Propositions

PROP
14

ELECTIONS. INCREASES RIGHT TO
PARTICIPATE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 14

Our economy is in crisis.

Unemployment in California is over 12%.

The Legislature, whose members were all elected under the current rules, repeatedly fails to pass the state budget on time, or close the state's gaping $20+ billion fiscal deficit.

Our state government is broken.

But the politicians would rather stick to their rigid partisan positions and appease the special interests than work together to solve California's problems.

In order to change government we need to change the kind of people we send to the Capitol to represent us.

IT'S TIME TO END THE BICKERING AND GRIDLOCK AND FIX THE SYSTEM

The politicians won't do it, but Proposition 14 will.

  • Proposition 14 will open up primary elections. You will be able to vote for any candidate you wish for state and congressional offices, regardless of political party preference. It will reduce the gridlock by electing the best candidates.
  • Proposition 14 will give independent voters an equal voice in primary elections.
  • Proposition 14 will help elect more practical office-holders who are more open to compromise.

"The best part of the open primary is that it would lessen the influence of the major parties, which are now under control of the special interests." (Fresno Bee, 2/22/09.)

PARTISANSHIP IS RUNNING OUR STATE INTO THE GROUND

Non-partisan measures like Proposition 14 will push our elected officials to begin working together for the common good.

Join AARP, the California Alliance for Jobs, the California Chamber of Commerce and many Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters who want to fix our broken government. Vote YES on Proposition 14.

Vote Yes on 14—for elected representatives who are LESS PARTISAN and MORE PRACTICAL.

www.YESON14OPENPRIMARY.com

JEANNINE ENGLISH, AARP
California State President
JAMES EARP, Executive Director
California Alliance for Jobs
ALLAN ZAREMBERG, President
California Chamber of Commerce

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF PROPOSITION 14

Politicians wrote Proposition 14 to change the law so they can conceal their party affiliation on the election ballot. Voters won't know whether they are choosing a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Green Party candidate.

The proponents claim their measure will stop partisan politics. But how is allowing politicians to hide their party affiliation going to fix partisanship? Proposition 14 is politicians trying to trick voters into thinking they are "independent."

What the proponents don't tell you is that special interests are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to pass Proposition 14, including money from health insurance corporations, developers and financial institutions, because Proposition 14 will make it easier for them to elect candidates they "choose." But you won't know which political party the candidate belongs to.

Proposition 14 will decrease voter choice. It prohibits write-in candidates in general elections. Only the top two vote getters advance to the general election regardless of political party. Special interests with money will have the advantage in electing candidates they support.

Currently, only two states use "top-two" elections. In 2008, Washington State had 139 races and only ONE incumbent lost a primary. Proposition 14 will protect incumbents.

California Nurses, Firefighters and Teachers have joined with groups like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to oppose Proposition 14. These organizations don't usually agree on political issues. But this time they do.

Candidates who ask for your vote shouldn't be allowed to conceal their political party.

Stop the special interest tricks. No on Proposition 14.

ED COSTANTINI, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
University of California, Davis
NANCY J. BRASMER, President
California Alliance of Retired Americans
STEVE CHESSIN, President
Californians for Electoral Reform

ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 14

Proposition 14 was written in the middle of the night and put on the ballot by a couple of politicians and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They added their own self-serving little twist.

They call it an "open primary" but CANDIDATES WILL BE ALLOWED TO CONCEAL THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION FROM VOTERS. The current requirement that candidates list their party on the ballot is abolished.

Proposition 14 will also decrease voter choice and make elections more expensive:

  • The general election will not allow write-in candidates.
  • Elections will cost more money at a time when necessary services like firefighters, police and education are being cut. County election officials predict an increased cost of 30 percent.
  • Voter choice will be reduced because the top two vote getters advance to the general election regardless of political party.
  • This means voters may be forced to choose between two candidates from the same political party. Democrats could be forced to choose between two Republicans, or not vote at all. Republicans could be forced to choose between two Democrats, or not vote at all.
  • Independent and smaller political parties like Greens and Libertarians will be forced off the ballot, further reducing choice.

Can't politicians ever do anything without scheming something that's in their self-interest?

Here's the zinger they stuck in Proposition 14…

"Open Candidate Disclosure. At the time they file to run for public office, all candidates shall have the choice to declare a party preference. The names of candidates who choose not to declare a party preference shall be accompanied by the designation 'No Party Preference' on both the primary and general election ballots."

Very clever! They're making it look like they are "independents" while actually remaining in their political party. Business as usual disguised as "reform."

POLITICIANS ARE CHANGING THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT THAT MAKES THEM DISCLOSE THEIR POLITICAL PARTY.

Democrats will end up voting for Republican imposters. Republicans will end up voting for Democratic imposters.

Will you be voting for a member of the Peace and Freedom Party? The Green Party? The Libertarian Party? You won't really know.

Special interest groups will pump money into trick candidates…imposters with hidden agendas we can't see.

Currently, when a rogue candidate captures a nomination, voters have the ability to write-in the candidate of their choice in the general election. But a hidden provision PROHIBITS WRITE-IN VOTES from being counted in general elections if Prop. 14 passes.

That means if one of the "top two" primary winners is convicted of a crime or discovered to be a member of an extremist group, voters are out of luck because Prop. 14 ends write-in voting.

Firefighters have joined with teachers, nurses and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association opposing this initiative.

"The politicians behind Prop. 14 want to raise taxes without being held accountable. Vote NO."— Jon Coupal, President Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

We need "Open Primaries" to be "Open." That means full disclosure on the ballot and no tricks. No on Proposition 14.

KEVIN R. NIDA, President
California State Firefighters' Association
ALLAN CLARK, President
California School Employees Association
KATHY J. SACKMAN, RN, President
United Nurses Associations of California /
Union of Health Care Professionals

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST PROPOSITION 14

Proposition 14 is supported by people like you who are sick of the mess in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and want to do something about it.

The opponents of Proposition 14 are primarily special interests who helped create this mess and benefit from the way things are.

Their claims are deceptive and absurd.

FACT: If Proposition 14 passes, every candidate's party registration for the past decade will be posted publicly. This means no candidate will be able to mislead voters about their party registration history. And it's more disclosure than is required of candidates today.

FACT: Proposition 14 will have no significant financial impacts whatsoever.

Why do opponents of reform make these false charges? Because they benefit from a system that is broken.

Vote yes on 14 to:

  • Reduce gridlock by electing the best candidates to state office and Congress, regardless of political party;
  • Give independent voters an equal voice in primary elections; and
  • Elect more practical individuals who can work together for the common good.

Vote Yes on 14. We've had enough.

www.YESON14OPENPRIMARY.com

JEANNINE ENGLISH, AARP
California State President
CARL GUARDINO, President
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
ALLAN ZAREMBERG, President
California Chamber of Commerce

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