(April 28, 2007) -- Just days before the May 1 citywide special election (in which many people have already voted by absentee ballot), the campaign urging Yes on Props A-G is airing a new TV ad coupled with a print mailer urging Yes on Prop A (Mayoral line item budget veto, etc.) without mentioning Props B-G.
The new TV ad and mailer feature former Mayor Beverly O'Neill and LB Mayor Bob Foster. The mailer (from "Citizens for an Effective Charter: Yes on Props A,B,C,D,E F & G, Supported by Mayor Bob Foster") says Prop A "will make city government more efficient and accountable to the people of Long Beach" and "will save tax dollars by reforming our City's budget process" by "providing more time for independent citizen review of the budget."
The mailer includes a photo of former Mayor O'Neill next to this quote: "Yes on A allows citizens and elected officials more time to independently analyze the City's budget. This will bring transparency to the budget process and find potential cost savings."
The group's website continues to reference Props A-G but its website address is barely visible in hard to read font on the mailer...and on the TV ads the group identifies itself as "Yes on A" (while the mailer continues the legally required full name).
So...is the Yes on Props A-G campaign backing away from Props B-G? LBReport.com asked Becki Ames, key operative in the successful Foster Mayoral campaign and now Mayor Foster's Chief of Staff during office hours, whom we found working on her own time Friday night on the Prop A-G campaign.
Ms. Ames explained the change in terms different from ours [paraphrased here]. This was a campaign that had multiple, sometimes complex subjects, she said. In campaigns, one tries to end by focusing on a simple message. The simple message now is comparable to bookends: support Prop A and Prop H, Ms. Ames said.
But the Yes on A-G campaign didn't deal with Prop H, a separate item to increase sums paid by companies pumping oil from LB that could produce nearly $4 million a year in new revenue for police and fire services.
Ms. Ames said Mr. Foster on his own time had raised large sums to support the Prop H campaign. How, we asked? By picking up the phone, calling supporters and telling them his city needed the money for public safety, Ms. Ames replied, noting that Prop H needs a 2/3 vote to pass.
Local media outlets, including LBReport.com, the Press Telegram and Business Journal urged "no" votes on Props B & C. A group that includes Business Journal publisher George Economides and retired City Auditor Bob Fronke (who favored a ballot measure not advanced to the ballot by the Mayor and Council) also spent money on a mailer sandpapering Props B & C.
Props A-G were endorsed early in the process by the leadership of the LB Area Chamber of Commerce, it said, in what it called a show of "unity."