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Unformatted text preview: 18:04 Word of the Day: Abraham Ruef: “debonair scoundrel” was a lawyer of French-jewish descent who used political skill and subterfuge to become boss of San Francisco. Started as a republican reformer campaigning against corporate power. In 1901 founded the Union Labor Party and helped elect Mayor Eugene Schmitz. The progressive movement II: Initiative and referendums Roots of the movement Coming to power in the wake of scandals at the turn of the century, “progressives” were: Moderate republicans who split with the rest of their party Businessmen who wanted to bring technical expertise into government Political reformers CA not first state to adopt initiative 27 states have initiative provisions southern states no initiative process- democrats didn’t like it. What explains the peculiar geography of direct democracy? Progressives backed it in states where they agreed with the median voter (few Catholics, dew poor farmer) and where the median voter was out of power. The same year that California gave “power to the peaceful,” we imposed a literacy test at the polls. How does California’s direct democracy differ from other states? Placing an initiative on the ballot id relatively easy here California’s initiatives are binding and the legislature cannot amend How initiates work Formal mechanisms An initiative is a proposal for a new statute or constitutional provision that is wholly drafted by a citizen and voted on by the state electorate A compulsory referendum is a constitutional amendment or a bond that 2/3 of the Assembly and senate put on the ballot. How do voters make their choices? Nobody reads the entire 350 page ballot pamphlet or initiative texts. But the big money spent on initiatives does provide political information. Empirical studies indicate that people make decisions that reflect their true preferences by following cues from supporters and opponents Can we really vote responsibly without knowing the repercussions of our vote? Word of the Day: Viper Car Alarm Viper Car alarm is a product of directed electronics, a California-based manufacturer of automobile security products. The company was founded by Darrell Issa, a former captain in the US army. Its signature product emits a loud siren with a recording. To recall a statewide officer: Gather signatures of registered voters equal in number to 12% of the last vote for that...
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