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    La.: Governor's Push for Initiative Dealt Another Blow

    Friday, Feb. 19, 1999

    One of Republican Gov. Mike Foster's chief allies in the state Senate, Jay Dardenne (R), will not support Foster's push for statewide ballot intiatives. Dardenne said allowing voters to use petitions to qualify issues on the ballot is unwieldy, circumvents representative government and could, if used to repeal taxes, wreak havoc with government. Dardenne said he hasn't decided whether he will back another Foster proposal, which would allow the legislature to put issues on the statewide ballot by simple majority vote instead of the two-thirds vote currently required.

    More State Political News From:
    Colorado | Iowa | New Mexico

    Colorado: Former Legislator Hopes to Return – Endorsed By God


    Last year, Charles Duke (R) unexpectedly resigned his seat in the state Senate, saying God had spoken to him and told him to leave. Now Duke wants his seat back, and implied that a "follow-up" conversation with his higher power prompted his quest to return. According to Legi-Slate sources, Duke told Senate President Ray Powers (R) that state Sen. Doug Lamborn (R), who took Duke's seat when he resigned, should give it back. Powers would not comment on the conversation. Duke's visit apparently made some House members jumpy, and one GOP lawmaker said the State Patrol was instructed to keep close tabs on Duke.

    Iowa: House Speaker Corbett to Retire


    In a surprise move, House Speaker Ron Corbett (R) announced he will resign at the end of the 1999 legislative session to become director of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce. Corbett, who was expected to ride the speakership into the 2002 gubernatorial race, said he wanted to spend more time with his family; his wife is expecting their fifth child. House Republicans are expected to elect a new speaker in May. Majority Leader Brent Seigrest (R), Corbett's chief legislative partner, is expected to succeed him, setting off a power struggle for majority leader that is likely to affect the remainder of the session.

    New Mexico: Absentee Balloting Issue Causes Partisan Tangle


    Democrats and Republicans are battling over proposed changes to take political parties and candidates out of absentee-ballot voting. Democrats want to prevent political parties and candidates from mailing absentee ballot applications to voters. Under HB 322, only county clerks could send voters absentee applications, and voters would need to request them. Both parties participated in mass absentee voter campaigns during the 1998 elections. Republicans argue they have had more success with absentee voters and Democrats are trying to eliminate this advantage.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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