LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2020) Backers of the ‘Yes on 21’ campaign, a California ballot measure which would allow cities to enact or expand policies that limit rent increases, have learned that opponents of the measure have given $1.2 million in campaign contributions to the California GOP.
The news came in the Yes on 21 campaign’s revue of required campaign finance reports filed with the California Secretary of State’s office. On September 15, 2020, under the category of ‘Late Contributions Made,’ an initial contribution in the amount of $1,200,000 was made to the California Republican Party by the Campaign Committee named ‘No on Prop 21-Californians to Protect Affordable Housing – a Coalition of Housing Advocates, Renters, Businesses, Taxpayers and Veterans’ (Transaction #2501408-EXP343).
In reality, this ‘No on Prop 21’ campaign is mainly funded by deep-pocketed real estate magnates who own thousands of apartments and rental homes across the state who have also, since 2017, contributed heavily to Donald Trump. The key donors to this ‘No on Prop. 21’ campaign include Blackstone Property Partners, L.P., a well-known real estate investment entity headed by Stephen Schwarzman; Michael K. Hayde, CEO and chairman of Western National Group, which manages apartment communities throughout California, and Geoffrey Palmer, a Los Angeles real estate developer of rental apartments.
Separately, last week, attorneys for ‘Yes on 21’ filed a formal complaint with California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) asserting possible money laundering violations against several questionable contributions from donors to the opposing ‘No on 21’ campaign.
“At first blush, this ‘No’ campaign’s committee name suggests it is regular people opposing Prop. 21. In fact, it’s the one-percent of the one-percent who are the money and power behind efforts to defeat this ballot measure that will help keep millions of families in their homes by offering local communities the power to implement some forms of rent control during this humanitarian and economic crisis,” said René Christian Moya, campaign director, Yes On Prop. 21 and director, Housing Is A Human. Right. “The No on 21 campaign will try to convince voters that they are the ones fighting against homeless and for affordable housing. But the ‘No’ campaign is funded by greedy billionaires who only care about their enormous profit margins. Don’t be fooled. They put their money to work to protect their money—not to protect affordable housing.”
When passed, Proposition 21 will remove current state law restrictions, giving cities and counties the power to implement and expand rent control policies that limit how much rents can increase each year. It would allow local communities to:
- Expand rent control to more buildings while exempting newly constructed buildings.
- Exempt Single-Family homeowners who own up to two homes.
- Allow limits on rent increases when a new renter moves in.
Proposition 21 is sponsored by Yes on 21 – Renters and Homeowners United to Keep Families in Their Homes, Sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. To learn more, visit yeson21ca.org and housinghumanright.org.
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