“Sponsors of California initiatives are always seeking broad power. A California initiative either changes the law or puts in place a statute that can only be undone by another vote of the people.
But in recent years, even that much power hasn’t been enough for some initiative sponsors. They write into their initiatives to power to play attorney general.
These provisions grant initiative sponsors the power to defend their own measure in court. Sometimes, the initiatives declare that the state must fund their post-election legal work. That is an extraordinary power grab, and anti-democratic. California voters elect a state attorney general to defend the state legally; the a.g. has to make choices about priorities and resources. But these initiative sponsors want to supplant their judgment; their initiative is always the top priority, no matter what.
This November, two measures seek this extraordinary power. And since there is one man behind each measure, we are seeing an individual power grab.”