Liberal Plot to Save California Foiled…For Now

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeromeleslie/4405713313/" target="_blank">jeromeleslie</a> (Creative Commons)

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In January I spoke with UC-Berkeley linguist and progressive activist George Lakoff about his proposed referendum to repeal California’s Propostion 13the infamous ballot initiative that mandated a 2/3 supermajority to approve tax-raising measures. For a state locked in a perpetual budget crisis (sound)—and with an ideologically polarized state legislatureLakoff’s attempt to restore “majority rule” (as he put it), would have dramatically altered the most dysfunctional state government in the union.

As of Wednesday, however, things weren’t looking so good for Lakoff’s initiative. After sparring with state Attorney General (and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee) Jerry Brown over wording changes, Lakoff has now withdrawn the measure. Although he plans to re-submit the referendum, even Lakoff isn’t too optimistic about his odds of collecting the required signatures by the June deadline, telling supporters “the timeline will be tight.” In other words, don’t bet on it.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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