If anyone still thinks that elections are meaningless, they should consider this:
All through the 1990s Californians fought a series of right wing, race-baiting backlash initiatives:
- Prop. 187 -- official title: Illegal Aliens. Ineligibility for Public Services. Verification and Reporting; actual effect -- ended many services to immigrants;
- Prop. 209 -- official title: Prohibition Against Discrimination or Preferential Treatment by State and Other Public Entities; actual effect -- killed affirmative action;
- Prop. 227 -- official title: English Language in Public Schools; actual effect -- restricted Bilingual Education.
As the news account notes, Bill Lockyer is a Democrat (and I'll add one from Northern California where survival requires at least a modicum of liberalism.) He is not about to let the right wing frame the debate on its gay marriage measure. Instead, he has used his power to unmask their real agenda of forcing gay people back in the closet.
I contend that mere neutrality from Lockyer in 2003 on Prop. 54, which would have outlawed state collection of racial demographic information, was a huge aid in sinking that bad idea.
It matters a lot who we elect to these anonymous down-ballot jobs. "Too obscure" or "too confusing" to figure these contests out won't cut it.