Monday, September 13, 2010

Proposition 27 Revealed!

[NOTE: This is a work in progress, updated last on 3-NOV-2010, 10:15 AM. Revision history at end.]

THANK YOU Californians! Together, we defeated this naked power grab by the party and politicians currently in power. Proposition 27 failed by nearly a 60% margin!


  • Proposition 27 appears on the November 2010 ballot in California.
  • If passed, Proposition 27 would essentially eliminate the redistricting reforms created by 2008's Proposition 11 and return the responsibility of redrawing political boundaries back to the California State Legislature.
  • The California Legislature is dominated by members of a single political party with nearly a 2-to-1 majority.
  • Every major California newspaper recommends NO on PROPOSITION 27.
  • In an apparent naked power grab, twenty-six (26) self-serving incumbent Californian politicians, all Democrats, support and fund the committee in favor of Proposition 27.
  • The list of politicians includes the current U.S. Speaker of the House and both the current and former Speakers of the California Assembly.
  • Many of the U.S. Congressional Representatives on the list are also members of the Congresional Progressive Caucus, who typically represent the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.
  • Big-money donors to the Democratic party are major contributors, including a $2,000,000 ($2 MILLION) donation from billionaire media mogul Haim Saban. Controversial billionaire investor George Soros is also a major contributor. At least four billionaires have contributed.
  • Labor unions, a traditional ally of the Democratic Party, are also major contributors, including $1,250,000 ($1.25 MILLION) from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, $1 MILLION from the American Federation of Teachers union, and $500,000 from a front organization for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners union, and $200,000 from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
  • Many of the poltician's campaigns are also directly funded by the same unions.
  • The California Democratic Party also contributed $375,000.
  • Many of those funding Proposition 27 also funded the campaign against the 2005 redistricting reform, or No on Prop. 77.


Remember when the Democratic Party represented the common man? Remember when the Democratic Party fought to empower "The People"? Remember when the Democratic Party fought against the big money that corrupts politics? California's ballot Proposition 27 reveals the true face of the modern California Democratic Party, currently dominated by Progressives! The hypocrisy behind Proposition 27 is staggering, even by California standards.

What is Proposition 27? According to the California Legislative Analyst's Office, it is designed to block the necessary reforms mandated by an earlier ballot proposition, Proposition 11. Proposition 11 empowers a balanced, non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw the highly-Gerrymandered political districts in California.

Why did Californians pass Proposition 11 that created the Citizens Redistricting Commission?

  • Many California citizens felt that their state assembly and senate districts were Gerrymandered by Legislators to ensure that incumbent politicians were guaranteed re-election in non-competitive elections.
  • Many citizens felt that public-employee and union money unduly influenced California's elections and Legislators.
  • Many citizens wanted control for drawing political districts removed from the Legislature and placed in the hands of a non-partisan citizens commissions.

The people and organizations that are financing support for Proposition 27 are a very interesting and revealing mix of the Democratic Party establishment, incumbent California Democratic politicians, labor unions, and secretive big-money donors to ... you guessed it ... the Democratic Party.

The list of donors supporting Proposition 27 is available here and is updated as public-disclosure forms are filed.

Here is another source for the same information, courtesy of the California Secretary of State.

Democratic Party Establishment

The California Democratic Party contributed directly to support Proposition 27. Why? Because the Democratics apparently have the most to lose in free and fair elections. The party has carefully cobbled together a financing support network with various labor interests.

Democratic State Central Committee of California

  • $375,000 contribution
Incumbent California Democratic Politicians

Which incumbent Democratic politicians are attempting to protect their political careers in open contradiction to the will of the people? The list includes the current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the both the current and former Speakers of the California Assembly.

Many of these same politicians are heavily funded by the unions that are funding support for Proposition 27, as listed later. Many of the Congressional Representatives on the list are also members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whom represent the left-wing of the Democratic Party, known simply as the Progressives.

Why are incumbent politicians funding Proposition 27? They want the old, pre-Proposition 11 redistricting process back to protect their political careers. In an interview with the Orange Counter Register during the 2001 California redistricting process, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, sister of Proposition 27 funder Rep. Linda Sanchez, explained how the gerrymandering system worked:
"Twenty thousand [dollars] is nothing to keep your seat. I spend $2 million [dollars campaigning] every year. If my colleagues are smart, they'll pay their $20,000, and Michael [Berman, brother of Proposition 27 funder Howard Berman] will draw the district they can win in. Those who have refused to pay? God help them."

U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D), 8th Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Xavier Becerra, (D), 31st Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Howard Berman (D), 28th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps (D), 23rd Congressional District
  • Friends of Lois Capps: $10,000
  • IBEW, AFSCME, Carpenters & Joiners, Operating Engineers, AFT, and fire fighter unions are major contributors
  • profile for Lois Capps
  • Also contributed to No on Prop. 77
  • The CA-23 district map is perhaps the best example of a highly-Gerrymandered district, covering just select coastal communities. The district is 200 miles long and only 100 yards wide in some places. Voters joke that it sometimes disappears during high tide.
U.S. Congresswoman, Judy Chu (D), 32nd Congressional District
  • TruePAC - Concerned Citizens including Judy Chu to Support Proposition 27: $125,000
  • Judy Chu for Congress: $10,000
  • Possible connections to another $90,000 from the Californians for Trust, Responsibility, Unity, and Empowerment PAC listed below
  • Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • AFT, Carpenters & Joiners, AFSCME, IBEW, and Operating Engineers unions are major contributors
  • profile for Judy Chu
  • Spouse of California Assemblyman Mike Eng, who also funds Proposition 27
  • The CA-32 district map also shows signs of Gerrymandering
U.S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D), 14th Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Sam Farr (D), 17th Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Mike Honda (D), 15th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D), 9th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D), 16th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D), 5th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D), 37th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D), 34th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D), 39th Congressional District
U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D), 29th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D), 12th Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Diane Watson (D), 33rd Congressional District
U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D), 6th Congressional District
U.S. Congressman George Miller (D), 7th Congressional District
State Senator Alex Padilla (D), 20th State Senate District
  • Padilla for Senate: $39,000
  • California 2020 Senator Alex Padilla's Ballot Measure Committee: $21,572
  • AFSCME and California Pipe Trades Council unions are major contributors
California Assembly Speaker, John A. Perez (D), 46th Assembly District
  • Current California Assembly Speaker
  • Building California's Future: John A. Perez Ballot Measure Committee: $49,000
  • California Pipe Trades Council and California Operating Engineers unions are major contributors
Assemblywoman Karen Bass (D), 47th Assembly District
Assembly Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D), 40th Assembly District
  • Bob Blumenfield for Assembly 2010: $85,000
  • California Pipe Trades and Carpenters unions are major contributors
Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D), 58th Assembly District
  • Charles Calderon for Assembly 2010: $100,000
  • California Pipe Trades unions are major contributors
Assemblyman Mike Eng (D), 49th Assembly District
Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D), 39th Assembly District
  • Felipe Fuentes Reform California Ballot Measure Committee: $20,000
  • Fuentes for Assembly 2010: $10,000
  • California Pipe Trades unions are major contributors
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D), 14th Assembly District
  • Skinner for Assembly 2010: $30,000
  • Electrical Workers, California Pipe Trades, and Operating Engineers are major contributors
Assemblyman Bill Monning (D), 39th Assembly District
  • Friends of Bill Monning: $5,000
  • California Pipe Trades, Electrical Workers, Firefighters, and Teachers unions are major contributors
Labor Unions, a Traditional Ally of California Democrats

The following labor unions are long-time allies of California Democrats and heavily fund the campaigns of the incumbent Democrats listed above. Among the California Congressional Representatives listed, these unions contributed nearly $3.8 million to their campaigns during their careers.

(also view spreadsheet at

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Carpenters and Joiners Union
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
International Association of Fire Fighters
Electrical Workers Unions (IBEW)

Various Electrical Workers unions contributed over $150,000 combined. According to, IBEW contributed over $780,000 to the California Congressional Representatives listed above and is a Top-20 donor to all but two members.
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers is a member union of the AFL-CIO
  • California State Association of Electrical Workers: $50,000
  • International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Educational Committee: $50,000
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local No. 47: $50,000
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) is #6 on the top campaign contributors list, contributing 97% of their member's money to Democrats
  • information page for IBEW
  • Also contributed to No on Prop. 77
Pipe Trade Unions
Teamsters Union
Big Money Contributors to the Democratic Party

The following list is especially ironic given President Obama's apparent concern about groups like Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the Koch brothers. Is the President more comfortable with this group? Why are so many out-of-state people and organizations attempting to influence California's elections? Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.

Many of the individual donors to Proposition 27 are also big-money contributors to various Democratic Party organizations such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), headed by Speaker Pelosi, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of these individuals are also big-money donors to former-President Clinton's foundation. Similarly, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Harold Ickes were chief organizers of the so-called Shadow Democratic Party and Louise Gund and Fred Eychaner are probable members due to their heavy funding of 527 political organizations that fund Democrat Party causes.

I am an unabashed supporter of Israel. Consequently, I am surprised by many of the pro-Israel connections to the Yes on Proposition 27 effort. I had never heard of Haim Saban until I began researching this article. Surprisingly, many of the incumbent Democrat politicians supporting Proposition 27, in my opinion, do not necessarily support Israel. Howard Berman is perhaps unique in his public support for Israel. For the other politicians, perhaps the pro-Israel lobby hopes to develop a relationship similar to the labor unions. The incumbent Democrats listed above have provided certain political services in return for continued campaign contributions from labor unions. Regardless, I hope this recent trend does not indicate that the Israelis want to influence California state politics!

This following list only includes individuals contributing more than $20,000 as of 30-SEPT-2010. Only contributions exceeding $50,000 are highlighted in red. There are other smaller contributors listed here. The individuals are listed from largest contribution, downward.

Haim Saban
Louise Gund

Peter G. Angelos

George Soros
Edith Wasserman
    Fred Eychaner
    Steven S. Myers
    • $100,000 contribution
    • CEO/Chairman of Dolphin Capital Holdings, Inc.
    • Former CEO of SM&A, a firm that works with companies on government procurement and projects
    • Forbes profile on Steven S. Myers
    • CorporationWiki profile on Steven S. Myers
    • The Full Wiki profile on Steven Myers
    • profile on Steven Myers
    • Contributed $60,400 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2010
    • Contributed $30,400 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2010
    Steven R. Zax
    • See $100,000 contribution from Zenith Insurance Company below
    Jack C. Bendheim
    Joseph W. Cotchett
    Kathryn Hall
    C. Paul Johnson
    Stephen Grand
    George M. Marcus
    Stewart ResnickLloyd Thomas Galloway
    Corporate Contributors

    Zenith Insurance Company
    Thirty-O-Seven, Inc.
    Political Action Committees (PACs)

    The following political action committees (PACs) also made contributions, but are not directly associated with either the politicians or unions listed above. The $125,000 from TruePAC was directly associated with Congesswoman Judy Chu.

    Californians for Trust, Responsibility, Unity, and Empowerment PAC
    • $90,000 contribution
    • There is no web site for this PAC
    • Bill Wong, the PAC contact person of record, was former Chief of Staff to Judy Chu when she was a California Assemblywoman. Judy Chu is now a U.S. Congressional Representative
    • Bill Wong, the PAC contact person of record, was Legislative Director to Mike Honda when he was in the California Assembly. Mike Honda is now a U.S. Congressional Representative
    • Bill Wong, the PAC contact person of record, was Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to then State Senator Hilda Solis. Hilda Solis is currently the U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration
    • Judy Chu and Mike Honda are current members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
    • Hilda Solis was a former chairperson of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
    Solidarity PAC
    Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
    Déjà vu All Over Again (No on Proposition 77)

    I am sure that it is just an amazing coincidence, but many of those funding Proposition 27 also funded the 2005 redistricting ballot initiative, Proposition 77. Proposition 77 was a previous attempt at redistricting reform that failed at the ballot box. Proposition 77 differed in many ways from Proposition 11, approved by voters in 2008.

    It is interesting that the same names and coalitions arrayed against redistricting reform in 2005 are allied again in 2010 for Proposition 27, whose aim is to eliminate the Proposition 11 reforms.

    Here are some of the other strange and amazing coincidences between Proposition 27 and 2005’s Proposition 77.

    Note to Reader
    • I ask for your NO vote on Proposition 27. Other groups not only advocate for NO on Proposition 27 but also for YES on Proposition 20, which would allow the Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw the U.S. Congressional districts for California. I have not yet determined my position on Proposition 20.
    • I attempt to be fair and accurate in presenting this information and provide links to my references. If you find an error or believe that I am unfairly presenting the information based on available facts, please let me know via the comments section and I will review the specific information. I will post all comments about corrections unless you specifically ask me not to post your comment.
    • If you know of other information that I am missing on this post, please let me know via the comments section.
    Background Information
    Revision History

    1 comment:

    1. Thanks so much for your blog! It totally convinced me to vote unhesitatingly YES for Proposition 27!!

      Thanks again,
      A CA voter who voted YES on Prop 27