Political campaigns are frequently known for stretching, twisting, and mangling the truth, but a kernel of truth usually remains. Take, for example, the statement by Jerry Brown that he would not raise taxes without a vote of the people (a reasonable position, one that puts the voter in control). However, his opponent twisted that around to say Brown wants to ask voters for more tax increases. There is still truth in that, but the emphasis is altered.
Outright lies are pretty uncommon. Yet two of this year's campaign ads have resorted to lies. Not twisted truths, but bona fide, genuine, actual lies.
Take Proposition 24's opponents. They call Proposition 24 a "tax increase." That is a lie.
Prop. 24 is a confusing offering. During the 2008 state budget process (and I use the term loosely), the legislature approved some tax breaks that primarily benefit a tiny percentage of large companies, many of which have their headquarters outside of California. Those tax breaks are not scheduled to take effect until 2011. They haven't happened yet. Prop 24 prevents these tax breaks from going into effect. This is not a tax increase, unless you believe that failure to subtract constitutes addition.
Another lie is being told in campaign ads for Proposition 25. Prop. 25 affects the annual budget vote in the legislature, changing the requirement for a two-thirds (67%) super majority to a simple (50%+1) majority as it is in most other states.
Prop 25 opponents are saying that it makes it easier for the legislature to raise taxes. This is a lie. Prop. 25 specifically states that a two-thirds majority will still be required to raise taxes - the same as it is now. Prop 25 opponents are apparently hoping you'll be too stupid to understand the difference between voting on the budget and voting on tax increases.
So remember when you vote, that the opponents of Propositions 24 and 25 have not just been twisting the truth. They have been lying to you. Don't let them get away with it.