California’s Other Ballot Initiative

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We’ve written about Proposition 23 in California, the ballot initiative that would delay California’s landmark climate law if it passes tonight. The measure has drawn quite a bit of spending from both oil companies and green groups, and will be the most-watched environmental question posed to voters today. The good news is that polls heading into tonight are looking pretty good for the supporters of climate action, and the measure is expected to be voted down by a large margin.

That doesn’t mean enviros are resting easy about California tonight. Another measure, Proposition 26, has gotten much less attention, but could be almost as damaging. This measure would require a two-thirds majority of the California State Legislature to approve any fee on companies or taxpayers, rather than a simple majority. This, of course, would make it considerably harder to assess these fees. The Consumer Federation of California called it a “sneak attack on environmental and health regulations.”

Like its companion on the ballot, Prop. 26 has enjoyed the support of big oil companies; Chevron has given $4 million to the effort to pass Prop 26, and ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum have also contributed, as has tobacco company Phillip Morris.

Anyway, both Prop 23 and 26 will be worth watching tonight.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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