As we recover from the shock, we will inevitably continue the national discussion about sensible gun control regulations. In revolutionary times, our Founding Fathers obviously had no idea about anything other than single-shot flintlock rifles and muskets when they wrote the Second Amendment into the Constitution: “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of people to bear arms shall not be impaired.” Those were different times. Many of the Founding Fathers feared the cost and coercive power of a large standing army, or foreign powers with professional armies, at a time when most citizens were rural residents accustomed to hunting to supplement farm-grown diets. They saw a trained militia (like today’s National Guard) as a substitute for a large standing army. I wonder what our Founding Fathers would have thought about the way some choose to interpret the Second Amendment in our present-day circumstances? Some in Congress even want to permit the expansion of concealed carry permits and silencer sales, which would make it even harder for law enforcement to foil would-be perpetrators of mass gun violence. After so many mass shootings -- the Aurora theater, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, the Orlando Pulse nightclub and now Las Vegas, we will see if our representatives can see their way forward to having a serious discussion, and crafting sensible solutions to our present-day problem of preventing mass casualty shootings.
While the country was facing devastating hurricane and storm damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, the Republicans made another try at repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”); this seems to be an ongoing theme. The week the Administration was announcing its tax “reform” initiative, and that Puerto Rico was working to recover from its worst storm in modern history, the President was stepping into the NFL knee protest controversy, utterly failing to calm the waters, while at the same time picking a fight with the Mayor of San Juan and suggesting in his inimitable style that she was not doing a good job. Oh, and about that tax “reform” plan. While the President claimed it’s not going to benefit the rich (like him), we easily see that it removes the estate tax (which only benefits those who have more than $11 million) and lowers business tax rates from 32 percent to 20 percent. There are many unknowns about the proposal, let alone the ways it could be modified in the legislative process, but it appears that the proposed repeal of the state and local tax deduction could force many California taxpayers to pay more in Federal taxes.
Last week, Governor Brown signed a bill into law moving California’s presidential primary forward forward from June to March 20, 2020. This would make California fifth in the nominating process according to current projected schedules. As California Secretary of State Padilla said, by moving the primary ahead, “Candidates will not be able to ignore the largest, most diverse state in the nation as they seek our country’s highest office.” The 2018 statewide primary will still take place in June.
Those who attended the Kennedy Legacy Dinner on September 24 at the Crown Plaza were treated to a great evening. California Democratic luminaries John Chiang, Dave Jones, and Fiona Ma showed in their remarks that they understand the challenges of the lives of everyday Californians. They effectively and eloquently defended California’s model and strategies for resisting the Administration’s initiatives. Their remarks were welcomed with generous applause and standing ovations. Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin introduced outstanding Ventura activists. Later Henry stole the show with his humor in auctioning off meals with Eric Bauman and himself to benefit the Ventura Democratic Party; I can’t remember all the inducements he offered to keep the bids flowing, but at one point I think he gave away his car as well as his jacket.
Ventura County Democratic Party’s Social Committee has organized a wonderful group outing with a limited number of tickets to the Dodger’s playoff game this coming Saturday (October 7)! Tickets are $100 in cash or $125 through Act Blue. The package includes travel on a “party bus ” and prime seating in the outfield and promises to be a lot of fun!
Please don’t forget that we are holding our Pizza Fundraiser for the Club this coming Thursday, October 5 at 6:00 pm. I have heard that RSVPs are coming in at a brisk pace, so if you are inclined to join us for pizza and salad, by all means, call in your reservation to Carol Bley so that we can ensure sufficient supplies of pizza (the flyer for the event appears on the Home Page). Right afterwards, we have a great program of speakers including Jacqui Irwin, Camarillo City Councilmember Kevin Kildee, and former President of the Los Angeles Community College District and 2018 candidate for the Board of Equalization Scott Svonkin. I look forward to seeing you there!