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PSN on July 18, 2006 - 9:14am
As far-right funders like Howard Rich work across the country, dumping literally millions simply into qualifying these atrocious measures for ballots, progressives have experienced some good news and some bad news. Here's where the campaign stands in various states:
- Arizona: The Arizona Home Owners Protection Effort (Arizona H.O.P.E.) has submitted signatures to qualify for the ballot, but is not yet certified for the ballot. The bulk of the funding for the effort comes from Howard Rich's Americans for Limited Government.
- California: Howard Rich has moved a lot of money to California Proposition 90. The measure is qualified for the ballot. Opposition is being organized by the League of California Cities, California Fire Chiefs Association, California Police Chiefs Association, and California School Boards Association.
- Idaho: Despite the fact that the legislature passed a Kelo bill, radical rightwingers are still pushing a ballot initative to consider regulations as takings. The measure qualified for the ballot. The measure is backed by the indirectly Rich-funded America At Its Best.
- Missouri: Missourians in Charge, which promoted both a Measure 37 clone and a TABOR-style spending cap, has been rebuffed and both measures have been tossed from the ballot due to failures to follow state law in signature gathering. Missourians in Charge is challenging the decision in Court.
- Montana: Montanans in Action spent over $600,000 and turned in tens of thousands of signatures to qualify three measures including a Measure 37 clone. The signatures are not yet certified.
- Oregon: This is the state where Measure 37 passed and the impacts have been painful. Local governments are overwhelmed with new paperwork and the law is being exploited -- not what the voters pictured when they passed it.
- Washington: I-933 has qualified for the ballot. Citizens for Community Protection is organizing in opposition. As in other places, the people behind I-933 are funded largely by Howie Rich.
In a handful of other states, measures are moving forward that simply alter the ways eminent domain can be used, but do not include the truly heinous Measure 37 provisions modeled on Oregon's disastrous initiative:
- Colorado: A bill restricting eminent domain passed the legislature and was signed by Governor Bill Owen. A measure to refer the issue to voters was killed.
- Michigan: A measure referred by the legislature to the ballot amends the Constitution to prevent Kelo style eminent domain use, while not providing for the Measure 37-style restrictions on local regulations.
- North Dakota: Citizens to Restrict Eminent Domain (C-RED) is working to qualify an initiative to prevent Kelo style eminent domain use in North Dakota. The signatures need to be gathered by mid-August.