Good headline, right? Last night, the Mission Viejo City Council sent the long-gestating "Right To Vote" initiative -- which is backed by roughly the same people who back the Lance MacLean recall campaign -- to a city-wide election. The initiative would mandate that all major zone-change proposals in the city be first approved by voters.
Let's count the levels of democracy for this thing. First, local activist superstars Dale Tyler and Connie Lee headed up a signature drive, which resulted in about 11,000 signed supporters (though the count of verified signatories from the Registrar of Voters came out to be 8,327). Then, the Mission Viejo city council had the option of adopting the iniative as law or sending it to an election. The council majority -- Trish Kelley, Frank Ury and MacLean -- and city attorney Bill Curley have made noises about the initiative possibly encouraging incoming developers to game the system by trying to build affordable housing when they otherwise wouldn't (in Mission Viejo, this is a bad thing). Critics have said those complaints are just fronts to disguise the fact that some of the council's biggest campaign finance backers -- local developers and the groups like the Building Industry Association -- don't like the iniative. In either case, the council voted last night to put the iniative to a ballot instead of simply adopting it. What this means: Another fun campaign to watch when the next election rolls around!
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It's interesting to note that Red County republiblogger Matt Cunningham has started sniping at the Right To Vote/MacLean Recall crowd. He's made some intriguing criticisms, including the observation that Lee and Tyler spent $15,000 of their own money to hire a signature-collecting firm and that recall supporter/council member John Paul Ledesma signed off on a few of the votes that MacLean is criticized for supporting. But the recall crowd might want to take the attention as encouragement. If there were ever a sign that Lance MacLean has entrenched himself into the county republican/developer-backed establishment (Saddleback Republicans not included), that sign might be defense from Red County. Either that, or this is all part of the RC/Orange Juice Blog feud.