Willie – The Man, the Myth and the Era, California’s Initiatives, involves the history of the initiative process as practiced in California. Increasingly in California, the state’s biggest and most controversial issues and laws not are settled through the intended legislative process, but through initiatives, which, though necessary in extraordinary times, are unsuitable for settling major issues with lasting consequences.
In 1911, the corrupting influence of the Southern Pacific Railroad on the California State Legislature caused voters to adopt the “direct initiative,” the “indirect initiative” and the “referendum” as a means to bypass an irresponsible and an unresponsive Legislature and to repeal laws that did not benefit the people of California.
In 1978, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann used the direct initiative in order to bring about necessary tax reform in the state, and while there was an immediate benefit to struggling taxpayers, the greatest and most enduring benefit continues to be realized by the major property owners – the individuals and groups who owned large apartment complexes, business parks, and real estate development companies – these groups were the special interests for whom property tax reform was proposed.
Proposition 13 And Other Major Initiatives takes up the initiative process as it has elated to tax reform, schools, spending, immigration and affirmative action, with elaboration on these issues and the scope of debate.
Götterdammerung takes up Proposition 140 from 1990, the term limits initiative, which on its face was meant to eliminate “career politicians,” but was really purposed to “get Willie Brown,” to the detriment and ruin of the state. California, once touted as “the fifth largest economy in the world,” is now in decline, and the direct initiative process, exploited by special interests as a way to manipulate the state’s massive population, has been a large factor in the trials of the state.
Look for other excerpts from the book, Willie – The Man, the Myth and the Era online and at ebookstores and libraries.
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