The Issue-Based Campaign
The initiative and referendum process arose out of the fundamental controversy about whether government should come directly from the people or through representatives to the various levels of government. Local initiatives can be very useful tools for school districts, libraries, and municipal and county government. A competing measure is a powerful tool that can be used effectively. For example, Ashland voters approved a prepared-food and beverage tax to fund an open-space land-acquisition program and state-mandated upgrades on its wastewater treatment plant. State legislatures love to preempt local government. Political consultants and pollsters generally agree that to make it through the campaign process, an issue-based campaign must begin with polled support of at least 60 to 70 percent of voters. A speakers' bureau is a terrific way of publicly involving big-name people who want to be aligned with a campaign. "Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.".