rquestionmark.jpgVote No on Proposition R

The sad thing about Proposition R, aka “The Ethics Reform Bill”, isn’t that the motions included are bad, but that the way the City Council and other supporters have pushed it have been deceptive, and, frankly, unethical. If its supporters believed that the measure is something voters really wanted, they wouldn’t be trying to deceive uninformed voters into thinking that City Council members don’t have term limits to begin with.

Numerous “Yes on Prop R” mailers and ads are evidence of this. Perhaps the most egregious is one that I received last week, that described the measure this way:

“Prop R will LIMIT councilmembers to three terms in office (twelve years total). so that no one can serve for life,” and

“Prop R . . . ensure[es] that city councilmembers cannot serve for life.”

Jeff Jaobberger of Not Prop R, a group that is suing over this language, explains, “These statements are plainly intended to deceive voters into believing that, under existing law, councilmembers can ‘serve for life.’ But . . . this is flatly untrue: councilmembers are limited to two full terms.” (source:

Adding to the fire is Council District 2’s Wendy Greuel’s apparent embracement of lying to the public on the recommendation of our former mayor:

“”I was talking to Dick Riordan on Saturday, and we chatted about it,” the councilwoman added. “And he said, ‘Listen, this is a campaign. That’s what you do. Sometimes you exaggerate, sometimes you embellish, or whatever.'”

(source: David Zahniser, LA Weekly, h/t: LA Observed)

Is this how we want our elected officials to approach us with facts about the state of our city, legislation, and upcoming elections? With exaggerations and embellishments?

Zach Behrens at LAist interviewed Council President Eric Garcetti who provided a solid argument for why three terms would be good:

I think any elected official comes into office needing up to two years to learn the ropes. I think the “sweet spot” for length of service in any one position is between ten and fifteen years.

Fair enough. But on this issue, its clear that having served less than two full terms hasn’t encouraged more ethical behavior, so why is a third term being tied in with ethics reforms?

But the issue, at least for me, isn’t whether or not Proposition R is subtantial, but more that we can’t encourage our politicians to lie to uninformed voters no matter the cause.

(The LA Times is opposed to Prop R… The Yes on Prop R argument from Reform LA… and City Council Enemy #1 ZumaDogg also takes issue with Prop R and Wendy Greuel over at Mayor Sam’s blog, complete with some contentious video… City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl opposes Prop R… photo by carbonNYC via Flickr)

8 thoughts on “gRRRRRRRR…”

  1. It’s not so much a term limit extention packaged with ethics reforms as it is the other way around. Frankly the “ethics reforms” are what almost made me vote no on the necessary addition of an additional term for councilmembers.

    Two terms simply isn’t enough time to know what is going on. If you think lobbyists have too much power and influence, it’s because they know the ropes, they can offer information and advice, and green councilmembers can’t argue because they don’t know. The same awful effects are felt in Sacramento everday. Term limits at the state level have led to a more polarized, less educated body of representatives. There are smart, savvy, capable people, sure, but you need time to learn any new job – especially a high profile, high stakes gauntlet like elected office.

    Vote for Prop R – because you still retain the ability to vote the bastards out in two terms, or even one, if you so prefer.

    Term limits lower your power – Prop R is a small step toward restoring it.

  2. i don’t see the problem. i support both halves of the measure, so i will be happy to see them passed. apparently some people are not happy with how the measure was phrased, but why get all agitated about semantics when the goals are important and necessary? sounds like the opponents of this measure are small minded and short sighted. councilmembers need at least 3 terms to get long term projects done. so david, i agee with you that the motions included are good and so i will vote yes for Prop R and bring the power back to the people.

  3. Ironic. Your tag is “Stop the War!” but you don’t have a problem with politicians lying to us and bending the truth so they can build support for their initiatives?

  4. you’re actually trying to compare the league of women voters (who wrote the measure) to the cheney-rumsfeld gang? as far as I can see, the objection to Prop R is one of semantics NOT the goal itself (as you said yourself in your post.)

    I look at it this way, if a measure was going to free the slaves, I would support it regardless of semantics. You would argue semantics and keep the slaves enslaved.

    plus, the only reason people like the city attorney are against it is because it doesn’t extend his term limits. what does that tell you? and from what i hear, most of these so called self titled “community activists” who are rabble rousing about this semantics issue are the crazy ones.

    but all that aside, i just don’t have a problem with semantics. i agree with both goals. i understand the “controversy”. i also understand that the effects of Prop R will be a good thing for the city and its people. and even you don’t argue with that, dave!

  5. Yes, I am comparing Wendy Greuel, Dick Riordan, and the League of Women Voters to the Bush Admin.
    Both believe that the ends justify the means.

    As for the slavery comparison, you’re right. I would argue it on semantics. Because, as far as I can tell, there would be no need to lie to the public to “free them”.

    I could care less about how Rocky and Zuma Dogg feel on the issue – what does this have to do with the issue?

    Bottom line is if they want to pass this measure, they should have done so honestly. Otherwise, we’re sending a message to the politicians that people like you are okay with them lying to the public… even when it comes to so called ethics bills.

  6. martin luther king vowed to achieve what was right “by any means necessary”. meanwhile dave was on the sidelines arguing that what was right for the people should not pass because of semantics. this is why you are a blogger and not a writer because your rigid, limited thought process does not allow you to think outside the box. that is all from me. a big shout out to ponydog, shizwalk and petra – what did i tell you? remnis aux fauxtabula!

  7. Are you for real?
    By any means necessary was Malcolm X. But what do I know? I’m just a blogger and not an anonymous commenter.

    And there is a difference between semantics and deliberately twisting words around to deceive the populace, which should never be encouraged.
    Term extensions isn’t a life or death matter, and since its the same people who are trying to deceive the public that would benefit from it, I don’t think this would benefit the public in any way. If its really important, they can try again later, but this time while being more honest.

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