Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Prescott council says earlier vote on initiative will stand

Whew. The Council took a good look at that big wet cow pie on the floor and decided not to give in to temptation and step in it again. You wouldn't think that sort of decision would take more than a few nanoseconds of debate.

The denials are silly -- of course Mr Lamerson and Ms Suttles were looking for every angle to scuttle the initiative. The attempts to change the rules in the middle of the game were obviously politically motivated. Any fair-minded person can see that once the City gave the initiative seekers a number, that should have been the end of it, whatever the constitutional technicalities involved. Once the City Council accepts the initiative as valid, it's legally binding and the legal challenge will have to be on substance, not signatures. Mr Lamerson knows this too.

The smart way to handle this would have been Mr Lamerson calling up the initiative committee, putting together a meeting and working out with them how to make any necessary changes to guard against constitutional challenge. Better still would be to avoid any talk of a do-over and think in terms of preventing constitutional errors in the future.

This deal is done, whatever you think if the initiative. I'll be voting against it, by the way. I don't like the broadness of its brush, which will likely lead to major unforeseen consequences.

But we have to respect the process, that is much more important than any given vote we make in the short term.

Pursuant to health ....

Once again we have a weekend full of letters about the health care, a few from people who understand what they're talking about, and the vast majority from those who don't. Good polling shows that over two-thirds of people admit to confusion about the substance, leaving a third who think they're not confused, and only a small part of those really get it. So here's a primer that I think could do some good if spread around: