The recall at least spurred new creative ideas – Redlands Daily Facts

Until the campaign got serious in the unsuccessful recall election that targeted California Governor Gavin Newsom, that state hadn’t heard in years many new and creative ideas to solve its many problems.

But suddenly during the encore, the air was full of it. Of course, the campaign season saw a lot of old ideas rehash, but there were new ideas too.

In the event of water scarcity, the usual solution to bromide has long been to “build more and higher reservoirs and dams to capture more rainwater and snow runoff”. This idea was widely disseminated during the campaign among the 46 members of the aspiring Replacement Governing Body.

But there was also a new idea, this one coming from YouTube financial advisor Kevin Paffrath of Ventura. Build a tunnel through most of America to bring water from the Mississippi River to parched California. That, he said, could ease frequent Midwestern flooding while quenching the state’s never-ending thirst.

Never mind that the idea was quickly and legitimately scoffed at, as few of the many states en route would agree to host a massive new pipeline tunnel, while most states along the Great River Path would oppose the move. loss of their water.

Still, it was a new idea, the first fresh thought in California water circles since the late Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn campaigned in the 1970s to tow icebergs calved here since. Antarctica and then drain their melt into state water systems.

Of course, both ideas are more inventive than just expanding tanks when there isn’t enough water available to fill them to their current capacity.

Paffrath, a Democrat who finished second among the replacement contenders, has shown more motivation than other prospects in crushing some of his rivals’ rallies. He also had other creative ideas. Example: Forcing non-violent criminals to do unpaid public service work where they committed their crimes, such as cleaning streets and painting graffiti. He also advocated paying students over 18 to finish high school and attend college or business school and proposed a two-week limit on granting new building permits to developers willing to pay for it. an accelerated schedule.

And he suggested digging tunnels under existing roads and highways to create more capacity and facilitate traffic.

These may not all be practical ideas, but they were refreshing and original.

Most Republican replacement hopefuls were much less inventive, but continued to develop older ideas, like former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer pushing to remove much more deadwood from forests to give fires less fuel. forest. It doesn’t matter that it interferes with the natural life cycles of forests. Faulconer also wanted to let parents decide whether their children needed to repeat a grade level due to learning lost in distance education during pandemic shutdowns and he advocated holding utilities more accountable for the damage caused by the fires in forest they cause.

Celebrity contestant Caitlyn Jenner has advocated reviewing all state regulations and eliminating those that have exceeded their usefulness. That sounds good, and the ex-governor. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried it, but it didn’t fly, with almost most of the regulations still in place.

And Green Party candidate Dan Kapelovitz advocated ranked choice voting, now used to avoid second elections in local elections in Oakland and San Francisco. This saves money and time, but produces weak and unpopular mayors in both cities. He also argued for full character status for animals, saying that if court rulings like Citizens United can give businesses such status, why not animals? Voters wondered how animals could exercise their freedom of speech.

Some Republicans, like Board of Equalization member Ted Gaines, wanted to overturn Proposition 47 of 2014, which lowered old crimes to misdemeanor status with little or no punishment. But like any electoral initiative, this law can be overturned by another public vote, if that is what the voters want.

Many candidates have advocated for more affordable housing, but none have even mentioned the obvious solution of converting the now unused billions of square feet into office buildings where former workers are now operating from home.

It added to one of the freest thinking campaigns California has ever seen, with much more interesting ideas being raised than in “normal” elections.

Maybe some versions of these ideas would actually work. This possibility can be tested during the regular elections which will take place in June and November.

Thomas Elias can be contacted at [email protected]

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