Cal. Assembly Speaker Likens Conservative Talk Radio To Terrorism
June 29, 2009 at 4:57 AM (PT)
The Speaker of the CALIFORNIA Assembly has likened conservative talk radio to "terrorism" in an interview with the LOS ANGELES TIMES.
KAREN BASS, a Democrat who has served in the Assembly since 2004 and ascended to Speaker in 2008, told the TIMES' PATT MORRISON that "The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized (by conservative talk radio) against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: 'You vote for revenue and your career is over.' I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair."
The "revenue" BASS mentioned involves massive tax increases, which talk hosts in the state, notably CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES afternoon hosts JOHN KOBYLT and KEN CHIAMPOU, campaigned against and focused their ire on Republicans (including Gov. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER) who reneged on a no-tax-increase pledge to cut a deal with the majority Democrats to raise taxes and fees.
JOHN AND KEN's "Heads on a Stick" campaign prompted recall movements against some of the Republicans who enabled the tax increase. The state is running a massive deficit, but conservatives (and some liberals) believe that the money woes are the result of a free-spending state government that should first cut back on several programs; the Governor and state Democrats warn that without huge tax increases, the state's educational system may be endangered and prisoners would have to be released for lack of resources to keep them in prison.