19 October 2006

Informing California Voters . . .

. . . in SONG! (mp3 at link)



(Lyrics and chords here)

Despite this little ditty, Calvoter.org is a good resource and deserves public support.

Given that our state prefers to legislate through initiative rather than through ummmm, the legislature, a resource to pull together the information regarding those propositions is highly desireable. Calvoter.org does a good, non-partisan job of making that happen.

Since the song focuses on the props only, I'll go ahead and issue my recommendations, since I know the blogosphere has been holding their collective breath in anticipation of how I would come down on each of these propositions.

My recommendations as follows, 1A-1E, hell no. Bonds, bonds and more bonds. The state has infrastructure needs, but it also has tremendous revenues due to a roaring economy, cut spending, don't issue more bonds in a state already swimming in debt.

Prop 83 No.
It's the Jessica's Law proposition. Sex offenders are vile, worthless human beings who are an ongoing danger to society, but the measures already in place are pretty draconian to begin with, and to add more layers to the enforcement and surveillance cake, isn't going to protect children any better. Creeps will do what creeps do. Longer sentences, ankle devices and databases won't stop all of them, good parenting, good police work, and the realization that the stranger-predator is a rarity, not the rule. Every case like the one in Florida involving the Jessica who spurred the current round of legislative resolve is a horrible tragedy. The nationalization and sensationalization of the media makes it seem as if these creeps are around every corner. They aren't. But every case gets national attention and distorts the scope of the problem in the people's imagination. This proposed law is a reaction to the image created, not the reality.

Prop 84 No.
Clean Water bond. I'm against clean water? Yes, I am when it is just another bond measure to give nebulous authorization to massively increase statewide budgets to solve problems that are more often under local supervision, jurisdiction and control. Clean water is a priority, but cutting the budget elsewhere can fund the infrastructure needs, not adding another bond. Plus there already is a water bond on the 1A-1E legislature approved measures, I'm against both, but if you are going to support one, support the more focused 1E and not this hodge-podge grab bag, certain to become pork laden mess.

Prop 85 Yes.
Parental notification on abortions for minors. This measure is reasonable, allows for judicial relief, and doesn't ban the procedure outright, just recognizes that a pregnant minor is still a minor.

Prop 86 No.
The anti-smoking forces have been emboldened by past successes statewide and now are going at it again. Enough is enough. Smoking is a filthy habit, but its an increasingly marginalized and dying habit. If they want to actually ban smoking outright, then just do it already, don't keep on taxing it until legal tobacco products are more expensive than illicit wacky tobaccy products. This prop is greedy, cigarette packs are already around $5.00 I think (don't smoke, don't know) and to add another $2.60 per pack tax will make smuggled smokes lucrative. Also the anti-trust exemptions and education bureaucracies written into the bill are equally absurd.

Prop 87 Hell No with a Cherry on Top!
Commercials are running with both Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton telling me that the Earth hangs in the balance regarding the passage of this bill. If they are for it, then I know enough to be against it. This is another sin tax provision, but instead of sinful smokers being the target, it's sinful gas guzzlers. Innovations are needed, but funding those innovations through excessive taxation is a bad idea. Also, given the need, any viable solution will be created using private funding as a true solution to gas dependency will be a huge financial windfall. Be suspicious of government funding for programs that should be readily profitable if useful in the first place.

Prop 88 No.
Yet another, our schools are so poorly funded, let's screw somebody who makes up a minority of voters, measure. Send this one to defeat like all the others. Schools are underperforming, but they are not underfunded. Also, the biggest argument against this is that there are no state property taxes in California. That's a can of worms that should not be opened. If the funding is needed, find it elsewhere, don't create a whole new tax requiring a whole new bureaucracy to administer. This is idiotic in the extreme.

Prop 89 No.
Backed by a large public sector union, this measure tries to tilt the playing field more in favor of public sector unions and away from businesses, a bad idea in my opinion. It's disguised as a 'fair campaign' bill that raises the amount of public money available to candidates, but the devil is in the details, and the details are slimy, messy, and undemocratic. Campaign finance reform almost always ends up being incumbent protection measures, this one isn't any different.

Prop 90 Yes.
This is an anti-Kelo measure on steroids. Normally I'd be against this sort of thing. It encourages too much litigation, might have a huge impact on the state's ability to get things done, and will please lawyers more than regular folk. But, eminent domain has been abused in this state, should be strongly discouraged, and if a measure that overreaches slightly is the only way to make that happen, then a less than enthusiastic affirmative vote on this measure would seem to be in order. Everybody on both sides of the political map are lined up against this, and the only supporters are the grassroots folks who circulated the petition in the first place. Sometimes a victory by the grassroots is needed to shake things up. Likely to be overturned in court, but the message will have been sent.

Now, to all you politicians, you don't need to send any more crap my way, my mind is made up.

(and if you want, you can try to set all the above to music, It would have to be a long song, so maybe go with this one)

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