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 3, 2008 — Primary Election Ballot Summaries

On California's June 3 primary ballot, voters will be asked to decide on Propositions 98 and 99, two separate measures dealing with the concept of eminent domain, essentially, private property rights related to government. Current eminent domain law allows local, state or federal governments to take private property, against the property owner's wishes, for public use  as long as the government pays the owners a fair price for their property.

The term public use  has been broadly defined and as such has become the subject of some controversy. In addition to projects like roads, parks and schools, governments can also apply eminent domain to take property and then transfer ownership of that property to private businesses or nonprofit organizations for redevelopment projects.

While Propositions 98 and 99 both deal with eminent domain, the two measures have little in common and in fact are competing measures. Indeed, the language of Proposition 99 even states that if both propositions pass, but Proposition 99 gets more total yes  votes, all aspects of Proposition 98 will be null and void.

Proposition 98: Property Rights and Rent Control—FAILED

Proposition 98 would do three things:

  • It would end the government's ability to take private property and turn it over to another private party or organization. Property could only be taken if it will be owned and used by government to protect public safety or benefit the public in some other way, and if it would not be used in the same way as the previous owner had used it.
  • It would change the current law, which requires judges to give extra weight to the government's findings  in cases where property owners go to court to stop their property from being taken. Under Proposition 98, courts are directed to use independent judgment instead of deferring to the government's point of view.
  • It would prohibit new rent control laws, but also states that any rent controls in effect before 2007 would continue to benefit renters until they move out from their current residence.

California's independent Legislative Analyst says Proposition 98 may burden individual governments with higher costs in order to acquire land for public use, but suggests the net statewide effect would not be significant.

Proposition 98 is supported by: The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Protect Prop 13 Committee, the California Farm Bureau, the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, small business owners and individuals identifying themselves as "victims" of government takings, among others. For an expanded list, visit: http://www.yesprop98.com/supporters

Proposition 98 is opposed by: The American Association of Retired Persons (California), the California League of Women Voters, the California Police Chiefs Association, The National Wildlife Federation, the Association of California Water Agencies, the Coalition to Protect California Renters, the League of California Homeowners and individual retirees, among others. For an expanded list, visit: http://www.noprop98.org/go/our-coalition/

Proposition 99: Homeowner Rights—PASSED

Proposition 99 has two fundamental elements:

  • It would end state and local government's ability to take the home of an owner who currently lives in the home (and has lived there for at least one year) and then turn that property over to a private party or organization for private use or development. Governments could still take property for public uses.
  • It stipulates that if Proposition 99 gets more yes  votes than Proposition 98, even if both measures pass, no part of Proposition 98 would become law.

California's independent Legislative Analyst says Proposition 99 addresses a kind of property taking that is uncommon and will therefore have little effect on eminent domain proceedings in California. The Legislative Analyst also states that, like Proposition 98, Proposition 99 could burden individual governments with higher costs in order to acquire land for public use, but the net statewide effect would not be significant.

Proposition 99 is supported by: The League of California Homeowners, the League of Women Voters of California, the California Alliance for Retired Americans, the California Police Chiefs Association, the Consumer Federation of California, and others. For an expanded list, visit: http://www.no98yes99.com/go/who-we-are/prop.-99-supporters/

Proposition 99 is opposed by: the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Protect Prop 13 Committee, the California Farm Bureau, and small business owners. The Yes on Proposition 98 web site is listed in all voter guides as the source for more information about the campaign to oppose Proposition 99. For an expanded list, visit: http://www.yesprop98.com/supporters

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