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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

California Ballot Initiatives Fail

Washington Post:

In a stinging rebuke from voters who elected him two years ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's efforts to reshape state government were rejected during a special election that darkened his prospects for a second term. The Republican governor and Hollywood actor, who likes to say he can sell anything, on Tuesday saw all four of his signature ballot proposals rejected. The election pitted the once-dominant Republican governor against two of California's powerhouse political forces -- public employee unions and Democrats who control the Legislature. The unions spent millions of dollars to beat Schwarzenegger's propositions to limit the use of their member dues for political purposes, cap state spending, redraw legislative districts and restrict public school teacher tenure.
The one here that really saddens me is the redrawing of legislative districts. While in California it would obviously benefit Republicans, if the idea caught on it (which if Califrornia led would be quite likely) it would probably be a wash nation wide as far as number of seats in each party. Such redistricting would result in more competitive races, more moderate politicians from both parties, and more legislators who truly had to pay attention to their constituents. I guess voters in California (and Ohio) like having their elected officials pick them rather than picking their elected officials.


Blogger Patrick said...

Yeah, that was a bit of a bummmer. As a native Californian (bay area), I think part of the large defeat of all the propositions was the general sickness with these special elections and recalls. Arnold came in saying he was going to clean up, but then he put up bills that didn't excite everyone, and eventually caused hundreds of millions of dollars to be spent. My brother told me that in LA, a lot of his friend voted No across the board simply out of disgust of the special election. Like how they felt we have an automatic "recall" every four years (called re-election), they also felt that elections every two years are good enough for propositions.

Poor Arnold. I'd have to say he must be pretty sore this morning :)

11/09/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I think Arnold would have been better served by a slower pace. One or two referendums rather than 4.

Of course off-cycle elections are a lot different than other elections. One would expect a maverick populist, like Arnie, to be at his worst in such a circumstance.

I wouldn't count him out yet, as some people are trying to do.

11/09/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

I just posted about my experience in Ohio, where I went last week to work for the campaign to pass its redistricting initiative. Although the passage of the measure would have benefitted Democrats, the Democratic Party in Stark County (where Canton is) and a couple of other counties actually opposed the measure, because of the perception that it would have threatened current officeholders.

11/09/2005 11:10:00 AM  

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