Sunday, October 22, 2006

My ballot run-down

I though, this being a political site and all I'd give everyone my two cents on what I think they should actually vote for. In this post I'll tackle the propositions only. I haven't voted yet so please feel free to chime in if you think I missed something.

1-A: NO
This would make it illegal to spend gas-tax money on things other than transportation related things. I have no idea why we should have dedicated funding mechnaism anyways (in this case at least) so I have no desire to further hamstring our already box-in legislature.
1-B, 1-C, 1-D, 1-E: NO
I thought I'd lump all these guys together since they're all bond measures for one thing or the other. Having California fund things with bonds - which are basically loans that woudl have to be paid back with interest - is ridiculous. Prod 1-D for example would call for borrowing 10 billion which we would pay back along with another 9.9 billion in interest. The only reason anyone suggests doing so is becuase Prop 13* makes it impossible to raise property taxes. Well fine! California, in a fit of rage during the 70's you made it hard to raise money the easy way so now you don't get highway saftey, housing and emergency shelter, education funding or disaster prepardness funding. When a disaster befalls you that you aren't prepared for and you don't have the education to take the broken highway to the non-existent emergency shelter maybe you'll consider taxing corporate real-estate at reasonable levels.
Prop 83: Slight NO
I hate child molesters. But do I really think CA should spend millions coming up with a GPS tracking system? It'd be cheaper to do this.
Prop 84: NO
Another Bond.
Prop 85: NO
This is the parental notification for minor abortion prop. I see; she's old enough to be forced to raise a child she doesn't want but getting an abortion requires a signed permission slip. That's great. What, no incest clause?
Pro 86: Slight YES
This raises the tax on cigarettes by $2.60 and uses it to fund health related things. California needs more income and a sin tax is just the kind of fiscal responsibility I can get behind. Anyways, if smokers were mentally competent on the issue (i.e. not addicted to nicotine) they wouldn’t have to pay the tax because they’d choose to stop. And yes, this is the liberal nanny state talking.
Prop 87:??
I'm an idiot. Vote accordingly.
Prop 88: Yes
Hooray, an honest to god tax increase! Good for them. That takes balls. I don’t expect it to pass but we need money to fix our deficit so I’m voting yes. For those of you who don’t want tax increase and consider yourself fiscally responsible do this: list the programs we need to cut to pay for the billions (with a "b") in deficit we are projected to have. If your list has things like “get rid of the California EPA” then go ahead and add other unrealistic items like “cut unicorn subsidies”.
Prop 89: YES!
This prop is a publicly-financed elections bill. Taxes on corporations would be increased by a tiny .2 percent (note: a .2 percent increase in the current level of taxation – that’s much much less than a .2% additional tax). The revenue would be given to candidates in exchange for a promise not to raise funds from corporations or certain unions (those representing government employees like teacher, firefighters and police). This would get our representatives minds off of electioneering and on to governing and that’s good. I would prefer that all unions be stopped from giving money to candidates but I’d much rather have prop 89 than what we have now.
Prop 90: NO NO NO!
This would allow property owners to sue the state if the state takes actions that reduce the price of their land. How fucking wonderful. If the government does something to increase the value of your land you get to take that money to the bank – if the government does something to decrease it suddenly you get to sue John Q. Public. That's the conservative nanny state for you. Corporatism never sounded so good.

Thanks but no thanks. If you vote for this bill every time someone asks me why California doesn’t have a high-speed rail system like Europe my answer will be “Because of this guy. This guy right over here. It’s his fault, personally. Blame him.”

Ok, part of this bill is ok. It would stop the government from condemning private land for private uses (like putting in a Wal-Mart) but the language is unclear and it could even stop things like privately operated trains and public transportation. It’s funded by out of state land developers and would worsen our fiscal position.


Rebecca C. Brown said...

Um, 87 isn't a bond measure. Have you read your voter guide?

Thinker said...

Rebecca's correct. Prop 87 is a tax on oil production in CA, the proceeds of which will be used to fund the development of alternative energy resources.

Read the Pros and Cons for 87 at

Read the Pros and Cons for all state props at:

Tommaso Sciortino said...

My bad. I saw the dollar signs and my brain turned off. I fixed it.

Thinker said...

If Moveon or some other group posts Al Gore's speech at the Pro 87 rally in Berkeley this afternoon, listen in. It was spectacular. Whoever tagged Gore as a wooden speaker didn't hear him this afternoon. Wow!

Rebecca C. Brown said...

Al Gore was in Berkeley this afternoon and I was working in Oakland like a chump! Thinker, if you find the audio/video of that speech, please post the link in the comments.

(I also apparently missed Sufjan Stevens when we came to Berkeley a few weeks ago. I really need to spend more time on campus reading flyers.)

Thinker said...

I haven't found any audio or video of Gore's speech yet, but Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune has a report up:

I'll keep an eye out for AV.

Thinker said...

Channel 5 has put up video from Gore's speech at

Thinker said...

It seems that the Channel 5 video is just the first few minutes of Gore's speech as well as his introduction by Maria Bello. I'll keep looking to see if the entire speech goes up anywhere.