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Our Positions on the Statewide Propositions

by: Calitics Editorial Board

Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 15:01:50 PM PDT

Here we go again, another round of endorsements.  The bulk of these will be fairly uncontroversial here.  On Prop 7, Brian Leubitz did not vote due to the fact that he works for the campaign. See the flip for more information on our positions.


The Calitics Position

Calitics Tag

Prop 1A (High Speed Rail)


Prop 1A

Prop 2(Farm Animal Conditions)


Prop 2

Prop 3 (Children's Hospital Bonds)


Prop 3

Prop 4 (Parental Notification Again)

No, NO, and NO AGAIN

Prop 4

Prop 5 (Drug Rehab Programs)


Prop 5

Prop 6 (Runner Anti-Gang)


Prop 6

Prop 7 (Renewable Power Standard)


Prop 7

Prop 8 (Anti-Marriage)


Prop 8

Prop 9 (Runner Victim's Rights)


Prop 9

Prop 10 (Pickens Natural Gas)


Prop 10

Prop 11 (Redistricting)


Prop 11

12 (Veterans Bonds)


Prop 12

See the flip for more information on the props...
Calitics Editorial Board :: Our Positions on the Statewide Propositions
Prop 1A: High Speed Rail: YES!

Prop 1A, recently revised on the ballot by legislative action, will allow the state to purchase $10 Billion in Bonds for the purpose of creating a high speed rail system.  The money will also be leveraged to get federal dollars as well as attract private investments.  This is a no brainer, but if you need more information, check out Robert's HSR Blog.

Prop 2: Farm Animal Conditions: Yes

This is a simple law that requires farm animals to be able to stand up and turn around in their cages. While there are lots of protests from factory farming interests, this measure could level the playing field for small farmers.  Polls show this one strongly leading. The campaign has also produced a cute video with a singing pig.

Prop 3: Children's Hospital Bonds: Yes

While some of us are conflicted about the purchase of more bonds for another narrowly defined interest, this seems to be a net plus.  Simply put, this would allow the state to sell bonds to provide additional funds for our children's hospitals, hopefully for capital improvements.  Our hospitals in general need a lot of work, but it would be even better if this money would go instead to ensure all county and other public hospitals remain viable. Not sure about that cheesy commercial though.

Prop 4: Parental Notification: No, NO, and NO AGAIN!

We've done this twice before, in the special election of 2005 and again in the general of 2006.  Enough already. We've said that we want to make sure that our teenage girls are safe, not use them as political pawns.  Prop 4 requires parental notification, which is fine if the teen has a functional family, but can be dangerous in an abusive home.  The proposition allows for a judicial bypass, but how many scared, pregnant teens have the wherewithal to go through that? This one is running close, so get the word out! As a sidenote, this is a good case for initiative reform to include a limit on how many times you can bring something to the ballot.

Prop 5: Drug Rehab: Yes

A sound policy reform to decrease the number of nonviolent offenders in our jails by placing them in rehabilitation facilities instead.  Prop 5 also reduces sentences for these nonviolent offenders based upon their successful completion of the rehab program. While not "ToughOnCrime", it is SmartOnCrime.  This is a follow-up to the wildly successful Prop 36 of a few years back. Prop 36 saved us millions of dollars, this likely will as well. Unfortunately, today Senator Feinstein has come out against Prop 5 in a wildly speculative press release that merely rehashes the No on 5 campaign talking points. Let's be smart, not pseudo-tough. Yes on 5.

Prop 6: Runner Gang Measure: NO

Another wasteful ToughOnCrime measure from the legislators Runner.  This is just plain bad policy that won't actually reduce gang violence.  The measure increases prison sentences for young gang offenders (really, now?) and would likely cost about a billon dollars per year.  The Mercury News breaks it down:

It would require spending $965 million next year - and more every year
thereafter - on law enforcement, probation and police programs, with a
focus on gangs. That's $365 million - 50 percent more - than last year.
And the amount will grow, because the initiative guarantees annual
increases for inflation, and higher prison expenses as a result of the
new or longer sentences it would impose for 30-plus crimes. Add in $500
million for jails that the initiative requires for more prisoners, and
it's a daunting number, at a time that the overall crime rate has been

Far too expensive for far too few results.

Prop 7: Renewable Power Standard: No

There already is a renewable power standard in California as part of recent anti-global warming legislation.  This bill would expand those requirements from 20% to 50% by by 2025 - but several small wind and solar power companies are opposed because the measure would essentially toss them out of the market by excluding plants smaller than 30 megawatts from even counting toward the standard.  That appears to cripple innovation and tilt the playing field away from sound renewable power development.  This is a noble goal which is poorly written to create winners and losers.  It's a close call, but we're voting no.

Prop 8: Anti-Marriage Amendment: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!

Not much to explain here. Prop 8 would eliminate marriage rights for same gender couples. It is time for Californians to stand up for equality. No on 8.

Prop 9: Runner Victim's Rights: No

Another "ToughOnCrime" measure by the legislators Runner, this time funded by Henry T. Nicholas III, co-founder and former CEO of Broadcom. Why is that relevant? Well, Mr. Nicholas has himself been indicted for white collar fraud as well as drug charges including accusing "Nicholas of using ecstasy to spike the
drinks of industry executives and employees of Broadcom customers." Classy.

The measure itself reduces frequency of parole hearings and allows victims and their survivors to be present. I'll let the OC Register, which suggested a No vote, explain the prop:

Prop. 9 would place those rights into the state constitution rather
than into statutory law, the distinction being that the constitution is
much more difficult to change if problems develop. It would also give
crime victims and their families the constitutional right to prevent
the release of certain documents to criminal defendants or their
attorneys, and the right to refuse to be interviewed or provide
pretrial testimony or other evidence to a defendant. The constitution
would be changed to require judges to take the safety of victims into
consideration when granting bail. It would make restitution the first
priority when spending any money collected from defendants in the form
of fines. It would also extend the time between parole hearings from
the current one to five years to three to 15 years.

I'm fine with victim's rights, but that shouldn't extend to creating bad policy and increasing our already ridiculously high prison population. We already have a crisis, we don't need to exacerbate it. Vote No on "Marsy's Law."

Prop 10: Natural Gas Giveaway: No

Prop 10 would sell $5 billion worth of bonds to help Californians buy cleaner cars.  The problem of course is that clean is defined as to mean natural gas, and not hybrids. Huh? Furthermore, it wouldn't require that the commercial trucks purchased with the overwhelming majority of these funds stay in the state.  This is simply a boondoggle for Swift Boat Veterans Funder T. Boone Pickens to get his natural gas company a ton of new purchasers and to get the state to build his natural gas highway. Natural gas is slightly cleaner than gasoline, but it's still a technology of yesteryear.  We need real renewable energy, not more fossil fuels. Prop 10 is a waste of money at a time when we can't afford to fully fund our educational system. No on 10!

Prop 11: Redistricting: NO!

Another waste of time redistricting measure that accomplishes little other than guaranteeing Republicans additional power over the redistricting process.  Prop 11 would give equal power to Democrats and Republicans to draw the maps, and would exclude from the commission anybody who has had any experience relevant to the process.  It's a flawed process that gives Republicans too much.  It's opposed by leading minority organizations and the Democratic Party. 

For more information, see this diary here at Calitics. Our diary is actually recommend over the "official" No site, which is so hideous as to be nearly useless.  Anyway, Vote No on Republican Voters First!

Prop 12: Veterans Bond: Yes

These things always pass, and are always pretty small. This bond funds a program to help veterans purchase farms and homes.  It's a decent program, and the bond has passed something like 20 times over the last 100 years.  It likely will again. Despite our concerns over ballot box budgeting, helping out our veterans is a worthwhile cause.

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Prop 6 and Prop 9 have more in common than the Runners (0.00 / 0)
Henry Nicholas also donated $1 million to Prop 6.

And good list! I agree with every endorsement.

I also support these endorsements! (0.00 / 0)
Good job.


If we could only get some real, progressive Democrats into office. Ones not afraid, or too compromised themselves, to call the ReThug scum out on:

The proper role of government...



Religious factionalism...no, it's' not okay to say, 'My god is just better than your god...'

Stupidity...no the universe is NOT 6000 years old and if you don't like that...emigrate to India fool...

Yeah, life would be good then even living in my cardboard reefer box I got at Circuit City when they took my home...

the bumper sticker primary (0.00 / 0)
As an anecdotal sidenote, looking around the cars in my Trader Joe's parking lot the other day I noticed one prop bumper sticker and one alone: Yes on Prop 2.  

Get your Yes on 1A stickers (0.00 / 0)
Right Here!

I'm seeing a LOT of No on 8 bumper stickers and yard signs around the Monterey Peninsula. Far more than for any other ballot prop and rivaling Obama stickers and signs in number.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Yep (0.00 / 0)
No on Prop 8 is definitely the bumper sticker/yard sign winner in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Sacramento, which are the three cities I can adequately judge. I also saw one brave McCain bumper sticker in Santa Cruz two weekends ago.

[ Parent ]
There are a few of those here too (0.00 / 0)
But the most bizarro thing I've seen so far was a house here in Monterey that has been turned into a Sarah Palin shrine. They have McCain-Palin signs and American flags all over the yard and on the white picket fence. And to top it off, standing in the front window, is a huge cardboard cutout of Sarah Palin and a handmade sign reading "Thank God For Sarah!"

Creepy as all hell.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Oh, my. (0.00 / 0)
If there's anything scarier than that person, it's the people whom she makes happy.

I'm union staff, but not a spokesperson for my union - all posts represent my views solely.

[ Parent ]
davis signs, in order of most frequency (0.00 / 0)
yes on W (local school bond)
no on 8
lois wolk for state senate

[huge gap]

2 or 3 mccain-palin signs.

doesn't really feel like an election's coming soon, but perhaps it'll pick up in the coming weeks.

[ Parent ]
Gary is getting yard signs! (8.00 / 1)
Can't wait to put one in our yard.  

I'm getting a bumper sticker for 1A, it's so important, than you Robert!

OC Progressive
Progress, not perfection!

[ Parent ]
It's an overload year (0.00 / 0)
Talking to friends around town who are politically conscious if not necessarily engaged, they're at a loss on the props once they get past 8 and maybe 11. It's daunting.

If you have to triage: (8.00 / 1)
Yes on 1A
No on 4
No on 8
No on 11

I do worry that high speed rail is going to get lost in the shuffle. At least we still have the sweet spot on the ballot.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
Indeed (8.00 / 1)
It's got a '1' AND an 'A'.  It's doubleplusfirst.

[ Parent ]
Good analysis, good calls (0.00 / 0)
I admit I've spent insufficient time on all but 4 and 8, so this is really helpful.

I'm union staff, but not a spokesperson for my union - all posts represent my views solely.

much appreciated - esp. in this new world (0.00 / 0)
Some of these propositions are obvious of course, but others are a little tricksy to get one's mind around.  

So it helps to get informed opinions from more or less like-minded sources.  

In the old days, I'd rely on LA Weekly and the like, but the independent media, and so many other formerly-reliable sources of info, have dried up, been bought up, or simply been passed up (by the Web).  So I'm grateful for these suggestions.

In short - thanks !

Marriage Ban (Prop h8) only gets one "NO!" in the list? n/t (0.00 / 0)

We'll be sure to more emphatic in the future. (0.00 / 0)
In the meantime, check out Fast4Equality.com, a project of the Calitics CaliPAC.  Skip a snack for equality!

I think?

[ Parent ]
Question about prop. 2 (0.00 / 0)
I support prop. 2 in principle, but I have a fear that the result of prop. 2 will be not be people actually following the law, but rather meat farming operations simply moving outside of California. Is there any reason to believe that this will or won't happen?

Well, the question (8.00 / 1)
is whether industrial meat and poultry farms will find it more expensive to relocate than to comply.  I'm sure that their trade association will threaten moving, but every industrial trade association threatens that every time any state (or country) tries to do anything they don't like.

These are large facilities, which require a great deal of capital investment, so my guess is they won't relocate, but that prices for meat raised in humane conditions will go up slightly, and that the companies who raise animals locally in humane conditions can advertise their status.  

The other purely economic question is whether you think industrial animal farming has sufficient negative externalities that if they do move out of state rather than comply, it would be just fine.  There's almost always someone willing to be the winner of the race to the bottom that unfettered corporatism demands of governments.

[ Parent ]
Or, what Donald said... (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Veal and Pork are Mostly Irrelevant (8.00 / 1)
While Prop 2 does call for the phasing out of pig gestation and veal crates, there's very little organized opposition from those industries, because they are already making the transition to the more humane practices mandated under Prop 2.

The primary opposition comes from large-scale egg producers, who could see around a penny per egg increase in production costs. Those that choose not to make the transition to cage-free methods will be forced to convert their land to different purposes by 2015.

It's worth noting that more than 70% of the funds for the No on Prop 2 campaign come from out-of-state producers who are terrified that if it passes, the standards will become the norm nationwide (Prop 2 creates standards similar to those that will be mandated in the EU by 2012). The reality is that egg production is a rather small industry in California, representing about 6% of our agricultural product. The largest factory farm egg production facilities, which predominately exist out-of-state, have the most to lose even though those beyond our geographical borders will not be directly impacted by Prop 2.

[ Parent ]
Also... (8.00 / 1)
If Prop 2 passes, you will see a drop in the price for cage-free and organic eggs, since most of the current factory farms will transition to the new standard and likely embrace it as a California specialty for marketing purposes.

[ Parent ]
I was concerned as well. (0.00 / 0)
But I finally voted for it on principle.  There are good arguments against it on principle too, so don't feel like I'm browbeating you, but, as they say, "as goes California, so does the nation."  This may result in a momentary exodus, but the requirements are not that onerous, and it is, indeed, likely that they will be adopted nationwide eventually anyhow, and hopefully California's adoption of it will speed up the process.

[ Parent ]
My Own Take on the Propositions, FWIW (0.00 / 0)

writing to y'all from Philadelphia, where I'm working with SEIU on GOTV efforts for the election. Back to Monterey after the election, voting absentee.

FWIW I have my own cheat sheet for the Props -- slight variations with the endorsements here, but with my own explanations. I figured I'd post a URL rather than get involved in a discussion, especially since I have other fish to fry. I do appreciate calitics doing this, though, I just wish they had county judicial recommendations!!

- Matt

Matt's whining on propositions:


Honestly, this is rather silly. (0.00 / 0)
For Judicial races I tend to compare the [Los Angeles] County Democratic Party and County Bar Association endorsements - they often match up, making it easy.  When they don't match up I read the reasoning from the Bar Association.  I don't know how much mileage that will get you outside of LA, though.  It helps that I vote absentee - I'm an attorney, but if I had to vote judicial races at a polling place, I simply wouldn't do it.  I spent a good 2+ hours with my ballot last night.

Coming from Massachusetts and New York, California's proposition system is outrageous, and frankly, we ought to be appointing judges, electing them is a ridiculous way of doing business.  This isn't New Hampshire in the 1820s, and it's more likely that people vote either randomly or based solely on how a person's name sounds.  Ohio has competitive judicial elections too, and I still remember how the Ohio Supreme Court became stacked by a bunch of arch-conservative incompetent hacks who ran endless commercials talking about how they were going to lock people up and throw away the key.  Brilliant.

[ Parent ]
Assuming you're registered in Monterey County (0.00 / 0)
The Monterey County Democrats have their voter guide up which includes an endorsement in the Superior Court race.

You can check out any time you like but you can never leave

[ Parent ]
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