Tuesday Round Up: School's Out on Nevada Election Day
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: Here's an important and under-reported story: Nevada's schools will be closed on Election Day in November. That should boost turnout in a swing presidential state. And it also could give a boost to the Nevada teachers' unions, who are attempting to raise gaming taxes to boost education funds. Not having to teach that day will boost turnout. Also, about 800 of the poll workers could be students, says the state's registrar of voters. In related news, a Nevada judge rules that two measures to tax gaming to provide funds for education can remain on the ballot. The judge thinks they make little sense, but says that the voters have the right to decide that for themselves.
AG'S DOMAIN: Some agriculture interests are getting aggressive in opposing Prop 98, one of the two measures on June's California ballot that would put restrictions on eminent domain. The Sacramento Bee says that this represents a divide in the agriculture community, since the California Farm Bureau is one of the initiative's backers. (Prop 98's restrictions include tigher limitations on using condemnation for private purposes and on retn control than its competitor, Prop 99).
COLORADO CORPORATE FRAUD: The proponent of the Colorado initiative making business executives criminally responsible for corporate fraud explains himself.
MAINE MISS: The Maine initiative to establish a casino has lost its campaign manager, according to ballotpedia.
A DIFFERENT WAY OF PUBLIC FINANCING: An Alaska legislative committee has added money to the state budget for education campaigns that appear to be designed to fight off a ballot initiative lawmakers don't much like. Since states by law often have to provide unbiased information -- most notably in voter pamphlets -- this action is a mistake and should be quickly reversed.
OREGON TOP TWO ADVANCES: An initiative to establish a "top two" primary system in Oregon appears likely to qualify for the November ballot. This style of "open" (that is, multi-party) primary has recently received some backing from the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down previous open primaries. Here's a description of how it works.