Progressives’ Latest Plot to Take Power From the People and Give It to Legislators

California Senate passes bill to rein in the voter initiative process

SACRAMENTO — Few things have defined California's politics more than the three election reforms championed by the state's 23rd governor – the initiative, the referendum and the recall. Hiram Johnson's system of direct democracy, used early and often in California since 1911, was designed to place power in the hands of "the people."

That era's "progressives" believed voters needed the power to circumvent legislators, who were beholden to railroad barons and other special interests. Johnson said the reforms "may prevent the misuse of the power temporarily centralized in the legislature" and will help control "weak officials."

Today's legislature is dominated by officials who also call themselves progressives, yet many of them have become increasingly leery of direct democracy. They routinely propose bills to rein in the use of the initiative in particular. One of the most notable reforms, SB 1253, passed the Senate last week on a 29-8 vote, including four GOP "yes" votes.

"This bill makes several changes to the initiative process including providing a 30-day public review process, extending the time frame allowed for circulating a petition, and allowing the withdrawal of a petition at any time before the measure qualifies for the ballot," according to a state Senate bill analysis.

Bill supporters argue that, under existing law, once an initiative is filed there's no opportunity to withdraw it even if drafting flaws are noticed. They say the extra qualification time might reduce the reliance on paid signature-gatherers and that the additional review process will give the legislature a chance to negotiate a solution.

Such tweaks may sound unobjectionable, but this is where Johnson starts rolling over in his grave. Direct democracy is designed to let the people bypass a capitol overly influenced by lobbyists. Recent Senate corruption scandals reinforce the idea that nothing much has changed in a century, even if different special interests exert control there.

Yet SB 1253's obvious stated goal is to bring the legislature more directly into the process and to at least somewhat reduce the role of California voters. "It's good for the citizens when their duly elected representatives can have … a more significant say in making public policy on their behalf," said the bill's sponsor, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. He said constituents often complain about initiatives and wonder why legislators hadn't addressed the matter.

Currently, the legislature holds hearings late in the initiative process, "typically occurring after initiatives have already qualified when there is no opportunity for meaningful policy discussion between proponents and the legislature," argued bill-supporter Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, in a recent column.

The hearing rules are the most controversial part of the measure.

"This is a dampening of the initiative process that's historical to California," argued Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, on the Senate floor. "The only purpose of those hearings is to dampen the gathering of signatures, to campaign against it." Many of the state's most significant initiatives have come about precisely because of inaction by the legislature, he added.

Other conservatives believe this is the first step toward the goal of giving legislators the ability to directly amend proposed initiatives. It's ironic that conservatives, traditionally hostile to direct democracy, are now its main champions. But there's no doubt the Democratic leadership is taking aim at the last main threat to its power.

SB 1253 even gives a broader role to the state attorney general to solicit public comments and amendments to the initiative – even though AGs have routinely been accused of using their current powers to undermine initiatives they don't like by writing titles and summaries filled with politically loaded terms.

Steinberg said the legislature could have gone much further – and that this bill still keeps control in the hands of the initiative supporters. That's true. And most people agree that the initiative process has gotten unduly complex, often is abused by moneyed interests and could stand a little tweaking more than a century after its implementation.

But what would Johnson say about an effort to take even a little bit of the people's power and transfer it to the legislature?

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  • Ken Shultz||

    Progressives in California are kinda like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt--they want you to be able to vote for their pet issues, but once you do, they don't want you to be able to vote on them ever again.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's not true. They will vote over and over and over until they get the result that they want, and then it's settled law.

  • UnCivilServant||

    "How come we're only getting 8% of the vote? How many times do we have to repeat this?"

    /snark

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think there's a racist component to it, as well.

    Progressives are starting to come to terms with Latino immigrants being socially conservative--and the progs don't trust them to tow the progressive line.

  • Tony||

    When will this zombie lie get shot in the fucking head. Latinos are not socially conservative relative to the general population. Not on any issue. And they're especially hostile to capitalism. Mostly because they skew young.

  • sarcasmic||

    I see the liar has arrived.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    They are conservative on abortion compared to the general population. The general trend among Latinos is that there is a smaller middle (moderates) among the foreign born (more extremes). Once they're naturalized and sold on the welfare state, they line up nicely with the distribution of political leanings among everyone else with a slight lean to the left.

  • trutherator||

    Unless they come from a Communist or socialist regime. Here in Miami we see Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans who are themselves capitalists. Guys like Menendez in Jersey are rare birds among Cuban-Americans. Colombia is not socialist, but the Colombians here hate, hate, hate the FARC and they loved, loved, loved Uribe for pushing them into the ground.

    That's why Uribe's pick for next president is doing so well.

    It's East European immigrants, poor and rich alike, in the last half of the 20th century who were the most fanatical anti-Communists (except for a rare mutant mole like George Soros). I met a Hungarian freedom fighter once (1956) and he told me they had control of the country, and Russia held off till Eisenhower gave the public go-ahead in a speech where he said "We took care of that problem at Yalta".

    Mexicans seem bamboozled by leftist demagogues, sure, but remember Honduras pushed back against the Chavez puppet, dictator Manuel Zelaya. Forget the "progressive" propaganda. Hondurans wanted him gone. 80% easy. They do NOT want to be another Cuba or Venezuela.

  • Drake||

    Like an EU referendum.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    OT: Why the does ad for "12 Reasons You Might Belong in the 1940s" have a picture of a guy from the 1890s?

  • UnCivilServant||

    why are you looking at ads? I support web sites I want to keep online by buying their product.

  • ||

    Wait, Reason has a product?

  • Andrew S.||

    They should sell Reason-branded athletic cups. They'd make a fortune.

  • Swiss Servator, CH yeah!||

    BALKOSHIELD!

  • R C Dean||

    I think you meant

    BALLCO SHIELD.

  • ||

    A reminder to ALL Californian Voters that is thinking about leaving this once Great State, don't. We don't want to infest the rest of the nation with the same kind of idiotic voting that destroy our state. Taking one for the team, I'm not leaving either.

  • ||

    Having an avenue for withdrawing an initiative might not be a bad thing. There've been a few in recent years where the Pro description was "DON'T VOTE FOR THIS IT'S ALREADY BEEN HANDLED" or "VOTE FOR THIS OTHER INITIATIVE IT'S ACTUALLY BETTER."

    I do agree that there's a ramping up of grumbling that voters can't be trusted to govern themselves (particularly when it comes to taxing ourselves).

  • ||

    What possible difference could it make anyway? The voters who would presumably be making use of the initiative, referendum and recall are the same tools that voted the legislature in in the first place. They're getting what they want... good and hard.

  • Ken Shultz||

    People vote for Democrats for different reasons.

    Latinos are voting for Democrats becasue they believe the Republicans are fundamentally hostile to them. Doesn't mean those Latinos are on board with gay marriage and hostility to Christianity.

    The progs are voting on social issues--other, different, culture war social issues.

    And they often vote against each other. It was a huge chunk of the Latino vote that made Proposition 8 pass--banning gay marriage in California. It was kinda hilarious to hear progs blame that on outside Mormon money--they just couldn't come to terms with the fact that the Latinos voted against them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Here's a nice collection of prog takes on ¡Los Evangélicos!...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....ngelicals/

    They're taking these culturally conservative, extremely entrepreneurial people for granted.

  • Tonio||

    It was kinda hilarious to hear progs blame that on outside Mormon money...

    Well, Ken, I'm glad you're so easily amused. And not just progs, everyone who followed the issue knew that out-of-state Mormon money was bankrolling Prop 8. They did need those Latino votes, of course, since money can't vote.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, are we going to start blaming the Koch Brothers if people vote against more taxes, now, too?

    Mormons may have spent some money, but it was the Latino voters who put it over the top.

    Point is, those culturally conservative Latinos don't need a lot of prodding to vote to discriminate against gay people.

    Point is that California's progressive thought of Latinos as a well disciplined and obedient bunch--sort of like noble savages in the Progressive way.

    They're horribly confused, and rather than deal with their misconceptions about Latinos, that the people of Caesar Chavez and Stand and Deliver would vote against social conservatives, they blamed Mormons.

    Blaming Mormons for Latino social conservatism is ridiculous.

  • ||

    Most of the Latinos I know voted for prop 8 because the Spanish language advertising focused on gays taking over schools, and not because they were particularly concerned with gays getting married, so Tonio's contention that heavy spending on misleading advertising made a difference isn't that far-fetched.

    My sample is pulled mostly from working and middle class Latinos in suburban LA, so YMMV.

  • ||

    I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but I believe blacks voted much more uniformly for prop 8 than Hispanics.

    All of that notwithstanding, I think Californians are getting something pretty close to the government they want.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Black opinion on SSM has significantly changed since Obama's announcement of his 'evolution' on the issue.

  • Tony||

    Comfort yourself with thoughts of conservative Latinos if you wish, but the real breakdown is age. Old people, white or Latino, are more conservative. Young people are liberal. Latinos self-identify as liberal more than the general population now. And guess what this means for the future, as older people continue their habit of dying sooner than younger people?

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me a young conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart.

    Show me an old liberal and I'll show you someone with no brain.

  • Tony||

    Cliches are the only things rattling around in your head, aren't they?

  • sarcasmic||

    Some things become cliches because they're true.

    Not that a liar like you would know anything about truth.

  • Tony||

    Not this one. Besides, conservative in America at this time means something very different than it would have in pretty much any other context, including Churchill's, even though he never said that and you probably believe he did.

  • sarcasmic||

    Conservatism to the left means whatever a particular leftist feels at the moment, and has no bearing on reality. Whatever, liar.

  • Juice||

    In America liberal doesn't mean liberal either.

  • ||

    Younger people turning into older people?

    Idiot.

  • Tony||

    And remaining liberal. People do not get more conservative as they age. They tend to hang on to the politics of their youth and actually tend to get more liberal as they age.

  • sarcasmic||

    Liars lie. They tend to hang on to the dishonest habits of their youth and actually tend to get more dishonest as they age.

  • Tony||

    That's what all the evidence says. It's a myth that people get more conservative as they age. Sorry.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's what all the liars say.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Actually, when I googled do people become more conservative with age most of the results on the first page pointed to evidence that they do not.

  • sarcasmic||

    Like I give a shit about what you have to say, Bo.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You can work the Google yourself I imagine.

  • sarcasmic||

    As far as those studies go, yeah some do become more socially liberal as they age. But that ignores the economic and fiscal side. Intentionally I might add.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you have any evidence of your claims? Not trying to make you angry, just asking.

  • sarcasmic||

    I know how these studies work. They work backwards. First you come up with a conclusion, then you cherry pick issues to confirm your conclusion. You craft questions that will lead to the desired result, and finally you conduct the research. Then magically you get the result you wanted. It's amazing.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ah, so it's not just Tony who is a liar, it's all these studies too.

  • sarcasmic||

    Figures don't lie, but liars figure.

  • Tony||

    That's some profound insight there sarc.

  • JWatts||

    "Actually, when I googled do people become more conservative with age most of the results on the first page pointed to evidence that they do not."

    Do you realize what the actual serious studies of that type are actually indicating?

    These studies don't indicate that people become more Liberal (in the political sense), they instead indicate that people don't really become more stodgy and narrow minded as they age. In other words as people age they don't become more conservative, in the behavioral sense.

    Someone with an open mind doesn't magically become Progressive over time.

    So, Tony & Bo actually have a literal point, but they didn't bother actually looking at the underlying studies. They just saw the Salon/DailyKos interpretations of such studies.

  • AlbedoAtoned||

    That's the very definition of conservative. It doesn't have to do with any particular beliefs, and what was once called liberal is different than what is called liberal today. Same with conservative.

    If these people grow up advocating keeping laws that they got when they were younger, then they are conservative. If they want to change the status quo to something different than what they got then they are liberal.

    As those younger people get older, they will vote on issues and that will become traditional values to them. If somebody then wants to ban gay marriage, then they would be liberal by that time period's views, because they would be voting for a change to traditional values.

    Most people I have known have become more libertarian as they aged, they just didn't know it. The values that they had when they were children were different than when they were older adults. For instance, my grandmother while she voted as a social conservative, her views tended to lean more libertarian than she thought. And yet, her views were far from progressive. She was definitely more fiscally conservative than in her past.

    Most people become fiscally conservative as they age, even if their social views become more liberal.

  • AlbedoAtoned||

    That comment was to Tony's above up top.

    I would like to clarify that most of the people I know who have used some variation of "young people who aren't liberal have no hearts, old people who aren't conservative have no brains." tend to think in the two dimensional plane of left-right politics. As I said above, most of the people I know got more socially liberal, but far more fiscally conservative. They became more libertarian because they mostly just desired to be left alone. "You leave me alone and I'll leave you alone." And most were religious and who were led to believe they were social conservatives. When pointed out for them, they realized how much they disagreed with both the progressives and the neoconservatives in office.

    Conversely, most of the progressives I know became more socially conservative (because as their values become more traditional, they want to keep it that way), and authoritatian, always wanting to control people's lives as they got older. And they became fiscally liberal (read:wastes a lot of money) in their pursuits.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Comfort yourself with thoughts of conservative Latinos if you wish"

    Why would I find social conservatism comforting, Tony, you fucking retard?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Tony's so stupid, he's been reading my comments for years, now, and he thinks I'm a social conservative.

    That is demonstrable stupidity. Too stupid to respond to with anything but insults.

    And why bother responding if--after years of reading your comments--he still doesn't understand anything you say?

  • Tony||

    It's not that I think you're socially conservative, it's that I think you're drooling at the prospect of using Latinos' alleged social conservatism as a means to elect Republicans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The facts don't have opinions, Tony.

    I know you think they do, but that's one of the reasons why you're so stupid.

    Latino social conservatives aren't part of the Progressive movement--no matter whether the Progressives think they are.

    The Progressive are starting to realize that, and that's why the Progressives have suddenly decided to start shutting the window on direct democracy--because Latinos are going to continue to dominate California demographics for the foreseeable future and the progs don't like what they see coming from Latinos.

    What I think of Latino social conservatism is beside that point. The point is that this is what's happening, this is why I think it's happening, and it's a direct response to the subject of this thread, you fucking retard.

    I don't pay attention to or ignore facts because I like or don't like their implications. That's you! And you're a fucking idiot.

  • Tony||

    But none of that characterization is true. Latinos are more liberal than the general population (except maybe on abortion, but not among the young). You're just wrong about this. If conservatives thought that they were on the winning side of an increased Latino population, then don't you think they'd be a little less hostile to it?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "The Progressive are starting to realize that"

    I think you're wrong on that Ken.

    Progressives trust and distrust democracy from any group to the extent that it gives them the results they want. They are not particularly worried about Latinos though, in fact they seem to be counting on them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Like I said, they're taking them for granted, and given the Republicans hostility to immigration, they have good reason to do so.

    But it's that apparent hostility to immigration (perceived as hostility to Latinos generally) that keeps Latinos voting Democrat. Take that impetus away, and Latinos (who seem to become more evangelical all the time), wouldn't vote as consistently Democrat anymore.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Agree there, the GOP, especially the California GOP, did a lot to help the bed they now lie in regarding Latino voters.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressives trust and distrust democracy from any group to the extent that it gives them the results they want.

    They'll keep pushing a referendum until they get the results they want, and then SETTLED LAW! YOU CAN'T MESS WITH SETTLED LAW!

  • Tony||

    I don't know. What other reason would you be hanging onto lies about it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, so you're proud of being profoundly stupid?

    ...and what are we supposed to conclude from that, precisely?

  • Tony||

    I think the interesting lesson here is that you don't care about social conservatism being imposed on everyone just so long as billionaires get their tax cuts.

  • Jordan||

    I think the interesting lesson here is that you don't care about social conservatism being imposed on everyone just so long as billionaires get their tax cuts.

    I think the interesting lesson here is that you typed that while lecturing others about lying.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony is lecturing about hanging onto lies. That's rich.

  • Ken Shultz||

    He's an extremely conflicted person.

    He's gay, and he openly supported Obama back when Obama was campaigning on discriminating against gay people.

    Can you imagine? Somebody who's so conflicted that they'll blindly support someone who's openly promising to help discriminate against you?

    If he hadn't been a Progressive, he'd probably be begging change for the Moonies in an airport parking lot somewhere.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "He's gay, and he openly supported Obama back when Obama was campaigning on discriminating against gay people."

    Now, that's just silly. Like with any interest group you look at the alternatives you have and choose the person who is the better, not the one who is perfect. I imagine Tony disagreed with Obama on several gay rights issues, but he probably disagreed with McCain and Romney much more.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If I were gay, there's no way I'd vote for a president who was actively campaigning on using the government to discriminate against me.

    That requires some weird kind of self-hatred.

    Certainly not when there were third-party candidates campaigning on how the government shouldn't be allowed to discriminate against me.

    If you and Tony landed on the same page on that one, I'm sure it was for different reasons. You don't strike me as somebody who does things because that's what the herd has been told to do. Tony on the other hand--has no reasons for anything he thinks. It isn't just this issue!

    None of the reasons he gives for any of his position ever make any sense. Haven't you noticed?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Imagine a black guy voting in the 1952 election, who is that guy going to vote for? If you were gay and were worried about gay marriage in 2008 who were you supposed to vote for?

  • Ken Shultz||

    A black man in 1952, and a gay man in 2008 aren't especially comparable. Hell, in some places, before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, he couldn't have voted.

    Regardless, a black man in 1952, in many parts of the country, had no alternative.

    There were third party candidates Tony could vote for, and if he voted for Obama, the reasons he did so are just as absurd as all the reasons he gives for everything else he thinks and does.

  • sarcasmic||

    None of the reasons he gives for any of his position ever make any sense. Haven't you noticed?

    Yeah. It's because he's a liar. Think of it that way and it makes total sense.

  • Tony||

    Here's what I thought in 2008, same as I think today: only a moron would ever vote for a Republican at any level of office, and there are only two real choices in this country's system.

    I also think Obama was for marriage equality a long time before he admitted to it. No matter. No candidate will check every box. And 2008 is a very long time ago with respect to opinions on gay rights. Prop 8 would never pass today.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here's what I thought felt in 2008, same as I think feel today: ...

    I also think feel Obama was for marriage equality a long time before he admitted to it...

    ftfy, you emototard. Leave the thinking for people with brains.

  • Tony||

    About 98% of my political concern is about climate change. Everything else fits into the other 2%. Republicans don't believe in climate change (though they did in 2008--it was right there in McCain's platform). Thus, they must be stopped before they destroy the world. Not complicated. Perfectly rational.

  • sarcasmic||

    Perfectly rational.

    Yeah. In light of the fact that NONE of the predictions made by the priests of the climate change doomsday cult have come true, it's perfectly rational. Yeah. Totally.

  • Tony||

    Citation? Haha just kidding I know you can't figure Google out.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've been listening to their bullshit for twenty years now, Tony. They just keep moving the goalposts. It's obvious to anyone with a shred of honesty. Guess that rules you out.

  • sarcasmic||

    Oh, and no citation needed from me. The burden of proof is on you to show me predictions that have come true. Oh, and post hoc ergo propter hoc examples don't count. Well, not to an honest person anyway.

  • Duke||

    Bo: how could you possible know what Tony was thinking in 2008?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, of course I don't, I'm just using some common sense to think of how a person from an oppressed group could support a candidate that held at least one position that could be seen as endorsing oppression of that group.

    I mean, why wouldn't you ask Ken the same question?

  • sarcasmic||

    He's an extremely conflicted person.

    He's a shameless liar is what he is. There's no point in engaging him other than for the purpose of ridicule.

  • sarcasmic||

    He would be conflicted if he was honest. But he's not honest. He's a liar. What you read as conflict is actually dishonesty.

  • ||

    Representative democracy, straight up majority rule democracy (initiatives), what's the difference? It always ends up the tyranny of the majority regardless. And the politicians will gain power regardless as well. Yay for government!

  • tarran||

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    "The people" exist to legitimize progressives and nothing more. They get a vote now and again for show, with constraints on their options, against stuffed ballot boxes when necessary, and if they still vote the wrong way, the courts will strike it down. As a voter, you exist for them. Unless you're personally related to the Koch brothers, you are part of the 99% they represent whether you like it or not. As a moral and intellectual inferior, you must be controlled for your own good.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

  • Tonio||

    This was covered in PM links several days ago. Didn't know Skenazy had picked this up.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

    oops, that's what i get for not paying attention to the lynx.

    Still, i think that this is the area where the straw that breaks the camel's back will come from. Children are borderline holy to many different sects of American culture, and as the prog-fascist sect tries to impose their helicopter/no-punishment/ward-of-the-state parenting style on the rest of the country, people are going to get downright irate. It's one of those "you can mess with me, but leave my children out of it" things.

  • UnCivilServant||

    PM Links don't count.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You mean they're done blaming the Rethuglicans?

    Unpossible

  • Ken Shultz||

    In California, all politics is national.

    They don't need to run against Republicans in California; they run against the Republicans in the Midwest and the South.

    Seriously, people in California vote prog Democrats to the state legislature to stick it to Sarah Palin. It's cult logic, but that's the way they think.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm well aware. Used to live out there. I tire of listening to my old friends complain about imaginary GOP beasts that live under beds and block tax hikes at night.

  • R C Dean||

    OT:

    Bending the ol' cost curve. Just not in the right direction:

    Charges for some of the most common inpatient procedures surged at hospitals across the country in 2012 from a year earlier, some at more than four times the national rate of inflation, according to data released by Medicare officials on Monday.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06.....c=rss&_r=2

    Naturally, its the NYT, so they get stuff wrong:

    While it has long been known that hospitals bill Medicare widely varying amounts — sometimes many multiples of what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure,

    Inpatient stays are paid under a fixed fee schedule (the "prospective payment system", which pays based on "diagnosis related groups" or DRGs). Depending on the admitting diagnosis, the hospital gets a flat amount for the entire stay. Often, that flat amount has to cover treatment that is not part of the admitting diagnosis.

    Every hospital, IOW, bills Medicare exactly the same for the same inpatient admission.

    Outpatient is different, and more complicated. But the implication that hospitals can just send a bill for any old amount to Medicare, and Medicare will pay it, is just completely, utterly, flat-out wrong.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I suspect they're confusing private pay patients in that respect.

    "While it has long been known that hospitals bill Medicare widely varying amounts — sometimes many multiples of what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure"

    I bet they're trying to say that hospitals bill private pay and cash patients, sometimes, many multiples of what Medicare reimburses.

    There's still a lot wrong with their thinking, too; starting with their apparent assumption that what Medicare reimburses is somehow the fair price...

    It's probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there--the idea that the government pays full value. It's impossible to get people to understand the implications of the government's five-finger discount, when they can't even get their heads around the fact that the government helps itself to a five-finger discount.

    It's hard to find a journalist who knows or understands anything about hospital reimbursement, too. It's like having to read the Koran before you can write stories about terrorism. Most journalists just aren't going to take the time to learn about that--and neither are their editors. Their next story is going to be about Michelle Obama's exercise initiative.

  • R C Dean||

    there's no doubt the Democratic leadership is taking aim at the last main threat to its power.

    Ultimately, reality, and not the initiative process (which has been neutered anyway) and certainly not the Republicans, is the main threat to Dem power in CA.

    Sooner or later, economic and financial reality will drive the Dems from power. Naturally, that will mean enormous damage has been done, but that's the way one-party governments always roll.

  • Drake||

    I sure hope not. I want the Dems to ride this right down into the impact crater.

  • 110 Lean||

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Headline: Koch Brothers Donate to Group That Calls African-Americans 'Negroes'

  • R C Dean||

    I look forward to the spittle-flecked rants condemning the UNCF as an arm of the Kochtopus.

  • Duke||

    I'm also looking forward to how this will be spun by progs. My guess is that it will not be brought up by them though

  • ||

    Don't read the comments in the Washington Post concerning this donation.

  • Duke||

    Way to go Ed! Now you're literally forcing me to go read those WashPoo comments!

  • SugarFree||

    They will just say the Koch brothers are just covering their ass. This donation is to distract the pure and good people of progressive America from their Obama racism.

  • ||

    When I told some liberals hat Matt Damon and Bono heavily praised GW. Bush on his work concerning AIDS in Africa and he is widely respected over there, their heads damned near blew up.

  • Juice||

    But...Kanye

  • Robert||

    I really don't get, from Mr. Greenhut's description, how these measures take any power away from the initiative process. Early review? Less chance of drafting errors. Ability to withdraw? Better bargaining position. More time to collect sigs? Easier to get issues on the ballot. If anything, together this package seems to enhance I&R rather than restrict it.

  • shortviking||

    If Steinberg supports it, then something must be afoot.

  • trutherator||

    "It's ironic that conservatives, traditionally hostile to direct democracy, are now its main champions."

    Why would you think that's "ironic" and why do you think conservatives are "traditionally hostile to direct democracy" any more than anybody else? Initiatives are used to enact measures by people who see their concerns get blocked by legislatures.

    Regressive "progressives" like Johnson own the legislature today. No way he turns over in his grave. This is precisely the power clique that owns the California legislature these days.

  • Danno||

    It is the same shit over and over with a different color. Speed the collapse, reset, small government or no government but not full time politicians!!!

  • Danno||

    It is ironic that Reason would publish this. I thought we all knew direct democracy will persecute the minority and speed the collapse.

  • emma422||

    its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. www.Fox81.com

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  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
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