California Legislature Contemplates Crippling the Citizen Initiative Process

Citizens in Charge, an intiative and referendum-supporting interest group, raises the warning about California's AB 857, which will try to harm the intiative process by limiting the use of paid signature collectors:

S.MiRK / Foter / CC BYS.MiRK / Foter / CC BY

The bill imposes new requirements on petition campaigns that will significantly drive up the cost of initiatives and referendums....the measure will have a disproportionately negative impact on grassroots groups, while it specifically provides a loophole for labor unions and other well-organized political groups to largely get around the law. AB 857 requires that a full 20 percent of signatures gathered for an initiative petition would have to be collected by volunteer circulators, rather than their paid counterparts. 

However, the bill – actually co-sponsored by the powerful California Labor Federation and the California Professional Firefighters and backed by the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the California School Employees Association, and the AFL-CIO – provides a loophole so big a union-driver could steer a truck through: union members and employees of other non-profits are to be considered “volunteers,” even when being paid to gather signatures. 

So, while union-supported ballot measures would easily be able to collect 20 percent of their signatures from paid people masquerading as “volunteers” under the discriminatory color of this unconstitutional law....

Presently, AB 857 is still in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Let’s hope that committee will defeat the legislation or it will be defeated by the full Senate. If the California Senate passes AB 857, let’s hope Governor Jerry Brown will veto it, as he did in 2011 with Senate Bills 168 and 448, both designed to restrict and punish paid petitioners. 

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  • Sevo||

    Is "Cripping" sorta like "Crippling"?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's a reference to the bloods and crips unions.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Where I grew up, the dope dealer's union ran the district.

  • Sevo||

    ..."union members and employees of other non-profits are to be considered “volunteers,” even when being paid to gather signatures."...

    FUNNY!
    Kinda like the teacher's union thugs are doing it for 'the childrunz!'

  • A Serious Man||

    Why do you hate democracy and children, Sevo?

  • Sevo||

    Did you catch:
    "Why are state schools in trouble? Start with the California Teachers Assn."
    http://articles.latimes.com/20.....n-20120518
    Moonbeam licks the shoes of his master!

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    No one who works for government unions does so avariciously. That is why police unions bear no responsibility for the violence of their members.

    Why do you advocate greed and exploitation?

  • buddhastalin||

    This is California where unionists have no fucking shame. See also BART strike.

  • Nazdrakke||

    unionists have no fucking shame.

    It's hard to have shame when all you do is keep winning.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    So, in other states, union members refuse to work; but in California, they produce negative work?

  • Sevo||

    ..."in California, they produce negative work?"

    The Teachers' Unions do exactly that.

  • A Serious Man||

    However, the bill – actually co-sponsored by the powerful California Labor Federation and the California Professional Firefighters and backed by the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the California School Employees Association, and the AFL-CIO – provides a loophole so big a union-driver could steer a truck through: union members and employees of other non-profits are to be considered “volunteers,” even when being paid to gather signatures.

    It's like a perfect Axis of government-employee greed, largess, and incompetence.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I was going to say that you had me at "Teamsters," but that would be a lie.

    You had me at "California."

  • ||

    But unions are good. Ask Detroit.

  • C. Anacreon||

    It's like a perfect Axis of government-employee greed, largess, and incompetence.

    And, given the one-party Dem rule in CA, with supermajorities in both houses, it will almost certainly pass. Passing it will help maintain their stranglehold even further.

    After the election last year, a lot of the people I know and work with were positively giddy over the complete Democrat takeover of the state. People said things like "Finally we'll get good things done in California without interference by the Republicans." In their blissful ignorance I don't think they have any idea that things like this are coming (or also, as I linked to the other day, soon-to-become-law Senate Bill 1, which actually declares suburban living in houses with yards a "blight" which qualifies for eminent domain takeover.)

    There is so much that's great about living in California, but these bastards are going to make it virtually impossible to stay here much longer.

  • JW||

    Democracy is so fucking awesome.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It's been crippled on the back end by the courts and the governor, so Isuppose crippling it on the front is just more of the same.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I explain your joke:

    Fucked by California in both ends.

  • JW||

    The public DP!

  • Sevo||

    There's little doubt that the initiative process in CA really isn't a good idea; direct democracy at its worst, in most cases.
    But I gotta admit mixed feelings here; the gov't is now a one-party institution top to bottom, and initiative may be one of the few ways to rein in the dem idiots.
    As evidence, look who is proposing the limitations.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I disagree. It may have had its origins with the progressive movement but the initiative has of late been the home for some pretty significant libertarian friendly accomplishments like Prop 13 (limiting property taxes), Prop 209 (ending state run affirmative action), Prop 26 (requiring a supermajority to raise taxes), etc.

  • Sevo||

    Notice I wrote "in most cases".
    You've picked three out of how many hundred?
    I agree in those three cases and might even find one or two more, but I stand by my claim.

  • Nazdrakke||

    The 51-49 threshold is not a good thing as far as citizen's initiatives go, IMO, but, in this day and age of creeping totalitarianism they are the last defense of the people against the political class and I'd say that this legislation is a direct result of that "threat."

  • Sevo||

    Not understanding here.
    The 'political class' is dangerous only in that 50%+ can vote to eat the 49%, and the political class simply codifies that.
    I'd prefer a constitutional limit on what that 50+% can do, and the initiative doesn't do that.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I'd prefer a constitutional limit on what that 50+% can do

    In theory we already have that. In reality that ship sailed about a century ago.

  • Sevo||

    "In theory we already have that. In reality that ship sailed about a century ago."

    True enough, but the initiative process not only does nothing to restore that, it does the opposite.

  • Nazdrakke||

    True enough, but the initiative process not only does nothing to restore that, it does the opposite.

    Thus my point about not liking the 51% threshold. I'd like to see it require about 60% for passage, but then, I feel that way about all legislation.

  • Sevo||

    "Thus my point about not liking the 51% threshold. I'd like to see it require about 60% for passage, but then, I feel that way about all legislation."

    So why are you supporting the initiative, which requires 50.0000000000000001%?

  • Nazdrakke||

    So why are you supporting the initiative, which requires 50.0000000000000001%?

    Perfect. Enemy. Good. Some assembly required.

  • Sevo||

    "Perfect. Enemy. Good. Some assembly required."

    Wron. Direction. Why. Make, Things. Worse. Some thought required.

  • buddhastalin||

    Let's amend the state constitution to require all laws pass by a 2/3 vote. That government is best which governs least.

  • Sevo||

    "Let's amend the state constitution to require all laws pass by a 2/3 vote. That government is best which governs least."

    No gripe, except if we now re-opened the constitution, I have a feeling the 1st amendment would become 'congress can pass any damn law that keeps people from being insulted (etc)'

  • ||

    The 51-49 threshold is not a good thing as far as citizen's initiatives go, IMO, but, in this day and age of creeping totalitarianism they are the last defense of the people against the political class

    I thought the constitution was the last defense against totalitarianism and once they start ignoring that, you get to refresh the tree of liberty and such?

  • Robert||

    The referendum leg of initiative & referendum is a way to counteract the public choice effect of concentrated benefits & diffuse costs to legislation pushed by lobbyists.

  • Sevo||

    Yes, and?

  • Agammamon||

    Direct democracy (in this case the requirement that tax increases go to a popular vote) is the only thing keeping CA's tax rates from going through the roof.

  • Sevo||

    Agammamon| 7.18.13 @ 10:32PM |#
    "Direct democracy (in this case the requirement that tax increases go to a popular vote) is the only thing keeping CA's tax rates from going through the roof."

    Which is the reason I hold my nose and oppose the legislature's attempt to abrogate even more power.

  • ||

    This is so blatantly undemocratic, it boggles. Leave it to California.

    Imo, (sorry Sevo), the California Initiative process is a huge boon for democracy and a very good idea. Ditto for my state's initiative process.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I am going to change one word of your statement, and then agree with you wholeheartedly: "...the California Initiative process is a huge boon for democracy republicanism and a very good idea. Ditto for my state's initiative process."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    How's it a boon for republicanism as opposed to democracy? It's as close to direct democracy as you can get and its intended purpose is to allow the voters to supersede their representatives.

  • Nazdrakke||

    is to allow the voters employers to supersede their representatives employees.

    FIFY

  • Sevo||

    Uh, did that ever happen?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Uh, did that ever happen?\

    No, not really. I'm not trying to be a dick here, BTW. I'm no fan of any government type, as they all have their evils, but as the situation stands today I like the idea of a citizen's initiative as a break on the technocracy. Not that it functions like that in normal practice, sadly.

  • Sevo||

    "the technocracy."

    Uh, I could do a search, but how about some hints. What is this?

  • Nazdrakke||

    "the technocracy."

    The concept of a technocracy remains mostly hypothetical, though some nations have been considered as such in the sense of being governed primarily by technical experts in various fields of governmental decision making.

  • Sevo||

    That worries me less than the fact that 50% of the population is of less than average intelligence, and we need republican limits on pure democracy.
    If 50+% can't implement 'technocracy', I don't care about it.

  • Nazdrakke||

    That worries me less than the fact that 50% of the population is of less than average intelligence,

    A technocracy exploits this fact. We have (had) Republicanism and it did not stop this. No governmental system can protect the people from themselves, but it is very much in the nature of governments to protect themselves from the people.

  • Sevo||

    "A technocracy exploits this fact. We have (had) Republicanism and it did not stop this."

    You're heading the wrong direction; you decry the loss of republican limits and then propose more direct democracy?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Republican limits are about stopping any number of evils (not just tyranny of the majority), mainly by balancing power between different institutions. When the evils of a polity are due to the public being much weaker than their rulers, more direct democracy helps to balance things.

  • Heedless||

    I'd be more comfortable if the referendum process allowed only the repeal of laws. California is the leading edge of government's tendency to pile law on top of law until the whole cumbersome apparatus collapses under its own weight. Adding yet another means to add yet more laws seems counterproductive.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Republicanism is about combining various forms of government, in order to institutionalize checks and balances. Initiatives are a democratic check within a republican framework.

    It isn't anything like direct democracy because of the framework within which initiatives exist. You get a pluralistic legislative process, which is still subject to the separation of powers. Pluralism and republicanism go hand in hand.

    ...Or did California suddenly become Classical Athens?

  • Sevo||

    "Initiatives are a democratic check within a republican framework."
    Uh, in CA, there is no 'republican framework', so there is no way initiative could do that.

    "It isn't anything like direct democracy because of the framework within which initiatives exist."
    The framework is simple; 50+% vote yes, 49% are dinner.
    Not seeing your point; what 'framework'?

  • Irish||

    Wait, are voters allowed to turn *anything* into a direct initiative in California? Or are there specific rules?

  • Sevo||

    Irish| 7.18.13 @ 9:11PM |#
    "Wait, are voters allowed to turn *anything* into a direct initiative in California?"

    Yes.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Exactly.

    I am reading Sevo's comment as saying that there is no state constitution, no branch but the legislature, no federal government whatsoever (California is truly sovereign!), and no limit to the nature of initiatives except the Will of the People.

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.18.13 @ 9:23PM |#
    "Exactly.
    I am reading Sevo's comment as saying that there is no state constitution,"

    You really need to do some research. The CA constitution can be amended by initiative; all it takes is calling it an amendment.
    I repeat: Why do you support efforts at direct democracy?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    There is no executive? No judiciary?

    You are honestly saying that California is now Classical Athens?

  • Sevo||

    "You are honestly saying that California is now Classical Athens?"

    No, but are you supporting what tries to do so?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I am supporting a relatively democratic and complementary method of legislation in a republican system of government where the worst actors are currently those in government.

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.18.13 @ 9:27PM |#
    I am supporting a relatively democratic..."

    No, it is 100% pure democracy. 50.0000000001% of the voters can chose to eat whom they please.
    There is no 'relative' about it.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    If you believe that, then you have no clue how initiatives and referenda actually work in California. Do you honestly think that, if the majority of legislators wanted to eat children in the public square, they would be literally permitted to do so?

    Have you ever followed the results of referendum politics in California? What would it even take to change your mind on this issue?

  • ||

    you have no clue how initiatives and referenda actually work in California.

    Gozer, are you saying that a referendum requires more than 50.000000000000000000001% to pass in CA? If so, please explain it.

    A simple majority IS pure democracy and it means the majority can vote to eat the minority if it so decides.

    What am I missing here?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    You are missing the presence of constitutions, other branches of government, other levels of government, etc....

    Your example is ludicrous because of federalism alone. Do you really think that, even if the 14th Amendment didn't apply, the Federal Government would do nothing?

    A simple majority choosing certain policies, which are then subject to various checks (including enforcement), is *not* pure democracy.

  • ||

    Is Sevo wrong? Can CA voters amend their constitution via simple majority?

    If so, the judiciary must rule based upon the constitution and the executive must enforce it.

    What exactly are these checks of which you speak?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    A bare majority is required for the actual passage. That does not invalidate the point I am making.

    Are you suggesting that the entire apparatus of state and the entire Federal Government disappear if the California voters choose policies? By your understanding, how do you even account for what happened with Prop 8?

  • ||

    Um...

    What do the feds have to do with CA law? The feds are granted enumerated powers under the US Constitution. If not enumerated it belongs to the states or the people (10A).

    If the CA Constitution is in conflict with the US Constitution the feds may intervene. If it doesn't they can't. Prop 8 did (or people claimed it did), so it wen to the SCOTUS.

    But there are many issues where the feds have no such authority to intervene. So, FOR THOSE ISSUES where the feds have no authority, in CA the simple majority may infringe upon the rights of the minority by passing an amendment to the state constitution which requires only a simple majority to pass. i.e. pure democracy.

    IF Sevo is correct. If that is not the case, please feel free to point out where the assumptions are incorrect. I'm no expert on the CA constitution, so it may not, in fact be true. But if he is, that IS pure democracy, as the majority can dictate to the minority (provided it doesn't fall under enumerated powers of the feds).

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    First of all, that isn't *pure* democracy, but merely democratic decision-making in certain areas. In a pure democracy, the will of the majority is always done -- an analytic truth. Secondly, there is more to the Prop 8 story than the Federal Government: Prop 8 existed because Prop 22 got struck down by the state court -- a check against democratic action. Thirdly, you need eight percent of the voting signatures (or however they measure it) to get the measure on the ballot. That might sound like it meets your democratic threshold, but it is actually a distinct requirement from "bare majority of votes." You need a certain intensity of preference as well as a mere preference.

    I will just add that I think amending any constitution on an initiative basis is moronic, and I think the voters of California are moronic too. I also prefer super-majority thresholds for even vanilla legislation. However, I believe in getting the facts and semantics right.

  • ||

    Were prop 8 or 22 amendments to the constitution? If not, why couldn't they have been? Why not make any referendum an amendment? In which case, it IS pure democracy as a state judiciary must follow the state constitution.

    And if I can get 51% in an election I can certainly muster 8% of the voting signatures to get it on the ballot, so that's not an impediment at all.

    HOW under such a system is the "will of the majority" not always done? 51% of the voters can amend the constitution in which case, all the potential "checkers" haven't got a leg to stand on.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Prop 8 was an amendment precisely because Prop 22 wasn't, and it required the eight percent of signatures threshold because of it. That is the main reason, to my knowledge, why they don't make every referendum an amendment: It requires intensity of preference, including a hell of a lot of funding. That is also why you are wrong about the difficulty of the signature requirement.

    Moreover, I have repeatedly addressed the issue of federalism, which is actually my biggest complaint about your definition of "pure" democracy. Even if Classical Athens was made an American state, it wouldn't be a pure democracy in law or practice. In law, the U.S. Constitution limits the states in a variety of ways (the Bill of Rights is incorporated) and guarantees every state a "republican form of government," which was understood at its writing to be distinct from a democracy. In practice, the Feds meddle so much as to make the opposite the greater danger, namely, the death of federalism (some of us think we are already there).

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I also forgot one important element of this story (it has been far too long since I read about this): Substantial amendments to the California state constitution ("revisions") also require a two-thirds vote in the legislature.

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.19.13 @ 12:00AM |#
    "First of all, that isn't *pure* democracy, but merely democratic decision-making in certain areas."

    Yeah, the areas where, oh, who is served for dinner is decided.
    WIH are you posting about?

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.18.13 @ 11:33PM |#
    "A bare majority is required for the actual passage. That does not invalidate the point I am making."

    Gozer, you're full of shit.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Sevo, why not tell me to go fuck myself while you are at it?

    Come back when you have read, and are willing to address, my points.

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.19.13 @ 12:49AM |#
    "Sevo, why not tell me to go fuck myself while you are at it?"
    OK, go fuck yourself.

    "Come back when you have read, and are willing to address, my points."
    No, you come back when you have a point.
    So far you've been ducking and weaving, claiming that 50.000000000000001% of the vote is somehow a 'republican' effort.
    Well, go fuck yourself; it's nothing of the sort.
    I have no idea why you're making an ass of yourself, but you're certainly doing so.

  • Robert||

    Yes, not only in CA but in other states with voter initiative, the constitution can be amended by that means. It's the only way to make sure the legislature can't very simply reverse the result. Usually medical marijuana, for instance, was done by constitutional amendment.

    Even in NY, voter initiatives are to amend city charters only. A charter is the local constitution.

    Since voter initiatives are so much more time and resource consuming than simple legislation, it would be silly to allow the measures passed to have merely equal status to acts of the legislature, which can proceed so much faster and easier. There are some states where voter initiative doesn't amend the constitution but whose acts have some intermediate status above legislation and below constitution; they can't be repealed by legislation but they are subsidiary to constitutional provisions.

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.18.13 @ 11:00PM |#
    "You are missing the presence of constitutions, other branches of government, other levels of government, etc...."

    Bullshit.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    When all you have is vitriol...

  • Sevo||

    Gozer the Gozerian| 7.19.13 @ 1:01AM |#
    "When all you have is vitriol..."

    Ya know, it would be nice if you had something other than ducking and weaving as a point.
    So far, you've offered nothing other than that.
    Yes, CA has a judicial branch and an executive branch, and neither of them matter if an initiative called an 'amendment' passes by 50.0000000001%.
    Now, what is your point?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Good, you are willing to address me with an honest question.

    My point is that you have to actually get the referendum on the ballot, which is a requirement I addressed above, then get it to actually pass as merely an amendment and not a "revision," which has different standards. Moreover, you have to get people to enforce the law. Oh, and then you have to hope that it survives the courts (including the Feds). This isn't merely about what is technically legal; it is about how the system actually works.

    Don't you remember all of that from Prop 22 and Prop 8, especially arguments about it being a revision and the courts getting involved?

  • Robert||

    The federal gov't did nothing about slavery, so yes.

  • Sevo||

    Francisco d Anconia| 7.18.13 @ 10:47PM |#
    "What am I missing here?"

    You are not missing anything; you have it exactly.
    The initiative process is an artifact of the early 20th century 'progressives' hoping for the goodness of mankind to prevent the corruption of business!
    IOWs, it's bullshit.

  • Robert||

    It's people all the way down.

    If you're looking for some means to restrain usurpation of people's liberties, you're not going to find some robot or magick formula to do it. Some human being will always be giving orders to some other human being. In anything like a long run you're going to have to rely on the culture or custom to keep it fair and not have them exploiting each other.

    Relying on a vote of the entire polity has the advantage of not depending on some small group, who could be uncultured (an exception to the general culture of fair play), to rule the rest. Unless the mass of the people is corrupt, they will not vote for despoliation; and if the mass of the people is corrupt, then there's nothing for it anyway, unless they be ruled by betters from abroad or Mars or somewhere.

  • Sevo||

    As posted, I can see it as a limitation on a totally dysfunctional state government, but other than that, I see no way it can be seen as a republican limit on democracy.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    All I would ever ask of it is to be a check against totally dysfunctional state government.

  • Sevo||

    Well, in this case, it's the last-ditch defense.
    CA did a 'non-partisan' re-redistricting process a couple of years back and amazingly, every one of the districts is now solidly dem.
    So I'll admit to grasping as straws; the forlorn hope that by mistake a 50+% group of voters will vote to limit what 50+% voters can do. At this point, there is no other hope.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Chinatown was set in California, after all...

  • Sevo||

    And?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "Forget it Sev, it's Chinatown."

  • Sevo||

    I'm not willing to give up that easily.

  • Marshall Gill||

    This is so blatantly undemocratic

    The Mob voted for Socrates to die for corrupting the youth.

    There is a huge difference between representative government and mob rule. Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of history should know this. Two wolves and a sheep and all that.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    OT:

    Would Anderson Cooper kindly, please, stop giving interviews to people whose individual opinions don't bear any relevance to the facts of the Zimmerman case?

    You could interview people about their individual opinion of the case from now until kingdom-come, but all you would do is obfuscate the facts that were revealed in court. That's the game Nancy Grace plays. It shouldn't be a continuing feature of CNN's flagship program.

  • Sevo||

    'Would Anderson Cooper kindly, please, go get lost where he could be eaten by crocodiles and end up a s crocodile shit'?

    Just a bit of editorial comment...

  • Robert||

    But don't the backers of these initiatives usually form nonprofits to gather the signatures? So is there really anyone who'll be affected by the law?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/07.....on-us-debt

    US debt upgrade, rapidly falling deficits, more market highs today, home builder confidence at 6-yr high, profits soaring, exports at record highs, etc.

    And fuck Detroit too.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    What can I say? Looks good. Not exactly a vindication of deficit/stimulus economics, but a good indicator from what it looks like.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're pathetic in your ad hominem. You are admitting you can add nothing of value.

  • ||

    Is Dear Leader giving it to you good right now, OB? That why you're so lively tonight?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    US debt upgrade, rapidly falling deficits, more market highs today, home builder confidence at 6-yr high, profits soaring, exports at record highs, etc.

  • ||

    Yes yes, all blessings flow from the Holy One, He Who Makes the Oceans Recede and the Earth Heal.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    US oil independent by 2016, inflation beaten, interest rates low, capital in banks sound, leverage low, Fannie Mae making $50 billion this year, etc.

    Must suck for TEAM RED.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    Who here is Team Red?

    Mendacious cocksucker.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Like King Canute?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Moody's is MSM?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Keep on letting the Fed's Flim-Flam men play you like a harp from hell.

    Sucker.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    When Moody's d/g'd US debt in 2011 you were cheering them on.

    Mow they u/g and they are corrupt.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You don't know what I was cheering or not cheering in 2011, trick.

    You just can't admit that you've been played like a bitch.

    The bard of our age, Ice Cube, had you to a tee way back when, when he wrote:

    I hate motherfuckers claimin' that they foldin bank,
    But steady talkin shit in the holding tank.
    First, you wanna step to me.
    Now yo' ass screamin' for the deputy.
    They send you to Charlie-Baker-Denver row.
    Now they runnin' up in ya slow
    You're gone, used to be the Don Juan
    Now your name is just "'Twan"
    Switch it, snap it, rollin' your eyes and neck.
    You better run a check.

    So chickity-check yo' self before you wreck yo' self.
    Come on and check yo' self before you wrickity-wreck yo self.
    So chickity-check yo' self before you wreck yo self.

    Cuz Obama's big dick up yo' ass is bad for yo' health
  • Jordan||

    This is what I think of when I think of Monetarist clowns like Stalin's Buttboy and Sideshow Ben Bernanke.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *Way too

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    What's with the "Monetarist" part?

    ...Is that some joke I'm not privy to?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I'm still not seeing the problem...
    Are you reading that description as normative rather than positive?

    What makes someone a monetarist is their understanding of *how* the world works -- it doesn't dictate a political position. There are, after all, monetarists who are free bankers.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're right, it doesn't dictate a political position. However, I believe that you'll find that most of us here are some species of Austrian School and PB has had a long history of obnoxious ranting based on his monetarist and pro-fiat money beliefs.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Fair enough. That was why I asked if it was something I wasn't privy to...

    ...I also assumed that PB was a Keynesian (without much evidence, honestly).

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 7.18.13 @ 10:50PM |#
    "When Moody's d/g'd US debt in 2011 you were cheering them on."

    Shitpile go fuck your daddy.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 7.18.13 @ 10:31PM |#
    "Moody's is MSM?"

    Shitpile, go fuck your daddy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    US debt upgrade, rapidly falling deficits, more market highs today, home builder confidence at 6-yr high, profits soaring, exports at record highs, etc.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    US Dollar strong, nat gas less than $4, coal less than 50% of previous highs, GE and other companies INSHORING now, capital formation excellent, etc.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug| 7.18.13 @ 9:25PM |#
    "You're pathetic in your ad hominem"

    Shitpile, you don't even know what an ad hom is.
    Go fuck your daddy.

  • Marshall Gill||

    You are admitting you can add nothing of value.

    Do you really think your praise of government adds anything? If the market or anything else improved it is in spite of shit-stain government and it's cock sucking supporters, such as yourself, not because of it. Where is the value added from the stupid central planning which you seem to love?

    Obamam's Toiletpaper pushing the limits of Peak Retard yet again.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am praising the economy.

  • ||

    You're praising Dear Leader, which is why you mention how "great" everything is any time the subject of His Holiness comes up.

  • ||

    I am praising the economy.

    Which is pretty fucking retarded given that the economy is a total piece of shit and the metrics you're relying are only a bright spot if history began when you woke up this morning. "Slashing" the deficit from over 1 trillion to 800 billion after 4 consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits when the record-highest deficit prior to 2008 was 450 billion is not an achievement, any more than the workforce participation rate being the lowest in 40 years leading to a .01% decline in U3 unemployment is a hiring boom. You're a disingenuous cunt. If these numbers were being put up while a republican was in office you'd be shitting bricks and "BOOOOOOOSH"ing out like it was your job. Must suck to be a Team shill.

  • Irish||

    And all of this happened after Republicans gained control of the House.

    Behold the wonders of split government! If one party controls the presidency and the other controls congress, good things happen.

    Obstructionism works wonders.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    How many times have I said I liked gridlock? Too many to count here.

    And the GOP is good at exactly one thing - obstructing.

    Blessed be a small truce.

  • A Screaming||

    Wow, you expected the Legislature to do nothing, and they did! You win at the internet! The prize is you get to suck a cock you faggot.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    US debt upgrade, rapidly falling deficits, more market highs today, home builder confidence at 6-yr high, profits soaring, exports at record highs, etc.

  • A Screaming||

    Wow! America is fucking awesome then! We should stomp the shit out of a bunch of brown people to celebrate!

    You heard him! KILL THOSE SAND EATING SCUM SHITS!

  • Jordan||

    Feels just like the halcyon days of October 2007.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Dweebston||

    I've notice something about you, PBP, something likely unsurprising to anyone else here at h&r. Namely, you pop up every week or so with a glowing jobs/interest rates/monetary/fiscal report, declare the economy solved and the up and up finally achieved, only to have to return a few weeks later to posit the latest good news. You'd think the intervening moribund economy and the persistent failure of any of these predictions to maintain might color your reactions skeptical, but like clockwork you return to visit upon us the latest good news from on high.

    I haven't actually got a question for you, but I thought I'd share my observation.

  • Irish||

    And the GOP is good at exactly one thing - obstructing.

    That's certainly better than what happens when they aren't there to obstruct. See: Detroit, California, Chicago

  • Jordan||

    How many times have I said I liked gridlock?

    Not as many times as you've defended statists.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • ||

    OUTSTANDING! We are only overspending by 2/3 of a TRILLION dollars a year. Great news!

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    The patient isn't hemorrhaging quite so much!

  • DJK||

    Didn't SCOTUS already cripple the initiative process in Hollingsworth v. Perry? Per that decision, can't the CA AG just say he won't defend legislation approved by the initiative process?

  • Sevo||

    DJK| 7.18.13 @ 9:38PM |#
    "Didn't SCOTUS already cripple the initiative process in Hollingsworth v. Perry? Per that decision, can't the CA AG just say he won't defend legislation approved by the initiative process?"

    Yes, but we have an AG who is nothing but a hole in which Willy Brown shoved his dick and which Obozo hopes to.
    So trusting the AG to 'do the right thing' is not something that's gonna win a lot of converts.

  • buddhastalin||

    The CA Supreme Court has said that initiative proponents do have standing to defend the initiative as a matter of state law, i.e. in state court.

    In Hollingsworth, SCOTUS decided that the official proponents of the initiative in this instance do not have standing in federal court. However, I do not read the case to say that nobody has standing if the AG or some other executive decides not to defend the initiative. Any prop pusher who wants to avoid this issue in the future should read the Court's explanation as to why Prop. 8 proponents did not have standing to appeal and should make sure that someone meets the requirements.

  • DJK||

    Right. So the combination of the CA Supreme Court and SCOTUS decisions mean that, at least in this instance, no one has standing to defend this particular law. In order for someone to have standing, they would have to be able to show personal harm. I can think of a ridiculous number of ballot initiatives in which it would be impossible for anyone to have standing for this basic reason, should the AG decide not to defend the law. For instance, a term limits law. Why would the AG choose to defend it? And who could show personal harm when he failed to do so? At least in CA, the combination of Hollingsworth and the CA Supreme Court decision have massively set back the initiative process.

  • buddhastalin||

    A private party would have to show a concrete, particularized injury to have standing. SCOTUS held that the proposition proponents did not suffer such injury, so could not have standing on that ground.

    The state, however, does have a cognizable interest in having its laws defended. The AG is an agent of the state who could defend that interest but here chose not to. The proposition proponents were held not to be agents of the state because, for example, the state could not control their actions, they were not elected to any position to defend the proposition, they had no fiduciary obligation to the state, and the state had no obligation to indemnify the proponents against expenses. So one approach for future proposition proponents is to make sure that by law, there are people who meet these conditions for agency for the purposes of a federal lawsuit.

    As for propositions that have been passed up to this point, this would indeed be a problem in federal court. Then again, the circumstances of this case were a little unusual, so they chances of this happening again don't appear to be that great.

  • ||

    one approach for future proposition proponents is to make sure that by law, there are people who meet these conditions for agency for the purposes of a federal lawsuit.

    Right, which is impossible for a great number of potential issues when you don't have a sympathetic AG. Effectively short-circuiting the initiative process by pocket veto.

  • Robert||

    What they need is a writ of mandamus.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What should be done with this bill? These guys have some suggestions:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQLbwOGT8eM

  • A Screaming||

    Haha and you whiny faggots are going to do something about it? Yeah. I thought not.

  • Agammamon||

    Why are paid signature collectors such a big deal (I mean other than the whole "we hate the idea of citizens organizing without cutting us in" bit)?

    Why is it bad for a group to outsource their signature collecting work to a firm that does this and can do it cheaper?

    Hell why would it matter if they paid people $5 for their signature?

  • buddhastalin||

    because Evil Out of State Interests (in other words the Kochtopus or Corporations) will use their bazillions of dollars to buy the initiative process and enact all sorts of raysis laws that hate on the poor. The rest of the 99% only have lint in their pockets so they are screwed.

  • Sevo||

    Agammamon| 7.18.13 @ 10:29PM |#
    "Why are paid signature collectors such a big deal (I mean other than the whole "we hate the idea of citizens organizing without cutting us in" bit)?"

    None of that matters; it's a red herring. The question is the initiative process, not who gets the signatures.
    But there is the issue regarding the unions claiming that union thugs are somehow "volunteers' even if they get paid.

  • Sandman||

    You can pick and choose a few good ones here and there, but the initiative process is a recipe for terrible government. Every politician thinks that if they can't get their way, they'll just take it to the people, which they are so sure will be on their side once they hear the arguments. So instead of actually attempting to work to produce reasonable legislation, you just dig in, and threaten to 'take it to the people'.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Anyone have contact info for "Assembly Member Fong", who sponsored this? I need to get in touch with him and tell him to go fuck himself with an unlubricated sandpaper dildo.

    -jcr

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