

Likewise, in our state government all sides need to be considered, and one-party rule just isn’t practical for a healthy California.

It’s imperative that we take the lessons learned in our own homes to heart when electing our representatives. This November, we have a unique chance to do just that.

I know many of us have grown disheartened by this year’s election cycle. Like a child acting out, the presidential campaign has drawn most of the attention. Here at the state level, a near-record 17 statewide ballot measures have caused confusion and frustration as we’ve had to work through a massive voter guide.

Lost in the shuffle has been the middle child: the ever-important legislative races, which this year hold more significance than ever but have been overshadowed by the circus of 2016 campaigning.

We must give these races the attention they deserve. If we send California into one-party rule by electing too many Democrats, the effects will extend far beyond any single bill or ballot measure.

With Republicans in this state fighting for their political lives this year, there has developed a very real possibility that Democrats will gain what’s known as a supermajority in the Capitol. Under a supermajority, they would have complete control over the direction of our state.

As it is, Democrats have held the Legislature for 20 years. In that time, they’ve been able to impose suffocating regulations on our small businesses, free violent criminals – resulting in skyrocketing crime rates – and impose a host of other radical and damaging policies on our state.

But, the most harmful parts of their agenda have been stopped by Republicans who hold just enough seats to block such policies. Under a Democrat supermajority, that safeguard would be no more.

California legislators elected on Tuesday will have a direct impact on our children’s education, the water we drink, the roads we drive to work and the taxes we all pay.

If Election Day results produce a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, even those Californians who identify as Democrats will not be well served. A one-party ruling class isn’t good for any of us.

In such a case there is no one to check the work, no one to advocate the opposing view, and no one to say “wait a second” when things go too far.

Both parties have their flaws. Luckily, the dual party system ensures balance: When Democrats become too extreme, Republicans sound the alarm. Likewise, when Republicans move too far to the right, Democrats are there to reel them in.

That checks-and-balances system now is in danger. In the case of a supermajority, we will see the full breadth of radical liberal ideology thrust upon our state as Democratic lawmakers, emboldened by their newly increased power, move sharply to the left into more extreme positions.

What might they do? Let’s take a look at some of the proposals they’ve tried already but were thwarted by the minority party.

Earlier this year, they gave us a taste of their appetite for tax increases with a new gas tax of nearly a quarter per gallon. Californians already paid around $1 per gallon in taxes at the pump – the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, our roads are among the country’s very worst.

Republicans were able to block this year’s effort by Democrats to drive gas taxes higher, but if Democrats get their supermajority they will no doubt bring it back – without anyone there to stop them.

Democrats have also shown interest in eliminating Proposition 13, our only defense against severe property tax increases. The minority party would never stand for this, and so it’s yet to be advanced, but with a supermajority anything and everything is possible.

This election may prove to be the most important of our time. And not for the reason many would have you believe.

Put aside the overwhelming number of propositions on our ballot, put aside the dog-and-pony show our presidential election has become. Focus on the races that will have the biggest and longest-lasting impact on us right here in California, in our local communities, in our homes.

Don’t vote for one-party rule – vote for balance.

Vanessa Wilk is a Santa Clarita resident.

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Vanessa Wilk: Cast a vote for balance

I’ve spent my life, along with my husband, raising our two beautiful children. As any mother knows, a household is not a dictatorship, as much as it might seem easier at times to run it that way.

In practical application, though, it takes input from the whole family to maintain a properly functioning, happy household.

Likewise, in our state government all sides need to be considered, and one-party rule just isn’t practical for a healthy California.

It’s imperative that we take the lessons learned in our own homes to heart when electing our representatives. This November, we have a unique chance to do just that.

I know many of us have grown disheartened by this year’s election cycle. Like a child acting out, the presidential campaign has drawn most of the attention. Here at the state level, a near-record 17 statewide ballot measures have caused confusion and frustration as we’ve had to work through a massive voter guide.

Lost in the shuffle has been the middle child: the ever-important legislative races, which this year hold more significance than ever but have been overshadowed by the circus of 2016 campaigning.

We must give these races the attention they deserve. If we send California into one-party rule by electing too many Democrats, the effects will extend far beyond any single bill or ballot measure.

With Republicans in this state fighting for their political lives this year, there has developed a very real possibility that Democrats will gain what’s known as a supermajority in the Capitol. Under a supermajority, they would have complete control over the direction of our state.

As it is, Democrats have held the Legislature for 20 years. In that time, they’ve been able to impose suffocating regulations on our small businesses, free violent criminals – resulting in skyrocketing crime rates – and impose a host of other radical and damaging policies on our state.

But, the most harmful parts of their agenda have been stopped by Republicans who hold just enough seats to block such policies. Under a Democrat supermajority, that safeguard would be no more.

California legislators elected on Tuesday will have a direct impact on our children’s education, the water we drink, the roads we drive to work and the taxes we all pay.

If Election Day results produce a Democratic supermajority in the Legislature, even those Californians who identify as Democrats will not be well served. A one-party ruling class isn’t good for any of us.

In such a case there is no one to check the work, no one to advocate the opposing view, and no one to say “wait a second” when things go too far.

Both parties have their flaws. Luckily, the dual party system ensures balance: When Democrats become too extreme, Republicans sound the alarm. Likewise, when Republicans move too far to the right, Democrats are there to reel them in.

That checks-and-balances system now is in danger. In the case of a supermajority, we will see the full breadth of radical liberal ideology thrust upon our state as Democratic lawmakers, emboldened by their newly increased power, move sharply to the left into more extreme positions.

What might they do? Let’s take a look at some of the proposals they’ve tried already but were thwarted by the minority party.

Earlier this year, they gave us a taste of their appetite for tax increases with a new gas tax of nearly a quarter per gallon. Californians already paid around $1 per gallon in taxes at the pump – the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, our roads are among the country’s very worst.

Republicans were able to block this year’s effort by Democrats to drive gas taxes higher, but if Democrats get their supermajority they will no doubt bring it back – without anyone there to stop them.

Democrats have also shown interest in eliminating Proposition 13, our only defense against severe property tax increases. The minority party would never stand for this, and so it’s yet to be advanced, but with a supermajority anything and everything is possible.

This election may prove to be the most important of our time. And not for the reason many would have you believe.

Put aside the overwhelming number of propositions on our ballot, put aside the dog-and-pony show our presidential election has become. Focus on the races that will have the biggest and longest-lasting impact on us right here in California, in our local communities, in our homes.

Don’t vote for one-party rule – vote for balance.

Vanessa Wilk is a Santa Clarita resident.

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Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • Brian Baker

    I couldn’t agree more, Vanessa.

    Good luck to Scott on Tuesday.

    • indy

      Here’s the dilemma for fiscal conservatives . . . they can’t grasp that improving infrastructure with increasing population isn’t ‘free’.

      How is it that anyone can’t grasp such a simple obvious fact?

      No one including liberals want to ‘waste’ tax dollars and nobody wants to pay higher taxes unless they are needed.

      As population density increases, costs of government infrastructure costs more . . . as land values rise from more demand for land from more people, this factors into the cost of building things like additional roads.

      We must use basic economic and management knowledge versus beliefs and ideology to fund government.

      What I also find interesting is the assertion of ‘more regulations’ is a ‘bad’ thing.

      Was regulating ‘child’ labor laws a bad thing?

      How about regulations for businesses not to pollute our air and water to increase their profits at our expense? Remember those ‘super fund’ sites ?

      When you see the ‘regulation’ criticism without any reference, it’s just ideology . . . not fundamental to sound governance.

      Freeing violent criminals? No . . . just releasing people with minor offenses . . . many of whom are there for non-violet drug possession . . . which we can save millions of dollars by approving Proposition 64.

      I do tend to agree with her on a ‘balance’ of governance . . . but most republicans govern on ideology and end up obstruction the necessary changes we need to make for our children’s future.

      Finally, property taxes should include a provision to tax for ‘more people’ at a given property since government services are based on that.

      Proposition 13 was poorly conceived and one reason many areas local schools remain underfunded as the population (more people) has increased.

      Let’s start managing government based on ‘demonstrated’ results . . . politicians should ‘show us’ what they suggest will work . . . and that ‘management’ plans should be published in addition to the legislation itself ‘demonstrating’ that our leaders can ‘know and validate’ what results they got from their work.

      We can do better, much much better . . . what are we waiting for?

      Indeed, both parties have faults . . . but we as citizens need to ‘oversee’ what they do once the voting is done . . . no longer can we accept simple ‘blaming the other party’ as a ‘management’ style.

  • ronos

    Over the past 20 years while Democrats mostly Controlled the Legislature crime has Actually gone down dramatically in California.Statewide, 1,861 people were slain in 2015, compared with more than 4,000 in 1993.
    If Republicans generally weren’t so Extremist and Dishonest perhaps they would fare better politically in California.

    • tech

      This isn’t unique to California, Ronos. Lower crime rates since the early ’90s peak are a national trend and you can’t claim Democrats are responsible. Regarding dishonesty, it is in Democrat controlled urban areas where the homicide and general crime rate remain highest. These zones of violence are statistical outliers from the much safer majority of the country and policy comparisons should note that fact.

      Republicans are far from perfect but fare poorly in CA because of non-critical thinking voters like yourself.

  • noonan

    Care to comment on the poverty rate ronos?

    How stupid do you have to be to think that Dems being in control of the legislature for whatever amount of years they’ve been in control has something to do with decreased murders.

  • Yusef Nazarian

    @Ronos – California has the worst veteran homelessness/poverty crisis in the united states on top of the largest homeless crisis in the united states. Our roads are shit, we have terrible water infrastructure, and our taxes keep going up. Please tell me more about the benevolent democrats

  • tech

    Well stated on the danger to all Californians in a super-majority single party state, Ms. Wilk.

    I”m a non-affiliated voter that will select Scott Wilk this weekend for precisely this reason. His record as an effective legislator is an added bonus.

  • tech

    *I’m

    I continue to be amazed that The Signal can’t manage to enable editing.

  • nohatejustdebate

    Years of illegal immigration, poverty-enabling entitlements, and watering down voter registration requirements for the last 20 years is paying off big for Democrats in California and across America. Look for this to explode under a Clinton administration.

  • Mrs. Wilk, I applause your call for balance, and the tone of reasoning. However I am still disgusted with the entrenchment of Republicans (on the federal level) that refuses to work with Democrats on practically all major issues. I haven’t research on Mr. Wilk record yet, but if he does get elected I hope for everyone sake he will make decision on his own for good of all, not based on the party’s.

    • tech

      Voters turned Democrats out of the Congressional majorities as a check on what was passed in the first 2 years of the Obama Administration, i.e. Obamacare, etc., Mr. Chan. The divided government was intentional and the Republican majorities are acting on behalf of their constituents.

      Perhaps your focus should be on Democrats working with elected Republican leadership?

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