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Tax Crusaders and the Politics of Direct Democracy Hardcover – July 30, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0415919913 ISBN-10: 0415919916 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Smith's basic premise is that direct democracy in the form of ballot initiatives is not as untainted by special interests (in contrast to representative democracy, that is) as its supporters would have one believe. He concentrates on antitax ballot initiatives to make his argument that special interests play just as powerful a role in swaying public opinion as they do in influencing individual legislators. Uncovering circuitous money trails and professionally managed campaigns, Smith argues that grassroots support for the initiatives was a facade. His detailed investigation looks at Howard Jarvis, California's Proposition 13, the Los Angeles Apartment Owners Association, and the United Organization of Taxpayers. He suggests that Douglas Bruce's fight to pass Colorado's Amendment I was nothing more than a self-serving campaign to create a fund-raising machine for himself. Smith's research is extremely well documented, and he provides a resource guide for those who want to learn more about the initiative process and current ballot measures. David Rouse

Review

Smith's research is extremely well documented, and he provides a resource guide for those who want to learn more about the initiative process and current ballot measures.
Booklist

Smith's book is essential reading for anyone who cares about representative democracy in America. In this penetrating analysis of entrepreneurial populism, the author demonstrates that direct democracy--which is challenging the current system--may have at its foundation astroturf rather than grass roots.
–Alan Rosenthal, Rutgers University

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