Document:California Press Release 27 December 1999 Prop 26 Backers Deceiving Voters

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400 Capitol Mall, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-3941
For immediate release: December 27, 1999
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Libertarians accuse Prop. 26 backers of deceiving voters

SACRAMENTO -- Voters be warned: the proponents of Proposition 26 are using a deceptive telemarketing campaign to mislead you into thinking the ballot measure is taxpayer-friendly, the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

An organization calling itself the "National Taxpayers Alliance" recently telephoned California voters urging a yes vote on Prop. 26. According to Libertarians, the National Taxpayers Alliance is a phantom group fronted by Let's Fix Our Schools, the backers of Prop. 26, to give the mistaken appearance that a taxpayer organization supports the measure.

Proposition 26 would decrease the 120-year-old requirement that local bond measures pass by a two- thirds vote. Under Prop. 26, that threshold would be reduced to a simple majority.

"Make no mistake: passage of Prop. 26 will mean huge tax increases for property owners and more money for teachers unions' coffers," warned Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "No principled taxpayer organization would endorse this initiative."

In fact, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- arguably the largest and most powerful taxpayer watchdog group in the state -- is leading the opposition to Prop. 26 and has launched a web site, Many local taxpayer groups also oppose the measure, including the San Diego Tax Fighters and the Santa Clara County Taxpayers Association. The Libertarian Party of California voted to oppose Prop. 26 last month.

"Prop. 26 supporters know they face an enormous hurdle trying to convince voters their measure is a good idea," Hinkle said. "Libertarians want voters to be aware that misleading information is being disseminated. If the California Teachers Association wants to call voters in support of their measure, that's fine. But they need to disclose who they are -- not hide behind a bogus façade. They should be ashamed of perpetuating a fraud among voters."

Libertarians oppose Prop. 26 on philosophical and practical grounds. "The two-thirds vote requirement is an important protection for taxpayers that has been repeatedly supported by voters. Furthermore, two-thirds is not an impossible hurdle. 63% of all local school bonds since 1996 passed with a two-thirds vote," Hinkle noted.

"Once voters learn the facts, they will agree that Prop. 26 is not the solution to the problems facing schools. It will only make matters worse -- and that's reason enough to vote no on 26."