The Anti-Government Revolution Sputters

Pamela Prah uncovers how the far-right anti-government movement that was supposed to advance TABOR-style spending limit amendments in a host of states this year. Instead, their measures ended up fizzling out in many states (Progressive States offered its own round up of how this movement derailed). Anti-tax guru Grover Norquist, one of Jack Abramoff's best buddies and architect of the modern conservative movement, said "annoying technicalities" are responsible for his allies' inability to qualify measures. Those technicalities are what most of us call "laws." In fact, 2006 is close to a record year for the number of ballot issues going to voters, so it appears plenty of other groups handled these technicalities just fine. Norquist is pledging that he and his friends will be back with the same measure, assumedly in 2008. But there may be another reason for decreasing concern. Polling in Oregon, Maine, and Montana shows voters moving against the measure. That doesn't mean it won't pass in any of the three states where it remains on the ballot -- Oregon, Maine, and Nebraska. It does mean, however, that Sujit CanagaRetna of the Council of State Governments was correct when she told Prah that Colorado's experience has dampened enthusiasm for this endeavor.