However, in recent years that relationship has evolved from merely competitive to something approaching hostility.
Having achieved total domination of the Capitol, Democratic politicians clearly resent sharing lawmaking authority with voters. We have seen numerous attempts to kneecap the initiative process. We’ve seen Democratic attorneys general twist the ballot wording of measures they oppose, such as last year’s effort to repeal new gas taxes, and we’ve seen those attorney generals and governor refuse to defend voter-approved initiatives in court.
The latest wrinkle appears to be an increasing willingness by the dominant Democrats to thumb their noses at voters by pursuing policies that contradict what the voters decreed.
Two such examples popped up this month.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that he will not allow any more executions of criminals, murderers mostly, and ordered the state’s execution chamber to be demolished.
He justifies it as a moral issue, even though the state’s voters have repeatedly declared their support for capital punishment — twice in this decade alone.
Just days later, a bloc of Democratic members of the Assembly unveiled a package of housing bills, including one that would cap annual rent increases in local jurisdictions that do not have local rent control ordinances. If enacted, it would, in effect, repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which prohibits local governments from imposing rent control on units built after 1995.
Just four months ago, California’s voters had the opportunity to repeal Costa-Hawkins via Proposition 10, which was placed
on the ballot by rent control advocates. Voters refused to pass the measure.
The author of Assembly Bill 1482, David Chu of San Francisco, justified his end run around voters by saying it’s needed to address the state’s housing affordability crisis.