Monday, November 01, 2004

Barbara Selfridge’s Crib Sheet for November 2, 2004

State Propositions
1A Keep Local Tax Revenue Local. YES. In this summer’s budget compromise, Schwartznegger kept his No New Taxes pledge by stealing tax revenues from future generations (who will have to repay our bonds instead of funding their own needs) and local governments (property and sales taxes, etc). Prop 65 would stop the $1.3 billion dollar annual shift unless 50% of voters approve it; Prop 1A (put on the ballot to stop Prop 65) allows Sacramento to take the money for only two years and after that only if 2/3s of the state legislature okays it. The Greens like 65 better, but they say vote yes for both.
59 Limits on Government Secrecy. YES.
60 Open Elections. YES. Don’t let rich GOPers wipe everyone else off the ballot.
60A Earmarking Revenue. NO. This isn’t much money $30 million/yr but are we so anti-government that we won’t let Sacramento debate how to spend it?
61 Bond for Children’s Hospitals. NO. The Greens say we need big fixes, like single-payer health coverage not costly band-aids like this one.
62 Close Elections NO NO NO As in Louisiana, only the two highest vote-getters (read best-funded most-Republican) would make it onto our ballots.
63 Tax the Rich for Mental Health Services YES Good tax strategy.
64 Put Corporate Law Breakers Above the Law NO Don’t lose your right to sue.
65 Reverse the Theft of Local Tax Revenues YES Better than Prop 1A.
66 Three VIOLENT Strikes YES YES YES Amend an unjust costly law.
67 Phone Tax for Hospitals NO The Greens say only 1% goes to 911 services 90% to hospitals and MDs, and they don’t like Sacramento grabbing county funds.
68 Let the Mafia Run Casinos NO A set-up to take down their Indian biz rivals.
69 Forced DNA Sampling NO, NO, NO Even innocents would lose their rights.
70 Expand Indian Casinos YES? There are lots of reasons to vote no: gambling, non-union labor, non-environmental protections. But yes is pro-Indian.
71 Bonds to Fund the BioTechs NO Stem cell research is good, but the Greens say this would be a $3 billion giveaway to private industry (plus the $3B interest).
72 Healthcare Coverage Even Without a Union YES YES YES Wal-Mart, Target and other large employers would prefer their workers use ERs and Medi-Cal.

About the Propositions

My Sacto insider explains them thus: it’s the legislatures job to debate what needs California will fund and how we will raise those funds. But the Republican minority stops new taxes and the outsourced/ tanking/petroleum-dependent economy stops new surpluses, so it’s gridlock city in the state capitol. And so special interest groups good and bad go for propositions, most of which say protect my needs (or my tax bases) from the budget negotiations, please! So if representational democracy is not the way to get our societal needs met, we fall back on propositions? And they become law, even if hardly any voters can read them? What if they’re worded badly? What if they don’t go far enough? That’s how you end up with the good people who want stem cell research being opposed by the good people from Our Bodies Ourselves.

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