Focus Point - The Conservative Shift

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The big news from Super Tuesday was presidential politics. More interesting to me were the fortunes of the many initiatives on the California ballot.

Californians not only had the chance to vote on John McCain - mister campaign finance reform. They voted on the issue too. McCain ran poorly, and proposition 25 banning corporate contributions, setting spending limits and publicly funding state campaigns went down in flames. So much for Gore's hope of running against Bush on it.

Prop 26 lost. The plan to lower the two-thirds majority requirement for school bond issues to a simple majority was seen as a screen for raising taxes.

Voters slammed the door on a trial lawyers' scheme to sue an at-fault driver's insurance company for more money. And they decided to let prosecutors, not judges, decide whether to try 14-to-17-year-olds as adults. Voters, fed up with chronic gang problems, decided punishment is prevention.

What does it all mean? If California is any indication, the mainstream is getting more conservative every day.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, gasoline prices.