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Initiative Process

October 15, 1988
Extortionary is not a strong enough word to describe auto insurance rates in California. Stealing, with the consent of the law, is more accurate. The insurance industry does not play by anti-trust rules, and our elected officials choose to ignore the problem. Your article suggested Proposition 103 is strong medicine prescribed by a crowd of consumer advocates backed by Nader. We are fortunate to have the initiative process and a friend named Nader. JOE E. FAY Burbank
February 11, 1989
After reading Davis' column on gun control, I was left with the impression that he expects laws to be written by opposing factions of the issue. If this were the case we wouldn't need legislators. Come on, Senator, that's what you were elected to do. As long as you and others sit back and wait for unanimity the slaughter will continue until the people, once again, are forced to use the initiative process. C.D. HARTT West Hills
September 25, 2008
Re "State's financial trauma just beginning," Sept. 21 Any reform to the California budget process should include prohibiting the use of the initiative process to mandate spending, whether through direct spending mandates or bond issues. The most prominent example of this, of course, is Proposition 98, which mandates spending about 40% of the general fund budget on education. Proposition 6 on the general election ballot in November mandates spending on state and local law enforcement, even when crime has decreased statewide.
December 22, 1996
The California initiative process urgently needs reform, as Judy B. Rosener so clearly explains ("Take the Initiative to Reform the Process," Dec. 1). But Ms. Rosener is a wild and crazy optimist if she thinks Gov. Wilson--or "Wanna-be Gov." Dan Lungren--will propose or accept changes in a system they have manipulated so effectively to their political advantage. Corporations tired of pouring money into the defeat of specific initiatives after they qualify for the ballot might be better off spending their dollars on a year-round campaign to persuade voters to stop signing every petition that's put under their noses.
April 11, 1990
Willie Brown strikes again, exhibiting his contempt for the voters of California. His comments in your article on the initiative process speaks to that point. For years, the Legislature, under his leadership, either failed to act or passed wimpy legislation in the areas of insurance reform, campaign financing, ethics, anti-smoking and environmental issues. At the same time, Willie and his gang had very little problem taking money from any special-interest group that could pay their price to pass laws suited to their fancy.
October 23, 1985
Your editorial is, in effect, an endorsement of that corrupt distortion of the representative process known as gerrymandering. If all votes were taken "at large" the one-man-one-vote principle would insure a direct connection between the will of the people and the legislative process. But we do not vote at large for the legislature. We vote by districts. When district boundaries are distorted for partisan or philosophical purposes, the result is a distortion of the people's will and a growing public disenchantment with the entire political process.
August 19, 1986
Californians owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Howard Jarvis. Through the effective use of the initiative process Jarvis dramatically demonstrated that the power of the ballot is a lethal weapon against an entrenched bureaucracy. I first witnessed Howard Jarvis in action when he utterly destroyed the Los Angeles School board president during a Proposition 13 debate. At that time Jarvis appeared to be an articulate, angry, shotgun-wielding populist, who was taking aim in the general direction of the taxation Establishment.
November 20, 1986
Dissatisfied with election laws governing citywide initiatives, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores has introduced a motion that would have the city attorney rather than proponents write the official title and summary of ballot initiatives. It also would require that the title and summary appear on petitions circulated to voters.
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