Voting by mail has started and as promised, I have put my recommendations for the ballot propositions in one post. I consider myself a tea partyer, but the tea party is not an official organization, so my recommendations are my own. I reviewed recommendations from Temple of Mut, LeftCoastRebel, Richard Rider and Ballotpedia as part of research for these recommendations.
Proposition 30. Jerry Brown's Tax Increase. NO
The California Teacher's Association is by far the biggest donor to this initiative, which is all we need to know to vote against it, as they are the nexus of evil, the very nadir to all that is good in politics in this state (and their ain't much good.) Brown is hinting at horrible outcomes, like closing schools, if this initiative doesn't pass. Since it won't, I hope he makes good. One argument in favor is a bald face lie, that only the rich will pay, because this increases sales taxes that the poor pay. California's schools are terrible, and not for lack of funding. SLOB consensus is also NO.
Proposition 31. Two Year Budget Cycle. YES
This is not a perfect proposition, but it's not all bad. It reforms some of the state budget processes and shifts some revenue to local government while taking it away from Sacramento and gives local government some tools to fight unfunded mandates. I don't like the two year cycle, which will be used by the legislature to cook the books, even worse. The question is how much worse could it get? That's a judgement call and call me a cock-eyed optimist, but I don't think the legislature and the governor could screw things up any more than they have done to date. SLOB consensus is mixed.
Proposition 32. Paycheck Protection Initiative. YES
I am not a fan of banning contributions to political campaigns by classes of organizations, but restrictions on corporations are already in place. This proposition prohibits corporations and unions from donating directly to political campaigns with money collected from employee payroll deductions. In general, this is a good idea, but the unions hate it. Once again, the CTA is the biggest donor fighting this proposition. This has a chance of becoming somewhat of a Wisconsin style reform that turns the tide against union control of state government. SLOB consensus is YES.
Proposition 33. Some Technical Changes to Auto Insurance. YES
I can barely bring myself to care, since insurance companies shouldn't be subject to this kind of micro-management of their policies in the first place. The changes make sense because they give the insurers some more options to reward good behavior and give military a chance to retain favored treatment if their coverage lapses due to deployment. SLOB consensus is YES.
Proposition 34. Death Penalty Repeal. YES
I will state upfront that I am out of synch with many tea partyers on this one. I feel deeply and passionately that the death penalty should be repealed. Even though some crimes are so heinous as to deserve death, it is not good for our society to suffer that any should die with the acquiescence or action of the government. I oppose abortion, euthanasia and the ACA on the same basis. Some quotes from a previous post on the subject:
The tea party is nothing if not skeptical of government. Yet through the death penalty, we entrust to government the ultimate power of deciding the life or death of American citizens. I do not trust that our institutions of justice can apply the penalty fairly or without error. The thought of a man (and it is usually men) who would be wrongfully put to death is too horrible to contemplate. Yet, we have any number of cases where those on death row have been exonerated. My skepticism of government leads me to conclude that it cannot be trusted with a task such as deciding life and death, even of criminals.SLOBs consensus is NO.
Proposition 35. Human Trafficking. NO
Human traffickers are the scum of the earth, but there are plenty of laws that already provide punishment. I oppose any law that subverts the rule of law enshrined in the constitution. This law limits defendants rights to cross-examination and could taint those not connected to the crime of trafficking. Temple of Mut points out that the costs of enforcement are probably wildly underestimated. SLOB consensus is mixed.
Proposition 36. Limits on Three Strikes Law. YES
I was never a big fan of the three strikes law, but I was more angry at career criminals being returned to the streets, so I supported that effort. This is a reasonable attempt to reign in some of the absurd outcomes that have come out of that law. It imposes the third strike life sentence only when the offense is violent or involved sex, drug or weapons related charges. That seems sensible to me; the prisons are already overcrowded, I would only like to ensure that violent felons are in prison for life. This is a management trade-off, given limited resources. SLOB consensus is mixed, but leaning no.
Proposition 37. Mandatory Labeling - Genetic Engineered Food. NO
I don't need to do much research to know that this is more busybody legislation that will only drive up the price of food with compliance costs for agriculture and business. Man has been genetically altering food since we planted the first crops millenia ago, all that has changed are the specific methods. LeftCoastRebel points out that some genetic engineering reduces the need for pesticides, so shouldn't the greenies be for that? Of course not, they only want to appear to help the environment as they tighten their grubby little socialist paws in a stranglehold on the economy. SLOB consensus is a resounding NO.
Proposition 38. Molly Munger's Even Worser Tax Increase. NO
Since Governor Brown isn't really left wing enough to appease the California left, we actually need higher taxes than he is proposing in Proposition 30, according to the authors of this little gem. Not content to raise taxes on "the rich," this proposition would raise taxes on most everyone. SLOB consensus is NO. By the way, I am happy to see two tax hikes on the ballot. Conventional wisdom, supported by research says this makes it more likely that both will be defeated, see Ballotpedia.
Proposition 39. Complicating the CA Tax Code Further to Drive More Business Away. NO
I only had to read this line to know I would be opposing this measure: "Initially, this extra revenue would fund green energy projects, construction projects, public schools, and boost the state’s general fund." Our very own Solyndra, funded by making life hell for businesses that have a partial presence in California. How special.
Proposition 40. Confusing Measure Regarding State Senate Districts. NO
Here is a case where yes appears to mean no. Voting for this measure would affirm the State Senate districts and No would overturn them. Chris Reed documented the underhanded way in which these districts were drawn. The question is whether overturning and letting the legislature or some other body redraw them is worth the effort. Also, weighing on this vote is the fact that the State Supreme Court has already affirmed the redistricting process. I am recommending NO simply as a protest against the way the process worked. SLOB consensus is YES.