Long Beach Press Telegram - Page A-14 October 2, 2008
Launched: 10/02/2008 08:29:54 PM PDT
About the only kind thing to be said about Proposition 6 is that it
proposes, in a confused, counterproductive and horrendously costly way, to do
something about crime. There are better ways.
This measure would cost a billion dollars to start, at a time when the state
can't figure its way out of a huge deficit, and cost more every year thereafter
without putting a single cop on the street. Unless state legislators raised
taxes, this would mean cutting even further into existing services.
It would build more prisons and jails at a time when the state already is
facing federal orders to improve inmate health care and overcrowding, and
mandate spending by already overstretched county government. It even creates a
new state bureaucracy to - get this - distribute publicity releases about
Police agencies support this measure, but California Professional
Firefighters oppose it. That suggests a power struggle, which is no basis for
making smart policy on public safety.
Also, the measure provides for no real oversight or accountability, and no
competitive bidding or cost-benefit analysis for new programs. A major increase
in spending would go to a program called Citizens Options for Public Safety,
which the independent state Legislative Analyst has described as having no
definable goals and no measurable results.
This is no way to ensure public safety even if the state could afford to
hand out another billion dollars a year, and it can't. This proposition
deserves to be rejected.