first_imgSACRAMENTO – Despite voters’ sweeping rejection of every ballot measure in last week’s special election, many of the groups behind the measures say they haven’t given up the fight and already have begun preparing to launch new ballot measures or legislative bills next year. And at least two of the measures that will likely resurface were among four backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of his “Year of Reform” agenda – including limits on union dues and redistricting. Supporters of Proposition 75 said they began looking at new proposals to restrict unions’ ability to use dues for political purposes as soon as Election Day ended. “We will be relentless in pursuit of that,” said Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “The public-employee unions better get ready for another round of efforts and maybe they ought to come to grips with the reality of the demands of a good portion of their members.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Uhler said he and his allies have been discussing a variety of potential measures, including trying to restrict the use of government resources to deduct union dues from public employees’ paychecks. Proposition 75 was the second recent attempt to restrict union political contributions. The previous one, Proposition 226, applied to both public and private unions and was similarly rejected by voters. Still Uhler believes his measure lost not because the public rejected the idea, but because his side failed to get core Republican voters to turn out in sufficient numbers – and because they were outspent significantly by the public-employee unions. The public-employee unions opposed to Proposition 75 started preparing a countermeasure earlier this year in case the measure passed. Their proposal would place similar restrictions on corporations in California, requiring them to get shareholder approval before making political expenditures. After the election, officials with The Alliance For a Better California said they still hadn’t decided whether to continue pursuing that effort now that Proposition 75 has been rejected. Legislative leaders from both parties agreed last week that they also need to keep pushing forward with the issue raised by Proposition 77 – taking the responsibility for drawing the district lines out of the hands of the Legislature. “The speaker and I have talked quite a few times about the concept of working on redistricting – working on a way to take it out of legislators’ hands and truly give a true version of it where you have real lines and competitive seats,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. “I think the sooner we get it done the better off we are, and the greater trust the public would have in their public servants.” Among the proposals they are expected to examine is a constitutional amendment, SCA 3, authored earlier this year by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. That measure, which was set aside during the special-election campaign, would create a seven-member citizens commission to draw boundary lines starting in 2010. Proposition 77, by contrast, would have created a panel of three retired judges to draw the lines, which would have taken effect immediately. Meanwhile, supporters of drug-discount measure Proposition 79 are also planning to continue looking for ways to lower the cost of medicine in California – though they acknowledge a future ballot measure may not be the best approach because they were outspent 80-1 by the pharmaceutical industry. Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, the consumer group behind Proposition 79, feels the most likely approach would be to try to work through the Legislature. He said he hopes the drug companies would participate in the negotiations rather than have to fight another campaign that cost them $80 million. “We are certainly flexible about what is the way to solve this problem. But it has to include not only a meaningful relief for patients, but some accountability for the drug industry,” he said. A representative of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry group that supported Proposition 78 and opposed Proposition 79, could not be reached for comment. Supporters of Proposition 80, the measure that seemed to get the least public attention, said they are still interested in regulating the electricity industry, though they have not yet crafted specific new plans. A legislative bill to regulate the industry also failed this year. “We have absolutely no doubt that deregulation is the wrong way to go for California and wrong for consumers,” said Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network. “We’ll continue to oppose the big energy company agendas.” But as all of the campaigns worked to recover last week from the special election, a San Fernando Valley legislator said he plans to introduce a bill to make it more difficult for future governors to call such elections. Assemblyman Dario Frommer, D-Glendale, believes such elections should only be called to handle emergencies. He is drafting a bill that would only allow special elections to be called in cases of urgent matters. The bill would require governors to declare a state of emergency and ask for a two-thirds vote from the Legislature before calling a special election. And only the specifically relevant measure would go on the ballot, while separate measures that were also qualified would wait until the next regularly scheduled election. “This governor abused the power of the special election and spent ($50 million) in taxpayer money on an election people didn’t want on propositions that had no urgency,” Frommer said. “Governors before Arnold Schwarzenegger have really used special elections on matters of some urgency to public policy. That’s what it was meant to be used for.” Harrison Sheppard, (916)446-6723 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *