FROM: Kim Alexander
DATE: March 25, 1999
RE: Unz, Miller propose reform initiatives
Four new initiatives were submitted to California's Attorney General today dealing with a variety of political reform topics: campaign contributions; voluntary spending limits; public financing; Internet disclosure; elected officials' salaries and reapportionment. The proponents are Ron Unz (of Prop. 227/bilingual education fame) and Tony Miller (author of 1996's Prop. 208, which is still tied up in the courts). The web site address for the "Voters Rights 2000 Campaign" is http://www.fairvote2000.org.
I'll be sure to keep CVF-NEWS subscribers posted on these initiatives as they develop. In the meantime, you'll find a complete, and very long list of the components of these initiatives at the campaign's web site. Below is a news release issued today by the proponents.
For Immediate Release - March 25, 1999
Contact: Alicia Sherman - (310) 737-1948
Ron Unz and Tony Miller File Four Election
Reform Initiatives for March 2000
Sacramento---Ron Unz and Tony Miller today filed with the Attorney General four election reform initiatives aimed at the March 2000 ballot. The measures, entitled California Voters Bill of Rights Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D, address campaign finance and disclosure, the salaries of elected officials, reapportionment, and related issues.
"These are the most comprehensive set of election reforms proposed in decades," said Ron Unz, proponent and campaign Chairman. "They might serve as a national model for true political reform."
"These reforms are fair, effective, and constitutional," said Tony Miller, campaign Co-Chair and initiative proponent. "The people want something to be done about the domination of the political process by big money and this is that something," he said.
Under the proposals, campaign contributions would be limited for state and local candidates; matching fund incentives would be offered to limit spending by candidates and initiative campaigns; non-election year fundraising would be banned; contributions of $1000 or more would be reported within 24 hours on the Internet, as would be all radio, television, print, and direct mail advertising; and advertisements in state campaigns would disclose information on funding sources.
The Unz/Miller proposal limits state matching funds to $1 per taxpayer per year.
Although all four initiative proposals share this common core, Plan A also limits the increase of the salaries of state officials to the cost of living, unless approved by a vote of the people, and establishes a bipartisan commission of retired judges to conduct redistricting. Plan B is the same as Plan A, except that redistricting control remains with the State Legislature, but requires a two-thirds majority of each house. Plan C is the same as Plan A, but does not limit the growth in the salaries of elected officials. Plan D contains the common core of campaign reform, but without the salary or redistricting elements.
The plans are being submitted to the Attorney General for title and summary, a process normally taking 45 days. At the conclusion of this process, the proponents will decide which measure or measures shall go forward for signature gathering and presentation to the voters.
Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley software entrepreneur, is a Republican. He led the campaign for Prop. 227, the ballot measure to dismantle California's system of bilingual education, which received 61% of the vote in June 1998. Tony Miller, a former Acting Secretary of State and past Member of the Fair Political Practices Commission, is a Democrat. He led the campaign for Prop. 208, a political reform measure which received 61% of the vote in November 1996. Texts of the measures and background information are available at http://www.FairVote2000.org.