Are Californians Suffering from Initiative Overload?

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With eight initiatives on Governor Schwarzenegger's special November 8 election ballot, the ads are in print and commercials are blaring on radio and TV. The Governor is backing four of them. News coverage is ongoing, and the ballot pamphlets won't be far behind. Will voters really understand the choices they're being asked to make? Does a lengthy ballot mean the Governor and Legislature are failing in the jobs they were elected to do? Whatever happened to representative government? Before talking about all 8 individually, between now and election day, we first get background on the initiative process and its role in governing California.
  • Making News: Fair Political Practices Commission Forced to Drop Cases
    "California's political watchdog is losing its bite." That's according to the Sacramento Bee, which says the Fair Political Practices Commission has shelved no less than 380 cases of possible misconduct and is closing 485 more, due to a lack of resources. Bob Stern is President of the Center for Governmental Studies. He wrote the law that created the FPPC.

Fair Political Practices Commission

Sacramento Bee article on FPPC losing its bite

November 8 election initiatives

Prop 13 (Tax Limitation, 1978, now Article 13a of California Constitution)

California Voter Foundation's online voter guide to November 8 election

Marelius' article on Governor Schwarzenegger campaigning for initiatives in San Diego

Dan Morain's LA Times article on skyrocketing cost of election



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton