NO on Prop. R Argument (Copy and Send To Others)
ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP. R.
1) Proposition R violates the California State Constitutional requirement that ballot measures be limited to a single item/issue.
2) City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo stated that “Ethics Reform” can be done as a local ordinance and does not need to be put to a vote of the people as a ballot measure/proposition.
3) Proposition R is subject to Judicial ruling on it’s constitutionality on November 28, 2006 and may be overturned, even if passed by voters.
[ZUMA DOGG'S] LEGISLATIVE REVIEW ON PROP. R.:
Proposition R (as it reads on the ballot): Councilmember term limits of three terms; City Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Ethics laws. (Charter Amendment and Ordinance Proposition R).
City Council wants to extend/lengthen their own terms from two (2) four year terms to three (3) four year terms. So although they call it “Term Limits” on the ballot, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo says the ballot language is confusing to voters and should read “Term Lengthening from two terms to three”.
City Council ignored this recommendation and stuck with the confusing “Term Limits” verbage when it is indeed “lengthening” terms from two to three. (So they are “limiting” it, after they extend/lengthen their own terms.)
However, even with the ballot calling it “Term Limits”, Council still felt the voters would never vote “yes” on “Term Limit Extentions” – so they unconstitutionally mingled/attached a second item on this ballot measure: City Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Ethics Law.
City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said having two items on a single ballot measure is “confusing to voters and opens up the City to possible court challenges.” (Which they got!) Delgadillo added, “All we are saying is be honest with voters and don’t hold ethics reform hostage to another agenda. Plus, it is our (City Attorney’s office) opinion that this may actually weaken ethics reform. And, only the Term Limits portion needs to be put to a vote of the people (Charter Amendment), the ethics portion does not. City Council can pass ethics reform as a local ordinance, before November, without a vote of the people.”
Why is it confusing and unconstitutional to have two separate items on one ballot measure? What if you want to vote “yes” on ethics reform, but want to vote “no” to extending City Council’s own terms from two to three? With this proposition, you can’t!
Additionally, LA Daily News reports that Councilmembers stand to gain over a million dollars in additional financial benefits with an additional term. And, a third term means they also will qualify for lifetime health care benefits.
As predicted by Delgadillo, in a lawsuit to have Prop. R removed from the November ballot, a judge ruled against it, twice: First, for the confusing language (calling it “term limits” instead of “
term lengthening”. Then, in a separate ruling, removed Prop. R from the ballot entirely for mingling/combining two items on one ballot measure.
City Council appealed this decision in higher court and Prop. R was put back on the ballot for a November vote, however, may be overturned on November 28. 2006 after further constitutional review by an appeals judge. (So if it is voted down, the point will be mute -- but if it is passed, then the constitutionality will be judged -- and possibly overturned.)
Plus, the judge added that he didn’t even see how this proposition puts ethics reform into campaign lobbying. Why not? Lobbyists are already required to declare campaign contributions to elected officials.
Prop. R doesn’t put an end to the real source of money flowing to politicians: Rich powerbrokers who hire lobbyists. Developers, contractors and others can still contribute to City Council coffers without declaring the contributions.
And, if this wasn’t inappropriate enough, Mr. City Attorney said this ballot measure should have been vetted through the Ethics Committee for evaluation and input from the public.
However, the day the Ethics Committee was set to review and discuss Proposition R, the meeting was cancelled by Committee Chairman Gil Garcetti (Council President Eric Garcetti’s father) and the proposition was rushed onto the ballot.
Finally, Delgadillo also said something of this importance should be run through Neighborhood Councils. (And it wasn’t run through all the Neighborhood Councils.)
In summary, City Council rushed through a confusing, unethical and unconstitutional proposition that combines two separate items on one ballot measure (when only the “term limit extentions” portion needed to be put to a vote of the people and the “ethics reform/lobby” portion could easily be passed by City Council at any time as a local ordinance). But, they knew the public would most likely say “no” to term limit extentions – so they attached ethics/lobby reform to make the measure look more appealing to voters. And, they failed to run it the Ethics Committee, the public and Neighborhood Councils.
Say “No” to this unethical ethics proposition.