Sunday, August 27, 2006


The lawyer quoted in the Sun Post said something to the effect that these anti-tax types often drag out this line from measures and initiatives to produce a "smokescreen."

First of all, I'm happy to be associated with the so called "anti-tax crowd" and I know this lawyer doesn't know me very well. And I fully accept that in political debate today, "smokescreen" is pretty much the order of the day. So the comments aren't unexpected. However, I don't do "smokescreen!" We don't have a "win at any cost" attitude. I figure that if the facts are on the table, the way people vote is the way they vote and that's it.

But regarding the issue at hand, the lawyer claims that "all these laws have similar language" -- nothing unusual here! So I took at look at a few similar measures. I didn't find any that had that kind of "amendment text." However, I should point out I didn't look at a very large sample.

Then this morning, who is on the TV but this guy, Peter Schrag, the author of California: America's High-Stakes Experiment. It was just a 15 minute interview that C-SPAN fits between shows. He was asked about his view of the initiative process. He replied that in his view, they are generally bad because they are ad-hoc lawmaking and can only be changed by another vote, except if they contain provision for their own ammendment, which they rarely do.

Schrag was the editor of the Modesto Bee's opinion page and when asked how long he'd been studying California politics he replied "45 years!" (I think)

Well, if he says these "ammendment provisions" are rare, that's good enough for me. So much for the theory that "these anti-tax types always say that."

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