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Transcript of Political Science
The Progressive Movement and It's Impact on California Politics
Progressive Movement had roots in the economic and political changes that swept the U.S after the civil war, but the Populist Movement dominated American politics from 1870-1896.
Progressive and Populist had many of the same problems only difference was their geographic.
From the civil war on the U.S had industrialized and the new breed of corporate entrepreneurs chased after wealth.
*Monopoly became the word of the day.
Southern Pacific Railroad was one of the biggest corporations.
*Had wealth and power enough to influence political decisions.
Progressive reforms began at a local level in Los Angeles and San Francisco , in 1906 the battle with Southern Pacific Railroad began in San Francisco.
President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in working with James D. Phelan (Former mayor of S.F)
*Roosevelt sent federal agents to investigate bribery and corruption charges.
**17 supervisors, corporate leaders were indicted. James D. Phelan was forced to resign and his henchman Abraham Reuf was convicted and sentenced to 14yrs.
The Progressive Movement and Its Impact on California Politics
1907 legislative session was one of the most corrupt on record with no action take. Fresno Republican wrote "If we are fit to govern ourselves, this is the last time we will summit to be govern by the hired bosses of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company."
Group of lawyers, newspaper publishers, and other political reformers formed a League of Lincoln-Roosevelt Republican Club.
*To end the control of California Politics by the Southern Pacific Railroad and linking themselves to the Progressive movement.
1910 Hiram Johnson became candidate for governor for Lincoln-Roosevelt league he then ran and won the election. Met with leading national Progressives to discuss reforms programs for California.
*1911 voters passed
the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, and
gave power to citizens to elect candidates of political parties for national ans states offices.
1912 Progressive party lost the bid to capture the White House, failure to win an important election the Progressive party weakened.
The 1879 Constitution:
The Constitution and the Progressive Legacy
California's Constitution: Where are we Now?
Written by the residents of the territory in anticipation of statehood.
Contains many of the basic ideas California has today.
President Zachary Taylor proposed that California draft a constitution and apply for admission as a state directly to congress.
California Citizens elected delegates to a constitutional convention to write this constitution.
The framework of the government rested on separation of powers- Executive, Legislative, and Judicial- and checks and balance like the federal government. -Features that were different from what we have today:
The right to vote was limited to white males 21 years or older who had lived here for more than 6 months.
The judiciary was organized just as Mexico's judiciary at the time.
All laws and other provisions were published in both English and Spanish, since California was a bilingual state.
California constitution has been through 3 stages
most proposals have never come better voters.
Having the governor and lieutenant governor as a team
Having the other elected members of the executive branch be appointed by the governor
Merging the several tax administration agencies
Lengthening term limits for legislators
Requiring a simple majority instead of a two-thirds majority Constitution for the enactment of the budget each year.
Most proposals have never come before voters
Voters continue their love -hate relationship with the political parties
A system that allows citizens to vote for laws and policies directly.
There are 3 mechanisms in direct democracy, initiative, referendum, and recall.
All three of the mechanisms function the same way. Citizens circulate petitions to gather a required number of signatures to bring the measure to statewide vote.
The Process :
Allows voter to determine whether to recall an elected official before their time expires
(150 Days to present to secretary of state petition)
Frequent use recalls of state wide officials or the states legislator are rare. Only have been 8 recalls of 118
Two in 1913
four in state legislators recall vote in 1994&1995
Debating the Merit of Direct Democracy:
Most well known and most frequently used direct voice.
also known as direct legislation, requires the proponent to obtain a title and summary of the proposed initiative from the state attorney general.
- Proponents have 150 days to circulate a petition to gather the required # of signatures to qualify for the ballot - 5 percent of voters in the last gubernatorial election for statues, and 8 percent for constitutional amendments.
Before 1960, initiatives only appeared on the general election ballot.
After 1960, they began to appear in general, primary, and special elections.
From 1912- 2012: over 1,600 initiatives were titled and summarized for circulation.
- 360 qualified for the ballot, 3 removed by court, 121 approved by voters.
Each direct democracy process initiative, referendum and recall is available as well as in local politics, where they first appeared and were they still thrive today.
Until trust is gained Californians will continue to hold strong in their support of direct democracy
Direct democracy initiative referendum and recall has been on going since adoption in early there in early 20th century
Catch 22 that largely determines California politics the legislator is argued to be hamstrung by the zealose use of direct democracy, while direct democratic is argues to be hectically to overcome an unproductive legislature.
Direct Democracy :
Main issues: Social and cultural, such as outlawing gambling on horse races, professional fighting, prostitution, and land ownership by Asians.
Most controversial issue was the debate on liquor. Dominated the initiative process.
Use of initiative declined greatly. Compared to the previous time period, a higher percentage of proposed measures failed to gather enough signatures.
Newer issues: race and civil rights, property taxes, and labor and welfare issues.
Prop 14 was the most prominent out of all the initiatives that dealt with fair housing.
Written by a constitutional convention in 1878
This is the basic document with amendments that is in force today.
Referendum allows voters to approve or reject statutes or amendments passed by the state legislature.
: The measure may be proposed by presenting to the secretary of state a petition with signatures that equal to 5 percent of the voters in the last gubernatorial election.
Filing must take place within a 90-day period. If it qualifies, the measure prevents the law from taking effect until the electorate decide.
Referendum is used infrequently. Almost faded from use.
Between 1912 and 2012, only 48 referenda appeared on ballot.
Voters rejected a law 27 times; they approved a law 21 times.
California's bill of right, called "Declaration of rights" consist of the first 10 amendments of the U.S. constitution.
This "Declaration of Rights" can be amended by the initiative process, which allows individuals or groups to put proposed changes before the voting public at election.
Initiatives abounded with over 1,000 being titled, 141 qualifying, and 56 being approved. They addressed social, cultural, and economic issues.
Most controversial initiative was Prop 13, "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation" (1978).
- 2/3 of California voters passed Prop 13. Reduced property tax rates by about 57 percent.
- Prop 13 is still hotly debated.
California voters decided on 75 initiatives in 16 separate elections.
Most controversial and long-lasting ballot issue was same-sex marriage.
In 1977, the state legislature passed a law that states marriage is a "personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and woman."
- Reaffirmed in 2000 when voters passed Prop 22. a statutory. Defined marriage to be between man and woman.
In this time period, complexity of modern society, willingness to regulate and specify legally things, and other factors increased the amount of initiatives.
- Those who are frustrated and unsatisfied with the laws that the government proposes turn to initiatives to get what they want.