Saturday, October 9, 2010

California Propositions

Every year California is inundated with ballot propositions. Some are always good, some horrible, and some are almost formalities. And it is always hard to figure out which is which. So I always try to check out and give recommendations for each proposition. Below is my preliminary analysis for November's propositions. I may update if/when new endorsements come out. First I will give my own analysis then I will give the endorsements of some progressive organizations. Not all organizations have endorsed, and some may have endorsed by I haven't come across it yet, so that is the part most likely to be updated. An overall rundown with links to supporters and opponents of each proposition can be found here.

My analysis:

Yes on Proposition 19: Legalizes pot. My reasoning is prohibition has been costly and ineffective. Nations and cities that have legalized usually find legalization reduces crime, reduces costs and allows people who need help fighting an addiction to get help. Legalization isn't perfect, but it has a better track record than prohibition. Prop. 19 is supported by:

* Joseph D. McNamara, retired chief of the San Jose Police Department
* James P. Gray, retired judge, Orange County Superior Court
* Stephen Downing, retired deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
* Joycelyn Elders, retired Surgeon General of the United States
* Alice A. Huffman, president, California NAACP
* David Doddridge, retired narcotics detective of the Los Angeles Police Department
* California NAACP
* National Black Police Association
* Gary E. Johnson, former two term Republican Governor of the state of New Mexico
* George Miller, current Democratic House Representative from California's 7th congressional district
* Unions including the American Federation of Teachers and SEIU.

# League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
# California Libertarian Party
# California Green Party
# Peace and Freedom Party of California
# California Young Democrats
# Progressive Democrats of America
# Republican Liberty Caucus
# ACLU of Northern California
# ACLU of Southern California
# ACLU of San Diego

For a full list of supporters of Prop. 19, click here. I notice quite a coalition of Democrats, Greens and Libertarians.

No on Proposition 20 and Yes on 27: These are rival propositions. Prop 20 is a somewhat veiled power play by Republicans to redistrict in their favor. Prop 27 restores the status quo for redistricting that is in line with how most states do it. Some progressives are neutral on Prop 27 but since the redistricting changes seem pushed by Republicans, I support reversing it. From what I can tell the new system takes redistricting power away from elected officials (who have some accountability to voters) and puts it in the hands of appointed bureaucrats with no accountability. Prop 20 extends that bureaucratic system, Prop 27 restores the old system which keeps those who redraw the districts accountable to voters.

It should be noted, however, some good leaders of organizations like AARP, California Common Cause and California chapter of the NAACP, support Prop 20. However Prop. 20 is opposed by leaders of Sierra Club. But bottom line is I find people I trust tend to oppose Prop. 20 and support Prop. 27, while those supporting 20 and opposing 27 tend to be wealthy businessmen and conservative Republicans. Following the money, I trust the opposition to Prop. 20 and the supporters of Prop. 27. Still, it seems there are arguments to be made both ways.

More info on Prop. 20, 25 and 27 can be found here

Yes on Prop 21: state parks are being cut. This would use a vehicle license surcharge to help fund state parks. I see no down side

Supporters include:
# California State Firefighters' Association
# California State Lifeguard Association
# California State Park Rangers Association
# California Statewide Law Enforcement Association
# California Action for Healthy Kids
# California Nurses Association
# California Travel Industry Association
# Latino Health Access
# Public Health Institute
# California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
# California Federation of Teachers
# California Association of Local Conservation Corps
# Boy Scouts of America
# Audubon California
# California Wilderness Coalition
# Clean Air Now
# Coastside Land Trust
# The Conservation Fund
# Defenders of Wildlife
# Mujeres de la Tierra

and many, MANY others. Meanwhile, opposition is mainly from the Auto industry.

Yes on Prop. 21 ad:

No on Prop 22 (?): something of a catch-22 here. This proposition would greatly limit the state legislature's ability to deal with financial crises and keep the government running. However, the Proposition does somewhat protect Local funds. On balance the "NO" side seems to have better arguements. Suggested reading:

Supporters seem to mainly be developers. The main opponents seem to be:

California Professional Firefighters Ballot Issue Committee
California Teachers Association
California School Employees Association

Again, I find I trust the opponents more than the supporters. More info on No on 20 can be found here.

HELL NO on Prop 23: this one is easy. It is an attempt by Big Oil companies in Texas to gut clean air standards in California.

Main supporters are right wing Republicans, and Oil companies and CEOs. Main opponents are:

* American Lung Association- California
* American Association of Pediatrics in California
* California Professional Firefighters
* League of Women Voters of California
* Consumers Union
* California Black Chamber of Commerce
* Culver City Chamber of Commerce
* German American Chamber of Commerce
* Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce
* Green Chamber of Commerce
* Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
* Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
* Latin Business Association
* Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
* Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
* San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
* Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce
* Silicon Valley Leadership Group
* Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce
* California Teachers Association
* California Wind Energy Association
* California Solar Energy Industries Association
* California Conference of Carpenters
* Kamala Harris, a candidate for Attorney General of California.
* The California Teamsters.
* California Institute of Architects, California Council
* Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers.
* California Statewide Law Enforcement Association

Ads opposing Prop. 23:

Seems No on Prop 23 is the easiest choice of the year!

Yes on Prop 24: No brainer. Closes tax loopholes for corporations. Stops $1.7 billion in new special tax breaks for wealthy multi-state corporations...that is money that should go to schools and libraries, not into the pockets of CEOs

Ad in favor of Prop 24:

Supported by teachers and education organizations, unions and the League of Women Voters of California. List of supporters can be found here. The main donors opposing it are large corporations including Fox News corporation.

Yes on Prop 25, No on Prop 26: These are somewhat rival propositions. 25 returns to a simple majority the ability of the legislature to make financial decisions. Reforms California’s state budget process; prevents Republicans, the minority, from holding Democrats, the majority, hostage by refusing to pass a budget or tax the oil companies. This reverses the right wing power game that has made California such a dysfunctional state. Prop 26 extends the already broken system, making California even more dysfunctional. Prop 26 is opposed by public health groups, environmental and consumer groups, organized labor

Main donors FOR Prop 25 include:

California Federation of Teachers
California Teachers Association
California School Employees Association
SEIU (including CSCSE)
California Nurses Association

Meanwhile main donor opposing prop 25 is Chevron.

Yes on Prop 25 ad:

Main supporters of Prop. 26 are right wing Republicans and Chevron. Main OPPONENTS are:

# American Cancer Society
# American Lung Association in California
# California Association of Professional Scientists
# California Center for Public Health Advocacy,
# California Nurses Association
# Union of Concerned Scientists,
# California League of Conservation Voters
# Sierra Club California
# California Alliance of Retired Americans
# California Common Cause
# California Council of Churches IMPACT
# California Democratic Party
# California Green Party
# California Interfaith Power & Light
# California NOW
# California Young Democrats

and many, MANY others.

No on Prop 26 (see above for Yes on Prop 25)

Yes on Prop 27 (see above for No on Prop 20)

Here are the recommendations of some other organizations.

According to Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles:

Prop 19 (marijuana legalization) – YES
Prop 20 (congressional redistricting) – NO
Prop 21 (vehicle license surcharge for parks) – YES
Prop 22 (protection of local govt. funds) – YES
Prop 23 (suspension of air pollution control) – NO
Prop 24 (repeals lower corporate taxes) – YES
Prop 25 (majority vote for state budget) – YES
Prop 26 (2/3rds vote for levies/charges) – NO
Prop 27 (repeals redistricting commission) – YES

California Courage Campaign:

YES on Proposition 19
NO on Proposition 20
YES on Proposition 21
NO on Proposition 22
HELL NO! on Proposition 23
YES on Proposition 24
YES on Proposition 25
NO on Proposition 26
No recommendation on Proposition 27

Progressive Jewish Alliance:

YES on Proposition 19
NO on Proposition 20
NO on Proposition 21
NO on Proposition 22
NO on Proposition 23
YES on Proposition 24
YES on Proposition 25
NO on Proposition 26
Neutral on Proposition 27

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