Out-of-state developer Howie Rich’s Proposition 2 got the bum’s rush in Idaho, losing by an overwhelming 76-to 24%. Except for $50 all of the money spent in Idaho on behalf of the ballot initiative came from Howie’s group. Conservative Idaho voters saw it for what it was, a radical effort to remake the foundations of private property.
Rich managed to get his sneak proposal on the ballot in a number of other Western states. Mostly it was rejected, but Arizona voters fell for the bait and approved his plan to destroy any regulation of land use. Arizona, already notorious for their urban sprawl and wasteful use of water, will now have to pay people to not misuse their land and in doing so harm the property of others. To be fair, I should add the Rich’s Idaho initiative was the worst of the bunch. As proposed in Idaho, the nuisance maker would get money without even first being subjected to land use enforcement. I really can’t see any difference between what was proposed and organized crime extracting “protection money” from property owners.
If it wasn’t for paid signature gatherers, Rich’s initiatives would not have found their way on the ballot in any state. While I think paid signature gathering should be illegal, and bet most others agree, the U.S. Supreme Court in its wisdom has decided that money spent this way amounts to constitutionally protected speech, so paid signature gathering can continue to be used to undermine the basis of civil society for any number of schemes.
The Boise Weekly reports on Prop 2.
Back in the early 20 th century, the ballot initiative was created to bypass legislatures and governors who had been bought off. While this was and may still may be a great problem, the initiative process itself has largely become a route whereby special interests, not the public, try to buy themselves favorable laws, pummel the liberties of others, and generally make mischief.
Added Nov. 12, from the Idaho Mountain Express. Cities hail failure of Proposition 2. ‘Takings’ initiative soundly defeated in Blaine, other counties.