The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

March 30, 2009
Do SacBee commenters reflect broader opinion re budget package?

The Bee's readers, or at least those who comment on line, are in a foul mood about the May 19 ballot package, anyone connected to it and the Bee's commentary about both. Our editorial endorsement Sunday -- backing the spending limit/tax extension compromise and the suspension of ballot box budgeting from Props 10 and 63 while opposing the new funding guarantee for education -- has brought near universal online condemnation from readers who see it as an endorsement of a tax and spend status quo. My column on Steinberg showing leadership by backing a spending limit (and supporting changes to Prop. 63, which he authored) was similarly roasted. This despite the fact that our position is to the right of the Republican leadership in the Legislature, which supported the Prop. 98 revision as part of the package.

Some will say that these readers have blinders on, don't care about the facts and represent such a tiny portion of the potential electorate that they can and should be ignored. I am not so sure. I have a hunch that most people out there have no idea how the spending limit would work and what effect it would have had in reducing deficits had it been in place over the past 10 years.

Linking the tax increases and the spending limit made perfect sense in the Capitol, and it was the only way to get a compromise done. But it might backfire if the campaign in support of the package does not figure out a way to explain it, or a good way to build support for the package without explaining it.

Dan Schnur suggests scaring people into voting yes. I don't like that idea, and I don't think it would work. I am picturing gauzy endorsements from teachers, cops, firefighters and business owners saying it's about time the warring parties put down their weapons and agreed to a common sense solution to start fixing the budget. Let's back this effort and put something into the constitution to make sure the politicians can't mess it all up again....





About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter