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Argument Against Proposition 25

Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

We need to clean up California's political system, not add more problems to the mix.

Proposition 25 is a classic example of a CURE THAT'S WORSE THAN THE DISEASE. It includes some positive changes, but unfortunately, this 24-PAGE INITIATIVE contains TOO MANY LOOPHOLES and provisions that will ADD TO THE ABUSES and LEAVE TAXPAYERS FOOTING THE BILL.

California taxpayer organizations, government accountability groups and campaign finance experts have taken a close look at Prop. 25. Here's what they've found: If you like those political ads you get bombarded with every election, you'll love Prop. 25 because if it passes, you'll get to PAY for those ads --even ads with which you disagree. Prop. 25 includes a MANDATORY TAXPAYER SUBSIDY TO FINANCE POLITICAL ADVERTISING. If approved, it would become the first state law in the country to force taxpayers to subsidize political advertising for initiative campaigns.

Read the fiscal impact summary by the state's independent Legislative Analyst. FIFTY-FIVE MILLION TAX DOLLARS WITH AUTOMATIC INCREASES EVERY YEAR. This is not a voluntary check-off on your tax form. The only say you have in the matter is a vote on Prop. 25. If it passes, your tax dollars will be used to finance political ads. That means a TAX INCREASE or CUTS TO EDUCATION and other services to pay for it. Just ask the millionaire candidate who wrote it. It limits the money all but one type of candidate can raise from individuals. MILLIONAIRE CANDIDATES LIKE PROP. 25's SPONSOR ARE EXEMPTED from the initiative's contribution limit so they can spend unlimited amounts of their own money to get elected. Prop. 25 will make politics even more of a rich man's game and give wealthy people and incumbents a huge advantage against new challengers. Prop. 25 will legally protect the ability of special interests to dominate our political system. It was drafted to allow special interests to give an unlimited amount of money--known as "soft money"--to political parties. If Prop. 25 passes, special interests will not only be able to avoid campaign contribution limits, they'll be able to do so under the protection of state law. That's why traditional supporters of campaign finance reform initiatives are opposing this one. This 24-page initiative contains provisions that have already been found unconstitutional elsewhere and will undoubtedly lead to more costly lawsuits. Just what we need, another initiative headed straight for the courts.

Prop. 25 has some good things in it, but we don't get to pick and choose which ones we want. Overall, Prop. 25's BAD PROVISIONS and LOOPHOLES make it a cure worse than the disease. Prop. 25 will not clean up politics. It will ADD TO THE ABUSES and LEAVE TAXPAYERS FOOTING A $55 MILLION ANNUAL BILL.

VOTE NO on 25!
Daniel Lowenstein
Former Chair, California Fair Political Practices Commission

Peter J. Kanelos
President, Responsible Voters for Lower Taxes

Lois Wellington
President, Congress of California Seniors
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