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The local and state initiatives on the Nov. 4 ballot

The North Coast Journal has declared total war against the Nov. 4 election, and with this edition we initiate our massive, three-issue assault on the various issues and personalities therein. We're going to get out there and wrestle this baby to the ground for you.

We start with the most difficult assignment: Statewide and local propositions, measures and initiatives. California's long dedication to direct democracy is one of our state's most distinguishing features, but damned if it isn't frustrating. The initiative process has long been corrupted and polluted by the very thing it was designed to subvert -- the grasp of the “trusts,” or “big money,” on Sacramento. Nowadays you'd better have a million bucks or more if you want to get something on the ballot, and a lot more if you want it to pass.

This requires the citizens of our great state to be eternally vigilant, and to at least make efforts to get through the massive mounds of arguments and analyses associated with each proposition. Hopefully the present guide will help speed you through the process.


Arms and the Child
Measures F and J: Hey recruiters, leave those kids alone

Whither the Factory Farm?
Prop. 2 has many backers, but some fear the side effects on our most vulnerable

Popping the Question
What is marriage? Prop. 8 seeks to define, or redefine, the institution

Tax Time
A roundup of hard-times revenue-raisers from across the county

Mad Props
The rest of the propositions

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