Jerry Brown’s nonstop self-accolades for his alleged genius in bringing California back to solid ground are rather dubious. But it is with pensions that Brown’s self-congratulation is most incoherent. While he congratulates himself for achieving moderate pension reform via the Legislature last summer, his appointees continue their anti-reform rampage on the state Public Employment Relations Board.

A ruling by a state Public Employment Relations Board administrative law judge against voter-passed Proposition B is part of an effort to make it harder for citizens to place pension reform initiatives on the ballot in the future, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith charged Wednesday.

The city attorney told reporters that he would go to court to defend the pension reform ballot measure, which was passed with two-thirds support last June. He said the City Council gave him that authority last year.


Read More at San Diego’s: 10 News

The November election delivered California Democrats a coveted super-majority for governing the state.

Now the party’s leader in the Senate wants to use that political capital to give the Legislature more say in the voter initiatives that make their way to the ballot.

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After last November’s election, Democrats in California enjoy a super-majority in both chambers of the state legislature.  In a bid to use that new-found clout, Senate Majority Leader Darrell Steinberg seeks to get the legislature more involved in initiatives.

California’s League of Women Voters is hosting an event to discuss possible reforms of the state’s initiative and referendum process this Friday, Jan. 25, at a library in Carlsbad, California. The League’s longstanding opposition to the initiative process seems to be expressed in the title, “Do We Have to Take This Much Initiative?”

Michigan’s Legislature enacted “Right-to-Work” legislation this week, sparking renewed debate about public policy regarding unions. Here’s a quick review of recent ballot measures having to do with organized labor.


Ohio “State Senate Bill 5” Veto Referendum, Issue 2 (2011)

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission meets today to consider new rules regarding disclosure of ballot measure financing, especially funding for petition drives to place initiatives and referendums on the ballot.

From the LA Times Here


A poll released today by Citizens in Charge Foundation shows a massive shift among California voters, when they are provided with more accurate information on Proposition 28.

“The polling shows clearly that giving voters more precise information in the ballot title dramatically changes their view on Prop 28. A recent poll using the official ballot title showed better than two-to-one support for the measure, while our poll with a more accurate title showed voters opposing Prop 28 by a nearly two-to-one margin,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation Chairman Michael Foudy.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” California Governor Jerry Brown was asked by host David Gregory whether the state was less governable today than when Brown was governor between 1975 and 1983. Brown argued that the state was “more governable” and, moreover, was better off than the federal government because in California “we can appeal directly to the people through the initiative process.”

DAVID GREGORY: Quickly, this is your third term as California governor, is it less governable now than it used to be?

For the second time in two days, a San Diego judge Wednesday rejected a lawsuit aimed at getting a pension reform initiative removed from the June ballot.

Judge Steven Denton sided with the city of San Diego in a lawsuit filed by Hud Collins, who is a frequent speaker at City Council meetings and is running for mayor.

Read more at Fox News San Diego.

Signatures are being collected on an initiative that would allow state regulators to control the price of health insurance. The measure would let the state insurance commissioner reject excessive rate hikes.

The California Legislature voted down a similar measure last year.

Read more at KPBS.

Billionaire George Soros has written a $500,000 check to help finance a potential ballot measure that aims to lower the number of criminals serving prison terms of 25 year to life under California’s three-strikes law.
The hedge-fund titan and longtime supporter of liberal causes made the donation on Jan. 30, according to records filed with the secretary of State’s office.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

Former Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will announce a $1.5-million donation to Proposition 29, the June ballot measure in California that would create a new $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes to pay for cancer research.
The donation will come from Armstrong’s Texas-based foundation, which spends millions every year promoting cancer awareness and funding cancer research.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

In California, the rule of politics is sometimes “one man, one ballot proposition.”

Pretty much by himself, billionaire George Joseph is financing an initiative governing insurance rates.

As the chairman and largest stockholder of Mercury General Corporation, an insurance company that does most of its business in California, Joseph has deep pockets. Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.1 billion in September.

Read more at Forbes.

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.
The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.
The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.

Read more at the LA Times.