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Video: The Daily Show on California’s Direct Democracy

| December 6, 2011
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The Daily Show really needs to start paying royalties to California politicians. Last night, it was current Democratic Party Chairman and Official State Potty Mouth John Burton, along with GOP Assemblyman and former Minuteman Tim Donnelly, who served as props in the burgeoning cottage industry of making fun of our government.

In this bit, John Oliver, who had some funny things to say to us last year about the gubernatorial election, makes sport of California’s system of direct democracy, focusing on this year’s brouhaha over the Amazon sales tax (which now seems to have been settled, though the piece doesn’t mention that).

“What if I were to suggest an initiative that May 31 should forever be referred to as Tim Donelly is an a***** day,” Oliver asks Donnelly. “I mean, I’d need 500,000 signatures.”

“I don’t think that would be that hard in this state,” a fully-prepared-for-mockery Donnelly retorts.

“I think that’s probably true,” says Oliver, fully prepared for someone fully prepared. Edit, joke on Donnelly.

Burton and Donnelly now join San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar and former Mayor Gavin Newsom; and East Bay Congressman John Garamendi as California politicos-turned-comedic fodder on The Daily Show-Colbert circuit.

Sort of reminds me of the Washington Generals, the born-to-lose basketball team created for the sole purpose of playing the Harlem Globetrotters. The Generals racked up a 2,495-game losing streak, gamely and earnestly taking jumpshots and collecting rebounds while the main attraction clowned up a storm around them…

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