Yesterday I was a guest on the John & Ken show on KFI, Southern California's most powerful radio station to talk about a piece I'd written about their role in the defeat of several of Governor Schwarzenegger's ballot initiatives. There are definitely parallels between what is happening today in California and what happened in 1978 when an anti-tax crusader named Howard Jarvis shook up the California political establishment by passing Proposition 13, which resulted in property taxes in California being lowered by 57%. That anti-tax movement eventually swept the country and presaged President Reagan's across the board income tax-cutting of 1981.
If what is happening in California is indeed the beginnings of a movement, then John & Ken are clearly the Howard Jarvis of it, but unlike Jarvis, a longtime Republican activist, they don't seem to be guided by party politics or even necessarily a clear ideology, but rather for what works and what doesn't. To write these guys off, as some in the media and political circles have done, as right-wingers is crazy. From what I've heard, they capably represent the views of the average American who is somewhere in the political center, and is feeling taxed to death. Any political party that ignores that sentiment for too long will find itself in a heap of trouble and both parties would do well to pay attention to what these guys are talking about.
They are largely responsible for the defeat of Schwarzenegger's initiatives and now face the challenge of taking all the energy they've used to throw sand in the engines of California government, and come up with common sense solutions to save the state. I think they can do it and will be watching to see what they come up with.
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