Last week Californians voted in primary elections for the president, federal and state representatives, judges, and proposed ballot initiatives. Actually, let me rephrase that: Last week a small percentage of eligible voters in California weighed in on various ballot questions. About one-in-four people who could vote, did vote, which may, in fact, be the lowest in recent history for a presidential primary.
Californians, or the few of us who mailed in
ballots and went to the polls, were faced with two proposed ballot
initiatives. First up, Proposition 28, the successful proposal to tinker
with the state's term limit laws. Now, instead of being able to serve 6
years in the state assembly and 8 years in the state senate, for a
total of 14 years of service, our state lawmakers can serve for a total
of 12 years in either or both houses.
Does that sound like a relatively minor change? Well, it is. It will
be hard to determine whether voters approved of Prop 28 because they
thought they were shortening the amount of time lawmakers could serve as
state representatives, or because they thought they were giving
lawmakers more flexibility. In any event, this is not the type of
large-scale reform that California needs.
While we may not know why voters approved of Prop 28, we do know that it
faced little opposition. Few ads were taken out to opposed it. Negative
advertising matters, particularly with respect to ballot initiatives.
That brings us to Proposition 29, which may be this cycle's poster
child for showing why negative advertising matters. Prop 29 looks likely
to fail. That proposal would have imposed a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes
and used the revenues for cancer research. There was a great deal of
advertising against Prop 29. Unsurprisingly, tobacco companies were
willing to shell out great sums to defeat the measure.
Finish reading this post on KCET.org.