Vote 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: MetNews.com)
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.'”
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)