Saturday, November 1, 2014

Liberty Movement California Ballot Recommendations

This year's ballot measure don't excite me one way or another, so I was late to analyze them.  But they still will have their impact on the state where I reside, so here are my recommendations.  I don't always agree with the larger Tea Party groups; these recommendations are my own small contribution to increase liberty.

Proposition 1 - Water Bond - NO

In this drought stricken year, who could vote against water bonds?  Well, I can, because the taxpayers get stuck with the long term bill for Big Government projects that won't deliver much more water.  The Libertarian Party argument is:
Water projects are best managed and financed by local water boards, rather than writing grants to state bureaucrats trying to secure expensive bond monies.

Proposition 2 - Budget Stabilization - NO

Proposition 2 would require 3% of state General Fund revenue be deposited in a “rainy day”
fund, and allows up to 10% of revenue be deposited in this account. The measure would
allow the rainy day funds to be spent only in the event of a drop in annual revenue below
the preceding year, adjusted for population and inflation, or in a declared emergency.  This seems like a reasonable idea; but I don't like the way that the measure controls how local districts manage their funds.  Under this law local school districts are limited in how much they can put away in a rainy day fund themselves.  In general, more local control is better for liberty.

Proposition 45 - Healthcare Insurance - NO

This measure is designed to continue to make California an unfriendly business climate, in this case for insurers.  I didn't have to research arguments from liberty friendly groups to know this is a loser.

 • Requires changes to health insurance rates, or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance, to be approved by Insurance Commissioner before taking effect.
• Provides for public notice, disclosure, and hearing on health insurance rate changes, and subsequent judicial review.
• Requires sworn statement by health insurer as to accuracy of information submitted to Insurance Commissioner to justify rate changes.
• Does not apply to employer large group health plans.
• Prohibits health, auto, and homeowners insurers from determining policy eligibility or rates based  on lack of prior coverage or credit history.

So vote no to prevent even more bureaucracy and those same bureaucrats from mucking with your healthcare insurance, even more than they do so already.

Proposition 46 - Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors - NO

Even more intrusive than Proposition 45; how is it the right of the state to commit law-abiding citizens performing their jobs to submit to intrusive monitoring?  It is not.  Further, it requires doctors to check state databases before prescribing you certain types of medication.  There would never be any identity confusion or stealing of information from government run databases that track your prescriptions, would there? Vote no against this madness.

Proposition 47 - Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. - YES

Here is where I am breaking with some in the Tea Party movement.  I think it worthwhile to post the summary of the initiative as it is little known:
• Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug possession offenses.
• Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for the following crimes when amount involved is $950 or less: petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks.
• Allows felony sentence for these offenses if person has previous conviction for crimes such as rape, murder, or child molestation or is registered sex offender.
• Requires resentencing for persons serving felony sentences for these offenses unless court finds unreasonable public safety risk.
• Applies savings to mental health and drug treatment programs, K–12 schools, and crime victims.
I am against three-strike laws and mandatory minimums, because too many travesties of justice have resulted.  This proposition is a good start in reversing a stupid judicial trend.  It also eliminates some felony categories for mere possession of drugs for personal use.  Restoring some reason to sentencing is worthy goal.

Proposition 48 - Indian Gaming Compacts. - Don't Care

Some Indian tribe would be helped, another hurt by this lawsuit over gaming in the Central Valley near Madera.  There will be federal court cases no matter how this turns out.  It seems unreasonable that some tribes get casinos through this process but others don't, but a vote either way on this measure won't solve the process problems.  UPDATE: My oldest, who works in the hospitality industry says that we should always vote for more casinos.  I am still not convinced.

That's all on the propositions.  I am voting for Republicans across the board for all other offices on my ballot, because the Democrats in this state have allied themselves with evil interests.


I am voting for Marshall Tuck for State Superintendent of Public Instruction based on the California Teacher's Association endorsement of his opponent.  From a HuffPo article on the race:
School reform groups have argued that strict work rules and powerful job protections for teachers have made it hard to fire incompetent educators or enact creative local initiatives - at students' expense.
Tuck, a former president of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school organization, is allied with the reformers. He has the backing of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and funding from billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.
Torlakson, a former teacher who has been the state's superintendent of public instruction since 2010, has strong backing from California teachers unions.


  1. Please reconsider your position on Prop 46 and 45 both of which are in the public's interest.

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans die yearly as the result of preventable medical negligence. Common hospital malpractice errors include: incorrect medication/dosage, surgical mistakes, preventable infections, diagnosis failures, birth delivery mistakes, anesthesia errors and under/over treatment. Americans are prescribed twice the drugs as Europeans and we are not any healthier or live any longer for it - Vioxx caused 60K deaths.

    Prop 46 is not about trial lawyers vs doctors; it's about patient and public safety at the expense of a modest reduction in profits to malpractice insurance companies that make billions. And P46 is about public justice which is currently being denied to you.

    In 1975 malpractice insurance companies backed the California MICRA law which capped the non-economic "pain and suffering" award to 250K with no adjustment for inflation and this unjust law has now reduced the value of your jobless family members(children, retirees, ect) to essentially zero as you can not obtain a lawyer in any wrongful death malpractice case for them. Except in a very rare punitive award this is the only award available.

    Malpractice attorneys will not take these wrongful death cases because the MICRA law also limits the attorney award to about 30%(BPC 6146) or about $75K of any maximum $250K award and attorney and medical expert costs in a case will quickly exceed $75K, search on "caps harm California" and "protectconsumerjustice org how micra came to be".

    Governor Brown who signed MICRA into law said 17 years later that MICRA did not lower health care costs and only enriched insurers and placed negligent or incompetent physicians outside the reach of judicial accountability. Ralph Nader has reminded Governor Brown's of this earlier statement and has asked him to support Prop 46. Erin Brockovich and patient safety organizations support P46.

    The MICRA cap and low non-economic damage caps in many other states have enabled malpractice insurance companies to earn billions in profits by essentially eliminating their monetary liability in these cases. It's no wonder malpractice insurance companies have spent tens of millions to defeat Prop 46 which doesn't even eliminate the cap, only adjusts it for inflation.

    California malpractice insurance companies profit an incredible 70 cents for every dollar collected in malpractice premiums which leaves plenty of room for an increase in malpractice payouts without a rate increase to doctors.

    P46 will not cause healthcare costs to skyrocket. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office calculates the increased cost at less than 0.5%. 22 other states do not have a non-economic damage cap and medical insurance rates are not any higher in those states nor are there shortages of physicians.

    Since 1988 Prop 103 has regulated doctors malpractice insurance premiums and can not be increased unless justified with the Insurance Commissioner.

    Prop 46 also includes testing doctors for drug and alcohol which is done in the transportation industry, the military and in other public safety related occupations. Certainly it is in the public's interest for doctors to be thinking clearly when they have our lives in their hands.

    Over prescribing of prescription narcotics is now a national epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control cited 475,000 emergency room visits and 36,000 deaths from prescription narcotic overdoses in a recent year, at a price tag of $72 billion in avoidable health care expenditures.

    Prop 46 will also require physicians to check the state's existing and secure DOJ CURES prescription drug database before prescribing narcotics and other addictive drugs to curb doctor-shopping drug abusers, to prevent over-dose deaths and to reduce harmful behavior and health care costs.

    PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 46 for Public Safety and Patient Justice.

    1. Anonymous,
      Your prescription for these ills is even more bureaucracy, the root cause of our medical problems in the first place. As a chronic sufferer of neck pain, I am not interested in being denied the occasional relief I need from prescription drugs. I know better than any bureaucrat how to manage my pain.

  2. I wish there was someone other than DeMaio and Peters to vote for in the congressional race. I hate them both.

    1. Yeah, Carl's campaign has really taken a nose dive in terms of message. He was my hero when he helped defeat the 1/2 cent sales tax and got the pension reform measure passed, but now he sounds like any other pol, with horrible commercials to boot. Peters' are even worse, IMHO and he had a bad track record on the city council. Interestingly, I have met both candidates in person, and they both seem like decent human beings and pretty bright to boot. Still voting for DeMaio.