Proposition 49: Nonpartisan Offices

When I first learned about Proposition 49, which would prohibit political parties from endorsing candidates for nonpartisan offices, I wondered what argument, if any, could possibly be raised against it.

This proposition seeks to strengthen and clarify the concept that judicial, city, county and school board offices should be free of the influence of party politics.

This tradition has served California long and well, enabling us to be remarkably free of the patronage and machine politics that dominate so many Eastern cities and states. Many public spirited citizens have felt comfortable running for these offices because they were unencumbered by the baggage of party ideologies.

So how have the political parties managed to disguise their opposition to this measure? Under the ruse that it might hamper free speech. Let us not be fooled. Anyone, including a political leader, could continue to support or oppose candidates while acting as an individual. Let us strive to maintain the California tradition of nonpartisanship in local offices by voting Yes on Proposition 49.