Lost in the moment: ballot measures

Dennis Nottebaum
6 November 2008
While the world celebrates Barack Obama's historic victory over John McCain, many ballot measures on the state level also deserve our attention (overview). Most controversial among them were the decisions on same-sex marriage and abortion that were up in several states.

Both decisions are still running close in California whereas voters in Florida and Arizona have approved of banning gay marriages and the electorate in South Dakota have rejected a plan to prohibit all abortions in the state except in cases where mother's life or health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest.

In Nebraska an initiative to end affirmative action was accepted, a similar proposal is still open in Colorado.

Voters in Washington approved of plans to legalize physician assisted suicide making it the second state after Oregon to embrace euthanasia.

As to drug-related issues, Massachusetts voters accepted decriminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. Under the new law those caught  won't face criminal penalties, but will have to give up the drugs and pay a fine of $100. At the same time Michigan became the 13th state to allow the use marijuana to treat pain with doctor's approval.

Finally, a plan to name a sewage-treatment plant after George W. Bush was rejected in San Francisco.

Peter Geoghegan: dark money and dirty politics

Democracy is in crisis and unaccountable flows of money are helping to destroy it. Peter Geoghegan’s new book, ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’, charts how secretive money, lobbying and data has warped our democracy.

How has dark money bought our politics? What can be done to change the system?

Join us for a journey through a shadowy world of dark money and disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

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In conversation:

Peter Geoghegan Dark Money Investigations editor at openDemocracy and the author of ‘Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics’.

Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy.

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