Santa Clara County party voter guide for Nov. 8 promotes term limits, disapproves big spending
SUNNYVALE, Calif.— The Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County’s (LPSCC) Nov. 8, 2022 general election voter guide (below) reflects the party’s frustration with the high levels of spending and borrowing being proposed by local public servants, who, along with government contractors, seem to have an insatiable appetite for the pocketbooks of those whose interests they should instead be protecting.
The party has endorsed one candidate within the county:
Linda Chavez for the Alum Rock Union School District (ARUSD) board. She is an incumbent trustee, parent, and retired San Jose small-business owner. Since her 2018 election, Chavez has consistently voted against placing spending-increase measures on the ballot. In this election, Chavez co-signed with LPSCC the argument against Measure S, a $71.5 million bond with which the district proposes to go into the business of developing faculty housing, coincident with its budget mandate from the county superintendent to dramatically consolidate schools, reducing that very faculty.
With six districts proposing tens of millions in bonds, county taxpayers could be saddled with $1.1785 billion in long-term debt.
In addition, two school districts seek to impose a parcel tax on homeowners: Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School District’s totals $2,784 per parcel over eight years (Measure M), and Campbell Union High School District’s totals $850 over ten years (Measure O).
LPSCC Chairman Joe Dehn explained how important it is for voters to understand that this funding method the districts exploit—budgeting at the ballot box instead of budgeting their annual operations properly—is an ongoing problem.
“That ten-year tax that voters are being asked to approve on Tuesday won’t end after ten years, because once it’s in place it will be back on the ballot again, being sold as ‘no increase in taxes,’” Dehn said. “That bond running through 2050 that we are told will create wonderful new facilities won’t result in any permanent improvement, because the district will then want to borrow even more, to pay for the maintenance or replacement of those facilities."
LPSCC opposes those so-called education investments as money grabs that would burden struggling parents now, and their children and grandchildren for decades. Most of the funds would go either to contractors for facilities projects—having nothing to do with helping children recover academically from declining test scores or learning loss suffered during agonizing shutdowns—or to the financial institutions servicing the gigantic interest payments on the debt.
“Both individuals and businesses have been in significant financial stress, first from the pandemic and now from record inflation,” said Dehn. “This is an especially bad time for tax increases of any kind.”
Also weighing in was Ed Wimmers, a former LPSCC chairman and a parent, who believes that not everything in life that’s important or valuable requires a government solution funded by taxpayers.
“Education is primarily the concern of parents—not the government,” said Wimmers. “The best way to achieve high-quality education is to empower parents by eliminating government’s perpetual, costly funding of schools, permitting parents to keep their tax dollars to spend it on their children’s education as they see fit. That would entail separating school and state—a Libertarian solution that, frankly, we should be seriously considering.”
In contrast to the appetites of the school districts are the cities of Saratoga and Milpitas, proposing term limits for councilmembers (Measures C and F), in apparent recognition of the principle that nobody has the “right” to hold or accumulate power as an elected official.
Dehn explained how the party’s “yes” recommendations for Measures C and F are consistent with its “no” recommendation last spring on Santa Clara Valley Water District’s “term limits” measure, a self-indulgent ploy by several directors to actually increase the number of terms allowed. (They succeeded, at 50.56 percent.)
“The only reason we have elections at all is that there are certain jobs that need to be done to conduct ‘public business.’ But giving anybody power over other people is always a dangerous thing, so it makes sense to put restrictions on the process,” Dehn said, citing other common-sense safeguards. “We don’t allow the same person to be elected as a legislator and a judge at the same time, even if a majority of the voters think he would do both jobs well. We don’t allow the same person to be mayor of two different cities, even if the voters of both cities really like her. Limiting the number of times that the voters can put the same person in one position is another way we can limit the danger of one person having too much power.”
LPSCC has taken positions also on most of the statewide propositions, including Prop. 29, the third attempt by the SEIU-UHW labor union to use voters to advance unionization in the kidney dialysis industry. The union’s meddlesome idea of requiring life-saving, specialized businesses to drastically and unnecessarily increase staff, just when businesses of all industries are desperate to find and hire employees, is self-serving, if not dishonorable.
The state Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that a dialysis center which could drum up the staff would spend hundreds of thousands more annually to meet the requirements—driving the cost statewide to $229–$445 million per year. Those who could not find the staff might be forced to close, leaving their vulnerable patients scrambling to find care elsewhere. The LPSCC urges a “no” vote on Prop. 29.
“Next month, the Libertarian Party will mark our fifty-first anniversary,” Dehn mentioned. “We will be here for the next 51 years, ready to remind any public servants who lose sight of the founding fathers’ vision of a strictly limited government, to resist the temptation of the power in their positions, and remember that they do not have a tax revenue problem but a spending problem.”
Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County Voter Guide
Nov. 8, 2022 Election
Alum Rock Union School District board of trustees: Linda Chavez
Measure A – Morgan Hill zoning restrictions: NO
Measure B – Morgan Hill general plan amendment: Position not taken
Measure C – Saratoga term limits: YES
Measure D – Gilroy charter amendment: Position not taken
Measure E – Patterson Joint Unified School District bonds: NO *
Measure F – Milpitas term limits: YES
Measure G – Santa Clara utility funds transfer: NO
Measure H – Santa Clara business tax: NO
Measure I – San Jose charter amendments package: NO
Measure J – Los Gatos business tax increases: NO
Measure K – Palo Alto business tax: NO *
Measure L – Palo Alto utility funds transfer: NO *
Measure M – Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School District parcel tax: NO *
Measure N – East Side Union High School District bonds: NO *
Measure O – Campbell Union High School District parcel tax: NO *
Measure P – Oak Grove School District bonds: NO *
Measure R – Union School District bonds: NO *
Measure S – Alum Rock Union School District bonds: NO *
Measure T – Campbell Union School District bonds: NO *
Proposition 1 – Constitutional right to reproductive freedom: Position not taken.
Proposition 26 – Gambling regulation: NO
Proposition 27 – On-line gambling with new tax: NO
Proposition 28 – More state spending on schools: NO
Proposition 29 – Increased regulation of kidney dialysis: NO
Proposition 30 – Income tax surcharge: NO
Proposition 31 – Prohibition of flavored tobacco products: NO
* LPSCC co-signed the argument against this ballot measure.
The voter guide is also available at LPSCC’s web site: SCCLP.org/2022_general.