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Attorney General (and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee) Jerry Brown over wording changes, Lakoff has now withdrawn the measure.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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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