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Voters in three Western states saw through Howie Rich’s expensive con job for what it was and handed him a solid drubbing on Tuesday. Initiatives that would have wreaked havoc on land use controls and threatened to sap billions of dollars from state treasuries were rejected by voters in California, Idaho and Washington state.
Only in one state, Arizona, was Rich successful.
Nonprofits funded by Rich spent $8.6 million to finance campaigns that collected signatures in eight states to get the takings initiatives on the ballot and then promote their passage. In four states, Missouri , Montana, Nevada and Oklahoma, the initiatives were barred from the ballot either by the courts or state officials.
Here’s how sanity prevailed on Nov. 7:
In a report published before the Nov. 7 election, Public Citizen said,
“These initiatives, falsely advertised as necessary to prevent state governments from intruding on property owners, are actually intended to serve as cash cows for developers. If approved, the initiatives would leave state governments with an unacceptable choice between rolling back decades of environmental protection rules – such as those to combat sprawl, protect wetlands and preserve clean air and water – or paying bounties to developers as ‘compensation’ for being prevented from using their land however they please.”