Protect the Constitution

What does the Constitution mean to you?

I hope it means as much to you as it does to me.  I worry that it doesn’t mean as much to our elected officials.

Measure L is one more example of the LA City Council manipulating the voters. This measure combines 3 issues on the same ballot initiative; term limits, campaign finance reform and the formation of a compensation committee. 

If you vote Yes on this measure you will be establishing term limits on LAUSD Board members, setting limits on how much money they will be able to receive from any one individual in a single campaign, and you will be permitting a compensation committee to be formed that will decide their pay every 5 years. For some, this initiative might seem fine, fare and necessary.  But for many, one or two of these issues are agreeable while one or more is not.  And it is for this reason that the state of California added a clause to the Constitution that expressly forbids initiatives from having one or more unrelated issue

It is not fair to the voter to have to pass an initiative that has issues attached to it that they don’t want, or to vote “no” on an initiative because they oppose only part of it.

We have a right as voters to be given every opportunity to reach a decision based on accurate information.  We are not constitutional lawyers; we are parents, taxpayers, employees, business owners — all contributing members of our community. We do not have time to read through pages of legal jargon to get the necessary information needed to make an informed decision.  For this, we must be able to rely on our trusted representatives. The decisions we make at the ballot box have long term effects.  Some of these decisions will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Measure L was vetted through the same City Council that brought us Measure R on the November ballot.  That measure was ruled unconstitutional by a judge a month before the election and the LA City Council ignored the ruling.  Measure L was drafted at the same time and submitted by LA City Council member Jose Huizar knowing full well that it violated the constitution.  But they have an advantage; there is no system in place to prevent an unconstitutional measure from getting on the ballot unless it is contested in the courts by a concerned party.  This process is costly and time consuming. 

Measure R was contested by a concerned citizen, but there was so much money behind the campaign to keep Measure R on the ballot, that the plaintiff withdrew his lawsuit.  These council members have so much money behind them that a lawsuit will put any average income citizen who tries to fight them in court, in the poor house. 

Ex-mayor Richard Riordan and many in the business community are behind Measure L because they want to get rid of the members of the LAUSD Board of Education.  They are using all their political clout and money they can to change the status quo.

Does this bother you?  Does it bother you that their money is depriving you of your right to full disclosure?  Measure L contains campaign finance reform because the politicians want to control who sits on the LAUSD Board of Education.  They want people who play nice. 

Mayor Villaraigosa, Council member Jose Huizar, Richard Riordan, and several developers are willing to bank roll campaigns by contributing large chunks of money to committees like Partnership for Better Schools.  Measure L does nothing to prevent these types of committees from being formed.

Measure L does not widen the playing field — it narrows it.  It will make it virtually impossible for a regular citizen to participate in the future of our children.

The education of our children is the most important job we have as parents, taxpayers, residents, and citizens; lets keep it in the hands of people who do it because they want to make a difference instead of in the hands of politicians who are using the job as a stepping stone to further their political careers or their political agendas.

Thank you for your time,

Donna Connolly, Parent and Concerned Citizen

Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 7:31 pm  Comments (1)