Tuesday, November 2

Oh Yeah, the State Measures

Kerry will win the Presidency, but you still need to vote because (a) Kerry needs a popular mandate, and (2) there are a bunch of other races and measures on the ballot. I'm going straight Democratic ticket on the Senators and Reps this time, as Kerry will need support to get anything done over the next 4 years. Judges -- who knows. In the cases where only one of the California judicial candidates submitted a statement in time to be included in the state mailing, I went for them, figuring that speaks to a certain minimum level of responsibility. Otherwise, I'm going with the LA Weekly recommendations. This is, admittedly, a pretty arbitrary approach, so I'm not including my picks there. I did a little more research on the ballot initiatives (though not enough), and my votes and addle-pated reasons are listed below. If you're in Cali, and know something I don't, please try to change my mind via the comments.

  • 1a - Protection of Local Revenues. I think so, yes. Ensures that local taxes are spent locally, unless there's a fiscal emergency. Sure.

  • 59 - Public Records, Open Meetings Amendment. Sounds good.

  • 60 - Election Rights of Parties Amendment. Don't really get this. Seems to only be necessary if 62 passes, which it would sorta undo. So let's just not pass either of them. So no. But I could be wrong here - 62 is so bad, this might be a good back-up. But when in doubt, I vote no.

  • 60A - Surplus Property Amendment. Doesn't require that government property be sold, but does tie the hands of legislator on where proceeds of those sales go. A bad idea. En-oh.

  • 61 - Children's Hospital Bonds. I'm pretty knee-jerk anti-bond. Let's not piece together a public health plan for California one interest-accumulating bond at a time. Eff the children. Nope.

  • 62 - Open Primaries Amendment. Such a wrong-headed idea I'm not even going to argue this one.

  • 63 - Mental Health Services Tax on Incomes Above $1M. May be an unfair and arbitrary tax on the rich, but after all the money given back to them by Bush, my lachrymal glands don't seem to be working. We have a whole raft of people needing mental health care, and California turned our backs on them decades ago. This will help address that, and it's pay-as-you-go. Thumbs up.

  • 64 - Limits on "Unfair Competition" Lawsuits. Why? No.

  • 65 - Local Funds Amendment. Its original backers now oppose it, no information submitted to the voter guide, seems to be supplanted by Measure 1A. No.

  • 66 - Limitations on 3-Strikes Law. Oh yes.

  • 67 - Emergency Services Funds/Telephone Surcharge Amendment. Tempting, as I hardly talk on the phone at all, and hate the ubiquity of cell phones - so this would mean shifting the tax burden off of me and onto people I loathe. But why the hell should funding for emergency services be tied to cell phone use? It's an odd law. On principle, no.

  • 68 - Non-Tribal Gambling Expansion Amendment. Oh, nopity-nope-no-nope.

  • 69 - State DNA Database. Christ on a Crutch, NO! Major invasion of privacy issues.

  • 70 - Tribal Gaming Compacts. I totally don't understand this amendment. So I'm voting no.

  • 71 - Stem Cell Research Bond. Tough one. It will create jobs in the state. And it will piss off BushCo. But, it will cost $6,000,000,000 over the next 30 years. And hamstring the state on using that money in a specific way, no matter what other financial crises come down the pike. Plus, I just don't feel the electorate should be deciding budget issues like this. That's what we elect legislators for. Just because Bush would hate it is no reason to vote for it. Once Kerry is in office, he'll clear away all the federal regulations preventing stem-cell research, and private industry will take over funding this. Reluctantly, no.

  • 72 - Health Care Coverage Referendum. Reluctantly, yes. I don't like putting too many requirements on medium-size businesses - but really, once a company gets to 50 employees, it should be providing health-care options. Until we have a more comprehensive health-care plan for the country, this is a good idea. I think.

  • LA COUNTY: Measure A - Public Safety Funding. Another half-cent tax county-wide? Eh. No thanks. Emergency services are not that bad, currently. But this may be the point in SimCity where rioting is about to break out. I am persuadable on this one.

  • LA CITY: Measure O - Clean Water Bonds. I'm voting for a bond! We gotta clean up our act, or face EPA fines in the future. This is a really painful one, and I may very will flip-flop on this, and Measure A above. I don't like bonds. But I'm leaning yes on this one.

So that's it. I'm on the fence about some of these, so if you think I've missed something, please post in the comments or drop me a line [franko at gmail d0t c0m] ASAP -- I'm probably heading for the polls around 2 or 3 pm.

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