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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Dear Bums: Goodbye

The natives are restless:

Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 28, which will enact sweeping changes in California's term-limits law. But the fate of Proposition 29, which would boost tobacco taxes, remained uncertain Tuesday morning.

Proposition 28 would cut the number of years legislators could serve from 14 years to 12, though they could serve all those years in a single house.

After trailing most of the night, the "no" side after midnight overtook the "yes" side by a 20,000-vote margin out of 3.2 million votes cast. Proposition 29 would boost cigarette taxes by $1 a pack, on top of the 87-cent tax already in place.

By early Wednesday morning, the votes were clearer.

Prop. 28 won by an overwhelming 61.4 percent to 38.6 percent, while Prop. 29 lost 49.2 percent to 50.8 percent.

I've always resisted the idea of term limits for a lot of the obvious reasons. They limit our choices and short-circuit the political process. But I'm beginning to wonder if there's any other way to tame the beast. I heard someone on the radio the other day call term limits "a bad idea whose time has come," and that might just be the case.

Interesting that the cigarette tax narrowly lost on the same day, in a state where people are used to big government's control and spending. Could Californians with those two votes be sending a clear message that enough is enough?

Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps, but it's hump day so cut me a little slack, 'K?