Monday, September 15, 2008

And people still say that we have free elections

The two-party system, which is the supposed guardian of our freedom, is in reality an oligocracy in which the guiding purpose of the two major political parties is to band together and shut everyone else (such as the Peace and Freedom Party) out.

Take a look at this story from the Daily Bulletin:

The decision by the city of Rialto to adorn its "welcome" signs with a message declaring the city as the home of Rep. Joe Baca at the height of election season, has raised some questions from government watchdog groups.

The city will spend $3,750 on 30 signs that will be posted below the city's welcome signs.

The timing of the decision, however, is troubling Jessica Levinson, director of political reform at the Center for Governmental Studies, because Baca, a Democrat from Rialto whose district headquarters is in San Bernardino, is running for re-election.

While Levinson has a point, she's slighly off on one item. If you're a member of the House of Representatives, you're ALWAYS running for re-election.

And there's another inaccuracy. Rialto is not the home of Joe Baca. Joe Baca lives in the Washington suburbs. Other than Joe Biden and a few others, I don't think that many Members of Congress actually live in their home districts.

So how did the city of Rialto end up doing this? Lauren McSherry notes:

Top officials in the city government have close ties to Baca. Baca's son Joe Baca Jr. sits on the City Council.

"I don't see why I shouldn't support it because I voted on his record and his accomplishments as a representative of the City Council," the younger Baca said. "I'm very proud of my father. I think it's an honor to have a congressman live in your city."

He added that many schools, parks and public facilities throughout San Bernardino County have been named after sitting public officials.

City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez also has an affiliation with the congressman. Gutierrez has been a major campaign donor to the Bacas, and his daughter is employed by the elder Baca.

Gutierrez said he felt the city's decision was legitimate.

"I can tell you I know from personal experience, councils and school boards name things after people in office," Gutierrez said. "The issue is, there is a public service served when a body expends public money to name a facility after someone who is important, someone who has done something important for the community."

And regarding naming things after people, I have an opinion about that. Personally, I don't beleve that government property should be named after a bureaucrat until after they pass away. Not after they retire - after they pass away.

And even then, I question the wisdom in naming an airport after Ronald Reagan.

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