This may be an early Political Play of the Week
, or just a bonus Play
for the week. We'll see by Sunday. Nevertheless, bagging the endorsement from the League of Women Voters
seems like a smart play to lend support and credibility to an otherwise complex and snoozer issue.
With the post by Sara de la Guerra last night about the "Taxpayers Association
" endorsing against Measure A, I thought I would do some searching about who is for
Measure A. Seems like a lot of groups and Santa Barbara citizens are for Measure A, but few people know about it.
Measure A is a Santa Barbara city ballot measure that would move the stand-alone city elections from their current placement during the odd-numbered years (when hardly anyone votes) and then shift the city elections to the even-numbered years with all the other stuff on the ballot, including the county, state, and federal elections. Those combined elections would entice lots more voters to get their butts out to vote
, or even to fill out their absentee ballots
and mail them in.
Republicans and Libertarians do not seem to like Measure A, as the "Taxpayers Association
" endorsement against it verifies. This makes sense because all the Lazy Liberals in Santa Barbara actually would be voting far more often in city elections if those elections were combined with everything else during the even-year election cycle.
The backers of Measure A have a web site that looks like a blog
, but no one has entered comments. However, they have plenty of content there, including links to the original ballot arguments, official county documents about the past election returns, Ross-Perot-style charts and graphs, and lots of links to news and opinion coverage and even a few videos of them making their pitch. It is a bit much in totality, but their basic points are separate entries at the web site, regarding how voter turn out will increase
, how much money the city taxpayers would save
, and who endorses Measure A
At their web site
, the boosters of Measure A have laid out the calculations that show a net savings of about a quarter-million dollars per election cycle every two years. A quarter-million here, a quarter-million there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money that the city taxpayers would save from the General Fund
There is that word again: Taxpayers. According to their endorsement in the Blogabarbara post, the county "Taxpayers Association
" does not really seem to be interested in saving taxpayer money, as would happen if Measure A passes at the ballot. If Measure A passes, the city would no longer be conducting its own election and paying for the election costs out if its own General Fund. That fund is the same big share of the city budget that also pays for police, parks, streets, libraries, youth programs, fire protection, and more.
As for who is endorsing FOR Measure A, the sweetest plum so far could be considered the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. Here is their full statement
from the League's own web site.
And here in the text below is an abridged version of that statement. The writing is a bit thick in the usual brainiac, detail-oriented and cautious style of the League.
VOTE WITH THE LEAGUE: SUPPORT MEASURE A
The League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara supports the passage of Measure A in the November 6, 2007 City of Santa Barbara elections. The League's position is based on its long standing LWVUS national position on Voting Rights and Citizen's Right to Vote. This position includes encouraging all citizens to vote. The increase in voter turnout since 1995 in even numbered years (66.8%) over odd numbered years (37.8%) is remarkable. These data submitted by the County Elections Bureau show that general elections increase voter turnout. The League believes aligning Santa Barbara City elections with other general elections will encourage greater voter participation.
The League also bases its support for Measure A on its League of Women Voters of California state position on State and Local Finances.... Estimates provided by the County Elections Bureau show that County run odd year elections would cost the City between $500,000 and $600,000 per election. For the City of Santa Barbara to run its own odd year election its cost is approximately $280,000 per election. The County of Santa Barbara Elections Bureau estimates its cost to run an even year election for the City of Santa Barbara is between $30,000 and $60,000 dollars.
Based on the foregoing League positions and local data, the League of Women Voters urges a "Yes" Vote on Measure A.
Labels: brainiac, Taxpayers Association are Hypocrites