Mixed Message From Governor On Initiative Reform

Governor Brown has had three important bills cross his desk that could have made a major difference in reigning in California’s corrupt Initiative, Referendum and Recall system that costs California millions of dollars each year and allows the super-rich, mega corporations, energy companies and the insurance industry to write the laws their lobbyists cannot get passed through the legislature.

As I wrote earlier this year (“Time to Reign In California‚Äôs Corrupt Initiative, Referendum, and Recall Process“), SB 168 would have made it illegal to pay signature gatherers for obtaining individual signatures, but still allow them to be paid by the hour or with a flat fee, though it would have removed the financial incentive of more signatures equalling more income, and SB 448 would have required signature-gatherers to wear badgers identifying the fact that they are PAID to obtain signatures.

Unfortunately, the governor vetoed both of these much-need bills.

He did, however, sign SB 202 into law on Friday, which moves all Initiative and Referendum petitions to November general elections, where voter turnout is significantly higher than in early-year primary elections.

With all of the threats from the good-old gop, even getting this signed was no easy trick, though it may actually be the case that part of the gov’s motivation to sign it WAS the fact of the threats being made, and that he wanted to be seen as standing up against them.

Wealthy interests can still pay to get ANYTHING on the ballot in California, but at least now they will have to spend even more to have a chance at voter approval in the higher-turnout (i.e. when more Democrats vote) general elections.

About theHoundDawg

For many years as a lawyer, I saw much of the good and bad of society, and did what I could to right many wrongs. The lack of understanding of what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, as evidenced by such events as the election of King W as president, (who as such far surpassed the evil of richard nixon but not quite that of ronald reagan) lead me in a new direction, to spend my time trying to understand what is happening to our society, to try as best I can to spread my insights to others, and along the way to maybe even eke out a living through the internet.
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