[Ed. – California populism: find yourself a gubmint-connected sugar daddy, or you’re toast. Emphasis added.]
Democrats in the California State Assembly passed a bill this week that would increase the filing fees for ballot initiatives (or referenda) from $200 to $8,000, thus excluding most ordinary citizens from filing a petition and leaving the field open for unions and corporations, according to Capital Public Radio.
Using, as a pretext, a bizarre ballot initiative that actually called for the deaths of gays and lesbians, legislators acted in the apparent hope of exerting greater control of the initiative process. The filing fee has not been raised since 1943, but the percentage of the increase far exceeds the inflation in the intervening period.
As Joel Fox of foxandhoundsdaily.com wrote, “The argument that the fee has not been raised in over seventy years rings hollow when any on-line inflation calculator will tell you that inflation over that time has risen no more than one-fourth the amount that the bill, AB 1100, co-authored by Democratic assembly members Richard Bloom and Evan Low demands.”
Republicans opposed the bill. Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove agreed that the petition calling for the execution of gays and lesbians was “vile and reprehensible,” adding, “The issue is not about that person. The issue should be about the people’s rights to be able to have a grievance against their government through the initiative process if that’s what they choose to do,” according to the Sacramento Bee.