His Turn: Blowing His Horn Against Proposition 1A

May 3, 2009
Share this story:
Former Bonita student Sergio Herrera returns to familar ground as he rails against Proposition 1A.

Former Bonita student Sergio Herrera returns to familar ground as he rails against Proposition 1A.

On May 2, 2009, LaVerneOnline couldn’t help but notice Sergio Herrera, a member of TheTeaPartyRevolt.com, fulminating on his megaphone on the northeast corner of Wheeler and Fruit against Proposition 1A, one of the most controversial and contentious propositions facing California voters on May 19, 2009. Sergio, a former Bonita High School graduate (class of 1989) said TeaPartyRevolt.com is a website of “concerned California taxpayers.” LVO prevailed on Sergio to his megaphone down long enough to speak into our tape recorder and tell us why he opposes Prop 1A (“State Budget. Changes California Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases ‘Rainy Day’ Budget Stabilization Fund”). During the impromptu interview, other members of Herrera’s group continued to occupy the other three corners of the large intersection, waving their “No on Prop 1” signs as drivers passed by, honking their approval or disapproval.

Herrera said he works full time in information systems and is also a full-time student, with most of the funding coming “out of my pocket.”

Why are you out here railing against Proposition 1A?

I do this whenever I have a moment because this is something I really believe in, and has to be done. The message has to get out there. The opposition is spending a lot of money to push this on us. We don’t have the cash to do that, so I’m standing on a corner with a blow horn.

The problem is that most of the people who say we need it are the same people who are going to benefit from it — the Sacramento legislators, both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, the unions. All the people who are going to benefit financially from Proposition 1A are the same people spending millions of dollars to push this proposition on you.

But if you look at the polls, you’ll see the taxpayers aren’t being fooled by this. We all know it’s a two-year tax increase on top of some of the highest taxes we are now paying. It does not create a spending cap. It does not benefit California at all. Sacramento has been fiscally irresponsible for far too long. And the answer is not shoveling more money into the coffers of Sacramento. The answer is fiscal responsibility. Sacramento needs to learn to tighten its belt, just as you and I do during these economic downturns. And they haven’t done that. And they don’t want to do that. They refuse to do that.

We’re out here standing on this corner with our signs. We don’t have the budget that Sacramento has. But we are standing here with the taxpayers, spreading the word with them. We’re getting great, positive results from this. And we’re going to continue doing this until Proposition 1A fails on May 19.

How important is this vote to the future of California?

How important is it? Right now, we’re in an economic downturn, and the answer is not taxing the taxpayers to death. Doing that is only going to result in more taxpayers fleeing the state and less money in the coffers of Sacramento, which is only going to exacerbate the whole situation we’re in. We need to do something about this. We need to stop the madness and stop the crazy spending and start putting some controls on the way we do things in California. We’re going to need to cut.

Are you advocating across the board cuts that affect police, fire, hospitals, if that’s what it takes to rein in the spending?

I would be, but every time we come to a situation where we start talking about taxes, everybody starts throwing in, you know, it’s for the children, the police are going to be gone, it’s going to be mayhem, fire and brimstone. That’s not the case. There are a lot of things going on in Sacramento, a lot of positions, a lot of duplicate jobs that are costing a lot of money. We need to look at the union pensions. We need to look at the union contracts. These contracts are out of control. If California were run as a private business, it would have been bankrupt years ago. But they can force the customers to pay more money. You and I can’t do that. So we need to start looking at that. We need to really look at the way Sacramento spends their money, and what they spend it on.

Explain how a No on Prop 1A would affect the recent hike in vehicle registration fees.

It would repeal the vehicle registration increase in two years. A vote of yes increases it for two more years. The idea behind that was there was going to be a spending cap. The problem with the spending cap is the spending cap is going to be based on the highest earnings during the windfall years when the housing boom was going. That’s where they are going to cap it. After that, Sacramento can increase that by increasing taxes.

Their next move is to go up against the two-thirds majority vote. As soon as they have that, they can increase taxes every year without opposition, and with that, the spending cap keeps increasing. Along with this, Proposition 1B then takes the money they’re going to put in that rainy day fund and they start funneling money back to the teachers’ union. That’s what Proposition 1B does.

The fact is we already spend over 50% of our budget on education. And the problems with our California schools aren’t necessarily the teachers or the classroom sizes or even the amount of money we spend per student. The problem is the lack of parent involvement. Parents aren’t involved like they are in other places. This is why we have the drop-out rates and the low scores we do, and shoveling money at that does not fix that. You cannot fix that problem by shoveling money at it. So, they keep thinking they can fix the problems by putting more money on it, more money on it, more money on it. All they’re doing is they’re bankrupting the state. We cannot sustain where our budget is now.

Why did you pick this street corner in La Verne?

We’ve been doing this in several different cities. We just did La Habra last week. We did Rancho Cucamonga. We chose La Verne for several reasons. I grew up and went to high school here (class of ’89). The other reason is, this is one of Anthony Adams’ districts (California State Assembly Republican Member Anthony Adams represents the 59th Assembly District, which includes La Verne.) Anthony Adams was the Republican who had promised not to raise taxes when he ran for election, and then turned around and voted yes on the tax increase. This was a personal one for me. Unfortunately, we had a lot more people at the last one, but because of the warnings of rain a lot of people didn’t show up.

You’ve still got the megaphone though.

I would have been out here standing on the corner alone if I had, too.

As always, LaVerneOnline invites alternative arguments and points of view in the interest of helping voters make the most informed decision on May 19. 

2 Responses to “His Turn: Blowing His Horn Against Proposition 1A”

  1. Sergio, I made the change, thanks for sounding off. You’re an excellent spokesperson, pb

  2. Thank you Sergio! I was on one of the corners with my 16 yr. old Son. When asked “what’s in it for you? His Reply “I’m your future”. I pay for him to go to private school, he was failing and not being challenged in public school. I don’t mind paying for it because I know that he’s getting an education.


Leave a Reply