In most states, gubernatorial races (and most political races, for that matter) stand for the same things. This periodic anointment of a new figurehead promises that a) your life will change dramatically after Election Day; b) the other guy is a dirtbag; and c) this is the candidate you’ve been waiting for to make a difference in how that jurisdiction can improve the lives of the voters it serves: tax breaks that never arrive, programs for which you’ll never qualify, and promises of reform of a legislature easily corrupted.
The significance of the upcoming
Mistrust of statewide office is as American as apple pie. But when it comes to
Gavin Newsom has suggested discussion toward a sunset provision for voter mandated spending, so that no initiative could require state spending indefinitely. Newsom’s message has been one of reforming the framework and gaining the opportunity to access changing conditions many years down the road. Democratic rival Jerry Brown has been relatively silent on the general concept of initiative reform, focusing more on his stance of leaving Proposition 13 untouched.
The meat of the debate can be found among Republican primary candidates. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman greased the wheels of the initiative reform debate at a May town hall forum in
Like Whitman, Tom Campbell, another Republican primary candidate, favors a constitutional convention to reform the initiative process.
Rival candidate, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, has been the most outspoken in the stance against reforming the citizen initiative process. “The people in
Far and away the most ambitious attempt at reform this state has seen in decades, if ever, the pro-reform gubernatorial candidates should package prospects of a constitutional convention as a ray of hope – the kind of change this state can wrap its hands around.
Take that, “Yes We Can.”