FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento - The Alliance for a Better California, a coalition of teachers, firefighters and nurses, kicked off their campaign today to defeat Proposition 75 by unveiling their first television advertisement. The 30-second spot begins airing statewide today and explains to California voters that Prop. 75 has a hidden agenda to silence the voices of teachers, nurses, firefighters and police who spoke out against cuts to education, health care and public safety earlier this year.
"Like previous California initiatives, Proposition 75 has a hidden agenda. Its real agenda is to make it easier for the Governor and his big business pals to cut school funding, health care and public safety," said Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association.
The top seven donors to Prop. 75 are major contributors to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to The Orange County Register, Citizens to Save California, "a coalition of business and anti-tax groups formed to promote Schwarzenegger's agenda" promoted Prop. 75 by gathering petition signatures earlier this year. [See attached chart and fact sheet].
"California teachers spoke out when the Governor broke his promise to repay the $2 billion he borrowed from the education budget. California nurses took the Governor to court when he tried to roll back the hospital staffing law that protects patients. California firefighters and police officers attacked the Governor's plan to eliminate survivor benefits for family members when an officer or firefighter is killed in the line of duty," said Ron Cottingham, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California. "If Proposition 75 passes, who will protect education, health care and public safety?"
Lewis Uhler, the lead sponsor for Prop. 75, told The San Francisco Chronicle that he specifically targeted the measure to place restrictions on only public employees, including teachers, nurses, firefighters and police. Prop. 75 would not impact any other organization that makes political contributions, including corporations. However, according to the nonpartisan Center for responsive Politics, corporations already outspend unions by a 24-1 margin nationally.
"This is not a measure designed by Good Samaritans to help us. This measure was designed by anti-worker activists to hurt our ability to protect teachers, nurses, firefighters, police, the issues and the communities we protect," said Tom O'Connor, a San Francisco firefighter. "Prop. 75 targets us with new restrictions and government bureaucracy to further tip the imbalance of power in the Governor's and his corporate contributors' direction."
The Alliance for a Better California represents 2.5 million California teachers, nurses, firefighters, police and public employees. For more information and for an electronic version of the ad [see attached script], visit our new web site: http://www.betterca.org/.
"Just like in 1998, we will talk to Californians…our neighbors, friends and family about the hidden agenda behind Prop. 75, and we will defeat it," said consultant Larry Grisolano.