In a further sign that yesterday's election results were not a verdict in favor of anti-tax Tea Partyism, two key referenda to limit state taxes and spending went down to serious defeat.
In Maine, where the big news was the state's rejection of gay marriage, voters also resoundingly defeated a "Taxpayers Bill of Rights" (TABOR) referendum, which would have placed spending limits on state and local governments, and required direct voter approval for tax increases. This is the third time in five years that Maine has rejected TABOR proposals. As the Portland Press Herald points out, the loss this year was actually worse than last time -- from an eight-point margin of defeat in 2006, to a 21-point margin this time around.
Another anti-tax vote in Washington state, Initiative 1033, would have similarly capped state and local spending and property taxes, and would have required voter approval for tax increases. It failed by ten points. The Seattle Times said: "Gone are the days when professional initiative guru Tim Eyman dreams up a clever formula for restraining government and voters fall in line. If Eyman can't read newspaper headlines about deep cutbacks in public services -- parks, public safety, education -- voters surely can. They know government is not flush right now and in a painful recession, the public sometimes needs a little help from government."