Ballot Measures Entries

Support for Proposed Oil Tax Limited To Green, Faux Slate Mailers

Employees at a West L.A. Oil Field (Amy Silverstein)A committee supporting a proposed oil-extraction tax for Los Angeles has spent almost all of its money so far on an unlikely pair of slate mailers, one of which was the subject of some controversy.

"The Committee To Support Measures O and P" has so far received $11,500 in contributions and spent $8,000 of that on slate mailers, according to campaign disclosure statements.

One of the mailer groups that the committee paid for an advertising spot is "Californians Vote Green," which would seem to make sense for a measure targeting the oil industry. But the other, Newport Beach slate mailer "Continuing The Republican Revolution," not so much.

Opposition to Oil Tax Includes a Rainbow Coalition

Gregory Brown from BreitBurn Energy speaks for No on Prop O. (Photo: Olga Khazan)The L.A. City Council is looking to make a quick $4 million by imposing new taxes, and they seem to have found a relatively easy target to pin them on: the much-maligned oil industry.

After all, who would support the same industry that brought us the BP oil spill? Not just the wealthy oil companies, it turns out, but also a surprising coalition of small minority organizations.

Backgrounder: The Money Behind California's Open Primaries

How Prop 14 works. Click to enlarge. (Jessica Porter)Yesterday Republican Sharon Runner of Lancaster and Democrat Ted Lieu of Torrance became the first to win office outright under the new open primary system in California. Because both candidates won more than 50 percent of the vote, respectively, neither will have to go to a runoff.

In the past, one candidate from every political party was put on a ballot for the general election. Under the new system, which was voted into law as Proposition 14 last June, all candidates are lumped into a single primary. If no one wins a majority of the vote, the top two, regardless of political party, advance to the general election. That means two candidates from the same party could face off in a general election. And that, in theory, could lead to more moderate candidates, since a Republican voter would likely pick the more conservative of two Democrats, and vice versa. It also means that third-party candidates are likely not to be represented in the general election.

So, taking a look back for a moment, who put money on Prop 14, and who stands to benefit?