Blockbuster Democracy

The Lesson of June 2010: Corporate Power Can Be Beaten | California Progress Report

June 10, 2010

Joe Mathews has a good take on Whitman's victory, but it really does come down to her money. Same for Fiorina. Both dominated the messaging and TV airwaves ...

2 Industry-Sponsored Initiatives Fail, Despite Millions Spent On Advertising | Ventura County Star

June 9, 2010

Joe Mathews, a New America Foundation senior fellow who studies and writes about direct democracy around the globe, believes this has been a history-making week in the world of ballot propositions.

“Proposition 16,” he said Wednesday, “belongs in the Hall of Fame of all-time bad initiatives.”...

Govs Gone Wild

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
April 26, 2010 |

It’s the era of gubernatorial self-destruction.

In today’s media landscape, Hollywood stardom looks like better preparation for the governor’s chair than lower state offices.

Consider that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appears very likely to survive two terms without a major scandal.

When $2000 Is Cheaper Than $200

April 21, 2010
(cross posted at Fox & Hounds Daily)

The Assembly recently passed legislation that, over a six year period, would raise the current $200 fee for filing ballot initiatives at the attorney general’s office up to $2000.

The legislation addresses two real and related problems, but in a way that reinforces the worst features of the state’s initiative process.

The Promise and Perils of Direct Democracy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 12:00pm

In 1911, the state of California adopted a system of direct democracy that its authors based on the Swiss system. A century later, Swiss initiative and referendum is considered a crucial part of that country's formula for efficient, consensus-based government. In California, however, initiative and referendum are considered leading culprits in turning the Golden State into a chaotic, ungovernable mess.

What happened?

Is California's Marijuana Measure a Model for All States? | The Atlantic Online

March 25, 2010

Tomorrow I'm speaking with Joe Mathews, who studies California tax issues with the New America Foundation, about the future of sin taxes and their potential to raise state and federal revenue, in the name of regulating things that mainstream Americans don't particularly think are wholesome. ...

Original article.

Joe Mathews on "Top Story with Chris Reed" | KOGO

March 28, 2010

New America's Joe Mathews talks California politics on AM 600 KOGO's "Top Story with Chris Read"

The Palin-Schwarzenegger Smackdown

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
December 22, 2009 |

For the Republican Party, Sarah Palin has been a problem with no solution. She is a divisive figure, a culture warrior whose celebrity and command of media attention has allowed her to eclipse or bully party leaders with more appeal to independents. No one within the party has been able to put her in her place.

Until late last week, when Palin got into a media fight with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

How Obama Lost Arnold

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
January 19, 2010 |

Is the love affair between California’s Republican governor and the Democratic president over?

Arnold's Third Term

  • By
  • Joe Mathews,
  • New America Foundation
March 5, 2010 |

Californians, meet your next governor.

Let’s call him Jerry Schwarzenegger.

As former California Gov. Jerry Brown officially rolled out his 2010 campaign for governor this week, he was confronted by questions about how a new Brown term in the stateh ouse might be different than his first, an entertaining if unfocused eight-year stretch from 1975 to 1983.

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