The November ballot is loaded with 13 propositions that include a historic
level of bond financing and such disparate issues as abortion, sex-offender
laws, an oil tax for alternative-energy development, public financing of
campaigns, eminent domain, etc. Do any of these measures really have a
chance of passing? How does the race for governor play into the ballot
Several of these initiatives will pass. For example, Jessica’s Law is a near
certainty. The bonds and tax increases will have the hardest time. The
governor’s race and the initiatives will both impact turnout but it’s too
soon to tell which way and how much.
The size of the ballot makes it harder to pass initiatives, but not
impossible. If Arnold wins by 10-12 points, as he should, he brings in three
of the four bonds as well as whatever else he endorses. But in a closer
race, most of them go down.
I think voters are still confused and angry. They want infrastructure
improvement, so they may listen to that. The sheer magnitude of measures may
make them say no to everything. If the speaker and Senate pro tem campaign
for infrastructure bonds with the governor, or if Phil joins the pro-bond
brigade, it will help the bonds but kill the democratic candidate. Oh well.
I’m still waiting to hear Phil’s alternative to Jessica’s Law. He says he is
developing one. I bet it includes a tax.
The governor is going to concentrate on the bond measures that he and
legislative leaders ginned up this spring. Devoting his energies to the
bonds–plus his re-election–give him cover for ignoring the initiatives,
especially campaign finance, abortion and eminent domain.
The governor will embrace the infrastructure package, but the voters won’t
make the connection, meaning the bonds, and the governor, will sink or swim
on their own. As for the other measures, the chances that any of them will
be approved grow smaller with each tick of the clock.
Eminent domain could prove the most interesting measure on the ballot.
Reaction to it is visceral and unpredictable. Pros and antis do not break
down along party lines.
The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Roy
Behr, Don Wilcox, Jon Fleischman, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Dan
Schnur, Jason Kinney, Tom Kise, Karen Hanretty, Kevin Spillane, Michael
Houston, Adam Mendelsohn, Matt Ross, Sam Delson, Mike Madrid, Morgan
Crinklaw, Dave Lesher, Richard Zeiger, Ralph Simoni, Bob Hertzberg, Scott
Baugh, Steve Maviglio, Tony Quinn, Peter DeMarco, Adam Probolsky, Barbara
O’Connor, Jack Pitney.