Thanks, Mike. With whom did you actually negotiate? Not Arntz and Herrera themselves I presume? Did their negotiators say anything interesting or revealing? For instance, disclosure of who was involved in writing the ballot measure language (e.g. anyone from the bond financing companies)?
On the proposed points of settlement you mention, of course point #3 is desirable, and something to which they should agree. Probably #1 is desirable, although I feel less strongly about that. Regarding #2 however, I am not convinced, although I'm open to arguments. My doubts about whether it's desirable to get rid of paid ballot arguments, in relation to bond measures or any others, are as you know the main reason I did not sign on as a co-plaintiff.
Paid ballot arguments do of course involve transfers of funds from the voluntary sector to the coercive sector. Although most of the funds presumably are eaten up by the costs of printing, rendering it relatively harmless as such transfers go. There are also, it's probably safe to say, more paid ballot arguments in favor of bond measures than opposing them. On the other hand however, the ballot handbook is the most effective avenue we (or other underfinanced opponents) have of directly reaching voters citywide that is within our means. If such arguments were eliminated, the competition for the free arguments would presumably also grow fiercer, and we might more often find ourselves shut out of those as well. Right now, any number of voices are able to have virtually uncensored opposition arguments appear right in the voters handbook, provided they are willing to pay the costs
A couple minor changes with regard to paid arguments that could have a marginal positive impact though are (1) capping the amount they can charge per word, and (2) requiring that all arguments pro and con be printed together, rather than segregating the pro and con arguments, alternating first one pro argument and then one con argument (or vice-versa, to be randomly determined for each measure), until arguments for one side or the other are exhausted, following which the remaining arguments for the other side would be printed. (Currently, all the pro arguments appear first, followed by all the con arguments, which seems slightly less favorable to opponent arguments being seen and read.)
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))