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Hot Propositions

California's controversial experiment in direct democracy continues


California's ballot initiatives have been making laws and national headlines since 1911. Designed by Governor Hiram Johnson to take politics directly to the people and over the heads of a corrupt legislature, the initiative process often focuses on populist issues. California voters have used their votes to spotlight issues across the political gamut from environmental concerns (Proposition 65) to property taxes (Proposition 13) to immigration (Proposition 187) to affirmative action (Proposition 209), campaign finance reform (Proposition 208), and legal gambling (Proposition 5) .

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