Vera’s proposition guide for Californians
No, this is not a resource for scorin’ some ladies. This is a handy guide for Election Day coming up in less than two weeks. Now, we already know which candidate we’re gonna vote for, but how about all those pesky 12 Propositions??
Here are the condensed arguments for and against each measure, as well as who is behind it, and my own personal views.
Prop 1 High Speed Rail Prop
• Provides $9 billion for constructing a high-speed rail between LA and SF.
• Funds connections to the high speed railroad, and repairs and revamping.
• A bond. Will cost taxpayer money, with the idea that ridership will offset those costs.
• Will save on fuel costs and gas emissions.
• Will ease traffic on land and in air.
• Will create new jobs.
• Supported by CA Alliance for Jobs, CHP, a bunch of CA Democrat legislators, and The Governator too!
• May cost more than $9 billion.
• Not enough accountability.
• Opposed by Taxpayers associations, a bunch of Republican state senators, and Coe State Park (which will lose some of its land).
The opposing side may talk about focusing instead on local mass transit, (and I firmly believe in also fixing our urban metro systems!) but that’s just a flimsy excuse for not working on high-speed rail transit. Also, I get the feeling that the Prop’s opponents aren’t exactly mass transit advocates. In the least, Prop 1 is an important step for California, and the US after it, to start developing high speed rail, and get with the program. Just look at Europe. We should have been working on this all along…
Prop 2 Humane Farm Standards Prop
• Requires that veal calves, egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs are given room to extend their limbs and move around a little.
• Creates misdemeanor penalties and will require enforcement there of.
• Farms will have until 2015 to make themselves compliant.
• Will extend state anti-animal cruelty laws to protect farm animals.
• Will benefit many family farms that are already compliant with anti-cruelty practices.
• Will reduce disease risks such as Salmonella, which are more common in cramped conditions.
• Supported by farm veterinarians, the Humane Society, Union of Concerned Scientists, environmental and water safety organizations, and other public interest and advocacy groups worth trusting.
• Potential increases in egg costs.
• Potential increase in out-of-state eggs shipped to California (which may carry diseases). Some may come from Mexico!
• Modern farm housing systems already humane and safe. (Cough*Bullshit*Cough! Sorry, couldn’t help it!)
• Opposed by Association of California Veterinarians, a former USDA inspector, egg producing trade associations.
Um. Call me crazy, but how is a mega-farm egg from Imperial Valley safer than an immigrant egg from México? Also, agribusiness is all against this. Also, remember the Chino Hills Scandal? No-brainer. We need to get with the program.
Prop 3 Children’s Hospital Bond Prop
• $980 million in bonds from the General Fund to fund construction, expansion, remodeling of children’s hospitals.
• 80% of bond proceeds will go to non-profit hospitals that focus on children with cancer, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, hear defects and diabetes. The other 20% will go to Univ. of CA acute care hospitals.
• Requires that qualifying hospitals provide services to financially disadvantaged children.
• Will provide much-needed funds for children’s hospitals that are over-crowded and strapped for cash.
• Will save lives of little kids, and extend the lives of others.
• Supported by families of sick children and said children’s hospitals.
• I don’t even wanna write this…
• The CA economy is already strapped for cash as it is.
• There are still unspent hospital funds from Prop 61 in 2004.
• Opposed by the Tax Limitation Committee, American Conservative Union.
Oh man, how do you take a lollipop away from a little kid, a cute, sniffling, terminally ill kid? Our non-profit hospitals are in sad, sad state. Obvs. Let’s go for this! Plus, one of the arguments against Prop 3 is that “a driving force behind this measure is to provide a backdoor way of compensating hospitals for treating indigents (including illegal aliens) who don’t pay their way through the front door.” Indigents! And their indigent kids!
Prop 4 Parental Notification Prop
• Changes CA Constitution to prohibit abortion for minors until their parents are notified.
• Minor has option of making a case in front of the court to circumvent notification.
• Minor can circumvent parental notification on grounds of fear of physical/sexual/emotional abuse, thereby requiring physician to file a report with police or child protection agencies.
• Will reduce “secret” abortions for minors.
• Will protect minors from sexual predators/statutory rapists as a side effect of reporting the abortions.
• There’s other stuff, but it’s proven to be false, so I won’t type it.
• Supported by “Megan’s Law” author, certain OB/GYNs and lawyers, conservative pro-life activists (including James Holman, who’s funded Prop 73 and 85 in past years).
• Um. Wow. Where to start?
• Will not reduce abortions, but would increase non-medical/self-induced/out-of-state abortions, as has been the case in other states with similar laws.
• Parental notification has been accepted by both pro-life and pro-choice groups as the FIRST STEP to rolling back abortion rights.
• No viable second options: most teens too scared of going in front of a judge, not going to call child protection services on parents. Likely to seek dangerous “3rd options”.
• Opposed by Planned Parenthood, Reproductive and Women’s Rights organizations, CA Nurses’, Medical, Teachers’ and School Counselors’ Associations, CA American Academy of Pediatrics. Also, the ACLU and the LA Times!
Dude! Vote NO! This is common sense. This shit hasn’t worked elsewhere, and it won’t work here. This same law’s been voted down in 2000 and 2008 by CA voters. Many teens are not as lucky as you or I to have loving, understanding parents. They’re what this is all about.
Vote NO NO NO. Also, if you vote yes, you can stop being my friend now. Pseurry!
Prop 5 Jail Sentence Reduction & Rehab Prop
• Allocates $460 million to build and expand drug treatment programs.
• Limits jail sentences of non-violent drug offenders, changes some sentences to probation with treatment.
• Creates drug treatment program for minors.
• Will offer recovery for non-violent drug offenders and addicts, thereby reducing future crime.
• Will create youth drug treatment programs, where NONE exist today.
• Will ease overcrowding in jail and save $2.5 billion.
• Will provide funds for those can’t afford treatment.
• Will expand upon voter-approved Prop 36 (2000).
• Supported by addiction treatment entities (obvs), the CA Nurses’ Association, CA Democrats, League of Women Voters, CA NAACP, Latino Voters League
• Will release addicts back on the street to commit more crime.
• Could dramatically increase local costs and taxes.
• May create get out of jail free cards for people claiming “the drugs made me do it.”
• Opposed by CA Police Chiefs, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Crime Victims organizations, D.A.R.E., CA League of United Latino Citizens, and Martin Sheen (really??).
I’m feelin yes on this one. There are too many sick individuals languishing in jails, being turned into real criminals by the system. When our state releases countless real criminals back onto the street because of overcrowding, I’m all for sending as many minor drug offenders to rehab. And youth drug treatment programs! It’s about flippin time! Also, this is one of those cases where looking at the list of supporters and opponents can really help make up your mind.
Prop 6 Gettin’ Tough on Gangs Prop
***I wrote A LOT, but that’s because there are A LOT of new laws proposed. Please read.***
• Allocates $965 million for police, district attorneys, jails and juvenile probation facilities.
• Makes approx. 30 revisions to CA criminal law, making gang-related and certain drug-related penalties tougher, some resulting in new life sentences.
• Meth possession/sale and vehicle theft will carry tougher sentences.
• Creates gang information databases, criminal background checks for Public Housing residents, and prohibits bail for undocumented persons charged with a violent or gang-related felony.
• Will expand circumstances that allow juveniles to be charged in adult courts for gang-related offenses.
• Will increase penalties for repeated graffiti offenders.
• Will curb rampant gang violence overtaking California.
• Will provide additional funds for victim/witness protection programs.
• Prop 6 returns taxpayers’ money to local law enforcement without raising taxes.
• Supported by police, sheriffs and DAs, Sheriff Lee Baca, Crime Victims United, CA Republicans and the author of the Three Strikes Law!
• There’s no accountability for the money spent.
• Diverts billions from CA’s schools, hospitals and childcare centers.
• Targets youth: a 14-year-old charged with a gang-related crime could be punished as an adult.
• Creates more homeless by denying public housing to anyone with a criminal conviction.
• Targets illegal aliens by requiring sheriffs to report them to ICE.
• People unaffiliated with gangs could still be listed in gang databases and falsely prosecuted.
• Opposed by CA Democratic Party, firefighters’, teachers’, and labor organizations, as well as NOW and the League of Women Voters.
I am totally against Prop 6. Not just because I love the organizations that oppose it. Prop 6 is a “police state” measure. It wants to spend $1 billion a year on efforts that at best, treat the symptoms not the cause of crime, and at worse will drive more people to crime and deem innocent people as jail-worthy. Lemme break it down for ya: more youth will be sent to jail after being tried as adults, increasing their chances of committing crime again. People will be turned away from Public Housing, becoming homeless and likely to commit crimes. In many poor neighborhoods, kids have no choice but to be affiliated with a gang. Many non-criminal individuals will now be deemed criminals, and thus more likely to become ones! This is NOT the answer.
Prop 7 Renewable Energy Regulations Prop
• Requires private and state-owned utilities to generate 20% renewable energy by 2010, 40% by 2020, and 50% by 2025.
• Imposes penalties for non-compliance.
• Requires utilities to sign longer contracts (20 yrs min.) to procure renewable energy.
• Changes the process of defining “market price of electricity.”
• Requires all utilities to provide more solar, wind, geothermal biomass, tidal and small hydro-electric energy.
• Will limit the dangers of global warming, such as wildfires, water shortages, threats to endangered species and poor air quality.
• Will create 370,000 new high-wage jobs.
• Supported by Californians for Solar and Clean Energy (an organization create specifically for Prop 7), Danny Glover, Dolores Huerta (Co-Founder, United Farm Workers Union), members of the Rainforest Action Network, a smattering of committee members, local politicians and members of organizations.
• Prop 7 fatally flawed, ridden with loopholes, and will hinder renewable energy development.
• Forces small solar and wind energy companies out of the market by deeming power from plants under 30 megawatts non-compliant.
• Allows power providers to charge 10% above market rates, stifling competition for renewable energy and costing the State more.
• Opposed by the League of Conservation Voters (the voters group for environmentalists!), the CA Solar Industries Association, NRDC, Union of Concerned Scientists, CA Taxpayers’ Association, the Republicans and Democrats, and the CA Small Business Association. Whew! That was a mouthful.
Whoa, I don’t know why Danny Glover is for it, but almost everyone else is against it. This is a dead-in-its-tracks proposition. And besides that, it is totally a power-grab (pun intended!) by big energy producers. Boo.
Prop 8 Anti-Gay Marriage Prop
• Changes the CA Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.
• Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in California.
• A wedge issue that may get more votes for McCain at the polls.
• Furthers the theory that gays just want to have butt sex with our children.
• Supported by a variety of faith-based organizations and congregations (lotsa Mormons!), American Family Association, Focus on the Family, Knights of Columbus.
• If passed, will make CA look like total buttheads. Also, if god exists, we’ll go to hell.
• Prop 8 will cost our state billions in lost revenue due to gays moving the fuck out of our state and going to Massachusetts.
• Opposed by the Movie Industry, The Governator, CA Democrats, Jewish organizations, Labor, teachers, nurses, all major CA newspapers, including La Ópinión, ACLU, CA NAACP, Womens’ organizations, and of course all LGBT organizations.
I think I made myself clear. I have a feeling that American History classes will be studying these current years in the future. It’s a really important time. But it’s also a really close call, as far as the polls are concerned. Fingers crossed!
Prop 9 Expanding Victims’ Rights Prop
• Requires notification to the victim or victim’s family during phases of criminal justice process, including bail, pleas, sentencing and parole.
• Expands victim input in all phases of the criminal justice process.
• Reduces number of parole hearings to which prisoners are entitled.
• Limits the use of state-paid defense lawyers in revocation proceedings to indigent offenders.
• Will put more importance on victims’ rights over criminal rights, leveling the playing field.
• Will prevent criminals from being released early due to jail overcrowding.
• Supported by Victims’ Rights organizations, police, sheriffs, DAs, the creator of “Jessica’s Law”.
• The majority of proposed victims’ rights laws already exist. Prop 9 will create duplicate laws, overburdening the justice process.
• Will worsen overcrowding in our prison system and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions.
• Subject to federal legal challenges – not likely to have an effect in the end.
• Opposed by CA Teachers Association, firefighters, the CA Democratic Party, CA Council of Churches and the LA Times.
The literature on Prop 9 does state that there are already existing laws protecting the rights of victims and their families. There are two things that bother me about this law. A) Victims and their families are biased (which is understandable), and will always desire a harsher punishment than is granted by the justice system, and as such, granting them too much say in matters of justice is a mistake. And B) I am against a measure that would toughen the parole process without putting any effort in rehabilitative or preventative programs. Prop 9 is against early release of prisoners, but it would lead to more overcrowding and force jails to release people early!
Prop 10 Biodiesel Trucks Prop
• Provides $3.425 billion in rebates for alternative fuel and high fuel economy vehicles, including natural gas.
• Provides $1.25 billion for research, development and production of alternative energy, primarily solar.
• Provides grants to cities and colleges for renewable energy endeavors.
• Funded by $5 billion from general obligation bonds.
• Will provide urgently needed funding for renewable energy research and development.
• Will get more efficient vehicles on the roads, and replace older polluting diesel trucks with alternative fuel trucks.
• Will improve air quality and reduce disease.
• Supported by American Cancer Society, California Air Resources Board, and T. Boone Pickens.
• Will cost taxpayers $10 billion during a budget crisis, taking funds away from schools, hospitals, etc, without any real promise of cleaning our air.
• Overwhelmingly favors natural gas, and the oil billionaire/Biodiesel producer who funded Prop 10.
• Will mostly benefit fleet operators, including highly profitable corporations.
• Opposed by the CA League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, as well as the League of Women Voters, CA Labor and the LA Times.
At first I was on the fence, but now I’m no no no! This is a pet project of T. Boone “Swift Boat” Pickens (who slaughtered Kerry). I imagine him as the gun-shootin Simpsons oil tycoon, and not as someone whose company should benefit in the billions from a cash-strapped state. Plus, biodiesel is only 5-30% lower in emissions than oil. Biodiesel trucks get on the lower end of that spectrum. That’s lame. I’ll stand with environmental groups who know their shit (like UCS) and oppose!
Prop 11 Redistricting Prop
• Changes who establishes Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization (taxation) district boundaries from elected representatives to 14-member commission.
• Commission selection:
1. Gov’t auditors will select 60 registered voters from applicants
2. Legislators are allowed to reduce pool
3. State Auditor randomly selects 8 commissioners – 3 GOPs, 3 Dems, and 2 other
4. The selected 8 commissioners then select the remaining 6 commissioners
5. Final commission tally: 5 GOPs, 5 Dems, 4 independent/other.
• CA Constitutional amendment.
• Currently, the legislature draws its own boundaries, resulting in 99% re-election and creating a conflict of interest.
• Redistricting will no longer be controlled by the ruling party.
• Will give voting power back to the people.
• Supported by the AARP, the League of Women Voters, the Governator, SoCal ACLU, LA Times.
• Commission will have no accountability to taxpayers.
• The overly complicated process behind Prop 11 could mask hidden agendas of the people on the committee.
• Prop 11 offers no assurance of equal representation for communities, such as CA’s Hispanics.
• Opposed by CA Democratic arty (duh), Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, various minority legal defense funds, United Farm Workers, Courage Campaign, League of Conservation Voters.
I thought about it at length. I have to say, I like both the supporters and opponents on this one. I like this prop because it aims to set up a redistricting process that allows for wider input, and curtails legislative power grabs. I don’t like it because it grants more power to the Republicans, who are in the minority in California. It won’t give ample representation to disenfranchised minorities, but at the same time, I don’t know what redistricting process would. As the election nears, more progressive organizations (LCV and CC) are coming out in opposition, and that gives me pause.
Not sure yet!!.
Prop 12 Veterans’ Bond Prop
• Provides a $900 million bond to issue loans to CA veterans to purchase farms and homes.
• Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bond if loan payments from participating veterans are insufficient.
• The Cal-Vet program (veterans’ farm and home purchase) has been around since 1921 – it’s an institution.
• Um, we like owe it to them n’ stuff.
• This measure was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote of the State Assembly and the State Senate.
• Supported by the CA Legislature, veterans, and the people who love them.
• It’s a bond. ?
• Opposed by a guy named Gary Wesley.
I don’t know who this Gary Wesley guy is, but he sounds like a dick. I kinda really don’t understand why the Cal-Vet program is a proposition to begin with.