Vote No On Prop. 51!
Prop. 51 Authors Admit to Crafting Measure that Rewards Developers and Other Special Interests For Their Campaign Contributions!
Prop. 51 has been dubbed California’s most corrupt initiative because it is packed with projects that benefit developers and other special interests who have given some $3 million to the Prop. 51 campaign to date. It’s proponents, the Planning and Conservation League (PCL), even admit it but say what they did is not illegal.
“There’s no question that we picked projects where we thought people might contribute as a result,” said Jerry Meral, the league’s executive director to a Los Angeles Times reporter.
Meral claims the practice is legal but many lawmakers say they would go to jail if they wrote a project into a proposed bill or initiative in return for a campaign contribution. “The question is why aren’t you in jail?” said state Sen. Kevin Murray to PCL’s Transportation Director and co-author of the initiative at a legislative hearing on Prop. 51.
The so-called transportation measure buys out developers, pays developers mitigation fees and builds projects in places where there is no traffic congestion just because a developer contributed to the Prop. 51 campaign. Examples:
• Pardee Construction Co. and Pardee Homes have contributed $500,000 and would receive a $140 million direct connector between I-5 and Route 56 so the company can build 3,000 more homes in the area. Pardee could not build the homes without the taxpayer subsidy.
• H. Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood Development Corp. contributed $150,000 to get four grade crossings built near San Bernardino International Airport, at a cost of $30 million, to serve the company’s proposed cargo center. There is no traffic congestion in the area and local transportation officials say the project is a waste of taxpayer money.
What else is wrong with Prop. 51?
In the midst of a multi-billion state budget problem, Prop. 51 reallocates $1 billion of “existing funds” to fund a long list of Prop. 51 projects and programs every year-forever. It locks in 17 categories of new spending that must be funded-despite other pressing priorities. The measure is unprecedented in the realm of public policy in that it can not be changed, even with a unanimous vote of the Legislature.
Prop. 51 Spending Puts Programs for Children, Seniors and Others at Risk! Organizations that represent children, seniors, low-income households and others oppose Prop. 51 because the measure, if approved Nov. 7, will force the Legislature to make an immediate $410 million in cuts to essential state programs in the areas of health care, welfare, higher education, public safety, and local government, among others. The measure will also steal $1 billion a year from these same programs every year-forever.
Prop. 51 Ignores the State’s Transportation Needs! Prop. 51 claims to be a transportation measure but the measure is opposed by the state’s transportation agencies. None of the 45 specific projects written into Prop. 51 are state transportation priorities.
Prop. 51 is Unconstitutional! Legislative Council for the State of California have determined that Prop. 51 violates the single subject rule of the California Constitution because the so-called “transportation-related” measure funds a wide variety of non-transportation projects including a music concourse, museums, roadside produce stands and the repression of certain species of plants, among other things.
Editorials On Prop. 51
No On Proposition 51, Oct. 4, Los Angeles Times
Editorial: Proposition 51 is Tax Ripoff, Oct. 2, Bakersfield Californian
“The Fine Art of Plunder: Proposition 51 would divvy up tax dollars among groups
that paid for a spot on the initiative,” Oct. 5, Orange County Register, written
by Steve Greenhut
Vote No On Prop. 51: Ill-Conceived Transportation Measure is Loaded with Gifts for
Special Interests, Oct. 10, San Jose Mercury News
Reject Proposition 51, Oct. 17, Contra Costa Times
Orange County Perspective: ‘Great’ Reason to Pass on 51, Oct. 13, Los Angeles
Old Pork, New Barrel, Oct. 7, Riverside Press Enterprise
No On Proposition 51, Oct. 15, Long Beach Press Telegram
No On Prop. 51: Special Interests Ruin Transit Measure, Oct. 14, Stockton Record
Editorial: How Prop. 51 Crosses the Rails in San Berdoo, Oct. 4, Sacramento Bee
Prop. 51 Trafficks in Special Interests, Oct. 7, Orange County Register
No On 51: Don’t Rob State to Pay for Pet Projects, Oct. 9 San Diego Union-Tribune
No On Proposition 51, Oct. 3, Santa Cruz Sentinel
No On 51, Sept. 29, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Prop. 51: This is not the way to fund transportation projects, Sept. 9, Long Beach
Newspaper Articles On Prop. 51
Legislators Criticize Proposition 51: Lawmakers decry the proposal’s inclusion of
transit projects that would benefit large donors to initiative campaign, Sept. 26, Los Angeles Times
Clearing the Road for Pet Projects, September 9, Los Angeles Times
Ballot Measure Packed With Pork, Railroad Museum, Ranch Road Retrofit In State
Traffic Plan, Sept. 26, San Francisco Chronicle
Prop. 51 Would Skip Legislature to Fund Projects, August 19, Associated Press
Prop. 51: Is it a Transit Plan or Backers’ Trojan Horse?, Oct. 7, Sacramento Bee
Unhappy Legislators Taking Aim at Prop. 51, Oct. 8, San Diego Union-Tribune
Irvine Wants State Taxpayers to Fund Big Park, Oct. 8, Los Angeles Times
Torlakson Promises To Block Prop. 51 With Legislative Moves, Sept. 27, Contra
Political Donors Shielded By Loophole: A Corporation Whose Officers Are Secret Is
A Major Contributor To California Propositions, Sept. 30, Los Angeles Times
Transportation Measure Includes Funds For Oakland Charter School, Brown Has
Ties To Plan’s Sponsor-Critics Aghast, Sept. 26, San Francisco Chronicle
Charter School Cash Tie to Prop. 51: Mayor Criticized For Scheme To Aid Oakland
School For the Arts, Sept. 30, Oakland Tribune
Legislators See Conflict In Funding For State Transit Project Initiative, Sept. 26,
San Diego Union-Tribune
Prop. 51 Blasted: Critics say measure would tie up budget, Sept. 26, The Stockton
One infrastructure position could take most other’s money, September 9, Associated
Initiative Under Fire, June 25, Riverside Press Enterprise
Analyses of Prop. 51
California Budget Project Analysis of Prop. 51-describes what the initiative does, its
inflexibility, and how it will add to the deficit every year.
California Transportation Commission Analysis-details what the 16 separate accounts fund and breaks the 45 specific projects down by county.
John White Memo on Prop. 51-argues that the initiative will encourage sprawl, spend
money on luxury projects, and result in more driving, among other things.
Ballot Title, Summary, Arguments and Rebuttals-as printed in voter guide.
Prop. 51 Text-the text of Prop. 51 as printed in the voter guide.
No on Proposition 51 Committee
926 J Street, Suite 710, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916·446·4300 – Fax: 916·444·6611