Ballot for Special Election Could Include Measure Modeled on Vetoed Legislation to Address Prescription Drug Costs
The "unprecedented stampede of proposed ballot measures" for a possible special election in November include measures "patterned after Democratic bills" the governor vetoed last year, such as a state discount prescription drug program, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
According to the Union-Tribune, "[c]ombatants in the initiative war" are polling voters and also considering "alternative versions" of some of the measures, including the prescription drug initiative (Marelius, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/20). The Sacramento Bee reports that possible ballot measures supported by Democratic legislators, including measures to address prescription drug costs, would "raise the partisan stakes and level of acrimony" among lawmakers.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) expected call for a special election this year would transform "what would have been an off-election year in California into a fierce political battlefield with potentially profound national implications," the Bee reports.
Bruce Cain, a University of California-Berkeley political scientist, said, "It looks like the Democrats are going to be aligned against everything Arnold's putting on the ballot, and we're going to see the same old bitterly divisive election politics."
Treasurer Phil Angelides (D) added that a special election would be "a national battle" because Schwarzenegger has become "the leading edge of the Bush agenda here in California."
David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University, said that if Schwarzenegger's proposals to redistrict congressional districts, alter the state pension system and make changes to the state budgeting process are approved, "Arnold will be the most powerful politician in the country coming out of November, a national kingmaker for the party," who will be "out to remake the GOP" in a more moderate image (Delsohn/Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 2/22).