Our Party stands with CA voters who approved term limits in 1990 and have voted twice since then, in 2002 and 2008, to keep them. Proposition 28 is a deceptive proposition that doubles the time an Assembly member can be in office to 12 years and grows by 50% the time a state senator can be in office to 12 years. It actually weakens the current term limits.
We know that incumbent office holders are re-elected 80 percent of the time, which means that most state legislators will serve a full decade in office without having to deal with a competitive election. That’s more time for cozy relationships to develop between state legislators and special interests such as labor unions, which often pay for their elections. Limiting service to 6 years in the Assembly and 8 years in the state Senate, as the current term limits do, ensures that these elected officials do not forget that voters put them in office. CA needs a more effective and responsible legislature, but Proposition 28 would hardly guarantee that outcome.
When you look at who is behind Proposition 28 you see a sweetheart deal between the current CA legislature, big real estate developers and labor unions. It is no secret that the big donor support for this initiative are developers who won an exemption from environmental regulations from the state legislature to build a stadium in The City of Industry, and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO.
The big money donations began pouring in two months after the developers were granted the exemption and were a payback to the legislators to support Proposition 28, which they want. ‘YES’ on Prop 28 has raised ten times the money support that the ‘NO’ on Prop 28 has, and the executive secretary- treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO is leading the ballot proposition effort.
Labor wants a predictable long-term relationship with legislators whose elections they fund. The same people who urged voters to reject term limits in the first place are now urging voters to pass this initiative.
Voters have approved two other reforms that are just now being enacted and we need time to see how these new reforms impact our elections. I’m referring to the new redistricting process and new district boundaries for Congress, state Senate and Assembly. The other reform is the Open Primary, which takes control away from political parties. We should wait and see how these reforms change the legislative election "playing field." There is no motivating reason right now to increase the terms of our legislators.
A good website to review all aspects of ballot initiatives is the non-partisan BallotPedia.org. Follow the link below to take you to their website page about CA Proposition 28.