The Santa Monica City Council will discuss “clarification” of the Taxpayer Protection Amendment (the anti-kickback initiative) at Tuesday’s council meeting. Santa Monica’s latest attempt to overturn this law failed with Prop W! Santa Monica voters must let the City Council know the public is still watching and should attend the council meeting and tell them they must preserve the law intact, and use the well-informed efforts in Pasadena as a guideline for implementation. (The City Council has not made public what they might propose – so it is imperative that we as voters find out – to insure against their “clarifying” a law that needs no “clarification.”)
The possibility of publicly funding campaigns is also part of the agenda, along with campaign reform. This should be a discussion of ways the city can strengthen protections against the influence of money in Santa Monica campaigns. We must show our support for public financing of elections, instant runoff voting and any other reforms that can help take special interest influence out of city campaigns; enabling hearing only the direct, clear, unambiguous voice of the voters – made quite clear with the passage of the Taxpayer Protection Amendment and with voting down Prop W.
We must watchdog our City Council on Tuesday and insure that they preserve the TPA intact and implement it along the Pasadena guidelines.
The Santa Monica City Council will meet to “clarify” the Taxpayer Protection Amendment (the anti-kickback law passed in 2000) at Tuesday’s council meeting. For more than six years they have consistently attempted to dismantle this law, most recently with Proposition W, and it is crucial that Santa Monicans let them know that we are serious about ending any possibility of influence peddling in Santa Monica, especially in the wake of the Abramoff and other scandals in Washington. This law must not be tinkered with. Pasadena has provided an excellent model for its implementation. Let’s all accept that it’s a good law and move on – perhaps to public funding? Instant Runoff Voting? There is much to be done to STRENGTHEN our local democracy, instead of discussing ways to dilute a law that the voters have twice approved.
James L. Eaton