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Jon Fleischman

Look Who’s Funding No on 20/Yes on 27 – Self Interested Politicians and Big Labor…

I just got my Ballot Information booklet in the mail from the Secretary of State’s office.  In the booklet the official proponents and opponents of measures list their contact information and in most cases a website.  The timing was good because I was interested in reading what proponents of Proposition 27, the ballot initiative that would wipe out voter-approved Prop 11 and return the power of redistricting to Sacramento politicians.  (You will recall that voters actually thought that there was a conflict of interest in legislators drawing their own district boundaries — and adopted a new system of an independent commission to draw the lines.)  Listed in the brochure for the proponents of 27 is

But what I found when I went to that website was…nothing.  The website address is still parked with, and has never been activated.   It appears that the Yes on Prop 27 campaign is missing in action—it has no website where voters can get information about their self-interested efforts and no campaign team to speak of unless you include UCLA Professor Daniel Lowenstein, who has openly admitted that it’s LA-area Congressman Howard Berman and his district-drawing brother Michael who are the real proponents behind Prop. 27.

Besides Lowenstein and the Berman brothers it is hard to find anyone who’s behind Prop. 27.  That is until you look at their campaign contribution list and then it becomes abundantly clear.  The money behind Prop. 27 comes primarily from incumbent Democratic politicians who collectively have dumped more than $1.2 million into a campaign that is meant to do one thing: confuse voters about Proposition 20.  Also on the November ballot, Prop. 20 will extend voter-approved redistricting reforms so that the Citizens Redistricting Commission will also draw fair election districts for Congress, it’s already been tasked with drawing state legislative districts.  In their attempt to confuse voters with these conflicting propositions the proponents of Prop 27 are hoping that the politicians in Sacramento will regain their power to draw themselves safe election districts. 

From Pelosi to Perez, Congressional and legislative Democrats are pulling money from their campaign PACs as fast as they can to support Prop 27 because they are desperately trying to ensure that only legislators can draw Congressional districts.  Why? Because without the politicians in charge of drawing the lines imagine how many Democrats would actually be forced to compete in competitive districts? 

Recently, the Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign released a list of the top five politicians who are bankrolling Prop 27.  The list included

  • Congresswoman Judy Chu who contributed more than $600,000;
  • Assemblyman Mike Eng who gave $100,000;
  • Assemblyman Charles Calderon contributed $100,000;
  • Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield donated $75,000 on August 31 and also gave $10,000 earlier this year bringing his total contributions to $85,000; and
  • Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has donated $50,000.

According to the Yes on 20/No on 27 campaign, other politicians who have contributed generously to the Prop 27 campaign include state Senator Alex Padilla who has given  $49,000, and Speaker of the Assembly John Perez who also contributed $49,000

In addition to the politicians, big contributors to the Yes on 27 campaign is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which apparently decided last week that it would be in their best interest to protect the politicians who do their bidding, so they kicked in a cool $1 million.   And Haim Saban, the man who brought the world Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, ponied up $2 million.  

Of course none of this is really surprising, but what is surprising is that more of the state’s mainstream media isn’t paying attention to the fact that Prop 27 is just one big power grab by Pelosi and her friends, who seem to be running scared these days. Hopefully voters will get the message that Prop 27 only protects politicians; and voters be damned.