Why Did Republicans Only List 53 Ransom Demands?

California State Capitol [genericsla]
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Much has been made of the long list of demands -- 53 specific policy changes -- that Republicans want as the price of agreeing to put Gov. Jerry Brown's temporary tax extensions on the ballot.

Democrats and other have mocked the GOP for asking. But why shouldn't they? Under California's system, especially its requirement of two-thirds votes to put measures on the ballot or to raise taxes, they have all the leverage -- even if they lost the last election. Republicans can -- and routinely do -- ask for the moon. Lists from previous budget negotiations would be at least as long as the one that was released late last week.

If voters don't want to see this kind of hostage-taking by GOP, they should stop expressing support for the state's supermajorities. Republicans are merely using their leverage under the current system. The author of the current system? The California public.

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