IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: It’s Unanimous: Four out of Four Fact Checks Call No on Prop 53 Ads Misleading

Experts rate TV ads “iffy” and agree they overstate impacts

SACRAMENTO, CA – In the last month, a growing list of media outlets conducted independent fact checks on the No on Proposition 53 television ads. The fact checks rated the television ads “iffy” and described their claims as “misleading” and “false.” They also point out that “the governor included half of the (LAO) independent analysis on the measure,” leaving out the other half that does not support his argument.

In addition to the four television ad fact checks, the Sacramento Bee also conducted a fact check on a statement from Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this year, saying he stretched the truth about the impact of Proposition 53 and called some of his claims “questionable.”

In total, the No on Proposition 53 campaign has received five independent fact checks calling into question the accuracy of their claims. To date, the opposition has raised over $20 million, dedicating the majority of contributions to misleading television ads across the state.

Proposition 53 would simply give voters more power by requiring a public vote for state megaprojects that use more than $2 billion in state revenue bonds.  It would also ensure the disclosure of the total cost of a project before the vote.

Read excerpts from the fact checks below:

“Gov. Jerry Brown slams Prop 53, omits analysis on mega-project measure,” Politifact California, November 2, 2016
“…the governor ignores the LAO’s argument that there could conceivably be some costs savings, particularly if Prop 53 forces the state to make better use of existing infrastructure rather than spending on a new project or use general obligation bonds that carry lower interest rates. … We can say the governor included half of the independent analysis on the measure. But he left out the other half that doesn’t support his argument.”

“Jerry Brown overstates initiative’s impact in anti-Proposition 53 ad,” The Sacramento Bee, November 1, 2016
“…Like other opponents, Brown overstates the expected impact of Proposition 53. Though the effects he describes are real, they are far from the certainty that he suggests. Proposition 53 is unlikely to interfere significantly with local control over infrastructure projects, the traditional use for revenue bonds.”

“Reality check: Prop. 53 ad exaggerates disaster relief risk,” Bay Area News Group, November 1, 2016
“The ad is misleading. After natural disasters such as earthquakes, federal agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Highway Administration — not state revenue bonds — provide most funding for recovery.”

“Anti-Prop. 53 campaign overplays disaster card in TV ad,” The Sacramento Bee, October 11, 2016
“The statements in the ad falsely imply that California regularly uses revenue bonds for emergency projects to create the sense that Proposition 53 would have a devastating effect by delaying repairs until after an election can take place. … Proposition 53 is also unlikely to have a significant effect on local projects. It covers only projects “funded, owned, operated, or managed by the state” and exempts revenue bonds issued by cities, counties, schools, community colleges and special districts.”

“Fact check: Gavin Newsom stretches impact of bond initiative,” The Sacramento Bee, February 17, 2016
“Newsom’s statement constructs an extreme scenario about the number and type of projects the measure could affect. Projects costing more than $2 billion are relatively rare, and it’s unclear how much “local control” voters would sacrifice if they approved the initiative. The measure pertains to state projects, while specifically excluding cities, counties and school districts.”

Proposition 53 would require statewide voter approval for state revenue bond projects costing more than $2 billion, closing a loophole that allows politicians to issue massive new debt for multi-billion dollar projects without voter approval. For more information, visit:


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