Tomorrow is election day! You hadn’t forgotten, had you? No? Good.
But hark! Through the smog, I hear the plaintive keening of a confused populace. How, oh how should we vote? Fear not, chére muffintop, for I have come to guide you. As long as you live in California, of course.
Prop 83: No. This proposition would spend $500 million dollars to electronically track convicted sex offenders for the rest of their lives, as well as increasing restrictions on where they may live. I’m all for protecting children, but I really don’t think this is the best way to do it. According to the Contra Costa Times,
Prosecutors in Iowa, the first state to impose residency restrictions on sex offenders, say a 2,000-foot radius around schools and day care centers has pushed sex offenders into remote areas or homelessness, made sex crimes harder to prosecute and led to a sharp spike in the number of sex offenders who skip registering.
I am not swayed by the “rebuttal to argument against Proposition 83” on the League of Women Voters website, which starts off
Don’t be fooled by the false arguments the group of lawyers against Proposition 83 is making. They represent criminal defense attorneys who make their living defending criminals. Of course they don’t want tougher laws!
If you want to convince me, give me some evidence that this proposition will work. Don’t just throw specious exclamation points at me.
Prop 84: Yes. I’m with Bitch, Ph.D. in my distaste for bond measures. They’re a bad way to fund things, and cost too much in the long run. Water contamination is a big problem here in SoCal, though, so I’ll vote for this grouchily. Once again, I scorn the opposition’s rebuttal, which includes this gem: “The authors set aside billions for bureaucratic studies, unnecessary protections for rats and weeds, and other frivolous projects.”
Prop 85: HELL, NO. Parental notification for abortion. Please see my opinions on this here. Oh, and I would just like to add that I am baffled by the repeated airing of the musty old “Abortions protect older men who abuse young girls” argument. Because forcing young girls to carry their abusers’ babies to term will somehow help?
Prop 86: Yes. I used to smoke, and I have always supported higher taxes on cigarettes. The money from this tax will be used to fund children’s healthcare and to reimburse hospitals for expenses on emergency services and healthcare for the poor and uninsured.
Prop 87: Yes. Increases taxes for oil companies’ drilling projects in the state, which revenue will be put toward development of alternative fuels. Oil companies are prohibited from passing the costs along to consumers, and may be held criminally liable if they are found to have done so. And even if it raises gas prices again – hey, I don’t love it, but maybe it will pressure the transportation industry to work harder on alternatives.
Prop 88: A reluctant No. A flat, annual parcel tax of $50 to support schools. What’s wrong with that? Well, the proposition as written is so poorly structured that it seems unlikely the money will get to the schools that need it most. Please, everybody, support education. But do it effectively. To alleviate your obligatory guilt over voting down an education measure, take comfort in the fact that this proposition is opposed by the California State PTA, the California Federation of Teachers, and the California School Boards Association.
Prop 89: Yes. This measure limits the amount corporations can spend on campaign contributions and ballot measures, thereby reducing their influence on elections. Steve Lopez is for it, and he’s a smart guy.
Prop 90: No. This measure is purportedly designed to prevent eminent domain from being used to support private developers. In fact, the way the law is constructed, it could result in this:
If local voters pass a measure to limit a new development to 500 houses—instead of 2,000 houses that a developer wants to build—under Prop. 90, the developer could demand a payment for the value of the remaining 1,500 houses. Even if local community services and infrastructure would be strained by the larger development, Prop. 90 would put taxpayers at risk for payment.
For example. This is not the way to defend property, folks.
Prop. 1A-1E: Forgive me. Bitch Ph.D. said it first and best, and besides, I have to get some work done today.
1A: This is one of those stupid libertarian things that’s all about only paying for the things I, personally, use. As if the California state budget weren’t hamstrung enough. Vote no.
1B: Okay, port security and seismic retrofitting are important, and yeah, roads matter too, but on the grounds that bond funding is irresponsible and at some point California has to fix its stupid-ass tax/budgeting structure, I say no. Make the fuckers figure out how to do this shit right.
1C-1E: I think I’m going to hold my nose and vote yes on these. They’re all pressing issues that really do have to get taken care of, even if issuing bonds is the wrong way to go about it. But I won’t blame you if you pick one or two out of three to vote no on, just on general principles.
Candidates: Democratic down the line. I have no reason not to.