Chances are, most of you have received e-mails similar to the following (this is my compilation of various themes I have seen in the ones that have arrived in my inbox):
Greetings. I hope this message finds you in goood helth. May God’s blessings fall upon you!
I am a barrister representing the eztate of the late Iwantu Monet, the basteard son of the Nigerian Oil Minister, who was killed by his father in a jellice rage when caught in bed with the elder’s mistress.
Before Mr. Monet was murdered, he had accumulated a sum of $10.000.000 USD in a Swiss bank account. The money was from kickbacks receeved from hi government officials.
My research shows you are someone I can trust. I need to transfer this fortune to a Safe bank account in your Country. If you agree to this 100% risk free transaction, I will split the sum with you. Utmost secretivenessish is a most concern
Pleese send me your informations including your social security number, bank account number and a copy of your passport so I can instruct the Swiss bink manager to expedite this transfer.
Your trusted servant,
I used to believe it would be impossible for anyone to fall for these offers.
I know there are 5.2 million individuals in California who would send their “informations” faster than these e-mails can be distributed. They represent the voters who approved Proposition 25 last year. I am proud to say I was not one of them. I publicly opposed the measure at meetings of Neighborhood Council Valley Village, my blog and in Citywatch.
Prop 25 allowed the California State Legislature to pass a budget by a simple majority vote, but stipulated that the legislators would forfeit their pay for every day the budget was past the mandated deadline. We were told passage would break the chronic logjams that have resulted from partisan struggles over spending and taxes.
The forty-five percent of the turnout who cast a “No” vote were not hoodwinked by the promise of docking legislators. They were aware of the legislature’s penchant for fabricating unrealistic revenue forecasts, which meant that a “balanced” budget could be passed even though it was based on whims. That virtually assured no one would ever forego a payday.
A recent tentative ruling by a Sacramento superior court judge just knocked the legs out from under Prop 25’s no-pay provision. Judge David Brown believes the legislators have the power to define what balanced is.
When will voters learn that ballot measures cannot fix bad government; especially when they contain subjective provisions easily overturned by the courts?
State Controller John Chiang is challenging the judicial ruling. He appears to be one of the few in Sacramento who takes his responsibilities seriously.
Perhaps the legislators can raise revenue and close the budget gap by e-mailing registered voters the equivalent of a Nigerian scam. It appears there are more than enough takers who would unwittingly allow their bank accounts to be drained by the very people they elect.
PS: For a good laugh about Nigerian e-mail scams , follow this link.