Category Archives: Ballot Measures

Partisan Gridlock No, Political Battle Yes

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For a governor who took office with more actual experience than virtually any elected leader in modern times, the long-awaited announcement of a budget-related initiative seems to mark the official end to Act I of Jerry Brown’s return to Sacramento. … Continue reading »


The Crowding Field of 2012 Tax Initiatives

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California voters have long had a reputation as anti-tax, a reputation that explains why so many proposals either fizzle before ever making it to the ballot… or are roundly rejected on Election Day. But the November 2012 ballot appears poised … Continue reading »


Super Committee for California's Initiative Process

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Frustrated by the tendency of elected officials to kowtow to political pressure and the unchecked power of interest groups to write their own laws that never get revisited, California’s latest governance reform effort proposes a new third way: a citizens … Continue reading »


710,924 Signatures for Overturning Senate Map. And Yet...

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The sole challenge to the work of California’s citizen redistricting panel appears to have crossed a significant milestone over the weekend, but still faces some tough odds to actually blocking the use of the panel’s work in 2012. Starting last … Continue reading »


Government Reformers Eye November 2012

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Efforts to reform California’s system of government — a system that virtually no one denies is dysfunctional — have been percolating for the last few years, but have never actually reached the boiling point. Now, reformers hope they can finally … Continue reading »


New Pension Initiatives Target Current Workers

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NOTE: An earlier version of this posting misidentified conservative pension activist Marcia Fritz as one of the members of the group behind the new initiative campaign. There’s a temptation to dust off the quote attributed to an infamous bank robber … Continue reading »


Good Government or Political Power Play?

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After a debate on everything from fixing direct democracy to allegations of welshing on a deal, the Legislature approved legislation on its final day that strips June statewide ballots of initiative measures and — in an unrelated move — delays … Continue reading »


5 Questions I Wasn't Supposed to Think About on Vacation

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There’s a sort of unwritten, and yet often violated rule, when my family goes on vacation: don’t keep checking your smartphone. I didn’t break it too often while visiting my waterlogged family on the coast of North Carolina this past … Continue reading »


A Hefty Redistricting Referendum

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When the petition to overturn the new state Senate maps hits the streets this weekend, it’s going to be not a page, but a packet. Signature gatherers are being required to tote along not just a page for voter signatures, … Continue reading »


Refer Madness 2012

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Whether most voters realize it or not, the vast majority of measures that appear on the ballot in statewide elections ask them to authorize a brand new law. Rarely are voters asked to approve or reject a standing law. And … Continue reading »