Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Freedom of Ideas


Assemblymember Mike Eng was the keynote speaker on June 27 during a Democrats’ Club Meeting held at Wahib’s Middle Eastern Restaurant in Alhambra.

Members of several local clubs met over a delicious lunch and discussed ideas to improve the lives of California residents. The state budget was not balanced and on July 1st the state would be paying their debts with IOU’s.

Mr. Eng spoke about the multiply meetings he attended in Sacramento. He was due back to attend an emergency meeting on the evening of June 28.

The bad news is the California budget is not balanced. The worse case is the state is $19 billion in the hole and would be paying their debts with IOU’s.

He said the Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly worked together on the budget. The Senate did not vote on their budget.

He did not want an all the cuts in the budget. It would hurt the working families, seniors and in-home support services.

Mr. Eng proposed a balance budget by taxing oil taken out of the state and $1.50 sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol beverages to support students and in-home services.

He stated the Governor Schwarzenegger would not sign anything that looks like a tax. He blasted former President Bush for the mortgage meltdown and the reduction in stock portfolios, 401K accounts and pensions.

He told a story about a mortgage broker who became rich on the “liars’ loans” that caused the mortgage meltdown.

Mr. Eng blamed the state’s financial disaster on Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger giving away the VLF funds (Vehicle Registration Fees). He stated the VLF equaled $4.5 billion a year, which added up together, would equal the $19 billion short fall.

These fees would have been used to support the local governments. The funds used to replenish the VLF fees came from the general funds.

Mr. Eng said don’t let people blame it on the Democrat Party. There is a small window of time to bring about the opportunity to change. He is opened to reform.

He spoke about a Constitutional Convention held in July that would elect delegates to make suggestions to be put on the ballot to change the state constitution. They would need majority vote to put anything on the ballot.

He suggested we do away with Prop 13 (which keeps property taxes to a 1% annual tax increase on residential property and a 2% annual increase on business property).

Suggestions from the floor countered his suggestion to only increase the property taxes on business properties.

He stated that same sex marriage should be allowed; increase the funding for education and charge sin taxes to help improve the financial health of California.

Mr. Eng stated any changes would not take place any time soon and the voters may reject any ballot measures that are too controversial. It is about change.

The window for opportunity is small, as the Democrats have begun to meet on the issue of ballot amendments. He suggested that the members have discussions on the ballot changes made by the legislature before they are placed on the ballot.

(Editor’s note: California is one of the few states where the voters can amend the state constitution by ballot measure.)

He said the Republicans would also have meetings on their ballot amendments.

Mr. Eng spoke about possible changes that could be made to our form of government: Tax reform on different taxes, Budgets that cover two to four years, Local governments should be made stronger, Shorted session in Sacramento, Change the 2/3 majority vote and Reverse term limits. We need to find the sweet spot to change the system.


Democrat Congressional Candidate Judy Chu spoke about her chance to go to Washington, DC as a member of Congress to take over Hilda Solis’ seat. She received a 9% victory over the other Democrat candidates. People voted on a person based on their qualifications.

Ms. Chu stated that Gil Cedillo, another Democrat candidate, requested Betty Tom Chu run as a Republican candidate and drop her middle name of Tom to draw votes away from Judy Chu.

She spoke about all the issues that Betty Tom Chu was against as a conservative.

Ms. Chu stated that Betty Tom Chu was self funded and was late in filling her financial reports.

Judy Chu asked her fellow Democrats in the 32nd District for their support.

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