Tuesday, October 27, 1998

For those needing voting advice.

Propositions:

1A: $9 billion in bonds for school construction. And $6 billion in interest, for absolutely nothing. I hate deficit financing. No.

1: Another Prop. 13 exemption, for houses destroyed by marauding aliens from the Crab Nebula, or some such thing. Yes, why the fuck not.

2: Tries to keep the governor and legislature stealing transportation funds. Yes.

3: The political parties are ordering us to reverse the open primaries for the purposes of presidential primaries. As annoying as I found the primaries, this is just arrogant and insulting. If the 2 parties want to set the rules for primaries, they can bloody well pay for printing the ballots and manning the polling booths. Given the deterioration of party loyalty, anyone should be able to vote for anyone. No.

4: Saves furry animals from nasty traps. Yes.

5: Indian casinos. I haven't seen an argument against that isn't an attack on Indian tribal sovereignty in general. Interestingly, no one is arguing that gambling is bad. There are problems. The revenue sharing with the tribes that don't have casinos is laughably small. Tribes with populations of 70 already have gambling. I suspect some tinkering will be required in years to come. And the idea that fleecing the suckers is promoting Indian "self-reliance" is pretty amusing. Still, yes.

6: Bans horsemeat for human (or at least Canadian) consumption. But leaves the dogfood industry alone. So what is the point supposed to be? No.

7: Tax credits for air pollution control. Except that it rewards doing a lot of things that are required by law, and would mostly aid the big polluting industries. No.

8: Pete Wilson's state takeover of the schools, including unelected councils, teacher testing, and mandatory suspension for drugs, and a Schools Czar. No.

9: Reverses electricity deregulation, which somehow left us with the highest rates in the country, by far. The most difficult part is that it invalidates the bonds that are being sold to pay for that great rate reduction (I personally am paying more for those bonds than I got in rate reductions--how's everyone else doing?). The scare argument is that the state would get stuck paying for them, but that would be unconstitutional. Let's stick PG & E with the costs of its own stupid business decisions, especially Diablo Canyon. Yes.

10: A tobacco tax to pay for completely unrelated early childhood programs. I may yet change my mind on this before election day (again), but my inclination is to vote against. The programs are rather nebulous and the perhaps worthy attempts to run them from the county rather than state level seems likely to create a lot of waste and bureaucracy. The reason I may vote yes ultimately is that I'd really hate to vote the way the tobacco companies want me to. The ads against 10 have been even more dishonest than the Prop. 5 ads. The proposition exempts itself from Prop 98 so that 40% (I think it was 40%) of the new revenues won't immediately be sucked out for purposes other than those for which the tax was created; so what? Kevin noticed the line about it reducing the Prop 99 anti-smoking fund, but the way it will do this is by depressing cigarette sales, so it's hard to object to that unless we think people should smoke in order to fund propaganda telling them not to. So that was vote no, or maybe yes.

11: Sales tax revenue-sharing, as for example in Palos Verdes where the city of RPV has almost no shops of its own and so gets some of the sales tax revenue from Rolling Hills Estates, which does. This would make such deals easier, but it would do so by by-passing the voters in favor of city and county governments, and worse, require an undemocratic 2/3 vote. No (and there was no argument against in the book).

State offices:

I just saw a Lungren ad saying that Gray Davis is too mean-spirited to be governor of California. After the last 16 years, not to mention Ronald "Let the bloodbath begin" Reagan, it's hard to imagine anyone too mean-spirited for that high office. For me, it comes down to the death penalty, the issue that has prevented me voting for a Democrat for any high California office for all the time I've been voting. I'm not willing to vote for Davis in the hopes that his support for it has been from political expediency rather than conviction and that there would therefore be fewer deaths under his regime. If I were German in 1932 I wouldn't vote for the candidate who promised to gas only 5 million Jews, and I sure as hell don't want a governor willing to execute people to save his own career. We've seen that sort of thing up close, and we all know where it leads to: sex with interns.

So I'm probably going with the Green for governor, and Peace and Freedom for most of the lesser positions, and Delaine Eastin for Public Instruction. I also can't make myself vote for Boxer.

State Supreme Court is a little more tricky. We shouldn't be voting on this at all, so in the past I've sometimes voted yes for all of them. But most of these clowns are horrible right wing Duke and Wilson appointees, so I think yes on Mosk and abstain on the rest.

And that's it for another crappy election year. I've watched some of the debates for other states, which C-SPAN's been running pretty much non-stop, but couldn't work up much enthusiasm, even for the governor's race in, where was it?, Minnesota? where the famous professional wrestler is running.

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