When former Mayor Ron Littlefield sought a property tax increase in the summer of 2010, it triggered an alliance between Chattanooga conservatives and liberals that nearly cost him his job and cast “a pall over the day-to-day operations of the city.”

Littlefield recently pointed to a video, Recall Fever, produced by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, on the rise of recalls across the country. In it, he said he had never experienced a campaign that bypasses traditional outlets to get a political message out. And he affirmed his belief that the ballot box is the best place for voters to express their disapproval.

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This week’s qualification of a referendum for the November 2014 ballot will be the sixth time in a decade that voters get the final say on a state law.

A “yes” vote will uphold this year’s legislation ratifying the state’s casino compact with Madera County’s North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians. A “no” vote will overturn it.

The as-yet-unnumbered referendum is the 49th to qualify for a California ballot since 1912, after the process was included in then-Gov. Hiram Johnson’s package of government reforms.

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A recent Gallup Poll shows that most Americans favor national referendums on key issues.  The poll, conducted July 6-7, tested 3 political issues first promoted by Doctor George Gallup in a 1978 Reader’s Digest article.

More than two-thirds of Americans, 68% of respondents, favored a proposal to “Require a nationwide popular vote on any issue if enough voters signed a petition to request a vote on the issue.”

Smaller majorities favored Gallup’s other ideas: shortening the presidential campaigns to five weeks (61%) and a single national presidential primary day, instead of individual state primaries on various dates (58%).