Some tax payer groups cry foul against Measure X argument

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Some taxpayers groups are crying foul over the language that will appear in a voter pamphlet in Contra Costa County, specifically the argument against a measure that would raise nearly $100 million annually for transportation. (KGO-TV)

Some taxpayers groups are crying foul Monday night over the language that will appear in a voter pamphlet in Contra Costa County, specifically the argument against Measure X.

Measure X is a half-cent sales tax that proponents say would raise nearly $100 million annually for transportation, including new BART cars, busses, highway improvements, road repairs and even bike lanes.

Two arguments against Measure X were submitted to the Contra Costa Elections & Registration office, but only one was selected and it wasn't the one written by two local taxpayer groups, including Measure X opponent Wendy Lack. "We think they violated state elections law in making this selection," Lack said.

Lack says the argument that was picked, shouldn't have been because it was signed by someone who is a member-elect of the Contra Costa Democratic Central Committee, a group that recently endorsed Measure X. "What we were told is that they evaluated the quality of the arguments themselves, the content, we feel this really violates free speech right now. This is a highly unusual practice. Most election officials they flip a coin, they do a random draw," Lack said.

"Randomness is not objective," Assistant County Registrar Scott Konopasek said.

Konopasek says he was one of two people who selected the argument that will appear in the pamphlet and that politics played no part in it. "We were looking for the best argument. Is that subjective? Yes, but arguments are themselves subjective, and there is no objective criteria," he said.

Lack and her group have filed a formal complaint with the Contra Costa County Grand Jury and district attorney.
Related Topics:
politicsBARTtransportationbike lanesballot measurevotingSan Francisco
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