Thursday, March 26, 2015

Q Toon: Scenes from a Mall

California lawyer Matt McLaughlin has plopped down $200 to propose an initiative for the state ballot mandating the execution of gays and lesbians. When I first heard about Matt McLaughlin's so-called "Sodomite Suppression Act," my first thought was that Matt McLaughlin must fancy himself an Andy Kaufman for the 2010s. Matt McLaughlin cannot possibly be serious.

Unfortunately, according to all news reports, Matt McLaughlin is not answering reporters' calls, and his answering machine is full, so it's really hard to tell whether Matt McLaughlin is a jerk who thinks he's funny, a jerk who thinks he's edgy, or a jerk who thinks he's Hitler.

I guess the media will have to camp out on Matt McLaughlin's doorstep, and hound all Matt McLaughlin's neighbors, Matt McLaughlin's ex-girlfriends, Matt McLaughlin's mother and Matt McLaughlin's legal clients in order to find out exactly what kind of jerk Matt McLaughlin is.

Performance Art or Hate Speech, there doesn't seem to be any way for California to deny Matt McLaughlin his right to collect signatures from other performance artists and hate speakers to get this blatantly unconstitutional measure on the state ballot. Not that this sort of stunt was totally unanticipated:
The growing number of proposed initiatives – from 47 in the 1960s to nearly 650 in the 2000s – prompted lawmakers to revisit the issue [of increasing the filing fee] in recent years. They contended that raising the fee would help defray the average $8,000 in administrative costs for state officials to prepare the title and summary for each proposal. It could also dissuade people from ...turning in what would generally be viewed as a frivolous proposal.
California has long had a problem with its citizens approving expensive ballot initiatives on the one hand and initiatives refusing to pay for them on the other. Turns out that's how the initiative process itself works.

Californians who love their annual avalanche of ballot initiatives counter that raising the filing fee sends a message that democracy is a plaything of the rich; nor do they want one of their elected officials to have the power to block any ballot initiatives.

In the end, we are left to trust that there aren't 365,888 hateful performance artists in all of California willing to put their names on Matt McLaughlin's affront to civilization.
Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Mar 26, 2015
And thank goodness they don't have cheap ballot initiatives in Oklahoma.

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