Past Projects

We have kept the following as a sample of our election content.  Look for our new election content prior to the next California statewide and national elections.

November 2, 2010 — General Election

June 8, 2010 — Primary Election

May 19, 2009 — Special Election

November 4, 2008 — General Election

June 3, 2008 — Primary Election Ballot Summaries

June 3, 2008 — Primary Election Interviews

February 5, 2008 — Primary Election Ballot Summaries

February 5, 2008 — Primary Election Interviews

November 7, 2006 — General Election Ballot Summaries

November 7, 2006 — General Election Interviews

June 6, 2006 — Primary Election Ballot Summaries

June 6, 2006 — Primary Election Ballot Summaries

Quick, Comprehensive & Useful Info for Busy Voters

Looking for a way to cut through the confusing election clutter? In partnership with radio station KFBK Newstalk 1530 in California's state capital of Sacramento, we've launched an ambitious and unprecedented project: in-depth, on-demand interviews of every major candidate in contested statewide primary races — specifically to help you, the voter. Plus, in addition to hearing from both sides of each statewide ballot measure, you'll also find links to helpful voter information.

With this unique project, you have the opportunity to hear directly from statewide candidates for California's primary election anytime, online at your convenience. Unlike 30-second ads, pre-packaged sound bites or election speeches spun by political campaigns, these are highly valuable, 10-minute interviews with the questions you want answered in order to help you make an informed decision before casting your vote.

Gary Dietrich, Political Analyst and president of Citizen Voice, a nonpartisan organization that's involving citizens and protecting the vulnerable, conducted the interviews. Major candidates from statewide contested races were invited to participate. Therefore, you'll notice some candidates are not listed. Information about other candidates is available at through the California Secretary of State on some of the other resources we have available through our helpful voter resources and links (see below).

Click here to give us your feedback. We'd like to hear from you.

Our Citizen Voice mission is to inspire, inform and involve citizens in the public arena on behalf of all, especially the vulnerable.

For more information about Citizen Voice use the links on the left or click here for the home page.

Click below for helpful links

Read Gary's easy-to-understand summaries and his take on the propositions

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Hear Gary Dietrich's in-depth interviews with the candidates in statewide contested primary races. Click on the links below:

Phil Angelides
Steve Westley

Secretary of State
Deborah Ortiz
Debra Bowen

Attorney General
Jerry Brown
Rocky Delgadillo

Keith Richman
Claude Parrish

LT Governor
John Garamendi
Jackie Speier
Liz Figueroa

Tony Strickland
Abel Maldonado
Joe Dunn
John Chiang

Hear Gary Dietrich's interviews with both sides of the statewide ballot propositions. Click on the links below:

Proposition 81
California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act of 2006

Proposition 82
Preschool Education. Tax on Incomes Over $400,000 for Individuals; $800,000 for Couples

Ballot Summaries & Gary Dietrich's Take

The following was designed to assist citizens by offering nonpartisan information and analysis for Californians voting in the June primary election. It does not reflect a position on specific ballot measures, as Citizen Voice views its important role in elections as assisting citizens in making their own informed decisions.

You'll find a brief, clear summary of each ballot measure, specifically designed to be easily understood, in the left column below. On the right, Citizen Voice Co-founder and President Gary Dietrich, who also serves as a nonpartisan political analyst for a number of broadcast outlets, offers his plain language take on what the measure is really all about for the average citizen.

Proposition 81
Library Bond Act

Currently, costs for building and operating public libraries are primarily the responsibility of local governments. To raise additional funds, Proposition 81 would enable the state to sell up to $600 million worth of bonds. All the money raised would be used to build, renovate or expand libraries throughout California and provide furnishings and equipment. Local governments could then request grants from this fund, but in order to qualify for any money the local government would have to pitch in 35 percent of the estimated budget of their project.

Prop 81 also specifically states that the money could not be used for books, materials or ongoing library operational costs.

It s estimated the cost of the proposal will be $1.2 billion to cover the bonds and the interest over 30 years. In the 2000 election, voters approved $350 million in bonds for libraries. That money was used for 45 projects, while another 60 projects requested money but so far have not been funded.

Proposition 81 is supported by the Congress of California Seniors and the California Federation of Teachers and the California Business Roundtable. It is opposed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the National Tax Limitation Committee.

Summary Provided by Citizen Voice

When interviewing representatives of both sides of this issue (which you can listen to by clicking on the link above), you get the impression that this is one of those issues that both sides agree on, yet have significantly different ideas about how best to get to the desired goal.

Who could be against libraries? In fact, that answer to that question obviously leads us to the real one behind the debate  how do we pay for building and keeping them open?

Supporters point to a growing California population that needs new and larger libraries to keep pace with the demand for library access and services. They also cite the need to help the state s residents, especially children and young people, keep pace with rapidly expanding information sources in an increasingly competitive world. And they say we cannot wait for years to put together enough local and state dollars to build and furnish the libraries needed right now.

Opponents point to cutbacks in existing library hours in some areas as a source of concern as to whether local budgets will be able keep new facilities functioning. They also believe funds should be found through cuts in other services rather than using long-term bonds which require interest payments.

Gary Dietrich's Take on the Issue

Proposition 82
Pre-School Initiative

Proposition 82 would establish a new program statewide that would make one year of free, voluntary public preschool available to all four-year-old children in California.

To pay the costs of the program, Proposition 82 would establish a 1.7 percent income tax on any individual who earns more than $400,000 per year and on married couples who earn more than $800,000 per year. The Legislative Analyst states that this would create the highest personal income tax rate in the country.

Prop. 82 also states that money raised could only be spent on the public preschool system it creates. The Leg Analyst notes that schools with religious affiliation, for example, would not be eligible to participate.

The ballot argument in support of Proposition 82 was signed by the California Teachers Association, the California Police Chiefs Association and the California Head Start Association. The arguments opposing Prop 82 were signed by the California Montessori Council, the California Taxpayers  Association, and the former executive director of the California State Board of Education.

Summary Provided by Citizen Voice

This too, is a ballot measure dealing with a subject few would argue with, preschool available to all. The disagreements between both sides (which you can listen to in my interviews via the link above) stem from how to offer this opportunity fairly and in the most cost-effective manner.

Supporters point to the benefits of preschool for many children. They also note that most taxpayers won t be asked to fund the program, only the wealthiest. And they state that fiscal accountability will be built into the program.

Opponents raise concerns about dedicating a very large annual sum to a single program when other needs may be pressing. They cite the Legislative Analyst s figures that the program will only increase preschool attendance from its current level by about 5%. And they say it would be far less expensive to assist families who really need the help than to provide free preschool for all.

This ballot measure has drawn a great deal of attention because of its sheer size in terms of the amount of money it would generate annually and the size of the statewide program it would create.

Gary Dietrich's Take on the Issue

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