I looked up the League of Women Voters’ SmartVoter guide for measures Q and R Nowhere is the term “capital appreciation bond” (CAB) even mentioned – not in the full text of measure, not in the county counsel’s impartial analysis, nowhere in the sample ballot. How is a voter supposed to make an informed decision? CABs are not even mentioned in Santa Barbara School Districts’ then-Superintendent Ed Sarvis’s presentation. The ballot’s argument in favor (there was no argument against) assures voters, in capital letters, “BY LAW, TAXPAYER SAFEGUARDS ARE IN PLACE.”
Democracy fails if citizens cannot get the information they need. Personally, if the implications of a CAB were ever explained at the time, I doubt these measures would have passed. After all, in 2010 everyone was busy condemning the stupidity of home buyers who signed up for comparable loans. On the other hand, if someone were brave enough to argue against these measures, they would likely have been drowned out by politically-motivated false accusations that they were against schools and kids.