November 7, 2012 |
CLEVELAND - Maine and Maryland became the first states to back same-sex marriage at the ballot box Tuesday night, buoying gay rights advocates and breaking a years-long losing streak. The controversial issue had been before voters 32 times and had been rejected every time. But activists said public opinion had shifted since 2008, when California passed a constitutional amendment reserving marriage for heterosexual couples. A 2010 poll showed that, for the first time, more Americans supported gay marriage than opposed it, and in May, President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage.
November 1, 2012
Proposition 35, the human trafficking measure on the Nov. 6 ballot, is a near-perfect example of how far the initiative process has strayed from its original role as the people's essential check on the Legislature and how it is now helping to run the state off the rails. On the same ballot, though, Proposition 39, designed to undo a sweetheart deal that lawmakers gave to out-of-state corporations, does just what ballot measures are supposed to do and demonstrates that with all its flaws, California's initiative system can still serve the people -- if only they remember to vote with their heads as well as their hearts and their hands.
October 31, 2012 |
CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. - Maryland, which just a month ago appeared poised to become the first state in the country to back gay marriage by popular vote, is now reported to be deadlocked on the issue, in part because of a drop in support from religious blacks. Only a few weeks ago, polls were suggesting that Marylanders were leaning toward supporting gay marriage, but as November approached, the numbers tightened. The change appears to be partly driven by black pastors in Maryland urging their congregations to vote against the measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - It's time to stop vacillating. Election day is almost here. There are still a few loose ends to straighten out on the California ballot. Things such as auto insurance, sex slavery and food labeling. Also an obscure legislative redistricting measure. Here are some thoughts - mostly negative - on four measures, in numerical order: •Proposition 33: It's sponsored by one very narrow interest. Mercury Insurance founder George Joseph is bankrolling this initiative - with $16.4 million at last count - in an effort to steal customers from other insurers.
September 26, 2012 |
When asked about gay marriage at the ballot box, Americans in states across the country have gone to the polls 32 times since 1998 and voted against it. They'll have the choice to vote on the issue again in November in four states, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, but this time around, advocates for gay marriage are hoping voters will choose differently. After all, President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage in May, and the NAACP followed by endorsing same-sex marriage a few days later.
May 16, 2012
Re: "Cigarette tax is a lifesaver," Column, May 14 I am not a smoker nor do I have any interest in the tobacco companies. Though I may agree in principle with George Skelton that cigarette companies are deceiving voters about Proposition 29, which would raise cigarette taxes $1 a pack to finance cancer research, I have a problem with the overall premise of the initiative. People have the idea that just throwing more cash at a problem is the best way to solve it. Here, the idea is that we improve cancer research by imposing $800 million in new taxes on smokers.