No one would dispute that California’s diversity extends to the wide political gulf between conservative Californians and those who see themselves as liberal. From strong Tea Party interests in the more rural areas to the “Occupiers” in San Francisco, the balkanization of our body politic is well recognized. But there should be, if there isn’t already, a consensus that the rules that apply to voting and the electoral process should not be manipulated for political gain.
Regrettably, for the second time in 3 years, in response to a suit filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), the courts have had to intervene for just such an attempt.
In a transparent effort to manipulate voter turnout, the majority in the Legislature approved for the ballot anadvisory measure that, if passed, would have askedCongress to initiate a constitutional amendment that would limit the ability of groups and organizations to participate in political activity.
(This issue has become a cause celebre for some on the far left who believe that corporations should be prohibited from exercisingpolitical speech.) But the California Supreme Court agreed with Jarvis that the measure raised a significant issue as to whether it was a legitimate exercise of legislative power and therefore directed the California Secretary of State to refrain from placing what would have been Proposition 49 on the November ballot.
Full column is available here.