There has been an ongoing problem of collusion between government officials and municipal bond advisors who often actually write the bond bills for profit. And then deceptively work with government to sell them to an unsuspecting public. To address this issue, the California State Assembly passed AB-195 which was approved by Governor Jerry Brown and on January 1, 2018 became Law. Sections of that law governs the way local governments can present bond measures on ballots:
- Measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure,
- and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
- If the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.
Section 18401 of the California Elections Code says election officials who allow non-compliant ballots to be put before the public are criminally liable.
As this complaint clearly shows, Proposition A was enormously non-compliant. The Libertarian Party of San Francisco (LPSF) was designated official Opponent of Proposition A by the SF Dept. of Elections. LPSF members called attention to these issues before the Ballot Simplification Committee. They were ignored.