Peace and Freedom Party legislative liaison C.T. Weber has publicly commented on behalf of the PFP before California State Assembly committees twice in this legislative session to date.

Given a two-minute limit, C.T. spoke in opposition to Assembly Bill 386 before the assembly’s Judicial Committee and in opposition to Assembly Bill 446 to the Elections Committee. The full text of these remarks runs below. For a complete list of legislation supported or opposed by the PFP, click here.

•••••

Assemblymember Stone, Assemblymember Gallagher, and the rest of the members of the Judicial Committee

Good morning.

My name is C. T. Weber. I am the Legislative Liaison for Peace and Freedom Party of California.

I would like to start by saying that there is a big difference between public sector money and private sector money. The public sector works for the people, and as such must be subject to a certain level of public oversight. Unfortunately, most private sector business activities are not scrutinized enough.

AB 386 is not about CalPERS right to invest in internally managed private loans, also known as private debt, because they are already major investors in private debt funds. And the returns are not that great. This bill is about secrecy, secrecy to conceal the details of these loans.

It would allow loans to shell companies thus hiding the real borrowers.

It would treat unsecured loans the same as secured loans which would increase the risk level.

It would prevent the public from knowing whether there is any collateral, the number of years, and other terms of a loan.

Our opposition to AB 386 is based on our concern that it could provide a cover for unforeseen corruption.

Once a contract has been signed between a public agency and a private entity there should be no secrecy allowed that could jeopardize the public’s money. Secrecy and money, especially when it is the people’s money, do not belong together.

Thank you.

•••••

My name is C. T. Weber. I am the Legislative Liaison for Peace and Freedom Party of California.

When AB 446, was first introduced, Peace and Freedom Party voted to support it because it made it easier for new parties to qualify for the ballot and for parties to maintain their ballot status.

Have you ever supported a good idea that didn’t work because of unforeseen circumstances? Well, that is exactly what the recently amended AB 446 does. It is based on a good idea, providing more choices. However, an important pillar of this bill was removed – The part that made it just as easy to maintain ballot status as it was to qualify in the first place. Historically, there has been a saturation point where not all of the ballot qualified parties were able to survive. So, if you make it easier to qualify, common sense dictates that you also need to make it easier to maintain ballot status.

Under AB 446, if a new party were to qualify for the ballot by getting the signatures of 3% of the number of voters who voted in the last preceding gubernatorial general election, and then its candidates fail to get 2% of the vote for a statewide office, without 0.33% of the total registration, this new party would lose its ballot status.

The Green Party has offered to support AB 446 if amended to lower the filing fees and the signatures in lieu of filing fees, and to lower the costs for the state and county Voters Information Guides. We agree, except our proposals are to eliminate the filing fees and signatures in lieu entirely because they are unconstitutional per Lubin v Panish, and to remove the $25 a word fee to have a statement in the Official Voters Information Guide as a result of a poison pill in Proposition 34. Before 2000, there was no charge for these statements. Thank you.


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