Skip to comments.Dan Walters: California politicos try to fix election via ballot title
Posted on 03/03/2009 10:01:45 AM PST by SmithL
When someone proposes an initiative ballot measure, the attorney general gives it an official title and summary. There's always been much political angst, as well as legal wrangling, over the wording of controversial issues.
. . . When the Legislature places a measure on the ballot, however, it often bypasses the attorney general by specifying the ballot title and even indirectly designating those who write ballot pamphlet arguments. In other words, the Legislature, in league with the governor, tries to fix the election by fixing how measures are portrayed.
Cases in point are the six measures that the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are asking voters to approve in a hurry-up May 19 special election to implement much of their state budget deal.
The most important of the measures, Proposition 1A, would create a state spending limit and direct excess revenue into a "rainy day" account to be used when the economy and state revenue dip. But a very important provision of the package is that billions of dollars in new taxes would be short-circuited if Proposition 1A is rejected.
That "poison pill" is designed to discourage unions and other left-of-center groups which despise state spending limits from campaigning actively against the measure. But it indirectly gives conservative anti-tax groups, which despise the new levies, a potential weapon.
Voters won't be told any of that in the official title written by the Legislature, which reads this way: "RAINY DAY BUDGET STABILIZATION FUND.
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Is it me, or does California have entirely too many ballot propositions? I am under the impression that a ballot initiative is an amendment to the California State Constitution.
Of course, the courts in the state often rule the propositions passed by the people to be unconstitutional.
If propositions are constitutional amendments, how can they be ruled unconstitutional? Never figured that out.
In Ca., the courts just annul willy nilly any law which doesn’t meet the liberal standard of fairness et al. Same old liberal BS but it works in the Soviet Republic of Ca.
Dan Walters: California activist reporter tries to fix opinion via article and title
wished there were a way to split Cali into two states.
>>I am under the impression that a ballot initiative is an amendment to the California State Constitution.
Not necessarily. In Kali, the initiative process can also be used for normal law-making as well.
Well, that explains why California is so screwed up, aside from the millions of leftist idiots living there of course.
I thought the Texas Constitutional amendment system was screwed up, but it doesn’t have anything on the California system.
Texas has an excuse, sort of, the State Constitution was written by Democrats. LOL.
It's why I oppose multilingual ballots. Too much opportunity to have "different" ballot verbiage to describe a ballot measure.
Although Walters uses the word measure eleven times in the article, in ten instances he's wrong. The correct term is referendum.
The electorate, through a signature gathering process, submits initiatives to the voters for their consideration. The legislture, through a supermajority vote, submits referendms to the electorate for their consideration. Both proposals carry the weight of a constitutional amendment if approved by a simple majority of the voters.
This simple majority rules process is frequently abused by the legislature to circumvent the super majority (2/3s) requirement for tax increases.
The ballot should read: New MEGA TAXES and SHAM BOGUS spending limit.