Alexandria, VA – A Sacramento County Superior Court judge struck down a law passed late last year to allow state and some local governments to enact taxpayer financing of political campaigns. The Court ruled the Legislature’s attempt to bypass a vote of the people on such legislation violated the California Constitution and the 1974 Political […]
Filed Under: Blog, hjta v Brown, Newsroom, Press Releases, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Political Reform Act of 1974, Proposition 73, Quentin Kopp, California
By Nick Cahill
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1107 on Sept. 9, eliminating a longstanding, voter-approved ban on public financing of local campaigns. While the bill breezed through the Legislature, its critics have not quieted down.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and a former judge sued the governor on Monday, claiming that changes to the Political Reform Act require voter approval…
“We think this is a pretty clear violation of the [state] constitution,” said Anthony Caso, plaintiffs’ attorney. “Any actions taken to enforce this are going to be an illegal expenditure of taxpayer money.”
Political law attorney Chuck Bell and Allen Dickerson with the Center for Competitive Politics also represent the plaintiffs.
he taxpayer association and Quentin Kopp, a former state senator and retired San Mateo County Superior Court judge, request an injunction to stop the amendments from taking effect on Jan. 1. They want SB 1107 ruled invalid and sent to voters on a statewide ballot.
Simply put, this legislative effort is a brazen attempt to flout the law and the will of the people who voted to ban subsidies for politicians. How can a bill “further [the] purpose” of the law banning tax-funded campaigns by allowing for tax-financed campaigns? The answer is: It can’t…
Were California legislators to take a timeout from rewriting California law by pretending it does not exist, they might learn a lesson from their neighbors to the east in Arizona. That state has had tax-financed campaigns since 2000. The result? An even more ideologically polarized legislature – because more mainstream candidates often find that candidates from the fringes have more resources than they otherwise would.
Most people think California’s legislature is already too polarized. Spending tax dollars to possibly get more polarization is a risky bet.
SB1107 seeks to “fix” a law that bans tax-funded campaigns by enabling tax-funded campaigns. It’s another power play from the Legislature.