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Indybay Feature
View other events for the week of 5/26/2010
SFLC Press Conference: Labor Says No On Proposition 14
Date Wednesday May 26
Time 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location Details
SF Labor Council 1188 Franklin Street, Suite 203
Event Type Press Conference
Organizer/AuthorSF Labor Council
5/26 SFLC Press Conference-Labor Says No On Proposition 14

The San Francisco Labor Council will host a press conference on May 26, 2010 at the offices of the San Francisco Labor Council to oppose California proposition 14. At the press conference will be parties who oppose this proposition. The ballot proposition would eliminate most third parties in California and only allow the two top vote getters to be on the ballot during the general election. This will disenfranchise those who want a political alternative outside the two main parties. It could also lead to a situation where the run off would be between to Democrats or two Republicans. This is not democracy.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2010
Contact: Tom Lacey, 415-637-3787



LABOR SAYS NO ON PROPOSITION 14
Wednesday news conference features all 6 parties

What: Press Conference
When: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at Noon
Where: SF Labor Council 1188 Franklin Street, Suite 203
Who: SFLC Executive Director Tim Paulson and representatives
from all 6 ballot-qualified political parties


What is Prop. 14?
If passed by the voters in the June 8th Election, Prop. 14 will impose a “Top Two”
system in California. This system will do away with the June partisan primary, and
replace it with a system that allows all voters, regardless of how they are registered,
to vote for any ballot-qualified candidate. It differs from an “Open Primary” in that
only the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will be on the ballot in November.
In the many “safe districts” for Republicans and Democrats in California, this will
result in two candidates from the same party competing in the general election. In
other words, if you happen to be a registered Democrat in a “Republican” district,
sorry: You’ll have to choose between two Republicans. “Choosing the lesser evil,”
therefore, sinks to a whole new level.

The official title in the California Voter’s Guide is: “Elections. Increases Right To
Participate In Primary Elections.” The reality for the overwhelming majority of
voters will be that Prop. 14 will DECREASE our right to participate in primary
elections. Its interference with democracy doesn’t end with the Republicans and
Democrats: It eliminates “Write-In” candidates outright, and, because the election
laws in California require third party candidates to get at least 2% in the general
election in order to stay on the ballot, it virtually eliminates them. The likelihood
that a Green, Peace and Freedom, Libertarian or American Independent candidate
will be one of the Top Two in the June primary under this measure is very small.
Even if a third party or independent candidate got 20% in a five-way race, they
would not be on the ballot in the General Election.

What About Labor?
This could be a heavy blow for organized labor in California. The effects of the “Citizens
United” Supreme Court decision, combined with Prop. 14, would leave unions ill-equipped to
compete with the level of corporate funding this one-two punch would deliver. Despite the
exaggerated claims of the Right, the trade unions’ strength in elections, historically, doesn’t
come from bank vaults, but from the “boots on the ground” of their members in progressive
campaigns.

Who’s Behind Prop. 14?
Prop 14 was put on the ballot through the backroom dealings of State Senator (now Lt. Gov.)
Abel Maldonado. One of his demands, to place this measure on the ballot, was granted in order
to pass a budget. The big money behind this measure can be seen on the California Secretary
of State’s website. Contributors read like a Who’s Who of California’s biggest corporations
and business trade associations: BNSF Railway Company, California Chamber of Commerce,
Hewlett-Packard Company, National Semiconductor Corp., Pacific Life Insurance Company,
and Shea Homes, and, not to be outdone, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself. These
are among the corporate interests that would hijack California’s election system.

Has “Top Two” been tested in any other state?
Versions of this scheme are currently in place in two other states: Louisiana and Washington
State. In Washington, out of 123 legislative races, only one incumbent lost in the last general
election. Quipped Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate for Lt. Governor, C.T. Weber, “They
could have called it the ‘Incumbent’s Insurance Act’.”

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Added to the calendar on Monday May 24th, 2010 11:05 AM
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