PROP
59

CORPORATIONS. POLITICAL SPENDING. FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS. LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY QUESTION.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 59

Vote YES on Proposition 59 to help get big money out of politics and restore a government of, by, and for the people.

Corporations and billionaires should not be allowed to continue to buy our elections.

But that's exactly what the United States Supreme Court did in the disastrous Citizens United v. FEC ruling. This misguided decision gave corporations the same "rights" as human beings and freed them to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections. Other recent decisions overturned long‐standing laws limiting how much billionaires could spend in an election.

As a result, corporations and their billionaire owners are spending unprecedented amounts of money to tilt the outcomes of our elections in their favor.

Corporations and billionaires should not have a greater voice in our elections than California voters. Corporations spend huge amounts of money to influence election results and make it harder for our voices to be heard.

The Supreme Court was wrong and must be corrected.

Corporations play a vital role in our economy. But corporations aren't people. They don't vote, get sick, or die in wars for our country. The Constitution was written to protect human beings, not corporations. The rights granted to corporations by the Supreme Court allow them to drown out the voices of real people—as voters, consumers, workers, and small business owners.

We The People should have the right to set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.

Vote YES on Prop. 59 and tell Congress to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that puts an end to this corrosive political spending.

California voters have used ballot measures to instruct and improve our state and local governments before. Prop. 59 allows us to do this on this critical issue.

Real campaign finance reform can only happen with a groundswell of grassroots support from across the country. Let's do our part and vote YES on Proposition 59.

Help send a message to Congress to act now to strengthen our democracy.

Vote YES on Proposition 59.

BEN ALLEN, State Senator

MICHELE SUTTER, Co‐Founder

Money Out Voters In

KATHAY FENG, Executive Director

California Common Cause

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 59

Proposition 59 DOES NOTHING.

Even supporters admit that all this measure does is "send a message to Congress."

They admit that corporations "play a vital role in our economy."

The Legislature should focus on doing its job and stop putting meaningless measures on the ballot to ask Congress to limit free speech by overturning the Supreme Court.

Corporations give money. Labor unions give money. People give money. They all do it to support candidates they like and oppose candidates they don't.

Supporters of Proposition 59 say the people "should have the right to set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections."

Who decides what those reasonable limits are?

THIS CONGRESS?

THIS LEGISLATURE?

Do you really want politicians currently in office to have the power to silence the voice of people or organizations who want to change the way our government works?

Proposition 59 has NO force of law. It DOES NOTHING.

We've all agreed with many Supreme Court decisions. We've all disagreed with many others.

One thing Democrats, Republicans and Non‐Partisan voters CAN agree on is that the Supreme Court should be above politics and above picking winners and losers.

Proposition 59 is a political statement by a select few who want to impose their will on the many. Instead of putting do-nothing advisory measures on the ballot, the Legislature should focus on transparency and start doing the people's business.

Vote NO on Proposition 59 . . . It DOES NOTHING . . . IT MEANS NOTHING.

JEFF STONE, State Senator

28th District

K.H. ACHADJIAN, Assemblyman

35th District

ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 59

PROPOSITION 59 IS A BIG WASTE OF YOUR TIME AND OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

The LEGISLATURE placed this NON‐BINDING ADVISORY measure on the ballot to say they want campaign finance reform and want to curb the power of special interests in Sacramento, but it actually does nothing of the kind. Instead, it argues that FREE SPEECH SHOULD NOT APPLY TO small businesses and others who choose to incorporate as a corporation. What this measure fails to accomplish is:

  • It FAILS to prohibit or limit corporate contributions to candidates and elected officials.
  • It FAILS to prohibit or limit union contributions to candidates or elected officials.
  • It FAILS to prohibit or limit corporate contributions to political parties.
  • It FAILS to prohibit or limit union contributions to political parties.

Instead, Proposition 59 asks the California members of Congress to change the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Do you really want THIS CONGRESS to tinker with the FIRST AMENDMENT which guarantees and protects:

  • Your right to practice your religion?
  • Your right to FREE SPEECH?
  • Your right to a FREE PRESS?
  • Your right to peaceably assemble and associate with others?
  • Your right to petition your government?

Supporters of Proposition 59 argue that "corporations aren't people." But, many Churches are incorporated. Newspapers and Television networks are incorporated. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are incorporated. Even organizations like Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are incorporated. People shouldn't lose their Constitutional rights just because they choose to become involved in a company or organization that is incorporated.

Our BALLOTS should NOT be clogged with pointless NON‐BINDING measures.

This is the first, but if you vote "yes" it surely won't be the last. Instead, your NO VOTE sends a clear message to the Legislature:

  • Stop WASTING OUR MONEY—This measure costs taxpayers half a million dollars, or more.
  • Stop CLOGGING OUR BALLOT with meaningless measures that DO NOTHING.
  • Start DISCLOSING political contributions WITHIN 24 HOURS of receipt year‐round.
  • Start DOING YOUR JOB. Fix our broken education system. Fix our broken roads. Protect us from crime.

Nobody likes the current state of Politics in America or California. But PROPOSITION 59 is just a "feel‐good" measure that does NOTHING to increase disclosure of money being spent in politics.

Please VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 59. IT DOES NOTHING.

JEFF STONE, State Senator

28th District

KATCHO ACHADJIAN, State Assemblyman

35th District

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 59

DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE OPPONENTS' MISLEADING SCARE TACTICS.

Vote YES on Proposition 59 because if we don't overturn the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United ruling we will NEVER be able to enact the reforms that we need to PREVENT CORPORATIONS AND WEALTHY SPECIAL INTERESTS FROM BUYING OUR ELECTIONS.

Opponents want you to believe that overturning Citizens United will affect your First Amendment rights. Only BIG MONEY INTERESTS who want to control our elections have anything to fear from overturning Citizens United.

Corporations should not have the same rights as human beings—they should not be allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to control our elections. BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION LET THEM DO! It struck down limits on corporate and union political spending.

Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters agree that Citizens United should be overturned with a constitutional amendment. Vote YES on Proposition 59 to tell Congress to act.

Overturning Citizens United will open the way to meaningful campaign finance reform that will return ownership of our elections back to ordinary Americans! Voting YES on Proposition 59 will send a clear message to Congress that We the People want OUR voices heard during elections.

Don't let the opponents fool you—corporations and billionaires should not be allowed to continue to buy our elections.

Vote YES on Proposition 59 to help get big money out of politics and restore a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE.

MARK LENO, State Senator

MICHELE SUTTER, Co‐Founder

Money Out Voters In

KATHAY FENG, Executive Director

California Common Cause

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

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