The Latest Stop 49 News!
The Stop 49 Campaign would like to thank League members, coalition partners, journalists and millions of voters who rejected Proposition 49.
Unfortunately, Proposition 49 still passed. But opponents of Prop 49 should take heart -- your dedication and hard work was nearly enough to counter the celebrity of Arnold Schwarzenegger and millions of dollars in advertising.
Please read the The Stop 49 Campaign's last press release below for our final comments.
Read the full press release issued by the campaign with excerpted quotes from some of the editorials.
Released November 6, 2002
STOP 49 CAMPAIGN OUTSPENT 1000 TO 1; PROP 49 FIGHT TO CONTINUE
SACRAMENTO - Despite the efforts of the Stop Prop 49 Campaign, a coalition led by the League of Women Voters of California and the California Federation of Teachers, Proposition 49 was narrowly passed by California voters yesterday.
Proposition 49, the After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002, was the initiative sponsored by action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Campaign reports indicate spending by the Yes on Prop 49 campaign of approximately $10 million.
In contrast, the Stop 49 Campaign Committee reported contributions # mostly in staff time # of about $10,000.
"Even with a popular celebrity sponsor outspending us one thousand to one, 2.7 million California voters saw Prop 49 for what it was # a rob Peter to pay Paul initiative that could hurt more kids than it helps," said League President Barbara Inatsugu. "We started this campaign in lone opposition to Prop 49, but we ended the campaign with a coalition of influential supporters and millions of voters who understand the dangers of mandated spending programs."
The Stop 49 Campaign had won the endorsement of seniors' groups, women's groups, child advocates, educators, taxpayer groups and influential public officials, including State Treasurer Phil Angelides, Senate Education Committee Chair John Vasconcellos and Assembly Education Committee Chair Jackie Goldberg.
In addition, over 35 newspapers, serving more than 5 million readers and representing every region and political viewpoint in California published, editorials or ballot recommendations against Prop 49.
"Our focus in this campaign was to educate voters, public officials and the media about the fiscal irresponsibility of ballot measures that mandate spending on specific programs without providing the money to pay for them," said Inatsugu. "We see this as a dangerous and growing trend in ballot measures, and we fought this initiative with one eye towards building a foundation for defeating future measures."
Proposition 49 was one of two ballot measures on this ballot that attempted to lock up a portion of state spending for specific programs. Proposition 51 sought to redirect $1 billion of state revenues each year to 17 program categories of transportation spending and 45 specific transportation projects.
"We are ecstatic that Californians rejected the other ballot-box budgeting initiative," said Inatsugu. "But although the League of Women Voters of California opposed Prop 49 and Prop 51 for the same reasons, voters seemed to reject Prop 51 more out of a concern that campaign contributions unduly influenced the content of the initiative."
Prop 51 was widely criticized by public officials and the media as a "pay-to-play" measure that ignored local transportation needs in favor of projects benefiting campaign donors.
Although Proposition 49 was passed, there could still be important battles concerning how the initiative is funded. The state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) predicts that California will face a budget deficit totaling $50 to $60 billion over the next four years.
"The tough decisions on which programs have to be cut to fund this program could be more contentious than anything we've seen during the campaign," said Inatsugu.
For more information on the campaign against Prop 49, including lists of endorsers and newspaper editorials, visit our Web site: http://www.stop49.org
Released October 22, 2002 Updated 11/6/02
37 CALIFORNIA NEWSPAPERS TELL MORE THAN 5 MILLION READERS: STOP PROP 49!
SACRAMENTO - The Stop Prop 49 Campaign, a coalition led by the League of Women Voters of California and the California Federation of Teachers, announced today that 37 newspapers have recommended to voters: Stop Prop 49!
The 37 newspapers, representing every region of California, have a combined readership of over 5 million. In addition, the on-air editorials against Prop 49 broadcast by radio station KGO Newstalk AM 810 reached over one million listeners in the Bay Area.
Proposition 49, the After School Education and Safety Act of 2002, is opposed by labor unions, senior groups, child advocates, educators, public officials and taxpayer groups.
"We are pleased that most newspaper editors have seen beyond the glitz of Prop 49's media blitz," said League President Barbara Inatsugu. "The platitudes and sound-bites offered by the campaign's celebrity spokesperson ignore the serious defects of this proposition."
"Newspaper editors recognize that Prop 49 does not raise one penny of additional funding and its mandated spending threatens other valuable and necessary programs needed to respond to the needs of vulnerable children," said California Federation of Teachers President Mary Bergan.
What California Newspapers Are Saying About Prop 49
"Proposition 49 is loaded with as many illusions as the movie blockbusters starring its famous sponsor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. But its potential to hurt essential services and create budget fiascos is much less entertaining."
- The Los Angeles Times, 10/17/02
"(Prop 49 is) bad policy -- and dangerous precedent"
- The San Jose Mercury News, 10/15/02
"...this kindergarten cop of a proposition would muscle money from the budget -- and out of other deserving programs -- in the worst way: mandating spending, year after year, without identifying where the money would come from."
- The Sacramento Bee, 10/2/02
"Parents need after-school care. But not to the detriment of other programs. It's time to put a halt to ballot-box budgeting. It's deceptive, greedy and, in the long run, destructive."
- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 9/30/02
"Proposition 49... would take a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit and make it worse. The measure is a bad means to a good end. It should be terminated."
- The Modesto Bee, 10/13/02
"Proposition 49 is tantamount to robbing Peter to pay Paul."
- The Salinas Californian, 10/25/02
"... A new priority, another entitlement, is added to the state's list, and that list is growing dismayingly long... There's nothing wrong with after-school programs. But is it one of those things that belongs at the front of the state's funding line, in perpetuity? We think not."
- The Press Enterprise, 9/29/02
" Schwarzenegger leaves it to others to come up with the money. It's not a responsible approach to public policy, especially in these lean times."
- The San Francisco Chronicle, 10/23/02
"California schools don't need more mandates for spending education dollars outside the classroom. Every penny should go to enhance learning. Voters should turn down Prop. 49 at the polls."
- The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, 10/6/02
"...After-school programs are good, but this method isn't...It is not wise... to tie up future educational budgets in a straight jacket... We advocate a 'no' vote on Prop 49 not as a referendum against after-school programs, but against a potentially dangerous funding mechanism."
- The Long Beach Press Telegram, 10/14/02
"...despite the claim that Prop. 49 will not require additional spending, those millions of dollars will have to come from somewhere. They will come from the schools' budgets... We recommend a No vote on Prop. 49."
- The North County Times, 10/14/02
"... (Prop 49) is bad policy for California and for Californians...Like a Timex watch, Proposition 49 will keep ticking and ticking and ticking whether or not future Californians want it to keep going."
- The Bakersfield Californian, 9/19/02
"Eventually, the requirements of funding Proposition 49 could jeopardize funding of other worthy programs to meet critical needs. We also fear the slippery slope of special interests protecting their financial stakes through the initiative process. What is next to seek guaranteed funding?"
- The Visalia Times-Delta, 10/23/02
"Proposition 49 is one of those proposals that mixes good intentions with bad methodology. It would expand the state's after-school programs dramatically, but do so at the cost of throwing yet another monkey wrench into state budgeting. That's a tradeoff California can't afford."
- The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 10/9/02
"Even though Proposition 49 has the star power and sincerity of Hollywood action star Arnold 'Kindergarten Cop' Schwarzenegger behind it, voters should not be swayed."
- The Stockton Record, 10/14/02
"Guaranteeing money for any special program by ballot-box budgeting is just a bad idea, no matter how worthy the cause or how high-powered the initiative's supporters."
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/27/02
"We should not permanently slice away a piece of the budget pie for this, or any other program, no matter how worthwhile."
- The Vacaville Reporter, 9/30/02
For more information on the growing campaign against Prop 49, visit our Web site: http://www.stop49.org