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California and the West | Campaign '98 / See How They

Prop. 10 Ads Weigh in on Cigarette Tax Hike

October 13, 1998|JENIFER WARREN

Proposition 10 on the November ballot would raise cigarette taxes by 50 cents a pack to fund child development programs. This week, the ad war over the measure intensified, with the Yes on 10 forces adding their commercials to the mix.

Yes on 10 Ad

The script: The tobacco industry has been lying to us for decades--"I believe that nicotine is not addictive." Now they're telling us that Proposition 10, the initiative to help our youngest kids, is nothing but a big bureaucracy. That's simply not true. Unsalaried volunteers will administer Proposition 10 in your county. It will be publicly audited every year. Don't let tobacco industry lies stop you from voting yes. Fifty cents a pack. For our kids. Vote yes on Proposition 10.

Analysis: Despite denials to the contrary, various tobacco company officials knew years ago that their products were addictive and caused serious health hazards, court documents show.

Prop. 10 will create a state commission and 58 separate county commissions composed of five to nine members. They will all be volunteers, though some paid staff would be needed to assist the commissions. The volunteers would receive a per diem and reimbursement for expenses.

There is no public audit per se, but each commission would be required to audit its own expenditures annually for the governor and the Legislature. The results would be available to the public.

No on 10 Ad

The script: Have you read Proposition 10 yet? It says it's about smoking. But according to California's legislative analyst, over 80% of the tax increase funds new programs that have nothing to do with smoking. Prop. 10 creates a new state commission. Up to 58 separate county commissions. Hundreds of new government bureaucrats appointed by politicians. And Prop. 10 exempts itself from California's constitutional requirement to fund our schools. Prop. 10 has a lot of problems. But don't take our word for it. Call for a copy of Prop. 10 and read it before you vote.

Analysis: The legislative analyst actually says that only 12% of the money will fund programs with no connection to smoking. Eighty percent will go to county commissions for a variety of programs, including those on "avoidance of tobacco."

The "hundreds" of "bureaucrats" are volunteers appointed by politicians who will receive no pay except a per diem and reimbursement for expenses.

Prop. 10 would amend the state constitution to exclude the new tobacco tax revenue from calculations used to determine the state's minimum funding obligations for kindergarten-grade 12 education.

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