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'It's Unreal' on Proposition 73

June 22, 1988

As one of the three sponsors of Proposition 73 (campaign reform without taxpayer financing), I was stunned to read your "sour grapes" editorial "It's Unreal" (June 10) in which you characterize Proposition 73 as "never . . . a serious proposal." You also calumniously state that Proposition 73 "got onto the ballot in part as a diversionary tactic to defeat Proposition 68 . . . ." That untruth is unworthy of any responsible newspaper.

Assemblyman Ross Johnson (R-La Habra), Sen. Joseph B. Montoya (D-Whittier) and I had little money with which to wage a campaign against the large corporations and allied interests, including 28 legislators, who supported Proposition 68 and, according to one newspaper account, spent $800,000 in doing so. We didn't have the hundreds of thousand dollars also available to political consultant Michael Berman who ran a campaign against both Proposition 68 and our measure. We did, however, have the advantage of sincerity and scrupulous dedication to the constitutional concepts contained in Proposition 73.

We additionally had the advantage of a discerning electorate which manifestly recognized that Proposition 73:

1) Applies to all campaigns for public office in California (not just a selected segment).

2) Contains an absolute ban on transfers of money from one politician to support or oppose another candidate, rather than leaving a loophole as did Proposition 68 for transfers to committees which oppose a candidate.

3) Contains lower contribution limits for corporations and labor unions than did Proposition 68.

4) Saves taxpayers approximately $5 million a year by prohibiting the use of tax money for egotistical, self-congratulatory "newsletters".

5) Precludes the use of tax money for politicians' campaigns (at the expense of schools, health programs, law enforcement, etc.).

6) Stops the unseemly business of "office shopping" by requiring that a candidate declare the office he or she seeks before accepting a contribution for such campaign.


I-San Francisco


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