Mychal and JoAnn gave a report on the recent fellowship barbecue with the Carlsbad Club. They reported that it was a fun get-together and the food was great! The annual Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Carlsbad Rotary Clubs will be held Sat. Oct 5 at Holiday Park in Carlsbad. The Interact Conference will be held in Orange County on the weekend of Oct 4-5. Steve Roder, the teacher mentor at El Camino High School will attend, but so far none of the current leaders of the Club have signed up. The LEAD Conference is also scheduled for the first weekend in October. TG Vallas is in charge of our club’s participation in that but he was not present today to report if we will be sponsoring students to attend this year. Dave Jones reported that Pro Kids was invited to partner with the Rotary Clubs of Oceanside’s golf tournament next year but have declined. Lee Russell reported that our participation in the Memorial Garden at Camp Pendleton was approved. Our cost of participation will be $1000.
Kate Rubalcava reported that New Haven Homes will be participating in Oceanside’s Sun Project (painting and cleaning up homes in a designated area of Oceanside) on Saturday Oct 26 and invited our club to join that effort if there is interest in doing so . Happy Dollars: Josh Bernheim contributed nine dollars and Dave Jones gave forty eight dollars for their respective number of years of wedded bliss. Mychal gave twenty dollars for successfully purchasing some items from someone going out of business to furnish the expansion of his business. Our two Ricks (Sharp and Graham) both coughed up five bucks for not knowing the name of our District Governor (and he was just here this month!). Josh was paying attention and came up with the correct name. Our fine master tried to catch JoAnn on who was on the cover of the Sept Rotarian, but she was too smart for him. Program: Our speaker today was Leon Baradat, emeritus professor of political science at Mira Costa, whose topic was California politics, prisons and taxes.
There are nine separate offices in the executive branch of the State of California, each elected person to head these offices serving a term of four years. There is no clear division of power and responsibilities among these offices and no co:ordination. Those elected to these offices can be from different political parties. Leon counted 32 people or measures to vote for on our last ballot. For a measure to pass our legislature, it requires a majority of yes votes. An absentee is counted as a no vote. Some measures, such as taxes, require a two thirds majority to pass.
Currently the Democrats have a two thirds majority in the Assembly and the Senate and, of course, we have a Democrat Governor as well. The state budget now needs just a simple majority to pass Despite people’s apparent unhappiness with what happens in Sacramento and Congress, 97% of incumbents are re-elected if they run. Initiatives are expensive, now costing over 300 million dollars. In 2012 there were 66 initiatives on the ballot between the primary and general elections. In 1966 California spent 19% of its budget on infrastructure. In 2012 it was down to 1.2%. Also California is 44th in the country in dollars spent per pupil in K-12. Today we have 180,000 men and women in correctional facilities and there is mass overcrowding. 11% of the budget is spent here and the California recidivism rate is 75%. 17% of the prisoners are over fifty years of age. $800,000 is spent annually guarding prisoners in hospitals. Opportunity drawing winner: There was one, but I forgot to mark down whom or how much.