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Cleaning up Election Day Disasters

Even with the good news that came last Tuesday, all too much evidence exists that the basic machinery of democracy in America is broken. Election Day is like Groundhog Day and the first stories of problems with voting machines, long lines, or voter intimidation hit the wires in the early A.M. Fortunately, with progressives in control in more states than ever before, we have an opportunity to get the machinery working, so that the engine of democracy starts humming again.

CA: Prop 90 Poses Major Threat to State

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.

One Eye on the Ballot

It's a big year for ballot issues. Mid-term elections, when no President is being elected, typically see less activity on the ballot issue front than Presidential years, but 2006 is proving to be an exception. Eighteen states will consider 76 ballot issues this fall, as high as its been since 1914 for a non-Presidential year.

Voters in Oregon No Longer Fooled by Measure 37

Two years ago, Oregon voters were sold Measure 37 as a property rights issue. The measure, they were told, would close loopholes governments used to regulate homeowners and prevent unnecessary regulation. Backers downplayed other ramifications that are now coming to light, ramifications that other states will face if voters in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, or Washington approve initiatives modeled after Measure 37.

CA & WA: Breaking the Oil Addiction

By voting for Proposition 87, California voters have the opportunity to join a growing number of states in investing in clean energy. Backing the proposition are more than just environmental groups. Unions, civil rights organizations, health workers, and many others have joined in the fight for clean energy. The proposition would tax companies drilling for oil in California and set aside the money collected in a fund for loans, grants and subsides to promote alternative fuels and more energy-efficient vehicles. In addition to the environmental benefits, it will decrease dependence on foreign oil.

CA: Schwarzenegger Tries to Amend Global Warming Law By Executive Order

In elementary school, most Americans learn about the three branches of government: the legislative branch writes the law, the executive branch enforces the law, and the judicial branch interprets the law. Complicated concept?

CA: Paid Sick Days on SF Ballot

In a ground breaking measure, San Francisco voters will be voting on a ballot proposal next month to guarantee workers paid sick days, up to nine days per year for full-time workers at large businesses with fewer days off for employees in small businesses or in part-time jobs. A broad coalition of unions, political leaders, and community organizations, led by the dynamic Young Workers United, put the issue on the ballot.

Court Denies Free Speech Right for Union Button

The Bill of Rights is a nice idea, but for most workers, it disappears when they punch the clock to begin work each day, even when the employer is the government.

Conservative Candidates Promote Progressive Policies

One sign of progressive strength is when progressive candidates win elections. But another sign is when conservative candidates begin adopting progressive programs for fear of losing office. And across the country, many GOP gubernatorial candidates have begun embracing progressive causes as a way to court the voters:

IL: Chicago Mayor Vetoes Retail Living Wage Ordinance

In his first veto over 17 years as mayor, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has vetoed the ordinance passed by the city council which would have required large retail stores of at least 90,000 square feet to pay $10 an hour, plus $3 in benefits, by July 2010.