The Nation: Squirrelly Days in Sacramento

In a surge of reforming zeal, California's voters last June approved a clean-government referendum known as Proposition Nine, which was as confused in its meaning as it was noble in its intent. A commission is now hard at work trying to figure out what the 20,000-word provision allows and what it forbids. But in the interim, the panel has passed the word that anyone employed by the state government should play it safe and accept no gifts from lobbyists.

Thus Beverlee Manley, an analyst for an assembly committee, does not al low her lobbyist husband to buy her din ner. There...

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