June 8, 2010 Statewide Primary Election
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS RECOMMENDS...
SUPPORT Proposition 15: California Fair Elections Act
Huge amounts of money are raised in California politics, giving special interests unfair influence and access and shutting out the rest of us. Proposition 15 takes an important step toward getting politicians out of the fundraising game. It is a pilot project to make voluntary public financing available to Secretary of State candidates in 2014 and 2018. Only candidates showing broad support and agreeing to strict reporting and spending limits would receive funding. Violators would face fines, possible jail time, and prohibitions from running for office in the future. The pilot program would be funded primarily by fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers, with no taxpayer dollars going to candidates. Proposition 15 will allow elected officials to start focusing on the public’s interest, instead of returning political favors to their campaign donors.
OPPOSE Proposition 16: Imposes New Two-Thirds Voter Approval Requirement for Local Public Electricity Providers
Proposition 16 would amend the state Constitution to require a city or special district that provides electricity to obtain the approval of two-thirds of the voters before expanding its service territory or providing new service to its customers if public funds are involved. Two-thirds approval by the voters would also be required for a local government to buy power at wholesale prices to sell to residents through a Community Choice Aggregation program. The LWVC opposes this supermajority vote requirement that would allow a minority to prevent decisions on electric supply favored by a majority of the people to be served. PG&E, the largest for-profit utility in the state, is the sole sponsor of Prop 16 and would benefit from this measure’s stifling of competition. The impact would be fewer choices and thus higher rates for consumers, and fewer opportunities for local agencies to offer renewable green power.
No Recommendation on the other measures on this ballot
PROPOSITION 13: Limits on Property Tax Assessment. Seismic Retrofitting of Existing Buildings
The League generally supports regular, frequent reappraisals for property tax purposes, and this measure excludes certain construction from reappraisal. However, considering the public safety benefit of encouraging seismic retrofits, we remain neutral on this proposal.
PROPOSITION 14: Top-Two Candidate Open Primary
PROPOSITION 17: Auto Insurance Pricing
Because League positions do not cover the issues in Propositions 14 and 17, the LWVC is taking no stand on these measures.
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