Tom Bannon of Californians for Responsible Housing, the CEO of the California Apartment Association, issued the following statement on the results of the 2020 election showing the defeat of Proposition 21.

 “Yet again California voters clearly understood the negative impacts Prop. 21 would have had on the availability of affordable housing in our state by clearly rejecting this radical ballot measure. The broad coalition opposing Prop 21 – from Governor Gavin Newsom to the California Republican Party, as well as labor, social justice, senior, veterans and housing groups – made an effective case that this initiative would have worsened the state’s housing crisis. It is now time to move from ballot box battles and enact policies through the Legislature that allow the state to build more affordable housing that will once again make California an affordable place to live for our families.

“AHF’s Michael Weinstein spent more than $40 million of his so-called ‘nonprofit’ organization’s political slush fund on yet another political gutter ball, marking yet another loss in a string of unsuccessful state ballot measures on a smorgasbord of issues. This outrageous misuse of federal funds meant for health care deserves even greater scrutiny by the California Attorney General, federal and state government. The California legislature should also continue to pursue legislation that forces transparency and accountability on non-profits that treat tenants as commodities and who continuously ignore state laws and regulations, and attack state legislators with dollars that should be used to promote health care. 

“In addition, the Fair Political Practices Commission already is investigating the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, with nearly a dozen complaints of other campaign violations filed with the agency. Whether it was violating state law for using an actor to impersonate a veteran or paying elected officials for their support without the required disclosure, the FPPC needs to send a strong message that Weinstein’s negative tactics and lack of transparency will not be tolerated in California elections.”

Halloween-Timed Ad Reminds Voters Failed Policy Was Overwhelmingly Rejected Once Before

On Halloween Eve, the No on Prop 21 campaign will release its latest television and digital advertisement, “Zombies,” warning voters that the once-defeated ballot measure is coming “back from the dead.”

The 30-second ad, which will air statewide, features images of Zombies and other haunting scenes reminding Californians that Prop 21 is a near carbon copy of Proposition 10, which was defeated by nearly 20 percentage points in the 2018 general election. The current version trails by 11 percentage points in the latest UC Berkeley IGS poll.

“Californians thought they put this flawed anti-housing policy in the grave in 2018, but more than $40 million from Michael Weinstein’s so-called “nonprofit” has resurrected it,” says Californians for Responsible Housing spokesperson Steven Maviglio. “We are confident that voters will vote No on 21 to make sure this bad public policy does not come back from the dead.”

The script:

Here comes Prop 21, back from the dead. The same deadly flawed scheme rejected just two years ago by nearly 60 percent of Californians. Prop 21 will make California’s housing crisis worse. By making housing harder to find and harder to afford. Prop 21 will stop new affordable housing. Reduce home values. And cost jobs when we need them most. Don’t let the Zombies eat your brain. Vote No on Prop 21.

SURPASSES $40 MILLION MARK TO PROP UP PROP 21

Michael Weinstein’s “nonprofit” AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has poured $40,071,408.11 into the Yes on Proposition 21 campaign. AHF’s spending represents 99.85 percent of the funding for the ballot measure – the highest level of contributions from a single source of any measure on this year’s ballot.

The $40 million pumped into the campaign by AHF rivals that which national corporations are spending on other measures on the ballot. This year’s spending by Weinstein’s AHF is nearly double what it spent less than two years ago on Proposition 10, a near carbon-copy of Proposition 21 that failed by nearly 20 percentage points.

AHF’s spending on political campaigns and lobbying in several states, which now has passed more than $116 million, is the subject of scrutiny by lawmakers.

State Senator Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista) last year called for an investigation by Attorney General Xavier Becerra into AHF’s use of its federal dollars for political activities.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) also introduced legislation last year that would have banned health-related organizations like AHF from using monies for political and legislative activity.

The only public polling on Prop 21 shows the measure has only 37 percent support. It is opposed by Governor Gavin Newsom, senior, labor, veterans and other community groups.

Hurtado, a Sanger Democrat, Cites Negative Impact on Affordable Housing in the Valley

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) today announced her opposition to Proposition 21, the November ballot measure that opponents say will worsen California’s housing crisis.

Senator Hurtado, who represents State Senate District 14, says Proposition 21 would result in a halt in the construction of affordable housing in Central Valley, a reduction in property values, and cuts to local government. She also noted that it would have a negative impact on the ability of veterans to obtain affordable housing.

“Families in the Central Valley are struggling with high housing costs, particularly during the COVID19 pandemic,” says Hurtado. “Prop 21 does nothing to build the affordable housing the valley needs. In fact, it is a deterrent to accelerating the supply of affordable housing while doing nothing to address homelessness and evictions. Voters should not be tricked by misleading claims put forward by the backers of Prop 21.”

She also pointed to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s (LAO) review of the measure. The LAO said Prop 21 could lead to a reduction in property values and less revenues for communities. “About the last thing our cities can afford is less revenue that will result in budget cuts,” notes Hurtado.

Hurtado said she supported Assembly Bill 3088 this year, landmark legislation to protect renters across the state from looming evictions from job and revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says Prop 21 does nothing to help with that issue.

Senator Melissa Hurtado’s Senate District 14 includes cities in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. She joins the Governor Newsom, the Californian Republican Party, the Bakersfield CalifornianFresno Bee, labor, senior, and veterans groups opposing Proposition 21.

Strong Opposition from Homeowners, Moderates

With just one week left until Election Day, Proposition 21 is trailing by 11 points (37-48%) in a poll released today by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS). 

The IGS poll one month ago also showed the “housing freeze” initiative with only 37 percent support. Despite $40 million in spending by proponents, Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the measure is stalled at the same level of support it had in late September, with just 15 percent of voters still undecided.

“The poll shows that the more Californians learn about Prop 21 – including opposition from Governor Newsom, nearly every major daily newspaper, community leaders, veterans, senior and affordable housing groups – the more opposed they become,” said Tom Bannon of Californians for Responsible Housing and the CEO of the California Apartment Association. “Just as they did two years ago, voters understand that this flawed measure will make California’s housing crisis even worse.”

In the IGS poll, Prop 21 is trailing in nearly every region of the state, including the Bay Area, San Diego County, the Central Valley, northern California and the Inland Empire.

You can see the entire poll here.

LA Metropolitan Alliance of Churches, Community Build, Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, Greater LA African-American Chamber of Commerce Oppose Housing Freeze Measure 

Four major Black organizations in the Los Angeles area today announced their opposition to Proposition 21, the statewide ballot measure they say will increase housing costs and limit the availability of affordable housing for African-Americans. 

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Alliance of Churches, Community Build, Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, and Greater LA African-American Chamber of Commerce all joined Gov. Gavin Newsom, senior, veteran, labor and affordable housing groups in urging members to vote no on Proposition 21. 

“Proposition 21 allows rent increases of 15 percent that our community cannot afford right now,” said Cheryl Branch, Executive Director of Los Angeles Metropolitan Alliance of Churches. “It will make California’s housing crisis even worse.” 

“This ballot measure will likely result in millions of homes and apartments being taken off the rental market completely, or turned into condos or AirBnB units,” said Armen Ross, President of Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce. “Prop 21 also will make it nearly impossible to finance the type of affordable housing developments we so desperately need in Los Angeles for working families.” 

The four groups note that every nearly major Black publication in the Los Angeles area also oppose Proposition 21, including the Los Angeles Sentinel.  Proposition 21 is also opposed by nearly every daily newspaper in the state as well as a broad coalition of community groups. 

Yes on 21’s Dishonest Ads Fail Scrutiny 

Television advertisements by the proponents of Proposition 21 are being panned as “misleading” in fact checks by media organizations throughout the state. 

Proposition 21 is the “housing freeze” measure opposed by Governor Newsom, labor, senior, veterans and affordable groups that has received more than $40 million in funding from Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Health Foundation. 

KCRA-TV, Northern California’s largest station, called two Yes on TV ads “misleading.” Among its criticism: ads say that homelessness would be reduced yet there is no provision in Proposition 21 regarding homelessness. 

In comparison, several of the No on 21’s campaign ads are rated by KCRA’s experts as “true.” A review of the No on 21 campaign’s claims were rated as “true” by the Sacramento Bee.

San Diego’s News10 also examined another Yes on 21 ad. Its “Truth Be Told” fact check includes Pt. Loma Nazarene University’s Chief Economist Lynn Reaser criticizing the ad because “doesn’t even tell us what Proposition 21 even does.”

Last month, KNBC-TV’s investigative unit uncovered that the Yes on 21 campaign was using an actor to portray a veteran in violation of state law. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported on the fake veteran ad; a complaint about this ad was filed with the state’s campaign watchdog, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).

The proponents of Proposition 21 also are using actors to portray firefighters and a postal worker in other ads. Complaints also have been filed with the FPPC on these advertisements.

“It is no surprise that 20 of the state’s 21 daily newspapers are urging their readers to vote No on Proposition 21 and fact checks by TV stations find the proponents ads are ‘misleading’,” said Californians for Responsible Housing spokesperson Steven Maviglio. “This measure, defeated overwhelmingly two years ago by voters, will worsen the housing crisis and allow rent increases of up to 15 percent. Voters should not be fooled by actors and misleading claims being put forward by the backers of Prop 21.”

Desert Sun, Chico Enterprise-Record, LA Sentinel Join Nearly Every California Newspaper Editorial Board in Opposition to “Housing Freeze” Measure

SACRAMENTO – Three more California newspapers, the Desert Sun, Chico Enterprise-Record and Los Angeles Sentinel, today editorialized against Proposition 21, the measure opponents say will worsen California’s housing crisis. The three publications join nearly every other newspaper in the state opposing the ballot measure.

“It’s almost identical to Proposition 10 on the November 2018 ballot,” noted the Chico Enterprise-Record. “That lost 59 percent to 41 percent, and there really should be a law against running out the same idea over and over. Rent control doesn’t increase affordable housing. It may protect those who already have rental homes, but it’s a disincentive to builders to add housing.”

Read the entire Enterprise-Record editorial here.

The Desert Sun, which serves Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley, says Prop 21 “is like a bad remake of a bad movie that state voters have seen before, yet are forced to sit through anyway.” 

“As was true in 2018, this measure would only make California’s real housing problem — the dearth of affordable housing development — more difficult. It will only add the uncertainty of local rent control boards to California’s already Byzantine and costly housing development process.”


Read the entire Desert Sun editorial here.

The Los Angeles Sentinel, a Black-owned weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, also editorialized against Proposition 21. 

All but one major newspaper in the state have editorialized against Proposition 21. The list includes: San Francisco Chronicle; San Jose Mercury News; the San Diego-Union Tribune, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee; La Opinion, Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, and nearly one dozen others.

Join Governor Newsom, Other Elected Officials
in Opposing “Housing Freeze” 

More than 100 elected officials from throughout California today announced their opposition to Proposition 21, the November measure that opponents say will reduce affordable housing in the state and require cuts in community services. 

The comprehensive list of officials includes County Supervisors, Mayors, City Council Members, city clerks and board members. They note that the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office(LAO) notes that Prop 21 could result in a decline in property values which in turn will result in the potential loss of tax revenue. Prop 21 also could result in “tens of millions of dollars per year” in increased costs to local government. 

“Proposition 21 will make California’s housing crisis even worse,” notes Tom Bannon, Chief Executive Officer of the California Apartment Association and Californians for Responsible Housing, the campaign opposing the ballot measure. “No one knows that more than our local leaders who know it will lead to cuts and services and millions of new costs at a time when our communities can least afford it.” 

Local officials opposed to Prop 21 include

Supervisor Brett Frazier, County of Madera 
Board Chair Candace Anderson, County of Contra Costa 
Supervisor Chuck Winn, County of San Joaquin 
Supervisor Curt Hagman, County of San Bernardino 
Supervisor David Canepa, County of San Mateo 
Supervisor David Rogers, County of Madera 
Supervisor Don Wagner, County of Orange 
Supervisor Ernest “Buddy” Mendes, County of Fresno 
Supervisor Jim DeMartini, County of Stanislaus 
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, County of Riverside 
Board Chair Kristin Olsen, County of Stanislaus 
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, County of Orange 
Supervisor Miguel Villapudua, County of San Joaquin 
Supervisor Nathan Magsig, County of Fresno 
Supervisor Richard Valle, County of Kings 
Supervisor Steve Brandau, County of Fresno 
Supervisor Terry Withrow, County of Stanislaus 
Supervisor Tom Patti, County of San Joaquin 
Mayor Adrian Fine, City of Palo Alto 
Mayor Art Bennett, City of Chino Hills 
Mayor Bill Zimmerman, City of Menifee 
Mayor Bob Magee, City of Lake Elsinore 
Mayor Christine Shea, City of Irvine 
Mayor Dustin Nigg, City of Wildomar 
Mayor Emily Beach, City of Burlingame 
Mayor Gene Wunderlich, City of Murrieta 
Mayor Glenn Miller, City of Indio 
Mayor Harry Sidhu, City of Anaheim 
Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, City of Fullerton 
Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City of San Diego 
Mayor Kuldip Thusu, City of Dinuba 
Mayor Larry McCallon, City of Highland 
Mayor Laurie Davies, City of Laguna Niguel 
Mayor Lee Brand, City of Fresno 
Mayor Linda Evans, City of La Quinta 
Mayor Mark Murphy, City of Orange 
Mayor Richard Bailey, City of Coronado 
Mayor Robert Pacheco, City of Walnut 
Mayor Sharon Springer, City of Burbank 
Mayor Tom Butt, City of Richmond 
Mayor Victor Lopez, City of Orange Grove 
Mayor Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, City of Moreno Valley 
Vice Mayor Brian Johsz, City of Chino Hills 
Vice Mayor Charles Stone, City of Belmont 
Vice Mayor Francisco Ramirez, City of Hanford 
Mayor Pro-Tem Linda Krupa, City of Hemet 
Councilmember Alan Wapner, City of Ontario 
Councilmember Anthony Phan, City of Milpitas 
Councilmember Ara Najarian, City of Glendale 
Councilmember Armando Longeria, City of Dinuba 
Councilmember Art Brieno, City of Hanford 
Councilmember Barbara Delgleize, City of Huntington Beach 
Councilmember Bill Jahn, City of Big Bear Lake 
Councilmember Bill Ruh, City of Montclair 
Councilmember Bill Velto, City of Upland 
Councilmember Carla J. Thornton, City of Moreno Valley 
Councilmember Catherine Carlton, City of Menlo Park 
Councilmember Clint Lorimore, City of Eastvale 
Councilmember Dan Parra, City of Fowler 
Councilmember Debra Jones, City of Victorville 
Councilmember Dereck Timm, City of Scotts Valley 
Councilmember Dion Bracco, City of Gilroy 
Councilmember Emilio “Joey” Morales, City of Dinuba 
Councilmember Emily Gabel-Luddy, City of Burbank 
Councilmember Espi Sandoval, City of Kerman 
Councilmember Freddy Valdez, City of Firebaugh 
Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, City of Fresno 
Councilmember Gabe Quinto, City of El Cerrito 
Councilmember Greg Tanaka, City of Palo Alto 
Councilmember Gustav Larsson, City of Sunnyvale 
Councilmember Jeremy Smith, City of Canyon Lake 
Councilmember Jim Avalos, City of Selma 
Councilmember Jim Reed, City of Scotts Valley 
Councilmember John Lee, City of Los Angeles 
Councilmember John Sawyer, City of Santa Rosa 
Councilmember John Trujillo, City of Selma 
Councilmember Johnny Khamis, City of San Jose 
Councilmember Karlee Meyer, City of Hemet 
Councilmember Kelly Seyarto, City of Murrieta 
Councilmember Larry Carr, City of Morgan Hill 
Councilmember Larry Smith, City of Calimesa 
Councilmember Martin Devine, City of Hanford 
Councilmember Mason Fong, City of Sunnyvale 
Councilmember Michael Posey, City of Huntington Beach 
Councilmember Mike O’Neill, City of Pacifica 
Councilmember Paul Canepa, City of Stockton 
Councilmember Paul Resnikoff, City of Campbell 
Councilmember Paula Devine, City of Glendale 
Councilmember Peter Rogers, City of Chino Hills 
Councilmember Ray Buenaventura, City of Daly City 
Councilmember Renee Golder, City of Santa Cruz 
Councilmember Rich Waterman, City of Campbell 
Councilmember Robert Torres, City of Pomona 
Councilmember Steve Sanchez, City of La Quinta 
Councilmember Tim Goodrich, City of Torrance 
Councilmember Tim Shaw, City of La Habra 
Councilmember Trevor O’Neil, City of Anaheim 
Councilmember Victoria Baca, City of Moreno Valley 
Councilmember Victoria Muela Martinez, City of El Monte 
Councilmember Wayne Lee, City of Millbrae 
Councilmember Whitney Benzian, City of Coronado 

In addition to these local officials, Proposition 21 is opposed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Major senior, veterans, affordable housing, and labor groups also have announced their opposition, along with nearly all of the state’s newspaper editorial boards. 

Nation’s Largest Spanish Language Newspaper Joins 23 Other Dailies in Opposing “Housing Freeze”

La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish language newspaper and the second largest newspaper in Los Angeles, today urged its readers to vote No on Proposition 21, the measure that opponents say will worsen California’s housing crisis.

“We reject Proposition 21 and call for immediate solutions,” notes the editorial.

Read the entire editorial in Spanish here

La Opinión joins nearly every other major newspaper in the state in opposing Proposition 21. Other major newspapers opposing the measure include: The San Jose Mercury News, The San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Sacramento Bee, the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, Modesto Bee, the Fresno Bee, and the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Mayors, County Supervisors, Groups Say Measure Will Worsen Region’s Affordable Housing Crisis

SACRAMENTO – More than 30 elected officials and groups from throughout the Central Valley today announced their opposition to Proposition 21, the November measure that opponents say will reduce affordable housing in the region and could lead to cuts in community services.

The comprehensive list of officials opposed to Proposition 21 includes County Supervisors, Mayors, City Council Members, and local business and community groups from throughout the Central Valley. They cite the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) review of the ballot initiative that Prop 21 could result in a decline in property values which in turn will result in the potential loss of tax revenue in the “high tens of millions of dollars per year” to local government.

“Prop 21 is the same bad idea the voters rejected in 2018,” said Mayor Brand. “It would give unelected rent boards unlimited power to create housing fees that would cripple the industry. Not only would increased fees hurt renters whose pocketbooks have already been hit because of COVID-19, mom and pop landlords who can’t pay their mortgages due to the pandemic would never recover.

“This initiative also has no protections for veterans, seniors or other vulnerable populations. It should be rejected by voters once again,” Brand added.

Elected officials and groups opposing Prop 21 include:

Mayor Brand and the community groups join a broad, bipartisan coalition including labor, veterans, senior, affordable housing, taxpayer and other organizations opposed to Proposition 21. They include the Congress of California Seniors, the California Council for Affordable Housing, the Marine Corps Veterans Association, California State Conference of the NAACP, and the State Building and Construction Council of California.

The Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, Merced Sun-Star, and Bakersfield Californian also have editorialized against Proposition 21.

A similar measure, Proposition 10, was defeated by nearly 20 points in the 2018 general election.

Roth, a Democrat and retired Major General, Cites Impact on Affordable Housing for Veterans, Schools Funding

State Senator and retired United States Air Force Major General Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside), today announced his opposition to Proposition 21, the ballot measure on the November ballot that opponents say will worsen California’s housing crisis.

Roth based his opposition on concerns that Proposition 21 would result in a halt in the construction of affordable housing in the fast-growing Inland Empire, a reduction in property values, and cuts to local government. He also noted that it would have a negative impact on the ability of veterans to obtain affordable housing.

General Roth said: “Inland Southern California needs more affordable housing, not less. In the State Senate, I proudly supported the nation’s strongest anti-rent gouging law and have worked tirelessly to advance policies that incentivize the construction of housing across the affordability spectrum. Unfortunately, Proposition 21 will not only stop construction of critically needed housing, it will result in lower property values and less funding for schools, and less affordable housing and essential programs for veterans. California’s voters already rejected this proposal two years ago, and it is even more critical for us to defeat it now in the wake of the global pandemic. I am proud to join a bipartisan coalition of veterans, seniors, small business owners, groups representing working men and women, affordable housing advocates and more in opposing Proposition 21.

“Furthermore, I could not be more disappointed that supporters of this measure would apparently authorize someone to impersonate a veteran in uniform, claiming to be entitled to wear the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, among others – military decorations that service men and women over the decades have sacrificed much to earn.”

General Roth was first elected to represent the 31st State Senate district in 2012, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Norco, Perris, Riverside and March Air Reserve Base. Prior to being elected to the State Senate, Roth served in the United States Air Force for 32 years and retired in 2007 in the grade of Major General. He is the highest-ranking military officer to ever serve in the State Legislature.

Joins Nearly All of State’s Newspapers Editorializing Against “Housing Freeze”

SACRAMENTO – The San Diego Union-Tribune today editorialized against Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” initiative, joining nearly all of the other state’s major newspaper editorial boards in opposing the measure.

In an editorial titled, “No on Prop. 21: Expanding rent control will make California housing crisis worse,” the Union-Tribune notes: “In 2018, state voters decisively rejected Proposition 10, another rent control measure. Then in 2019 state lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted Assembly Bill 1482, a rent control bill. Apparently, Sacramento didn’t get the message. It’s time to send another one. Rent control is the wrong way to help Californians struggling with housing. Lawmakers who are juggling a lot during this pandemic need to not lose sight of that. The long-term solution is listening to experts and building new houses.”

Read the entire editorial here.

The Union-Tribune is the latest California in urging its readers to vote no on Proposition 21. McClatchy Newspapers, the publishers of the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, San Luis Obispo Tribune, and Merced Sun-Star, urged their readers to oppose Proposition 21 last month. The San Francisco Chronicle, The Bakersfield Californian, the Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury NewsEast Bay TimesMarin Independent Journal), the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and the Southern California Newspaper Group (publishers of multiple newspapers including the Los Angeles Daily News, Riverside Press Enterprise, and Orange County Register) also have issued editorials opposing Proposition 21.

Californians for Responsible Housing today released a new, hard-hitting advertisement attacking a deceptive Yes on Proposition 21 television commercial that featured an actor posing as a veteran – an apparent violation of the state’s “Stolen Valor” law.

Titled “Sickening,” the ad features Commander Michael Kerr of Fresno who served in the U.S. Army as a satellite network controller. Kerr has been an active member of the Disabled American Veterans, Dept. of CA for the past decade. 

View the ad here

The ad text: “In this ad for Prop 21, this guy’s not even a veteran. He’s an actor trying to trick you. And it’s sickening. Just like Prop 21. Pretending to be something it isn’t. California Veterans oppose prop 21. Because it makes the housing crisis worse. With no plan to build affordable housing. Or help bring homeless vets off our streets. Stand with the men and women who actually wore our country’s uniform. NO on 21.”

The advertisement will run on broadcast and digital outlets throughout the state.

In an investigative report, KNBC-LA uncovered the use of an actor who appears in commercials and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” by the Yes on 21 campaign, drawing a rebuke from veterans groups, which oppose Prop 21. 

Last week, veterans filed a complaint with Attorney General Xavier Becerra and district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, alleging violation of the “Stolen Valor” law that prohibits impersonation of a veteran.

The Yes on Prop 21 campaign is using actors in its other advertisements, including an actor impersonating a firefighter and another actor impersonating a postal worker. 

32 Year-Army Vet Notes Opposition of Veterans’ Groups to “Housing Freeze” Measure

SACRAMENTO – Californians for Responsible Housing today released its second television commercial attacking Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” ballot measure opposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and a broad coalition of senior, labor, and affordable housing groups.

The 30-second ad features Col. Lou Carmona of Rancho Murieta, a retired U.S. Army pilot, who notes that the state’s major veterans’ groups oppose Prop 21, and that “the cost of housing is out of control. Prop 21 will make things even worse.”

Carmona served 32 years in the Army before retiring as a Colonel in 2018. He deployed to Bosnia in the late 90’s and did three tours in Iraq/Afghanistan/Kuwait. He also flew Blackhawk helicopters in the National Guard.

The ad featuring Carmona can be seen here.

The new ad from Californians for Responsible Housing comes in the wake of a Yes on 21 campaign ad that features an actor portraying a veteran. That ad quickly came under fire from veterans for violating the state’s “Stolen Valor Act.” It has prompted veterans to file complaints with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and District Attorneys in San Diego and Los Angeles for violating state laws and with the FPPC for failing to disclose an actor was used to portray a veteran.

Ad text: “We have so many veterans living on our streets in California. The cost of housing is out of control. Prop 21 will make things even worse when many vets are already on the brink. Prop 21 will stop new housing from being built. And 21 hurts renters and has no protections for veterans or seniors. And no plan to help homeless vets or create the housing we need. We served our country and deserve a place to call home. That’s why veterans’ groups across California say No on 21.” 

Veterans groups opposing Proposition 21 include: American Legion, Department of California; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Dept. of California; AMVETS, Department of California; AMVETS Service Foundation, Department of California; Association of the U.S. Army, Northern California Chapters; Association of the U.S. Army, Southern California Chapters; Cesar E. Chavez Sacramento Chapter of the American G.I. Forum; Filipino-American United States Marines Association; Jewish War Veterans, Department of California; Marine Corps Veterans Association; Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters; Reserve Organization of America, Department of the Golden West; Scottish American Military Society – California Chapters; Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council; and the Women Veterans Alliance.

SACRAMENTO – Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” measure opposed by Governor Newsom, labor unions, senior, and veterans, is supported by only 37 percent of the state’s voters, according to a poll released today by the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS).

According to Mark DiCamillo, the institute’s poll director, told the Los Angeles Times that “its chances of passage are less than even.” The article notes that “Typically supporters would need to have majority support at this stage to withstand an onslaught of negative advertising aimed at sowing doubts about an initiative’s effectiveness and potential unintended consequences.”

“Less than two years ago, California voters rejected a carbon copy of Prop 21 by nearly 20 percentage points,” noted Tom Bannon of Californians for Responsible Housing, the campaign opposing the measure. “It appears that Prop 21 will suffer the same fate because Californians understand that it will worsen our state’s housing crisis, reduce property values, and lead to cuts to schools and other government services.”

Details on the poll can be found here.

CALL ON ATTORNEY GENERAL BECERRA, SAN DIEGO & LA DISTRICT ATTORNEYS TO INVESTIGATE MICHAEL WEINSTEIN’S AHF FOR VIOLATING “STOLEN VALOR ACT”

SACRAMENTO – Veterans today called upon Attorney General Xavier Becerra, San Diego County Attorney Summer Stephan, and Los Angeles County Attorney Jackie Lacey to investigate the Yes on 21 campaign for violating the state’s “Stolen Valor Act” by using an actor to impersonate a war hero in a political ad. 

In a complaint filed today with the three law enforcement officials, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Rocky Chavez, the former undersecretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs and a former member of the California Assembly from Oceanside, said the Yes on 21 campaign, falsely represents support for Proposition 21 by using an actor posing as a veteran in an advertisement broadcast statewide. 

Proposition 21 is opposed by the state’s leading veterans’ groups.

State law, which Chavez authored, expressly bans “A person who knowingly, with the intent to impersonate, for the purposes of promoting a business, charity, or endeavor, misrepresents himself or herself as a member or veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia by wearing the uniform or military decoration authorized for use by the members or veterans of those forces.” 

The actor, Troy Dillinger, portrays himself as a veteran. Wearing fatigues and also a dress uniform in the ad, the actor is shown at a desk viewing various awards and medals, as well as honorable discharge papers. None of them belong to Mr. Dillinger.

“The members of the veterans’ organizations opposing Prop 21 are actual veterans of the United States military, who served our country at great sacrifice,” noted Chavez in the complaint. “The attempt of the Yes on 21 campaign to falsely cloak themselves the honor that is rightly accorded veterans is an insult to those who actually served and a fraud upon the voters. More importantly, it is illegal, and we ask that enforce the Stolen Valor Act accordingly.”

Veterans groups opposing Proposition 21 include: American Legion, Department of California; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Dept. of California; AMVETS, Department of California; AMVETS Service Foundation, Department of California; Association of the U.S. Army, Northern California Chapters; Association of the U.S. Army, Southern California Chapters; Cesar E. Chavez Sacramento Chapter of the American G.I. Forum; Filipino-American United States Marines Association; Jewish War Veterans, Department of California; Marine Corps Veterans Association; Military Officers Association of America, California Council of Chapters; Reserve Organization of America, Department of the Golden West; Scottish American Military Society – California Chapters; Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council; and the Women Veterans Alliance.

This complaint filed today is yet another probe into the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the major funder of the Proposition 21 initiative. The Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s campaign finance watchdog, is currently probing the organization for failing to fully disclose its expenditures against housing legislation. Earlier this year, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) called on the California Attorney General to investigate AHF’s use of nonprofit funds for political purposes.

Last week, POLITICO revealed that the AIDS Health Foundation is utilizing the Trump/Pence campaign’s political consultants to guide its Proposition 21 media effort.

Bay Area Newspaper Joins Nearly All State’s Daily Newspapers in Opposing “Housing Freeze” 

SACRAMENTO – The San Francisco Chronicle today editorialized against Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” initiative, joining nearly all of the other state’s major newspaper editorial boards in opposing the measure.

In an editorial titled, “Vote no on Prop. 21, a rent control retread unimproved by age,” the Chronicle’s editorial board notes “the case for rent control, overwhelmingly rejected by experts and refuted by research, might have seemed unlikely to grow weaker. And yet it has. In the two years since Californians rejected the last attempt to double down on the failed policy by letting more cities impose and expand rent control, the reasons to vote against this fall’s rehash, Proposition 21, have multiplied… Californians should vote no on Prop. 21 or risk aggravating the crisis it purports to address.”

Read the entire editorial here.

The Chronicle  is the latest California in urging its readers to vote no on Proposition 21. McClatchy Newspapers, the publishers of the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, San Luis Obispo Tribune, and Merced Sun-Star, urged their readers to oppose Proposition 21 month. The Bakersfield Californian, the Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury NewsEast Bay TimesMarin Independent Journal), the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and the Southern California Newspaper Group (publishers of multiple newspapers including the Los Angeles Daily News, Riverside Press Enterprise, and Orange County Register) also have issued editorials opposing Proposition 21.

AHF’s Filings with Secretary of State Show Payments to “Tea Party Rock Star” Maker 

SACRAMENTO – An out-of-state political campaign firm specializing in media buying for right-wing clients, including President Donald Trump, is being paid by Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to promote Proposition 21, the anti-housing ballot measure, according to new filings with the California Secretary of State’s office.

“While trying to peddle Proposition 21 as a measure that benefits working families, Michael Weinstein and AHF are quietly funneling unknown amounts to political consultants working to re-elect Donald Trump and promote conservative causes,” said Steven Maviglio of Californians for Responsible Housing, the opponents of the measure. “This is shameful hypocrisy. It should cause anyone associated with Weinstein’s campaign to immediately rebuke their support.”

According to the filings, AHF has engaged The Strategy Group Company for campaign services to promote Proposition 21. The Delaware, Ohio political strategy firm boasts this quote from Fox News on its website: “Their client list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of GOP lawmakers.”

Included on that client list are President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, as well as conservative GOP U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Also noted as clients are Ohio Right to Life, the American Petroleum Institute, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. 

The firm also has worked on ballot initiatives to reject health care access in Ohio, an independent redistricting commission for the Buckeye state, and to elect anti-choice, anti-union judges in nearly a dozen states.

The Strategy Group Company is run by Rex Elsass, who GQ magazine described as “The Most Powerful Man in the GOP” and a “Tea Party Rock Star” maker. The article notes: “Elsass provides his employees with Tag Heuer watches as well as suits from the 1812 Society—the custom men’s clothing line he also happens to own. Keys to the luxury sedans out front are distributed as bonuses. Similarly, Elsass helps with the down payments and mortgages for his top employees’ homes.”

This is not the first time Weinstein has partnered with The Strategy Group Company and its ad-buying subsidiary, Strategic Media Placement. In 2016 and 2017, AHF engaged the Republican consultants to promote “Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices,” an Ohio ballot initiative on prescription drugs. It paid the two companies, $12.2 million for “media” and “teleforum” services. The measure was defeated.

In the 2019-2020 election cycle, Strategic Media Placement worked for Trump Republicans, according to the Federal Election Commission database. Its clients are running on platforms that include “No gun control policies,” “Finish the Wall,” and that climate change is a “Hoax.” They also include Trump loyalists Eric Brakey (“Trump is far and away the best president I’ve seen in my lifetime.”) and Matt Laughridge (who is quoted as saying Trump “has been the single most successful presidency in history”). 

To date, more than 99 percent of the $16.7 million in contributions to Proposition 21 have come from Weinstein’s AHF. The FPPC is currently probing the organization for failing to fully disclose its expenditures against housing legislation. Earlier this year, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) called on the California Attorney General to investigate AHF’s use of nonprofit funds for political purposes. 

Governor Newsom today announced his opposition to Proposition 21, the housing freeze initiative on the November ballot.

“In the past year, California has passed a historic version of statewide rent control – the nation’s strongest rent caps and renter protections in the nation – as well as short-term eviction relief,” Newsom said.  “But Proposition 21, like Proposition 10 before it, runs the all-too-real risk of discouraging availability of affordable housing in our state.”  

Tom Bannon, CEO of the California Apartment Association, applauded the Governor’s opposition.

“We appreciate that Governor Newsom is joining the broad coalition of veterans, affordable housing advocates, labor, civil rights groups and other opponents to a once-rejected ballot measure that will worsen California’s affordable housing crisis.”

AHF’s Filings with Secretary of State Show Payments to “Tea Party Rock Star” Maker 

SACRAMENTO – An out-of-state political campaign firm specializing in media buying for right-wing clients, including President Donald Trump, is being paid by Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) to promote Proposition 21, the anti-housing ballot measure, according to new filings with the California Secretary of State’s office.

“While trying to peddle Proposition 21 as a measure that benefits working families, Michael Weinstein and AHF are quietly funneling unknown amounts to political consultants working to re-elect Donald Trump and promote conservative causes,” said Steven Maviglio of Californians for Responsible Housing, the opponents of the measure. “This is shameful hypocrisy. It should cause anyone associated with Weinstein’s campaign to immediately rebuke their support.”

According to the filings, AHF has engaged The Strategy Group Company for campaign services to promote Proposition 21. The Delaware, Ohio political strategy firm boasts this quote from Fox News on its website: “Their client list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of GOP lawmakers.”

Included on that client list are President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, as well as conservative GOP U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Also noted as clients are Ohio Right to Life, the American Petroleum Institute, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. 

The firm also has worked on ballot initiatives to reject health care access in Ohio, an independent redistricting commission for the Buckeye state, and to elect anti-choice, anti-union judges in nearly a dozen states.

The Strategy Group Company is run by Rex Elsass, who GQ magazine described as “The Most Powerful Man in the GOP” and a “Tea Party Rock Star” maker. The article notes: “Elsass provides his employees with Tag Heuer watches as well as suits from the 1812 Society—the custom men’s clothing line he also happens to own. Keys to the luxury sedans out front are distributed as bonuses. Similarly, Elsass helps with the down payments and mortgages for his top employees’ homes.”

This is not the first time Weinstein has partnered with The Strategy Group Company and its ad-buying subsidiary, Strategic Media Placement. In 2016 and 2017, AHF engaged the Republican consultants to promote “Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices,” an Ohio ballot initiative on prescription drugs. It paid the two companies, $12.2 million for “media” and “teleforum” services. The measure was defeated.

In the 2019-2020 election cycle, Strategic Media Placement worked for Trump Republicans, according to the Federal Election Commission database. Its clients are running on platforms that include “No gun control policies,” “Finish the Wall,” and that climate change is a “Hoax.” They also include Trump loyalists Eric Brakey (“Trump is far and away the best president I’ve seen in my lifetime.”) and Matt Laughridge (who is quoted as saying Trump “has been the single most successful presidency in history”). 

To date, more than 99 percent of the $16.7 million in contributions to Proposition 21 have come from Weinstein’s AHF. The FPPC is currently probing the organization for failing to fully disclose its expenditures against housing legislation. Earlier this year, Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) called on the California Attorney General to investigate AHF’s use of nonprofit funds for political purposes. 

Californians for Responsible Housing today released its first television advertisement that highlights the negative impacts of Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” ballot measure, on homeowners and property owners.

Titled “California Dream,” the 30-second television advertisement features Al Wong, a Bay Area small property owner whose parents were immigrants from Hong Kong. Wong’s message: Proposition 21 turns the California Dream of home ownership into a “nightmare.”

In the ad, which will run on television in major markets throughout the state, Wong notes that Prop 21 repeals legal protections for homeowners, creates new rent board bureaucracies, and adds fees for homeowners that rent properties. “That’s not the Dream – it’s a nightmare,” concludes Wong.

View the ad here. 

Northern California Newspaper Joins Every Major State Daily in Opposing “Housing Freeze”

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, California’s largest newspaper between San Francisco and the Oregon border, today urged its readers to vote no on Proposition 21, the “housing freeze” statewide ballot measure.

In an editorial headlined “No on 21: Rent control law won’t end housing crisis,” the newspaper notes the initiative will hurt both renters and homeowners while failing to address the root causes of affordable housing in California.

“There is one surefire way to make rentals more affordable: build more housing. Increase supply, ease demand, curb prices. That’s Economics 101. Apparently the sponsors of Proposition 21 never took that class. The net result of their approach almost certainly would be fewer rental units, making for an even tighter market for prospective tenants.

“There’s no need to pile on yet another disincentive for building badly needed rental housing. The Press Democrat recommends a no vote on Proposition 21.”

Read the entire editorial here.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat joins every other major California daily newspaper that has editorialized on Proposition 21 in urging its readers to vote no. McClatchy Newspapers, the publishers of the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, San Luis Obispo Tribune, and Merced Sun-Star, urged their readers to oppose Proposition 21 last week. Previously, the Bakersfield Californian, the Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury NewsEast Bay TimesMarin Independent Journal), and the Southern California Newspaper Group (publishers of multiple newspapers including the Los Angeles Daily News, Riverside Press Enterprise, and Orange County Register) issued editorials opposing Proposition 21

Newspapers Had Endorsed Prop. 10 in 2018, But Flip on Prop. 21

McClatchy Newspapers, the publishers of the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, San Luis Obispo Tribune, and Merced Sun-Star, today urged their readers to oppose Proposition 21.

The editorials are significant, as the Sacramento Bee and San Luis Obispo Tribune supported a similar measure, Proposition 10, in 2018, and now oppose Proposition 21.

“Two years ago California voters soundly defeated Proposition 10, a rent-control measure backed by Weinstein. He later told the governor and Legislature that if they did not enact a law he thought would be effective, he would qualify a new measure. That is now Prop. 21…The state’s major need is for more housing. Prop. 21’s backers say their measure is not meant to address that shortage. But if approved, it would discourage builders from creating new rental housing.

“Give California’s political leaders credit for approving a statewide rent-control measure that is the toughest in the country…The best course, for now, is to give AB 1482 a chance to work. The McClatchy California Opinion Editors recommend a no vote on Proposition 21.”

Read the full editorial here.

The McClatchy Newspapers join the Bakersfield Californian, the Bay Area News Group (San Jose Mercury NewsEast Bay TimesMarin Independent Journal), and the Southern California Newspaper Group (publishers of multiple newspapers including the Los Angeles Daily NewsRiverside Press Enterprise, and Orange County Register) in opposing Proposition 21.

Kern County Newspaper Says It will “Aggravate” State’s Housing Shortage

The Bakersfield Californian, Kern County’s leading newspaper, became the latest newspaper editorial board to urge readers to vote no on Proposition 21.

In a Sunday editorial, the Californian noted “Proposition 21 is a watered-down version of a rent-control ballot measure Californians rejected in 2018 with a 59 percent vote. After conducting focus groups and making some modest changes to their proposal, advocates placed it on the ballot again, hoping voters would be enticed to support it. The problem is that the economics of California’s housing shortage hasn’t changed. And this seemingly ‘simple’ solution will only aggravate it.”

Read the entire editorial here: https://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/our-view-endorsements-ballot-targets-property-vote-no-on-props-15-19-and-21/article_de3333be-dd00-11ea-9bc8-6b5e6444527d.html

The Bakersfield Californian joins several other leading state newspapers that have editorialized early against Proposition 21. Last week, the Bay Area News Group (publishers of the San Jose Mercury News and East Bay Times) and the Southern California Newspaper Group, publishers of 11 daily newspapers including the Orange County Register, Riverside Press-Enterprise and Los Angeles Daily News, also editorialized against Prop. 21, saying it would make California’s current housing crisis worse.

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Paid for by No on Prop 21: Californians for Responsible Housing, a coalition of seniors, veterans, affordable housing advocates, labor & social justice organizations, sponsored by California Apartment Association. Committee Major Funding from Essex Property Trust and Affiliated Entities; Equity Residential; and AvalonBay Communities.
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