Today the California Supreme Court made a last-minute decision to halt the election for Proposition 49, ultimately blocking voters’ ability to express their views on one of our nation’s most pressing issues: the undue influence of money in our political process. Today was also the deadline for the California Secretary of State to send the voter information guide to the state printer. Given the Court’s decision, Proposition 49 will not appear on the November 2014 ballot.
“For more than 100 years, California’s cherished initiative process has allowed voters to impel Congress to act on important issues of the day,” said Kathay Feng, Executive Director of California Common Cause. “Today’s decision could be the start of a slippery slope that takes away the people’s power to use initiatives to prompt action and create positive change.”
“The Court continues to protect the rights of incorporated special interests while suppressing the voices of living, breathing human beings,” was the reaction of Michele Sutter, cofounder of Money Out, Voters In and Chair of the Yes on 49 Committee.
Proposition 49 was an advisory measure that was put on the ballot by Senate Bill 1272, the Overturn Citizens United Act, which would have asked the United States Congress to take action to stop the flood of unlimited spending in electoral campaigns. The Court’s order will be reviewed in September and the measure still might appear on a future ballot.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.