Saturday, May 26, 2012

June 2012: Vote NO on California Proposition 28!

California Proposition 28 is also known as the California Change in Term Limits Initiative.

Proposition 28 weakens terms limits.

Currently, California legislators can serve 6 years in the Assembly and 8 years in the Senate, for a total of 14 years. Proposition pretends to strengthen term limits by reducing the total number of years that a legislator can serve to 12. However, under Proposition 28, those 12 years can be served in whichever chamber in whatever combination. So a legislator will be able to serve a full 12 years in the Assembly OR a full 12 years in the Senate.

It is statistical fact that legislators are at their most vulnerable when they change districts or move from one chamber to the other. Incumbents are forced to challenge incumbents. It ensures turnover in the legislative body and healthy competition of ideas. It prevents politicians from becoming entrenched. It makes it more difficult for parties to establish hegemonic "machines" in districts with low turnout.

The end result of Proposition 28 will be less turnover in the legislative body, entrenched politicians and more partisanship.

Proposition 28 was funded by lobbyists.

Two of the major donors to the pro-Proposition 28 campaign are Majestic Realty and LA Live Properties. LA Live Properties is controlled by Philip Anschutz. Majestic Realty is controlled by Ed Roski. Roski and Anschutz have been competing to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles. In order to complete a project as big as building a stadium in LA County one must cut through miles of red tape, much of it imposed by the legislature. Majestic Realty's donation came two months after the Legislature exempted a Majestic Realty project from having to follow environmental laws.

Don't let the legislature roll back term limits!

Californians put term limits into place in 1990 with Proposition 140.

In 2002, the President Pro Tem of the California Senate, John Burton (D - San Francisco), led the campaign for Proposition 45. Proposition 45 was an attempt to soften term limits by allowing legislators to serve an additional 4 years. The electorate defeated it.

In 2008, public sector unions led the campaign for Proposition 93, an effort to extend legislator's terms to 12 years in a manner very similar to today's Proposition 28. Once again, the electorate defeated it.

These forces are at work today with Proposition 28. They think if they keep forcing the issue onto the ballot over-and-over they will eventually win. They have lots of campaign funds but not much grassroots support.

Protect democracy in California - vote NO on Proposition 28 in June!

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