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Pasadena Weekly
Mar 02, 2001

Measure B

An analysis by City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris says Measure B would prohibit city officials from accepting specified gifts, honoraria, income and campaign contributions from a person after the official makes or votes to approve certain public decisions in that person's favor.

That sounds like pretty straightforward language. Yet past and present politicians, the folks who wrote the argument against Measure B, say this measure not only impugns their honor, but creates loads of unnecessary paperwork. To that we say baloney.

Perhaps at no other time in American history has public confidence been so shaken in the political process. Just saying you're not a crook, and saying you won't take a special gift from a special friend who has a special item before your board is not enough.

This measure, sponsored by the Oaks Project, founded by insurance watchdog Harvey Rosenfield and former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, forces every city official who recommends approval, approves or votes to approve a "public benefit" for a particular recipient to refrain from accepting a "personal or campaign advantage" from the recipient for a specified period.

The measure includes criminal and civil penalties for violations by public officials, but there is no penalty imposed on the beneficiary of the public benefit for conveying a personal or campaign advantage. To us, that's the measure's only flaw.

Similar measures are now in effect in Santa Monica, San Francisco and Vista in North San Diego County. We think Pasadena should follow suit and further set an example of good government for all California cities.


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