07 October 2010

California Ballot Measures -- Recommendations

Yes on Prop 19: Legalize Marijuana - This vote is more symbolic than anything else because the Federal Govt. has so much control over drug laws and enforcement. Nonetheless, a yes vote could potentially bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and save additional millions currently tied up in enforcing our failed prohibition; help to reduce the number of people arrested for small drug possession, relieving our crowded prisons and unburdening law enforcement to go after tougher criminals and harsher crimes; and cut drug cartel profits by eliminating the marijuana black market in California, hindering their ability to work in the US. Even if all we're doing is expressing the will of the people of the State, it's worthwhile.

No on Prop 20: Extending redistricting commission to Congressional races - Would take power to draw Congressional districts away from the Legislature and give it to the commission created by Prop 11 in 2008, putting California’s congressional redistricting process out of step with the rest of the country.

Yes on Prop 21: State parks - Fully funds state parks and allows Californians with current vehicle registration to enter all parks for free, funded by an $18/year increase in vehicle registration fee.

No on Prop 22: Proposition to protect Community Redevelopment from redistribution of funds --Los Angeles Times: "It's hard to see why redevelopment agencies' ever-growing share of local property taxes (at 12% statewide by one estimate) is more worthy of protection than school budgets, worker training programs or any of the other public services coming under the knife. Nor does it make sense to force the Legislature to use the general fund instead of fuel tax revenue to pay off existing transportation bonds, as Proposition 22 would do."

No on Prop 23: Dirty energy proposition - Funded by Texas oil companies, Prop 23 would destroy our green jobs and clean energy economy by effectively repealing our Global Warming Solutions Act, which was supported even by Republican Gov. Schwarzenegger. This is a particularly egregious example of out of state corporations attempting to buy policy change through the initiative process and the Right Wing Supreme Court's removal of almost all restrictions on anonymous use of corporate money in elections.

Yes on Prop 24: Repeal of Corporate Tax Breaks --Ventura County Star: "The bottom line: A new tax loophole or two won’t spur businesses to launch major investments in California; businesses do so only reluctantly because of the regulatory stranglehold in the state. And further tax cuts and loss of revenue will worsen conditions in the Golden State, making this state less appealing to those who want to live, work and do business here."

Yes on Prop 25: Majority vote budget - Restores majority rule and democracy to the state legislature by eliminating the 2/3rds rule for budgets that have enabled conservatives to obstruct progressive priorities. This initiative, sponsored by George Lakoff, is an important first step towards restoring majority rule in California.

No on Prop 26: Polluter protection - Creates a new 2/3rds rule for fees that fund environmental protection and other programs, protecting polluters and making it nearly impossible to implement many of California’s environmental laws, including our global warming law.

Yes on Prop 27: Eliminates redistricting commission - Eliminates the redistricting commission created by Prop 11 in 2008 to redraw state legislative boundaries and returns the task to the state legislature’s redistricting committee.

Here's a link to the Courage Campaign's voter guide on the propositions. 

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