Gubernatorial Powers in California: Some of What Your Guv Will Be Able to Do Unilaterally

Gubernatorial Powers in California: Some of What Your Guv Will Be Able to Do Unilaterally
by Richard Martin Oxman

SPECIAL NOTE ADDED ON 3/1/10 FOR THOSE PREPARING FOR THE 3/4/10 UC DEMONSTRATIONS
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The conclusion of http://www.counterpunch.org/parrish03012010.html is directly below. It is spot-on, but it should be noted that any Governor of California with heart, head and soul in a healthy place could reverse the momentum delineated unilaterally. On UC campuses, not with regard to capitalism. There are many situations throughout the state which could be addressed in a like manner without so much as a discussion with our typical gangster politicians. There is a great misconception that whoever occupies the gubernatorial office must learn the art of compromise. Read on, please. I look forward to elaborating on this point with you in person.

“The UC is an unsustainable institution that developed as part of a wildly unsustainable period of American economic expansion. We are now amidst the world capitalist economy’s unraveling, and as an integral part of this economy, the university is coming undone right along with it.”

Other Gubernatorial Powers
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* The Executive Budget - The governor has the final responsibility for preparing and submitting to the legislature an annual budget containing most of anticipated state income and expenditures. The final budget requires a two-thirds approval of the legislature. Having been elected as per the means delineated in the previous article, our Guv will be able to get the constituencies — a sufficient number of citizens — to rally behind this and that, forcing legislators to cooperate more than they might ordinarily. The Guv will be able to push everyone’s political envelope in unprecedented fashion with the public support which will naturally follow having spearheaded an historic electoral accomplishment in the state; the Guv’s credentials/credibility (along with the fine profiles of the Guv’s Advisory Group) will serve as an enormous magnet for public pressure.

* The Veto - The governor has the option to veto a bill within 12 days after being received from the California State Legislature. The Legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds majority vote in both the Assembly and the Senate. The governor may exercise a line-item veto, rejecting individual items in any appropriations bill. Our Guv will definitely be guilty repeatedly of Sin of Omission… in the sense that bull in bills will not be allowed to enter the bloodstream, lifeblood of the state.

* Recommending Legislation - The governor may not formally introduce legislation, however many proposals for legislative action emanate from the governor’s office. The political influence of the governor dictates the probability of success or failure of the governor’s agenda. Here’s where public input will be unprecedented. When citizens contact people in Sacramento a real person — very likely one of the Guv’s major advisers — will respond immediately. No form letters. No generic delays. This input will serve, for the first time in the state’s history, as the basis for the lion’s share of proposals for legislative action. And as far as “political influence” goes… see the boldface comments above again under Executive Budget.

* Calling Special Sessions - The governor may convene the legislature “on extra ordinary occasions” to consider only subjects specified in the governor’s proclamation. In practice, this power is used frequently, usually in concert with normal sessions. The purpose is to force the legislature to address the governor’s legislative program. Use your imagination here. Having read the previous article on this site (http://oxtogrind.org/archive/310), what exactly do you think the Guv will be pushing with a vengeance Could it be something healthy, needed, just… for one and all (for a change)? Couple this with the daily addresses to the public we have planned whereby the public will be encouraged to self-educate on issues which affect them. Please note that the self-education will be, for the most part, along the lines of what is now safely marginalized by the powers that be. On top of all else, note that these sessions and virtually all discussions involving the Guv and the advisers will be accessbile to the public. True, not PR “transparency” here..

* Appointing State Officers - Although several of the positions of the executive branch of California are directly elected, the governor appoints most of the top administrative officers to the various departments and boards that govern California. Additionally, unexpired terms of certain elected officials, including U.S. senators, state executive officers and judges of the state court. Oh my goodness! This is a monumental point, yes? The Guv appoints all those people? Well, well, well. Again, your imagination is being summoned. Don’t forget too that for the first time in the state’s history citizens will have a real say in who gets appointed.

* Power as Political Leader - The governor by virtue of the office becomes the de facto leader of his or her party. Furthermore, because of California’s immense size, the governor is often spoken of as a potential presidential candidate. More importantly, our non-politician Guv will command a worldwide audience when communicating the fresh ideas, etc. which will take center stage for the first time. I’m using mild language here. Citizens all over will be inspired to do without leaders… to get done what must be done ASAP..

* Commander in Chief of the State Militia - The governor may activate the California State Militia at any time to complement local law enforcement. While this may be done at the governors discretion, it most often comes by request of a local law official. The California National Guard may also be called upon, subject to Presidential approval. I’m not going to touch this with a ten-foot pole right now, but — again — use your imagination. Feel free to contact me directly, one-on-one, for an elaboration on my cryptic writing..

* Executive Clemency - Except for convictions during impeachment, the governor may grant pardons, reprieves and commutations of sentences to individuals convicted of any felony. I LOVE THIS ASPECT OF THE WHOLE BUSINESS. For one, California is among 19 states that have sentenced 13- or 14- year-olds to die in prison (Life without parole!), a practice prohibited by international law. But I have other foci too. The Guv will also be able to play a strong hand with regard to encouraging the prosecution of movers and shakers who NEVER receive consequences for their horrific deeds. The whole question of whether or not our prison system as presently constructed is obsolete could be addressed on a national stage..

* Role in Higher Education - The governor also has full membership and voting powers to the Regents of the University of California, the governing board of the University of California system, along with other elected officials. A majority of members on the Regents of the University of California are appointed by the governor. Similarly, the governor has full membership and voting rights on the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and appoints a majority of its members. The governor also appoints all of the members of the Board of Governors of the California Community College System. So much can be accomplished in this realm, affecting education positively throughout the state… forever. Historic inroads will be possible. Like with regard to the “Divestment Movement” (BDS), for instance. But, for now, perhaps you should simply focus on the biz about the Guv’s power respecting appointments. Note added 12/21/09: Few people know the degree to which the UC system is complicit in supporting the proliferation of nuclear weaponry; that could be stopped virtually overnight. As could the torture of laboratory animals. And there are ways in which the Governor could find lodging for thousands of the homeless on and off various campuses..

I figure that the above should get everyone who is worth our collective heartbeats — which is everyone who’s anyone — on board. However, if you need more convincing that we’re on The Yellow Brick Road to improvement here (and that it’s all worth that five minutes of your life that I’m begging for)… contact me at tosca.2010@yahoo.com. Contact me regardless, please… no matter what you’ve got scheduled today… this week… this month. At your earliest convenience. Keep in mind that the above is just the tip of the iceberg, a condensed taste of what the Guv, Lt. Guv and those advisers (whose names you’re going to have the fun of recommending to me…) will be able to accomplish with you.