The most interesting aspect of the local Wal-Mart saga is that the company is using ballot referendums to bypass California's excruciating zoning and environmental regulations.

Inglewood's City Council last year blocked the proposed shopping center, which is to include both a traditional Wal-Mart and other stores, prompting the company to collect more than 10,000 signatures to force Tuesday's vote in the working-class community in southwestern Los Angeles County.

On Monday, religious leaders and community activists including the Rev. Jesse Jackson urged Inglewood voters to defeat the ballot measure, arguing that it gives Wal-Mart license to begin construction without having to go through the usual array of public zoning, traffic and environmental hearings or reviews.

"You don't get to get around all of the environmental impacts accepted in this country," said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. "You don't get to bypass the city and their building and safety and their planning departments. What they have done is they have gone over the top."

No, Ms. Waters, they've gone to the top and over your head -- directly to your bosses, the voters.

But of course, in America, the voters aren't really in charge....

Opponents have vowed legal action if the measure passes.
The ballot measure doesn't look likely to pass. I would have voted for it if I lived in Inglewood, but oh well. I may not like the decision, but I'm content that the people have expressed their will. The result reinforces what I consider to be unjust and inefficient regulations, but so be it.



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