The Wall Street Journal thinks so. Here's the Journal's round-up of state ballot measure. The paper pays extra close attention to a South Dakota ballot initiative that would ban naked short-selling, a practice that many companies have blamed for contributing to the collapse of big firms. Short sellers are folks who borrow a stock and then sell it when they think the price will drop. "Naked" short selling is whe folks do this through contracts without actually borrowing a stock. Supporters of the initiative believe the SEC should have cracked down on this practice.
An anti-growth initiative in Redwood City, Calif., has become a $2 million campaign, the Mercury News reports. The initiative is a particularly severe version of a type embraced by environmentalists across the West. To prevent any new development, the initiative requires a vote of the people -- and a supermajority vote, or two-thirds of the people, to be precise -- before any open land is developed. Effectively, such measures keep all but the most determined developers out of a city in which they're in effect.
This is a dangerous game. California needs growth and density, particularly in its urban core and established suburbs. By making it harder to grow in places like Redwood City, environmentalists may end up promoting sprawl.
Variety, yes Variety, asks why Gov. Schwarzenegger hasn't cut an ad against Prop 8. It's an interesting question, not clearly answered by the story. The governor is unpopular, so maybe the No on 8 campaign has concluded that Arnold won't help. Schwarzenegger has largely avoided taking on divisive social issues, so maybe the reticence is his.
The Bush administration has become more aggressive about attempting to influence initiative campaigns. The latest news comes from Washington state, where top officials of the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, in a letter, suggest an initiative to improve traffic flow would cost the state federal money. More here via the Seattle Times.
The LA Times says this is nearly twice as much as was spent on all previous same-sex marriage ballot measures nationwide, combined. Despite this, both campaigns are sending constant emails suggesting they are out of money. It's enough to make one wonder about financial controls in these campaigns. If you can't get your message out for $30 million, even in California, something is wrong.
This piece on the California initiative on farm animal confinement had been anticipated -- the Humane Society clearly gave the writer, Maggie Jones, considerable access -- but there's nothing new in it. It does provide a fair look at both sides of the issue, with some historical context.
The Internet is hot this afternoon with angry right-wingers convinced that the following ballot initiative -- just filed but not even ready for circulation -- is part of Gov. Schwarzenegger's secret plan for next year's special election. The initiative, sponsored by former Gov. Gray Davis budget director Steve Peace, would end partisan registration and partisan elections in California. That's right. Imagine there are no parties, no heaven either.
This has no chance of passing in our partisan age, or perhaps any age. Democrats would oppose it too. And if Schwarzenegger really is behind it, it's likely little more than a threat intended to force partisans on both sides to make deals with him. And I'm not sure it would be very effective even as such a tool. The fact that conservative Republicans see it as a threat is another example of the incredible weakness -- and related paranoia -- of the right in California.
I'm beginning to fear that opponents of Prop 8 -- that is, supporters of same-sex marriage -- are in the process of seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. There have been confusing ads, in which the opposition to Prop 8, an initiative to ban same-sex marriage, appears to be defending Prop 8. And there has been the failure to have the many religious leaders who support same-sex marriage -- and are marrying couples -- define such marriages as not only consistent with faith, but also essential to a full relationship with God. Yes, many gay people love God too and want to participate with the person they love in the sacred rite of marriage. Voters, particularly religious voters, ought to hear that perspective.
This summer, opponents of Prop 8, the California initiative to ban same-sex marriage, pushed a boycott of businesses that gave to the Yes on 8 campaign. At the time, supporters of the initiative were outraged. Now those supporters are adopting a version of the same game, sending a letter to donors to the No on 8 demanding they give to the yes side -- or receive negative publicity as "opponents of traditional marriage." And of course, the No on 8 side is outraged, calling this "blackmail."
It's always ugly when people or businesses face economic retaliation for their political views. But there's nothing illegal or wrong with the tactics. Your blogger's suggestion, to both sides: Boycott and threaten away. It won't make any difference in the result. This is a close race that should come down to turnout.
Opponents of Prop 11, the California initiative to change how legislative districts are drawn, have been calling the initiative a Republican power grab. But now they've paid for space on a Republican mailer calling it a Democratic power grab. The Yes on 11 campaign quickly pointed this out today. More details via the Sacramento Bee.