Paul Jacob

Meg Whitman is running for the California governorship. Obviously, Whitman very much wants Californians to cast a vote for her this year. And then, apparently, she wants to stop Californians from casting a vote on much of anything else in the future.

Repeatedly, the billionaire former CEO of eBay has attacked California's ballot initiative and referendum process. Last May, right after California voters clobbered a number of issues referred to the ballot by legislators, measures that would have raised taxes and played three card monte with parts of state spending, Whitman told an audience, "In many ways, the proposition process has worn out its usefulness."

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Last week, she told the gang on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program:

I mean, the referendum process, you know, dates back to 1918, I think. And it has its useful purpose, but there's no question we have too many referendums on the ballot and too much spending has been, ah, you know, propositioned into process. So, I think you got to have a different approach, no question about it.

Some might argue that Whitman simply isn't a fan of voting at all, period, since she didn't vote for 28 years until she was 46 years old, and then only voted sporadically. But she has repeatedly apologized for her serial omissions, or at least repeated the same apology over and over again, refusing to elaborate. (Her latecomer status as a voter echoes in her latecomer status as a party member: She waited to register as a Republican until 2007.)

Frankly, I can better understand someone being too busy or even uninterested in voting than someone wishing to actually remove the other voters from the process of government in whole or part.

What is she against, exactly? Golden State citizens being permitted to propose laws or constitutional amendments or to force a referendum vote on acts of the state's majority Democrat legislature. Why? Well, she predicates her opposition on the propensity of voters to spend money via the ballot box.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.