Re: Gay It Up

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Ok, it's 10am now, can we get married, ogged?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:03 AM
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Just in time for the general election!


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:07 AM
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Re: the ballot initiative.

There's already a statute that says that only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized, and as Drum notes the coming ballot initiative would be to change the state constitution. Does anyone know whether you need a higher percentage of the votes to pass a constitutional change?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:08 AM
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They overturned the ban- orgy at Ogged's!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:11 AM
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3: Drum talked about this in the comments to his post. Apparently the threshold for initiatives is 50% + 1, regardless of whether the change is statutory or constitutional.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:13 AM
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So if a bunch of people get married between now and the election, and the ballot initiative passes, are their marriages anulled?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:16 AM
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Ogged, why do you think only one of you can wear a dress?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:17 AM
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3: not in California, no. One of the stupidest things about that state.

Pwned, except for the vitriol. Fuck it, running with it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:18 AM
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That's a pretty dumb rule. Why not just make all initiatives consitutional changes, so they can never be overturned? (For all I know, this is already how CA works.) Maybe voters would be more hesitant to support it, but I doubt the vast majority would note the difference.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:18 AM
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So if a bunch of people get married between now and the election, and the ballot initiative passes, are their marriages anulled?

I don't think so. Not 100% sure though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:18 AM
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(For all I know, this is already how CA works.)

They can be overturned by (wait for it) another ballot initiative!

Yeah, it's fucking idiocy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:19 AM
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9: that's how it works.

The California initiative process is just about the single dumbest form of governance I have ever been around. Fuck direct democracy.

Big Candy got a constitutional amendment passed forever banning a sales tax on candy and soda.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:20 AM
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Presumably, you could put a ballot initiative up that would end the ballot initiative system.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:20 AM
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And that one, of course, couldn't be so easily overturned.

Time to toss away the ladder, folx!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:21 AM
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Why not just make all initiatives consitutional changes, so they can never be overturned?

Harder to get on the ballot, I think. Again, not 100% sure.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:21 AM
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Wittgensteinians for sensible government!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:22 AM
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13:

Doesn't that depend on the structure of the CA constitution? Some constitutions, as part of the specification of the amendment process, state that certain parts of the constitution can't be amended. To change those you have to abrogate the whole thing and adopt a new one.


Posted by: bizzah | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:24 AM
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In a previous life, part of my job was writing up analyses of proposed ballot initiatives (which would then be circulated for petition signatures to actually get on the ballot).

And get this: it costs only $200 to file a proposed initiative with the state. There was a certain subculture for whom it was sort of like writing a blog post. It used to be even cheaper -- there was the legendary case of this political science professor who used to require everyone in his 101 classes to write and file an initiative every year. The office I worked at eventually gave him a call.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:24 AM
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And oh, my 12 was misleading -- it takes somewhat more petitition signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot than a statute. Still not that many considering how much money you can swing, though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:27 AM
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Short wikipedia article on California ballot initiatives.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:27 AM
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who used to require everyone in his 101 classes to write and file an initiative every year.

That is, every year, he'd require everyone in his 101 classes to write an file an initiative.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:27 AM
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I think I would submit initiatives to repeal all the other stupid initiatives.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:28 AM
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there was the legendary case of this political science professor who used to require everyone in his 101 classes to write and file an initiative every year

18: No wonder you're so anti-intellectual.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:28 AM
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In the U.S. state of California, state laws may be proposed directly by the public, as well as the state's Constitution may be amended either by public petition or by the legislature submitting a proposed constitutional amendment to the electorate.

I think I just died.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:30 AM
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You can edit it, Ben. With extreme prejudice.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:31 AM
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I think I would submit initiatives to repeal all the other stupid initiatives

Ooooh, good exam question. Given that an initiative can, by law, only address one issue (to keep activists from bundling sneaky changes in with popular, unrelated issues), would such an initiative be permissible under California law?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:33 AM
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If you passed an initiative that all initiatives are invalid, is your initiative still valid? I think if someone could get a paradox inserted into the CA constitution, it might improve the system.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:37 AM
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surprisingly amount of anger here over the cali system. One thing I dislike about the federal system is how hard it is to get stuff done. There are things to be said for making change easier. More experimentation to see what works instead of just arguing about it, and perhaps a more dynamic system influences the public to be better informed.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:39 AM
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The California initiative process is just about the single dumbest form of governance I have ever been around.

Trust me, we know.


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:39 AM
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The federal amendment process may be too hard, but 50% +1, once, for a constitutional amendment is really fucking stupid. Just don't bother with a written constitution if that's the way you want to run the gov't.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:40 AM
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24: wait, what's misgrammatical there?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:40 AM
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perhaps a more dynamic system influences the public to be better informed

Isn't it pretty to think so?


Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:40 AM
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The California initiative process is just about the single dumbest form of governance I have ever been around.

OR and WA have it too. A few years ago our voters' guide had to be published in two volumes; altogether it was about the size of a small city telephone directory. Mostly, the initiative process has proven to be a really good way to allow the public to withhold revenue, with predictable results.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:42 AM
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32. yeah. any news quizzes so we can compare the awareness of californians of state politics to citizens of other states? Which state has the most informed populace? hypothesis: affluent, small, not too populated states. Rhode Island?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:44 AM
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30: or at least write it on a chalkboard.

32: I think you're discounting the willingness of ordinary Californians to get themselves fully up to date on the long term budgetary consequences of every initiative they vote on, given the state's current and future needs. I mean, given that responsibility, who wouldn't do the necessary due diligence of actually working out the cost/benefits analysis, reading all the reports from various state agencies on required 15 year capital outlays, and contact local and national public policy experts to get a sense of the lay of the land in the particular subfield in question?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:45 AM
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30. I like my state constitutions like I like my sex. If one partner wants to experiment, that's a majority vote.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:45 AM
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34: does your average citizen of Rhode Island really need to know anything about their state government besides "money talks"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:46 AM
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the long term budgetary consequences of every initiative they vote on, given the state's current and future needs. I mean, given that responsibility, who wouldn't do the necessary due diligence of actually working out the cost/benefits analysis,

commenter, please. Surely this can be worked out on Dick Cheney's napkin over desert.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:47 AM
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37. Couldn't you have just put in a _______ instead of "Rhode Island"?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:49 AM
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39: Rhode Island pretty much leads the nation in corrupt governance, from what I gather.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:50 AM
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I think you're discounting the willingness of ordinary Californians to get themselves fully up to date on the long term budgetary consequences of every initiative

Charge it to the lottery! Whee!



Posted by: Eric | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:51 AM
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Mostly, the initiative process has proven to be a really good way to allow the public to withhold revenue, with predictable results.

Ayup. That and a really good way for various and sundry special interests (including special interest groups of one) to legislate their pet dumbasseries. Which reminds me that I think there's an initiative coming up to ban people from proposing/sponsoring initiatives that financially benefit them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:51 AM
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40. bobby jindall works fast!


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:51 AM
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Oregon has some fantastic laws passed through a ballot initiative process. What's the difference? Does Oregon have a better process for direct democracy, or just a better voting public?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:52 AM
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41: yeah the Governor has proven himself a master of punting to the punters, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:54 AM
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(i kid, of course. louisiana's last two govs have historically been very good on the corruption front, to my knowledge. low bar, i know. And I know nothing about Rhode Island, except that it is neither close to Rhodes nor is it an Island.)


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:54 AM
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The lottery stuff really annoys me, because the anti- side is always some moralistic stuff about the "state encouraging gambling" rather than the hard-line budget reality that most of the money the lottery generates goes into . . . running the lottery.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:54 AM
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Pwned, except for the vitriol. Fuck it, running with it.

Good on you, Sifu. Own your anger.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:55 AM
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48: Own your anger, sweetie.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:58 AM
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Given that an initiative can, by law, only address one issue (to keep activists from bundling sneaky changes in with popular, unrelated issues),

I don't think that this is true. It has been my general rule to vote against ballot initiatives, because I believe in representative democracy. (In 2002 I did vote for an initiative to allow same-day voter registration; it failed.)

I looked over the text of one of the bond issues (these things cripple the CA budget most of which is not discretionary).

There was one that was basically for after school programs or other kid stuff and something else. Anyway, one of them said "If this ballot initiative (number 3) passes, but number 2 fails then X percentage of the proceeds from this bond issue will go to whatever 2 was for." I think that they both passed.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 11:59 AM
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California is now a second-rate Massachusetts! Good to know.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:00 PM
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51: just because you've been waiting years to make that pronouncement does not, I say with real regret, make it true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:02 PM
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42
I think there's an initiative coming up to ban people from proposing/sponsoring initiatives that financially benefit them.

That's interesting, but I'm having a hard time imagining how it could be worded.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:07 PM
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The stem cell initiative included a job for one of the sponsors, I think.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:17 PM
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In the UK, if a government minister wants to propose something to the cabinet, they have to get the Treasury to cost it first; I wish this was a requirement for *any* policy proposal...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:21 PM
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I would like to interrupt this important discussion of the California initiative process to say to the CA Supreme Court: Woo-fucking-hoo! Well done!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:28 PM
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56: yup.

And the world's sixth-largest collection of gay honeymoon destinations woo-fucking-hoos with us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:31 PM
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The ballot initiative is one of the sins of The Progressives because the legislature was owned by The Octopus. the fact that the process lay dormant until Prop 13 does not lessen their culpability. Unintended consequences, and all that.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 12:49 PM
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Well, that's it then. The authoritarians were right. The apocalypse is now. I see the seven headed beast with ten horns and crowns.

Look out for driverless cars.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:28 PM
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wait, what's misgrammatical there?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:32 PM
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Already the first hit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:32 PM
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If CA voters could be convinced that revenue from all those out-of-state gay couples coming into CA to get married would give the state budget a boost, there would be no chance of the anti-gay-marriage folks prevailing.

Here in WeHo, there will be a party tonight at Santa Monica and San Vicente to celebrate. There will be cake.

And, if you're in CA, vote "NO" on Proposition 98. It would prohibit rent control, which would un-house thousands on lower incomes/fixed incomes, by allowing landlords to charge higher rents and evict tenants without cause without having to pay relocation fees. It's masquerading as a solution to eminent domain issues, but it's chief purpose is to get rid of rent control. The people backing it are primarily landlords.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:34 PM
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I'm reading that Altemeyer book you linked, Tripp. Interesting stuff.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:42 PM
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62. Eminent Domain has been abused, and needs to be checked, DominEditrix. The Kelo decision should have started the revolution, but McManus was asleep.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 1:50 PM
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I'm reading that Altemeyer book you linked, Tripp. Interesting stuff.

Wow. Great. It really clarified some disjointed ideas I'd been having. I don't want to go off the paranoia deep end but a lot of things start to make sense.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 2:07 PM
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64: Prop 198 goes waaaay beyond straightforward eminent domain reform, TLL. It's a trojan horse to get rid of regulation and zoning in general.

There were actually some good eminent domain reforms passed in California around the time of Kelo.

With all that said: state use of eminent domain to benefit commercial development is widespread and abusive.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 2:15 PM
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Yayyyyy!11!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 2:18 PM
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Without touching off a "property is theft" debate, current rent control and land use policies in both the City and County of LA have created a real affordability problem, so we get lots of hidden density.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 2:21 PM
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The California Supreme Court has six Republican appointees and one Democrat.

LAT


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 4:35 PM
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68 is wack. Rent control has been illegal in California since Costa-Hawkins in 1996. The Rent Stabilization Ordinance in the city of LA applies only to buildings built before 1978 and not to single-family homes, and when a tenant moves out the rent goes up to what the market will bear. It's a dwindling stock and it's the only thing keeping that stock affordable. There's tons of new construction right now, and none of it is subject to the RSO.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 4:39 PM
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Most of the multi-family housing stock in LA is pre 1978. Allowing higher densities is the only way to prevent sprawl. SFR development is more profitable because the land is cheaper.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 4:45 PM
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LA's new housing plan allows higher densities in transportation corridors, and its implementation of SB1818 addresses that with incentives connecting affordable housing and higher density. None of that requires you to end rent stabilization.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 6:32 PM
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Oregon has some fantastic laws passed through a ballot initiative process. What's the difference? Does Oregon have a better process for direct democracy, or just a better voting public?

We also have plenty of bad laws passed the same way, such as the anti-gay marriage thing passed recently, a budget-crushing property tax limitation from years ago and a developer-enabling measure, fortunately limited somewhat by another initiative in the last election cycle, to undermine Oregon's model land-use system. You hear less about these because they're not unlike initiatives passed elsewhere, I suspect. But yes, you're right that there have been some good ones; the initiative system is a big part of the political landscape around here, and smart pols know how to use it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 6:57 PM
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Happy to discuss implications at the next LS meetup, Wrongshore. Seems like everyday either a developer or landlord is crying about rent control.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05-15-08 7:01 PM
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