Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yes on 89

California Proposition 89: Political Campaigns. Public Financing. Corporate Tax Increase. Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Limits. (Initiative Statute)

Vote yes on Prop 89 for real electoral reform.

Read more...Prop 89 creates a mechanism for public financing of campaigns for the governor, legislators, members of the Board of Equalization, and seven other officials. It also reduces the limit on a private campaign contribution, imposes limits on donations for or against ballot measures, and increases the corporate tax rate by 0.20% to fund the public financing contributions.

Let's look at the rebuttal to the argument in favor, from the official voter information guide. "The supporters of Proposition 89 won't tell you that [Prop 90 will] raise taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars so politicians can run their campaigns at taxpayers' expense." An interesting accusation, considering that the argument they are supposedly rebutting says, "Proposition 89 is specifically funded by a modest increase in the corporate income tax rate." Since the words "Political Campaigns. Public Financing." are right in the title of the measure, this claim qualifies as a bald-faced lie. Shame upon Larry McCarthy, Betty Jo Toccoli, and James M. Hall for lying to you.

The opponents also claim that Prop 89 would "severely limit" the ability of many small businesses from backing candidates or impacting measures. In fact, the limit is $10,000. If your business is in a position to contribute more than $10,000 to a single candidate or ballot measure, then you're not a small business.

Will the politicians, as the opponents claim, spend the public financing on negative attack ads? Without a doubt, yes. However, if they take the public money, they also have to participate in a public debate. They also won't have the same deep pockets for those attack ads.

Prop 89 is endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, NOW, and several pages of other organizations and people. It is opposed mostly by large corporations.

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