Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Video: "Daily Show" Makes Fun Of California's Ballot Initiative System

amazon-daily-show-ballot-initiative.jpg
Correspondent John Oliver discovers just how effed this direct democracy thing has become.
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Once again, the Daily Show sees fit to make fun of us, and this time it's the entire state of California that takes the brunt of their comedic reportage. On last night's Daily Show, they looked into the ballot initiative sponsored by Amazon.com to overturn the state law requiring online retailers to pay sales tax in the state — which was a prime example of how the direct democracy thing in California has become perverted and regularly used by corporations and special interests to their own benefit.Amazon launched a massive signature campaign earlier this year, trying to collect 500,000 signatures at $3 a pop (from professional petitioners), to put an initiative on the ballot overturn ABX1, the state law that's requiring them to pay state sales tax back to the state like any other retailer. The initiative seemed likely to pass, with their money behind it, however Amazon ultimately backed off the initiative knowing that they were fighting a losing battle nationally. California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Tennessee, and some other states have already passed laws requiring online retailers to pay sales tax.*

But it was kind of a close call, and that's mostly what the Daily Show segment is about.

"It's totally fucked up," admits CA Democratic Party chairman John Burton. "It was put in place to protect people from the special interests; it's now become a tool of the special interests to screw the people."

"I'm sure it's not as bad as all that," says cheeky correspondent John Oliver.

Support for LAist comes from

"I'll give you a real bad fucking example," replies Burton. "Prop 13 has fucked up the state forever because there's not enough money for the schools, not enough money for services..."

... And it goes on. Also, because of the Amazon bullshit, Burton refuses to use the Kindle his daughter gave him as a gift. "I go to a goddamn bookstore and buy a book. It's that simple."

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Get More:

Daily Show Full Episodes

,

Political Humor & Satire Blog

,

The Daily Show on Facebook