Some key points of the article though include:
- Pro-SSM/pro-inclusion forces (like the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Action Caucus) have to decide whether to challenge the fraudulent signatures and dirty process
- Thousands of volunteer hours and many thousands of dollars would be required to examine the signatures
- Bait-and-switch petitions (like sneaking an anti-SSM petiiton into a wine in supermarkets clipboard) are not illegal
- Like picking through the bucket for moldy blueberries, the culling process is tedious and exacting
- Challenges only have until January 6, 2006 to be filed
- Even if tens of thousands of the signatures are fraudulent, getting those falsely include to be aware is a monumental task
- With the coerced help of Roman Catholic parishes, the anti-SSM folk almost certainly would end up with enough to submit the initiative to the legislature if all the fraudulent ones went away
Long-term though, this process, coupled with the court challenges, failed initiatives, and abortive rollback bills makes one thing plain. The ballot-initiative process is badly overuse, badly abused, and controlled by special interests who have no interest in the commonweal of the commonwealth.
Whether they are pharmaceutical giants or hate groups, they are perfectly willing to pretend to represent Massachusetts citizens. They will lie, buy, and deny amorally to get their advantage by duping the public. They can cry, "Let the pubic decide!," but let the General Court, the governor and the attorney general decide that we need to limit ballot initiatives to true citizen's issues.
Left, right, apolitical...we need only examine the initiatives, their total costs and their real aims here, in California and elsewhere to see have they abuse our citizens in the falsely used name of democracy.