Friday, July 15, 2016

A surfeit of direct democracy barreling down on Californians

A friend, a relatively recent transplant, commented resignedly to me yesterday: "they don't vote on all this stuff where I come from. It will take a lot of studying up ..." She's right. Californians will face 17(!!) state propositions in November, plus varying numbers of local measures, plus, of course, federal and state candidates for office. Yikes!

We can thank Governor Jerry Brown for the huge number of state props. As I have explained previously, his barely contested re-election in 2014 set the stage for this profusion of ballot measures by effectively lowering the cost of qualifying initiatives.

I'll delve into at least some of these over the next three months, though I imagine I'll never manage to care whether porn actors should be required to wear condoms. No really, that's Prop. 60.

Here's a preliminary look at where the money is playing in this horrendous season of initiatives via Bret Hendry at Fox & Hounds.

It looks as if Big Pharma will dominate the money game in this election, having already spent 38 percent of all that has been spent on all these propositions. They really don't want the state limiting what we'll spend on the drugs the state buys. For further reference, that's Prop. 61 and the sheer willingness of these profiteers to spend to protect their bottom line makes it easy to know which way to vote. No, I'm not scared they'll walk away from California. We're big.

Not only at the federal level, this is going to be a long, nasty election.

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