The danger of Props. 16 and 17 - Page 2

The problem here is not just two awful laws - it's the idea that a single company, with loads of cash, can utterly subvert the basic premise of Democracy

But we're not seeing a lot of evidence that any of the most influential people in California are taking this seriously.

State Sen. Mark Leno has done tremendous work in getting the state party to oppose Prop. 16. Assembly Member Tom Ammiano has been working nonstop in Sacramento to try to get some money into the No on 16 coffers. San Francisco Sup. Ross Mirkarimi has led the statewide organizing efforts. And San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera joined a lawsuit to invalidate the law.

But in all the speeches and public statements that Pelosi, Boxer, Attorney General Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. candidates Janice Hahn and Gavin Newsom, party chair John Burton, and others delivered at the state party convention, there was nary a mention of the fundamental importance of voting no on 16 and 17. None of the people who are capable of raising millions of dollars, the sort of money needed to defeat these measures, is making much of an effort to do it.

Props. 16 and 17 can be defeated. All it takes is a massive campaign to educate voters in a low turnout election about what these two measures actually are. But if the state's political leaders allow these two measures to pass, California in 2010 will go down in history as the most corrupt and ungovernable state in America. And it's very close to happening.