20 October, 2012

Official Voting Instructions From Lefty Central HQ: Ballot Measure Edition


Prop 30 - Yes. The proposition asks the wealthiest Californians to invest in the state whose treasure they enjoy and whose economy enriches them.

Prop 31 - Needs more study.

SFBG says no, "gives governor too much power". Likes the idea of a 24 month budget, and some of the other proposals (more municipal control over funds), but does not like the bills complexity, suggests it is a grab-bag approach to fixing several critical problems at once and is leery of using propositions as legislative fixes for issues this critical.

I may be leaning toward "yes", throwing caution to the wind regarding executive power in lieu of budgetary fixes. Will need to look at polling data - would rather it lose by a slim margin that pass.

Prop 32 - No.

SFBG is emphatic that this is a no vote, citing SuperPAC's bearing down on Unions. That's good enough for this liberal.

The measure presents itself as an even-handed effort to reduce political spending by both unions and corporations. "Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors," reads the official ballot summary. 
But while payroll deductions are the main source of funding for labor unions — which use that money to advocate for the interests of their members and the broader working class — few corporations deduct money from their employee paychecks for political purposes. They tap the many other sources of funding at their disposal. 
Similarly, the measure claims to ban "union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees," yet it exempts many of the largest corporations from that restriction, allows even the corporations it does cover to bypass the restriction by forming super PACs, and it still allows corporate officers to funnel contributions to their favored candidates, making the corporate controls almost completely meaningless.

Prop 33 - No.

Attempt to undo consumer protections of insurance rates couched in discount for continuous insurance subscribers. This is a cost-shifting measure that would impact a sizable portion of California insurance subscribers negatively and would effectively dismantle many consumer protections. 

Furthermore, it specifically would target infrequent drivers or people who have giving up insurance for long periods due to: alternative transportation, unemployment, illness, etc.

Prop 34 - Yes.

The death penalty is immoral and does not accomplish what it claims: deterrence.

Furthermore, the death penalty is expensive. The prison system in general and death row specifically takes money out of the hands of teachers, emergency first responders, vital infrastructure projects and protecting the natural beauty of the great state of California.

We're a first world state, why are we employing a third world, barbaric punishment?

Prop 35 - No. "Tough on crime legislation" will further victimize sex workers.

Be ware of any law purporting to be "tough on crime," they are either ineffectual, like our gun laws, or succeed in furtherance of injustice, incarceration, civil rights violations and misery toward minorities and the poor (the drug war, three strikes laws, harsh minimum sentencing guidelines). These are almost always election cycle show pieces ("look at how tough on crime I am! Re-elect me!") and they are usually more damning than helpful, if helpful at all.
Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, mad that the state Legislature wouldn't pass a trafficking law to his liking and looking for an issue to run for office on, put up the money to place this mess on the ballot. It would rewrite the section in California's Penal Code that defines human trafficking, and impose harsher sentences on those found guilty. It requires that all those convicted of human trafficking — under an expanded definition that includes such non-sexual crimes as extortion — register on the sex offender registry, and that all registered sex offenders turn over their Internet usernames and passwords to the government.
Prop 36 - Yes.

Three-strikes reform measure to exclude non-violent crimes. A half-measure, but I'll take it:
Prop. 36 wouldn't repeal three strikes. It would simply require that the third strike offense be considered violent or serious. And it would provide a means for people currently serving ridiculously long sentences for relatively minor crimes to appeal and seek relief.
Prop 37 - Yes.

Chowbacca! makes this argument probably better than I could: http://www.chowbacca.com/2012/09/news-roundup-gmo-edition.html

Prop 38 - Yes, suck it up.

The state needs to raise funds for education, period, and will only be able to do that through a tax increase. The sliding scale starts at $7,300 a year (+0.4%, or about $30) and skews heavily toward a middle class tax burden, but is totally necessary.

Prop 39 - Yes.
Prop. 39 would change a loophole in the state's tax code that helps multistate businesses to avoid state taxes. In essence, the current law lets companies choose whether to base their state tax liability on in-state sales or a combination of sales, employment, and property. Companies with a lot of out-of-state employees are able to reap huge tax breaks — if anything the current law encourages outsourcing.
Prop 40 - Yes.
This referendum challenged the California Senate districts that were created early this year by the Citizen Redistricting Commission, an independent body that voters created as an alternative to the previous practice of letting politicians draw their own legislative districts after the decennial census. Those new districts aren't perfect — indeed, San Francisco was placed in a single Senate district instead of the pair we had — but the process that created them was widely lauded as "open, transparent, and nonpartisan," as the California Supreme Court ruled in rejecting a challenge to the districts. That ruling has caused the proponents of this measure — the side urging a "no" vote, which would invalidate the districts and let a judicial panel redraw them, whereas a "yes" vote upholds the existing districts — to drop their campaign and accept the commission's results. Vote yes.