Editorial: Corporations keep trying to throw out progressive California laws. Do we need reforms?
This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register, the East Bay Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
By Tom H. Jackson
It started in November of 2006, when California Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-Riverside), and his aide, Mike Cernovich of Cernovich Media, began selling their book, “The Real Reason We Need Redistricting Reform: The Endgame.”
“We have a problem in California when politicians keep asking why we can’t do things like abolish prison or eliminate the death penalty, and then they spend the next two years making excuses for why they can’t.”
The book contained a series of articles by Cernovich about redistricting that was critical of the California Legislature’s failure to enact changes. Then, as now, Blumenfield’s office was an opponent of a measure, Proposition 21, that would limit politicians’ power over districts. Proposition 21 was one of only two initiatives presented for the June 5, 2008, General Election; the other, the constitutional amendment that was added to the state constitution, was Proposition 22.
The book and its articles were picked up by California groups that were opposed to Proposition 22, including the League of Women Voters of California, California Fair Political Practices Committee, and Proposition 22 Campaign, which were opposed to initiatives in three different counties.
On June 24, 2008, two weeks before the general election, Cernovich and Blumenfield delivered The Campaign Sign’s “The Case Against Proposition 22”, the first of several advertisements.
“The Case Against Proposition 22” included a series of advertisements that attacked Proposition 22, as well as Blumenfield’s role in the campaign against the proposal. It included an advertisement with the text, “The Case Against Proposition 22, by Cernovich & Blumenfield”.
On August 24, 2008, Blumenfield’s office prepared the official ballot title, “The Case Against Proposition 22”, which was in keeping with the official theme of the campaign, “Campaigns for Freedom: