A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Now for the Propositions

I'm getting near the end of my set of posts with my recommendations, including State Offices, BART Board, and Alameda Mayor/City Council. Now it's time to talk about the California Propositions.

When reading this, you might want to take a look at Courage Campaign's handy chart showing how various left-leaning groups have endorsed. Not a lot of discord, actually.

YES on 19: Tax and Regulate Cannabis. Unfortunately a lot of political groups are "neutral" on this issue, like it's some sort of political hot potato and they don't want anybody to paint them as being pot-heads. That's really unfortunate; however apparently the measure is polling fairly well, so it has a chance. If you have read anything (e.g. Reefer Madness about the California Prison system and the underground economy behind Cannabis, you would see that ending this modern-day "Prohibition" would have a huge number of benefits. Not, it's not going to make more people smoke weed, just as ending prohibition of alcohol didn't create a nation of alcoholics. Without the Democratic Party backing this, and plenty of conservatives opposing it because they are, well, conservative, we're going to need every vote we can muster up to get this to pass — I hope yours. http://yes19.org/

NO on 20: More Redistricting change. This is a complex issue, but let's take a quick look at who supports it. Good ol' Republican Party, the big-business-supporting California Chamber of Commerce, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers association. Who opposes it? The League of Women Voters (LWV), CA Democratic Party, and many more if you look at the chart linked above. http://www.noprop20.org/

YES on 21: Vehicle surcharge to find state parks. A no-brainer for me! http://www.yesforstateparks.com/

NO/Undecided on 22. Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation or Local Government Projects and Services. The CA Democratic Party endorsed a NO; but TransForm (a local group I respect) is neutral. Here's their analysis: http://j.mp/bB1IR5 "Living in the O" gave it a Yes. Usually when something isn't a strong YES, I'll go with a NO, so we can try again and make it right.

Update: I had misplaced this additional information about 22 from a friend, so I'll insert it here. She linked to an article calling it a "power grab" by California redevelopment agencies and to an editorial by a former Orange County supervisor and wrote:
I'm a strong NO. I've followed redevelopment closely in Fremont and what I see is that it's a slush fund the local politicos use to reward their favorites and build their pet projects (which are often sports stadiums). Local redevelopment is an increasing drain on the State's General Fund and the only big pool of tax dollars left, so the State and the local governments are fighting over it. The State wants to give it to the schools to reduce the State's daily attendance funding obligations, the local governments want to keep it to use for their own (always pro-development and frequently corrupt) purposes.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO ... Where was I? Oh yeah, HELL NO on 23. Just about every environmental and political group that I have any respect for is emphatically saying NO on this. Sierra Club, the Dem Party, the LWV, etc. This basically suspends air pollution control laws and pollution reporting requirements. http://Factson23.com

YES on 24. OK, I just barely understand this: Repeals Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses to Carry Back Losses, Share Tax Credits, and Use a Sales-Based Income Calculation. Apparently it plugs a lot of loopholes that big corporations are using to reduce their taxes — and I'm in favor of corporations paying their fair share. The progressive groups give this the thumbs-up, across the board, so I'm satisfied.

YES on 25. This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Remember the times over the last few years when the state legislator couldn't pass a budget? The Democrats were trying to keep services running; the minority Republicans were happy to shut down the state government, so they would hold out for all kinds of ridiculous concessions. Well, this proposition is only half of what we need to solve our state budget being held hostage by "we don't care what happens to the state budget" Republicans. There was a much better ballot measure submitted that didn't make the cut. Oh well. This will help a bit, though. It gives the legislator majority rule (not minority tyranny) for passing a budget.

NO on 26: Yikes, this is almost the opposite of 25. This is called the "polluter protection" proposition. Democrats, Sierra Club, LWV, etc. all oppose it. http://www.stoppolluterprotection.com/

YES on 27. This is the other half of the confusing Prop 20. It would eliminate the redistricting commission that was formed a few years ago, which I was against -- and has basically been a joke. So I'm certainly for the elimination of it.

I hope this has been of some use!


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