Monday, July 20, 2009

"He catches the wise in their own craftiness"

The first time I spoke to the school board, 10 months ago back in September, I warned them not to take a position on Proposition 8, the anti-homosexual marriage initiative, because it was none of the board's business; because the board's opinion would not affect the outcome in the slightest, since it would not influence anyone's vote; and because it would expose the district to needless liability.

Well, the district made a little booboo last school year, in which a couple of schools shorted their minimum days by 5 minutes. The state told them that they were looking at a $67 million fine.

This wasn't real of course. It's like when the IRS sends me a notice that I owe them $45,000 on stock transactions, based on the assumption that I acquired the stock for free - it prompts me to respond, showing them that it already got taxed as W-2 income because I just flipped shares from the stock purchase plan, so that I actually don't owe them anything.

Same way I pay attention when the IRS tells me I owe them $45K, the district and the state talked and got it down to $5 million. The district scheduled an extra 34 days for the students, but they were already done for the year and had their final grades, so naturally nobody much went, and the state said, "I don't think so."

The local state rep, Curt Hagman, introduced a bill to let them off the hook, and it unanimously flew through the Assembly. And then it passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously - everybody wanted to throw CVUSD back.

Until it got to Senate Appropriations. They voted 7-5, on a party-line vote, to throw Hagman's bill into suspense - which is much the same kind of cooler that they have in the city morgue, and those resting there are in the same shape. So now CVUSD looks to be on the hook for about 5 million bucks. What's up with that?

Well, it turns out that the chairman, Christine Kehoe, insisted on icing Hagman's bill, and what the chairman wants, the chairman gets. When I looked into it, it seems that Kehoe is openly lesbian, and passionately concerned with equal rights for homosexuals - and that supporting Proposition 8 was the quickest way to reach the top of her fecal roster. The board majority saw a cheap way last September to pander some political capital for themselves before the November election, but it seems to be working out rather more expensively than they expected. It seems like that political capital will be returned now, with interest.

It's easy to mock their folly, but I'm worried about doing that. Haven't you outsmarted yourself by being slick just the same way? I sure have. But this little tale does remind me, and I hope you too, that it is just as it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness." "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God" turns out to be a better bet.

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