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Matt Singer on November 1, 2006 - 11:06am
New polling shows that even as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger makes explicit his opposition to Proposition 90 -- the state's clone of Measure 37 -- new polling shows the proposition passing by a margin of 58% to 28%. In a California election year where hundreds of millions of dollars are being dumped into races, Prop 90 has flown mostly under the radar. A number of local bloggers have done a nice job of working to raise the issue's profile. Despite those efforts, much of the national media just doesn't get it. In July, while reporting on Prop 90 and its cousin initiatives (still on the ballot in Arizona, Idaho, and Washington), Progressive States pointed out that the so-called "Kelo-Plus Takings" initiatives were part of a very deliberate strategy to harness public outrage over the implications of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision and funnel it into efforts to advance far-right-wing legal theories. Unfortunately, it appears in California that the strategy is working. TIME Magazine is using rightwing spin in framing its articles. CNN.com also seems to have a tough time distinguishing between eminent domain and the idea of "regulatory takings." All of this despite the fact that Oregonians living under Measure 37 deeply regret embracing the measure. Meanwhile, even some California-based national bloggers don't seem to understand the threat. Kevin Drum, who writes the well-respected Political Animal blog for Washington Monthly, recently dismissed Proposition 90's chances at the polls:
Nice try, fellas. A simple anti-Kelo initiative might have had a chance of passing. But trying to prevent the government from ever enacting legislation that might have an economic effect on property owners? Not so much. I imagine most Californians will elect to stay in the 21st century on this one.Imagination is nice, but if wishes were horses then beggars would ride. We need to make sure voters actually understand the implications of Proposition 90 before we simply trust that people will make a good decision.