Monday, November 14, 2005

California Initiaitives

California voters got the initiative process to make law thanks to the early 1900s Progressive movement. “On October 10, 1911, by way of a special election called by Governor Hiram Johnson, the initiative process was established in California by a margin of 168,744 to 52,093 votes”.

Thereby voters have a means to take action when the legislature is controlled by self-serving special interests. Then it was the railroads, now the public employee unions.

In their glee over their ability to use millions of dollars to mislead the voters and thwart Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reforms, they might reflect on how the Los Angeles Times sums up their efforts (Los Angeles Times November 12, 2005 editorial) “Negative campaigning — with heavy financial support and highly deceptive advertising from opponents, including the public employee unions — helped assure that the measure would go down in flames.”

A far cry from Governor Johnson inaugural address January 3, 1911 “The problem first presented to us, therefore, is how best can the government be made responsive to the people? …The State is entitled to the highest efficiency in our public service…[and]…prevent the misuse of the power temporarily centralized in the Legislature” []


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