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The Amazon Tax fight isn’t over in California

While Jerry Brown has signed the budget bill that imposed an Internet Sales Tax on California, an arguably unconstitutional attempt to tax out-of-state businesses conducting interstate commerce with Californians, the fight’s not over. I’ve said again and again that Amazon doesn’t play around. And sure enough, the very night Brown signed the bill, Amazon emailed me and every other Amazon Associate in California to terminate our contracts.

Amazon’s not stopping there though. This company is admirable in its insistence that it will do the right thing and stand up for the shareholders. That trend continues as now Amazon has filed for a referendum on ABx1 28, the Amazon Tax portion of the budget. Referendum is of course one of the three classic Progressive acts of Democracy that the far left celebrates, held up along side Initiative and Recall, the latter of which we’re currently seeing used with gusto in Wisconsin.

But as it turns out, the big question surrounding the Amazon Tax referendum is: Will the progressive left hypocritically fight to prevent it from happening at all?

This is important because of a reading of Proposition 25, part of the November Nightmare last year, explained by Loren Kaye last year at Fox & Hounds. As Kaye explains:

Therefore, with the exception of measures calling elections, the only statutes that are currently exempt from popular referendum are those bills passed by a supermajority of the Legislature. This makes sense, since a two-thirds legislative vote represents the kind of political consensus that would not need ratification by the people.

Enter Proposition 25. Through careful word-smithing, the drafters created a loophole in the referendum power. They created a category of statutes, called “other bills providing for appropriations related to the budget bill,” that would be approved by a majority vote, yet qualify for the exemption under “urgency measures,” because they go into effect immediately.

It will be interesting to see whether the Democrats attempt to block a popular referendum, and how they justify it if they do. The party of a Living Constitution, will it treat the California Constitution as a law, or a spirit?

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