Friday, October 31, 2008

Jeremy's California Voter Guide

Every election cycle, I spend the time reading the full text of the propositions, and then spouting my feelings to everyone who asks. To make this more efficient, I present my bi-annual voter's guide.

Quick Guide (details follow):

President: You should already know who you want.

House of Reps: I'm basing it on whether I agree with their vote on the $700 Billion bailout.

Local stuff: Sorry, can't really help you there.

Prop 1: No
Prop 2: Yes
Prop 3: No
Prop 4: No
Prop 5: No
Prop 6: No
Prop 7: No
Prop 8: No
Prop 9: No
Prop 10: No
Prop 11: No
Prop 12: No


President: You know who you are voting for. If you are still "undecided", that means that you either want attention, or are waiting for someone to tell you. If you were an informed voter, you would have already made up your mind, and had enough faith in yourself to know that you are capable of chaging your mind, should some compelling new evidence come about.

House of Reps:
A few weeks ago the House and Senate passed a bill that gave a bunch of money with no strings attached to a few select banks, who are mostly using it for giving bonuses and such things. Here is how all the state reps voted on the bailout bill. I suggest you find your incumbent, and if they didn't vote the way you would have, then vote for the other guy.

A note on bond measures: I always* vote no on bond measures. They cripple our state economy, because no matter what anyone says, there are only two ways to pay off the interest of a bond -- higher taxes or service cuts. Neither of these things is good. My feeling is that if the project is such a good idea, then it would be worth cutting services or raising taxes beforehand to save enough money to pay for it.

* The one bond I supported was for stem cell research, and that was because I felt the federal government was being so stupid on the issue that something drastic had to be done.

Prop 1: No. This is a bond measure. It's not even a good bond measure. It's a huge boondoggle that creates a huge bureaucracy and doesn't even guarantee that we'll get anything from it. The main argument for this proposition is that labor is cheap now. However, if you actually read the text of the bill, you'll see that no labor based jobs are created. The only jobs this creates are for highly trained surveyors and scientists. The results of their work could lead to the creation of construction jobs, but only if additional funding is made.

Prop 2: Yes. I read the whole text. It doesn't do anything funny, just simply states that animals have to be in bigger enclosures. The one main downside is that there will probably be some collateral damage where farmers will move out of the state to other states that allow crueler, and therefore more profitable, conditions.

Prop 3: No. Bond act. If it was such a good idea, they would have already found the money.

Prop 4: No. Forcing a girl to talk to her family will not solve anything. If she felt comfortable talking to her family, she would do it, law or no. All this does it put already vulnerable teenage girls into an even more difficult situation. I would like to hope that any teenage girl I may have in the future would feel comfortable talking to me if she were pregnant.

Prop 5: No. Besides the budget impact, this law is a sneaky way of creating some cushy new government jobs. Hidden in the many pages of text of this law is the creation of a new position, which would be a second secretary of the Department of Corrections (they already have one). The way that their undersecretaries are currently selected is by governor appointment and state senate approval, but this law would make it so that they can't be dismissed for five years. There are a lot of other sneaky changes in this law, along with a bunch of money. It seems like this law started out as a way to get non-violent drug offenders out of prison, but turned into a huge pork program for a small group of people. Again, if this were such a good idea, they could find the money in other ways.

Prop 6: No. This is a huge infusion of cash to law enforcement, which would strap our state budget and not gain us a lot for the money. Once again, this falls under, "If it was a good idea, they would already be funding it."

Prop 7: No. I'm not a lawyer, but when I read through the text of this law, I could not make much sense of it. Usually I can at least get the gist of it. I think this law has good intentions, but is so poorly written, and has such huge sweeping changes, that I don't think it is a good idea. All of the major power companies in California have poured tons of money into defeating this bill. Normally I would not support the same position as all of the biggest power companies in the state, but in this case I can't help but agree with them. I suspect they are mostly defending themselves from the onerous regulations this bill unreasonably puts upon them.

Prop 8: No. Why would you vote to remove people's rights? Regardless of how you feel about marriage, this removes existing rights. It singles out one group of people to have different treatment under the law. Did we not learn our lessons from the 60's?

Prop 9: No. Mostly for the same reasons as prop 6. This is a boondoggle that creates new bureaucracy that we don't need under the guise of protecting victims.

Prop 10: No. Bond measure. Find the money already. Etc.

Prop 11: No. This is a measure mostly supported by Republicans to change the way we draw districts to help them get more seats. Admittedly, none of the state seats have changed parties in the last two elections, so clearly the system is broken. However, this isn't the solution.

Prop 12: No. Bond. As much as I think our Veterans should get government help as a thank you for their service, it's still a bond.