Prop 52’s TV ads push the fact that there’s no organized opposition to the measure (which locks in a hospital fee and Medi-Cal funding) as a virtue. Backers of Prop 54 (a legislative “reform” measure) and Prop 55 have made a version of the same argument.

It’s another example of how rotten our system of direct democracy has gotten.

There’s no organized opposition to such measures not because there aren’t strong arguments against each measure. There’s no organized opposition because there’s no one with millions of dollars who want to run a campaign against them.

So what those campaigns are saying is; We have money, and no rich person or interest opposes this. Lovely. It’s especially rich when the backers of 52, 54 and 55 portray themselves as on the sides of underdogs – poor people who need health care, citizens who need government transparency, and California schoolchildren.

What is to be done? Californians deserve real campaigns for and against statewide measures, especially since they are so inflexible and difficult to change. And if there isn’t a campaign against a measure, the Secretary of State should organize one. And the state should fund it – to the tune of at least $5 million.

That sort of public financing for initiatives is easily attacked. But it’s necessary if Californians are going to hear two sides of a measure. We can no longer trust our weakened media to provide coverage of ballot measure campaigns, especially now that Gov. Brown and the Democrats have packed all initiatives onto November ballots.

A measure without an organized campaign for and against is a measure that should not be on the ballot.