Dem Ambivalence Blunts No on 1A Campaign

As Larry reports below, the California Democratic Party recently took no position on 1A, because it would require a 60% vote and only 58% of those in attendance and voting supported Prop 1A.

The failure of the Democratic partycrats to get all of 60% of their ilk to support 1A should not be confused with good news for opponents of tax increases.  The 42% dissenting pols have no love for Howard Jarvis et al, they just figured that soon enough California will be so much of a one-party state that the last $16 billion in tax increases (hell, maybe more) can be put through without the compromise rainy-day-fund spending cap.

With opposite camps voting no for different reasons, it means there will be spin and ambiguity when voters say no to 1A on May 19.  Takes a lot of the fun out of the process.

Anybody else old enough to really remember Proposition 13?  I was a senior at USC, and in between arranging for a campus visit/rally for the Libertarian Ed Clark-for-Governor campaign, I used my little typewriter to type up my ballot recommendations, and paid for the xeroxing to pass out leaflets to my friends urging, among other things, a yes vote on 13.  (Al Gore had not yet invented the internet.)  At the time, all of the Establishment was against 13.  Republicans were against it, Democrats were against it, banks were against it, insurance companies were against it, the L.A. Times was against it, unions were against it, even the Dodgers donated to the No on 13 fund.  People were literally saying with a straight face that it would ‘destroy the social fabric.’

When Proposition 13 got 65% of the vote and passed in almost every California county, it was a major wake-up call for politicians and a significant case of the People finally having a say over something important.  Just for the record, my whole slate of 13 recommendations did much better than the L.A. Times that year, so I got my  money’s worth out of that xerox bill.  I also persuaded 5.5% of the California electorate to vote for Ed Clark that year, but here on the internet my influence seems to have waned.

It would be nice if we could use 1A as a similar expression of popular opinion, but its not shaping up quite that way.


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