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September 3, 20!4 California Commentary AG Blocks Real Initiative Reform by Jon Coupal • Just last month, this column noted that the professional political class harbors great hostility toward the tools of direct democracy -- the powers of initiative, referendum and recall. These are effective tools to control an indolent or corrupt legislature. From the perspective of politicians, direct democracy allows the great unwashed and unsophisticated .to deal with matters such as taxation, victims' rights, insurance and, most importantly,. •political reform. These are issues over which politicians strongly desire to exercise a legislative monopoly. The column was written in the context of Assembly Constitutional Amendment 6, a particularly pernicious proposal that would make it much harder for grassroots groups to use direct democracy by requiring a higher vote threshold at the ballot box for changes in the California Constitution proposed by citizens. ACA 6 reflects the epitome of hypocrisy because constitutional amendments proposed from the Legislature would not be subject to the higher standard. ACA 6 remains a threat, although, as we head into the last week of the Legislative session, we have reason to believe it will die the death it so richly deserves. In contrast, today's column concerns another legislative effort• to alter the initiative process, Senate Bill 1253. Unlike ACA 6, which ~was a clear attack on the initiative process, SB 1253 is a mixed bag. Nonetheless, in its •final version, it falls woefully short of what is implied by its title: "The Ballot' Initiative Transparency Act." First, a bit of background. Last year, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association was asked by other organizations to participate in a process to review the initiative processwith a view toward real reform. We ourselves have noted that the current pr~t~rfect and,.~ai~e ske~!~c~al~g!~e~#j~-to participa~: (Ther6Ts~ff61d'siaying in politics - you're either atlthe table or on the menu). Spearheading ihe process was moderate Democrat and former legislator, Robert Hertzberg. Also providing a leadership role was Com~non Cause, a left of center good government organization. In addition to HJTA representing taxpayers, business interests were represented by both the California Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. Thankfully, it was decided that no elected officials should be part of the working group. Surprisingly, the early meetings were quite productive - more so than this writer had anticipated. One of the early items agreed on was that proponents of initiatives should retain the right to withdraw an initiative even if had qualified for the ballot. The reason for this is that a qualified initiative has the potential to force the Legislature to actually address an issue in a meaningful way. A pending, but not yet enacted ballot measure, acts as a sword over the head of a disengaged legislative body. A primary motivation for HJTA's participation in this reform effort was the widely recognized problem that the Attorney General had abused her authority in the preparation of a ballot measure's "Title and Summary." On at least two occasions, one dealing with statewide pension reform and the other dealing with medical malpractice lawsuits (appearing on the November ballot as Prop 46), the AG wrote ballot titles so outrageously one- sided that even left-leaning news outlets were surprised. Writing an objective, impartial ballot title and summary is, in the minds of most thinking Californians, a fiduciary obligation of the Attorney General.. Apparently, she does not share that view and prepared ballot language that rewarded two of her favorite special interest groups (and financial backers): public sector labor groups and trial lawyers. Most of the organizations participating in the working group agreed with HJTA's proposal to transfer the responsibility of preparing the title and summary to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst. But because the AG and her minions have substantial political muscle, the effort to secure a more non-partisan title and summary process has now died. And adding insult to injury, the AG even objected to ,.,4a~3uage requirir~. 4hat~.ballot titles and summaries use' "clear '~~~a~concise" language: .... SB 1253 is now a shell of its original self and scarcely worthy of support. It has extended by 30 days the time in which to gather signatures and that helps grassroots groups - a little. ' At this point, SB 1253 could be viewed as the weakest of initiative reform or as adding other superfluous processes that should be opposed. The only thing that is certain from our perspective is that SB 1253 Kaaren Terry Carte St. Andre Paul Bicanic cell 619-417-o481 cell 619-922-9687 cell 760-484-7793 CA BRE LIC #o1231449 CA BRE LIC #o1878143 CA BRE LIC # oo872978 by Linda Thistle .. 6 2 4 4 1 7 1 6 6 9 7 1 7 4 8 8 6 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: * * * Moderate ** Challenging *** HOO BOY! © 2014 King Features SYnd., Inc. The Julian News 13 HOMES : LAND RENTALS. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. VACATION RENTALS I www.julian-realestate.com -765-o111! Whispering Pines Fully fenced 1/2 acre, 3 bdr, 2 ba., dou- ble glazed windows, forced air and wood stove. The price is $259,000. 139 Acres Rugged, remote and private. Three (3) legal parcels, Four (4) approved building sites. Hiking/Horse trails thru-out. Panoramic views to Pacific Ocean. Includes wild, untouched rural landscapes. Hunters Camp? .... Artist Retreat?... Personal Shangri-La?... Good water area... Needs well.. Pristind Home On 4.26 park-like acres. 3br, 2ba, 2car garage, hard wood, granite, 2 wells and huge steel building. Close to town and totally private• Vacation Rental For Sale 2 bedroom vacation rental home with views of lake and ocean. The price is $399,000 5 Acres $119,000 Cuyamaca Woods 2.5 Acres - privacy, view ..... $ 47,000 1 Acre - Gentle slope ......... $ 50,000 2.5 Acres - Driveway, pad, water meter and view ................... $ 85,000 2.63 Acres - Borders State Park, Private.. ....................... $135,000 8 Acres - Excellent well, seasonal creek, fabulous views and privacy..., $110,000 139 Acres - Remote, private, three (3) legal parcels .................. $ 499,900 Oakland Road t 8+ Acres - Close to town, driveway, pad, approved for 3 Bedroom, terraced for orchard ................ $ 239,000 Ranchita 13 Acres - Very usable, level to mountainous Solar Home - on 9 Level, Usable Acres. 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath, 2700 sq. ft. with 2 attached 2 car garages, Barn, RV Pad, Wrap Around [ Wynola Estates Deck, Hot Tub, 2 Zone Heating and Air Conditioning. Many Custom features. Views to 2.5 Acres - Large Oaks with water meter, Pacific Ocean . " . [approved grading plan, approved septic ........ lt t et . layout, House plans included. . . $149,000 is nothing more than a lost opportunity. Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis •Taxpayers Association -- California's largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of.Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers' rights. When money speaks, the truth keeps silent. -- Russian Proverb ACROSS 1 Roseanne of comedy 5 Embrace 8 Mimicked 12 Writer James 13 Web address 14 Wise one 15 Chicken -- 16 Winter truck attachment 18 Sign up 20 Fanciful quality 21 Congers, e.g. 23 Raw mineral 24 Veggies in Chinese recipes 28 Engrave 31 Young pooch 32 Nonsense 34 See 53- Across 35 Help a hood 37 Big decep- tions 39 Siesta 41 Sycamore, for one 42 Speaker's platform * 45 Immoderate 49 Anne Murray hit song 51 ~- gin fizz 52 Old portico ~.a Weaver • It was noted British wit Hector Hugh Monroe -- better known by his pen name, Saki -- who made the following sage observation: "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation." • When Mozart was young, he traveled to Rome to hear Gregorio Allegri's "Miserere" performed by the papal choir. This piece was performed only once a year, and the pope had forbidden its performance anywhere else in the world. There was only one copy of the score, and it was kept in a vault in the.Vatican. According to a papal decree, anyone who reproduced the work in any way would Crossword m 6 .__.-- 22 m I . ~41 5O 1 2 3 12 15 18 |/| 24 25 26 31 . 35 39 42 43 49 52 55 : 53 With 34- Across, rum cocktail 54 Black, in poetry 55 Ripped 56 And so on (Abbr.) 57 Tibetan beasts 9 10 11 ..--..= m .---. . 29 30 34 46 47 48 7 Radiate light 29 Taxi 8 Have high 30 That guy's hopes 33 Basin 9 South acces- Carolina, the sory -- State 36 Island off 10 Ids' counter- China parts 38 Footballer's 11 Mois{ in the garment morn 40 Tavern 17 Personal 42 "Hey, you!" question? 43 Aware of 19 Calendar 44 Marceau, abbr. notably 22 Canonized 46 Actress one Jessica 24 Hot tub 47 Recess 25 Gist 48 Sawbucks 26 Freedom of 50 Garbage access invader 27 Irregular DOWN 1 Use the oven 2 Not "fer" 3 Rod adjunct 4 Critic's write-up 5 Con men 6 Grecian vessel © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc. be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. After Mozart heard the performance -- only once -- he transcribed the entire piece. When the pope heard of this feat of memory and musical genius, rather than excommunicating the prodigy, he awarded Mozart the Cross of the Order of the Golden Spur. • The dog that played Toto in "The Wizard of Oz" was •actually named Terry. • It is a Moroccan man named Brahim Takioullah who has~ the dubious distinction, of possessing the world's largest feet. They measure 15 inches from heel to toe. • A man is 10 times more likely to be color blind than a woman is. • You've probably heard the phrase "long in the tooth"• to describe someone who's getting up there in years, but did you ever wonder where it originated? The term came from horse breeders. As equines age, their gums begin to recede; the teeth don't actually get longer, but they appear to. Therefore, a horse whose teeth look long must be getting old. • If you're like 20 million other Americans, you read your horoscope on a daily basis. Thought for the Day: "The nice thing about egotists 'is that they don,t talk about other people." -- Lucille S. Harper © 2014 King Features Syndicate, Inc. 6 Weekly SUDOKU Answer 9 £ L ~" 8 £ Lit 8 b I.9 6 £ ~ L £ Z ~ £ £ ItL 8 6 9 9 I.8 b L S 6 g £ £ g L 6 I. ;~ It 9 9 .t7 6 g £ 8 9 L S L £ L 9 8 S 6 I. It £ 6 L £ It 9 8 L L 8 It g 9 L £ £ 6 -- King Crossword -- Answers Solution time: 21 mins. S~V NO8 303 /NV ||| 980 I V / HOI liB___ ASN iMO q I-, i-~9V la d ± }901 V OLS H ON S 1 ood _ll N 3 8V 1 d CI d V ONS -~ lll N 3 I N =lDV n H V8 Spaniel 4. Italian Greyhound ] 5. ]avanese Cat 6. Labradoodle 7. Labrador --= ...... ' Retriever 8. Maltese, Source: 9. Schnauzer EH&E/ 10. Iguana Honeywell © 2014 King Features Syndicate, Inc.