Kersten, David


David Kersten is an independent consultant who specializes in public policy research and analysis.

State Legislators Must Get Beyond Partisan Divisions, Outdated and Flawed Understanding of State’s Economy

By David Kersten

Kersten Communications (KC) has undertaken a major review of the research and literature on economic competitiveness and job creation and found that much of the existing political debate is based on an outdated and flawed understanding of the drivers of local, state, and national economic growth.

KC will present the results of this research in a series of articles and reports in the coming months to help provide readers with a concise review of what the experts say are the key public policies that the State of California should enact to create jobs and improve our business climate.

To illustrate, most conservative Republican lawmakers are stuck in the mindset that most state spending is bad and the best way to promote economic development in the state is to minimize the size of the government by cutting spending and taxes to the greatest extent possible.

CA GOP Serves Only to Obstruct Governance, Providing Mandate for Lowering 2/3 Vote Requirement for Taxes

By David Kersten
Kersten Communications

The current budget stalemate, and the long list of budget stalemates since the early 2000s, provide all the evidence needed to justify reducing the state’s 2/3 vote requirement to pass taxes or place taxes before voters. Governor Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators have all done all they can to gain the votes of the handful of Republican legislators, including entertaining changes to the state’s pension system, a spending cap, altering environmental regulations, and corporate tax cuts. Yet not a single Republican lawmaker has stepped forward to offer a vote to place Governor Brown’s tax package before voters in June.

The partisan culture in Sacramento has gotten to a point where the California Republican Party cannot and does not govern but merely serves to obstruct the Democratic majority and exploit the key systemic flaw in California’s system of government—the 2/3 vote requirement to pass tax proposals or place such proposals before voters.

New Research: Prop 26 a “Trojan Horse” to Prevent Funding of AB 32, Federal Health Care Reform Legislation?

By David Kersten
Kersten Communications

Research done by Kersten Communications indicates that Prop. 26 may be a Trojan horse that would likely prevent additional funding of the landmark AB 32 greenhouse gas reduction measure, but could also affect funding for the implementation of state level health care reform legislation. 

Proposition 26 increases the legislative vote requirement from a majority to a 2/3 vote for new and increased state and local fees and charges, with specified exceptions (e.g. parks fees, some development fees). Prop. 26 would also require a vote of the people for fees levied by local governments. But it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly what fees would remain a majority vote and what fees would become a 2/3 vote. 

New Research: Prop 26 a “Trojan Horse” to Prevent Funding of AB 32, Federal Health Care Reform Legislation?

By David Kersten
Kersten Communications

Research done by Kersten Communications indicates that Prop. 26 may be a Trojan horse that would likely prevent additional funding of the landmark AB 32 greenhouse gas reduction measure, but could also affect funding for the implementation of state level health care reform legislation. 

Proposition 26 increases the legislative vote requirement from a majority to a 2/3 vote for new and increased state and local fees and charges, with specified exceptions (e.g. parks fees, some development fees). Prop. 26 would also require a vote of the people for fees levied by local governments. But it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly what fees would remain a majority vote and what fees would become a 2/3 vote. 

California’s Failed Experiment with Minority Rule Thwarts Will of the Majority, Prevents Effective Operation of Government

By David Kersten

California’s 32-year failed experiment with minority rule has proven the principal of majority rule is essential to the efficient and effective functioning of the California State Legislature.  

Majority rule is a fundamental principal embodied by the United States Constitution, but something that has been hijacked by the initiative process in California to provide for the tyranny by 1/3 of the population to the detriment of a majority of Californians.

Research undertaken by Kersten Communications has found that in left-leaning academic circles, there is a consensus that Prop. 13’s 2/3 vote requirement needs to be replaced with a majority vote or 55% vote.  Political scientists on the right, on the other hand, support the 2/3 vote requirement because it restrains the size of government. (Note: right-leaning academics were contacted for this analysis but chose not to comment).