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Initiative Panel - Do we need this much initiative?

Citizens Oversight (2013-01-25) League Of Women Voters, Common Cause

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This event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, and was held in Carlsbad, CA on January 25, 2013.

  • Welcome -- Mary Crowley, President, League of Women Voters North County San Diego
  • Introduction of Moderator -- Jeanne Brown, Co-President, League of Women Voters of San Diego

Participants (From Left)

Trudy Schafer (Moderator) -- Trudy Schafer is the Senior Director for Program for the League of Women Voters of California. A League member since 1978, Schafer served as president of the Sacramento County League and as the LWVC legislation director before joining the League’s staff as lobbyist in 1992. She works on a broad spectrum of projects both in citizen education and in advocacy. Her focus has been on advocacy on League priorities at the state Capitol as well as on a number of ballot measure campaigns, including redistricting, campaign finance, and budget reform measures. In 2001 she represented the League as a member of the Speaker's Commission on the California Initiative Process.

Glenn C. Smith is Professor of Law at California Western School of Law and a visiting professor of political science at UC San Diego. Professor Smith's background reflects "the intersection of law, government, and politics." A past Chair of the Section on Legislation of the Association of American Law Schools, he participates frequently in media interviews and public affairs programs about constitutional controversies and the Supreme Court. He has published articles on free speech issues involved in medical research, privacy concerns posed by emerging telecommunication technologies, and on the proper interpretation of federal statutes. A recent article, appearing in the University of Colorado Law Review, proposed a new approach to judicial interpretation of legislation passed by voter initiative. Smith is the creator of a nationally-recognized seminar in which law students learn about the Supreme Court by role-playing as lawyers arguing before it and current justices. In 2011, Smith with a student working group published a proposal for initiative reform in the California Western Law Review. Smith received his J.D. from New York University.

Robert M. Stern was founder and president of the Center for Governmental Studies, which closed in 2011. Peter Schrag in the Sacramento Bee called him "the godfather of modern political reform in California." Stern began drafting and analyzing political reform laws as a staff attorney for the California Legislature's Assembly Elections Committee; he then served as the Elections Counsel to the California Secretary of State's office. He has drafted numerous state initiatives, was the principal co-author of California's 1974 Political Reform Act, adopted by 70% of California's voters, and was a principal drafter of the City of Los Angeles' Ethics and Public Campaign Financing laws in 1990. He was the first general counsel of California's Fair Political Practices Commission before coming to CGS in 1983. At CGS, he co-authored the book Democracy By Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government, issued in 1992, with a second updated edition released in 2008. He is a graduate of Pomona College and Stanford Law School.

Thad Kousser is an associate professor of political science at UC San Diego. His publications include work on term limits, the initiative process, voting by mail, reapportionment, campaign finance laws, the blanket primary, health care policy, and European Parliament elections. His work has been published in numerous political and law journals and he has served as co-editor of the journal State Politics and Policy Quarterly. Kousser’s books include The Power of American Governors (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Politics in the American States (Congressional Quarterly Press 2012), and The Logic of American Politics, 5th edition (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2011). Kousser has served on the board of California Common Cause since 2005, and led the California Constitutional Reform Project at Stanford University’s Lane Center from 2009-2011. He is a recipient of the UC San Diego Academic Senate's Distinguished Teaching Award, and has also worked as a staff assistant in the California, New Mexico, and United States Senates. He received his Ph D from the University of California, Berkeley in 2002.

Joe Mathews serves as California editor at Zócalo Public Square, as a fellow with Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and as director of ASU’s new Global Direct Democracy Academy. He also is co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy – which brings together academics, journalists, activists and other experts on initiative, referenda, and new forms of deliberative and participatory democracy.

Joe is co-author, with Mark Paul, of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California Press, 2010). His previous book was The People’s Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy (Public Affairs, 2006), an account of Governor Schwarzenegger’s first term and his use of ballot measures as governing tools.

Formerly a reporter at the LA Times, Wall Street Journal and Baltimore Sun, Joe is lead blogger at NBC's California site, Prop Zero; Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation; and a contributing writer at The Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Pacific Standard, The American Prospect, Politico, the Scientific American, Los Angeles magazine, and Fox & Hounds Daily.

Part 1

Part 2


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Title Initiative Panel - Do we need this much initiative?
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author League Of Women Voters, Common Cause
Pub Date 2013-01-25
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Keywords Election Integrity, Political Philosophy
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Topic revision: r3 - 2013-12-26, RaymondLutz
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