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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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!
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.