California Court: Prop 30 tax increase illegally put at top of ballot, but too late to do anything about it
I wanted to share with Legal Insurrection readers an example of ballot measure manipulation that was partly responsible for the November approval of one of the biggest take hikes approved by California in years.
Cal Watchdog writer Katy Grimes has this report about a recent court ruling that declared the placement of the tax measure at the top of the ballot was illegal, but that it is too late to do anything about it because the election already took place, Proposition 30 at the top of the ballot was illegal.
Anyone who still believes that there isn’t monkey business in politics needs only to look at the most recent election and a significant legal ruling handed down on Friday regarding Proposition 30. While it may seem too little, too late, this ruling does matter.
The California State Court of Appeals found that Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Legislature manipulated the ballot process, maneuvering Prop. 30 to land at the top of the ballot, above all of the other ballot measures. Prop. 30 increased taxes $6 billion a year.
Political deception was required to get Proposition 30 was placed at the top of the ballot. An assembly bill (AB 1499) was deemed a “budget Bill”, and was forced quickly through the California Legislature.
AB 1499 cleared the way for Brown’s tax increase initiative, Prop. 30, to receive the number one placement on the November ballot. The bill altered the California statute regarding how ballot measures are placed on the ballot.
Brown was not only desperate to get his tax increase measure on the ballot, he needed it to stand out in the crowded field of ballot initiatives.
Because the budget now only needs a simple majority vote to pass, Democrats created the bill language, and then dropped it into a “spot” budget bill. If the bill had any language about tax increases, it would have needed a two-thirds majority vote by the Legislature.
The “spot” bill, an empty bill awaiting language, was shoved through the Legislature with such force, it passed in only two days. There were no committee hearings or public vetting.
Examiner writer Lorraine Yapps Cohen notes that ultimately the holding of illegality changes nothing, What difference will it make?
California Court of Appeals, however, spotted the “spot” bill and declared it illegal. The questionable legislation putting Prop 30 on top was deemed unconstitutional.
That’s fine. But those who have had a court rule in their favor find that nothing coerces the perpetrator to make amends for losses. And so, we the people have Prop 30 still on the books, collecting 6 billion tax dollars from us every year illegally.
Many citizens are rightly concerned with voter fraud. However, let story this be a lesson to Californians and other Americans: Pay attention to how business gets done in your state capital.
Even though the court ruling allows for future challenges to spot bills, it will do nothing to stop the new Proposition 30 taxes from being implemented.