California voters deserve no-spin ballot measure summaries

Thu, Dec 26 2013 — Source: LA Times

Californians could be faced in November with a proposal to dramatically alter the pension and benefit system for public employees. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has submitted a statewide ballot initiative that would allow government agencies to negotiate changes to current employees’ future retirement benefits, reversing the long-standing principle that once a public employee is hired, his or her retirement benefits cannot be reduced.

Public employee unions are already gearing up for a major fight over Reed’s initiative, which he could put on the ballot as soon as 2014 (or as late as 2016) if he gathers the requisite signatures. No matter the timing, voters will surely be inundated with intense propaganda from both sides. That’s why Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, charged with writing the title and 100-word summary for all ballot measures — including Reed’s pension initiative — should play it straight. Give voters clear, factual information, free of spin.

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