Tom Scott: “Creating More Transparency in Sacramento Doesn’t Empower Special Interests – Secrecy Does”

 October 20, 2016 – In a rebuttal opinion editorial that appeared in today’s Fox and Hounds, Tom Scott, State Executive Director of NFIB/CA explains how Prop 54 levels the playing field by reducing the power of special interests and giving voters a stronger voice in the state legislature.

Below are excerpts from the op-ed: “Prop 54 Will Enact Significant and Lasting Reform in the State Legislature”:

“One of the oldest political tricks in the book is to claim something does the opposite of what it actually does. But that is precisely what Proposition 54’s small handful of critics do when claiming the measure will give special interests more power. This is the farce Eric Bauman propagated in his commentary, “Prop 54: Too Good to be True?” Clearly, Mr. Bauman and his allies would prefer to maintain the status quo in Sacramento and keep voters in the dark so they can continue to hammer out bills in secret that favor their own agendas. But California’s voters aren’t so easily fooled. We know too well that creating more transparency in Sacramento doesn’t empower special interests–secrecy does.

Proposition 54 will create more transparency and accountability by leveling the playing field so that no one industry or group will have more power than another to influence legislation, as a select few currently do. Nor will any group have the ability to rewrite legislation and ram it through for a vote at the very last minute – before anyone else, including many legislators, have a chance to read the bill.

By allowing legislators and the public 72 hours to review and weigh in on proposed bills before the final vote, the result will be better laws for our communities, businesses, and families. Online access to all public hearings and granting citizens the right to record their own videos of public proceedings will allow all Californians to have the same access to the legislative process as the lobbyists do.

That is why so many diverse groups representing voters from every walk of life are lining up in support of Proposition 54. This includes Democrats, Republicans, and non-partisans who disagree on many issues but who do agree that our democracy is stronger when more people participate…

The time has come for the voters to demand more transparency and accountability from our state legislature, and Prop. 54 provides that opportunity. With one the longest legislative sessions in the country, California lawmakers have plenty of time to create and pass important public policy. Legislators are accustomed to working with deadlines; waiting a mere 72 hours after having two full years to produce legislation shouldn’t be a problem. More time to review laws can only result in more thoughtful and thorough legislation that does not have unintended consequences.”

To learn more about Proposition 54 or to join the coalition, visit the website at

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