In 1978 Californians passed Proposition 13 which prevents the government from borrowing money without two-thirds voter approval. Unhappy at being restrained by voters, California's politicians created the LAUSD Finance Corporation to borrow money as "Certificates of Participation" which are bonds issued by private entities and then bought by the state and repaid from general funds, as best as I understand it. Most of the money is used to purchase property which is then leased back to the Los Angeles Unified School District. In essence, COPs allow our rulers to bypass voters and borrow money whenever they want. Sound outrageous?

Leslie Dutton at the Full Disclosure Network has more about these secret bonds. Mayor Sam has more, along with further comments by Leslie Dutton.

Maybe officials shouldn't need voter permission to borrow money; maybe Proposition 13 is bad policy. I don't think so, but it's possible. Regardless, it's the law, and our elected servants shouldn't weasel out of the restrictions we've put on them. The people are the final authority, and the government leads us only with our consent. It seems they'll never remember that unless we remind them repeatedly.

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