Ballot titles new partisan low

By Senator Ted Ferrioli

Another low tide mark in partisan politics was set this afternoon. A supposedly impartial committee assigned with drafting the official ballot titles is close to adopting language that is strikingly subjective and partisan, painting the personal and business income tax referrals headed to the ballot in January in a sharply negative light. I wish I could say I am surprised, but this is just another in a long line of desperate attempts to deceive the public at any cost, while the majority in the legislature tries to exploit an economic crisis for the purpose of increasing taxes and growing government.

The infractions of the committee are numerous:

The committee ignored state law that requires ballot titles be crafted in an impartial manner. In the end the committee produced a final product that is nothing more than a state-paid advertisement for the tax increases.

The committee didn’t just skew the language to favor the tax increases, they left out important information that might reflect negatively on the tax increases, like the fact that these tax increases are retroactive to the beginning of this year. The ballot title also ignores that very important fact that these tax increases are permanent, not a temporary fix that expires after two years.

The ballot titles also leave out important but incriminating facts, like that companies not making a profit will see their minimum tax go from $150 to $100,000.

The ballot titles are also quick to include statements that are purely speculation, such as what type of cuts would have to be made if the tax increases are defeated. Unless the committee has a crystal ball, there is no way they can know what the specific cuts would have to entail.

Both ballot titles are full of such speculation, inaccuracies and artful spinning of reality, more than I can list here. Don’t take my word for it, go read the ballot titles for yourself: Measure 66 and Measure 67.