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State Props: Just Say No! (Nov 06)

Part 1

1A: No. Budgeting at the ballot box is responsible for many of our state’s financial problems to begin with. Enough!
1B: No. Too much much spent on roads compared to transit, and what money would go to transit will end up being squandered on wasteful projects like BART to San Jose or the Central Subway rather than actually improving day to day service of cost-effective and flexible systems that people actually use, like AC Transit.
1C: Yes. This provides funding for emergency shelters, down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, grants for environmental remediation to encourage infill development in urban areas, grants to encourage high-density, transit-oriented development, park funding. I sort of wanted to do a blanket no all across the board, but this one just hits too many of my pet causes. And places like Oakland will benefit the most from it. Yeah for 1C!
1D: No. This bond measure is not designed to meet long-term or one-time needs. It is just a way for the Legislature to alleviate their guilt for not properly funding schools to begin with. As with 1B, these are continuing needs that need permanent dedicated revenue, not a bond. A responsible Legislature and Governor would raise MY taxes to pay for these needs, not my children’s.
1E: Yes. Because who votes against flood control?

Part 2

The signature-submitted iniatives on this year’s ballot are a pointed example of what’s wrong with the entire initiative process. Special interests and wealthy individuals can literally buy their way onto the ballot, either to impose taxes for their pet projects (Props 86 and 87) or to enact radical, wide-ranging measures that would disrupt the entire policy-making process (Props 89 and 90). We urge a blanket ‘no’ vote on every single one. In detail, however, here are their problems.

Prop 83: This punitive measure is a transparent attempt by Republicans to change the conversation from corruption to crime. The state already passed a more moderate version of this law. There are possible constitutional problems with its blanket ban on sex offenders living in urban areas – would the state have the right to evict people from their homes? And GPS monitoring for life? O.M.G. Also, it is incredibly unfair to dump sex offenders in rural California.

Prop 84: This is a typical special-interest buyout of the iniative process. It gives grants to environmental organizations; those organizations, of course, are backing it. Just say no to this money-grab! If you care about flood control, vote for 1E.

Prop 85: Not only was this exact same proposition rejected in the special election, but it’s just wrong to impose age limits on constitutional rights. This proposition is anti-choice, antifeminist and is age discrimination in its purest form.

Prop 86: The link between smoking and hospitals is tenuous at best. The money from this gigantic tax would go to for-profit hospitals, not smoking prevention programs. After the utility tax failed in 2004, the greedy hospitals are back, trying to raise and spend money themselves, corrupting the process. They even added in an exemption from state anti-trust oversight! Additionally, the tax is so high that it will definitely encourage cigarette smuggling.

Prop 87: This has to be one of the mostly poorly-written intiatives ever to face the voters. The tax scheme does not specify whether the tax applies on the margin or not, which is a huge variable in how it will be collected. Oil companies will be able to deduct the tax from their income, and so the state will lose revenue from income tax. Furthermore, the proposition requires the state to spend money on alternative energy research even if the tax does not collect its projected amount, saddling us with yet another spending mandate. Finally, the proposition is a grab-bag of money for “research,” and the campaign is being funded by those who will receive its grants. Again, corruption.

Prop 88: One of the major problems with local taxes, besides the requirement of a 2/3rds supermajority vote, is their often regressive nature. This pointless parcel tax is not only severely regressive but unncessary, and would encourage voters in the future to reject local parcel taxes.

Prop 89: This is unfair, one-sided, and clearly unconstitutional. PACs and businesses would face limits that wealthy individuals and unions do not. Fringe candidates will have access to public funds for their extremist campaigns, souring the political debate. Lastly, the fact that it’s funded by a corporate income tax hike simply adds to its unfairness while providing no rational link between the funding source and the purpose of the proposition. This is backed by greedy public-sector unions looking to permanently cement their hold on the state’s lawmakers.

Prop 90: We generally oppose land-use regulations that limit the uses of property to please NIMBYs, but this goes way too far. The consequences of this measure are far-reaching and very threatening to local government finances. A similar law has been an utter disaster in Oregon.

Posted in california, elections, endorsements.


2 Responses

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. Great Expectations » Dellums and the State housing bond money: reality check linked to this post on August 2, 2007

    [...] we can provide a bed and a roof for is a step in the right direction. I voted for Prop. 1C and endorsed it on my blog, and I also voted for Prop. [...]