ROBYN'S RECOMMENDATION - STATEWIDE PROPOSITION 50: NO
Robyn's Note: The NO on Proposition 50 piece below was written by my knowledgeable friend, Penny Harrington, who served as California's director of legislation for a national public policy organization for 13 years. I added the bolding to Penny's piece, to highlight my chief concerns with Prop 50.
"The indictments and/or convictions of three legislators in 2014 prompted this sole state proposition on the June ballot. Current law already provides a vehicle for legislators to police their ranks by means of expulsion (2/3 vote) or suspension with pay (majority vote). Now, it sounds like a good idea to be able to suspend members without pay and, perhaps increasing the suspension vote to 2/3 is a good step. However, there is nothing in the language of this state constitutional amendment defining under what circumstances this action could be taken. In fact, opponents argue that members could be suspended for failing to adhere to a certain political policy or agenda.
Another concern is denying a legislator's pay without due process. If a member were to be suspended for "political" discipline rather than a warranted criminal situation, he or she could be forced to resign due to hardship, having committed no crime. Further, with or without pay, this proposition does nothing to address the fact that suspending a state representative leaves his or her constituents without representation. If a legislator has committed egregious acts and is not willing to step down, the proper mechanism would appear to be expulsion.
Good people disagree on this one. Even a majority of Republican legislators voted "aye" on SCA 17 (which is now Prop 50). It may, indeed, be time to better address the rules for handling public servants who break the public trust, but I'm lining up with those who believe Prop 50 is not the best answer, particularly when it involves amending the state constitution."
California Proposition 50 Information Matrix – June 2016 Primary
NO on Proposition 50
This is a thorough analysis of Proposition 50 by my conservative friend, Frank Kacer, of Christian Citizenship Council.