The Proposition Problem

10.30.08 | Comment?

Proposition Voting advice so easy, even a caveman can do it
Voting advice so easy, even a caveman can do it.

If you live in or will vote in California, you should read this entry. It’s about California Propositions that make it on the ballot each election. Now, I’m all for a mechanism that enables voters to place important issues in front of the electorate (the proposition process.)

But the process is no longer about voters putting issues in front of voters, it’s about special interests using the process to get their specific issue in front of voters. The net of this is, it’s easier to get a proposition on the ballot than lobby the legislature to get the job done.

That being said, the only reasonable stance to take is to vote ‘no’ on California propositions. When propositions cease being cheap ways for special interests to achieve their aims, they will move back to buying the legislature. And fundamentally, that’s a good thing, politicians aren’t paid very well and it’s hard for them to make ends meet without the odd gift from wealthy friends (Senator Stevens anyone?)

So, the California propositions:

  • 1A: High Speed Train – $10B boondoggle to create a highspeed train across California no one will use. Vote No.
  • 2: Caged Animal Relief – Should be handled through regular state regulations. Vote No.
  • 3: Children’s Hospitals – A $2B boondoggle for children’s hospitals which ignores the $375M worth of bonds that have yet to sell from the 2004 version. Vote No.
  • 4: Abortion Tattling – Requires notice of an abortion 48 hours in advance to an “adult.” This proposition failed in 2005 & 2006. It should fail this time too. Vote No.
  • 5: Therapy for Druggies – Drugs should be decriminalized and taxed. This measure is irrelevant. Vote No.
  • 6: Give 1% of State Budget to friends who do consulting to stop crime – Remember the $14B deficit? This won’t help solve the problem nor will it do what it claims. Vote No.
  • 7: Undo the Renewable Portfolio Standard – California already has a stringent law on the books requiring power producers to acquire 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2010. This is a stupid proposition that shouldn’t even have made it to the ballot. Vote No.
  • 8: Revoke Civil Rights – A proposition to amend the California Constitution to allow legal bigotry. Vote No.
  • 9: Undo Victim’s Rights – There are already myriad victim’s rights laws on the books. If they don’t work, fix them. Don’t write another useless friggin’ proposition. Vote No.
  • 10: Bonds for T. Boone – A $9.8B boondoggle to take your money and put it in T. Boone Picken’s pocket masquerading as a clean vehicle bill. Vote No.
  • 11: Redistribute Redistricting – Instead of having corrupt politicians redistrict, a private group of 14 citizens will do it on our behalf. 14 is a conveniently small number to gift and bribe into oblivion. This is the 9th attempt to get this passed. Vote No.
  • 12: Enable Old Vets Low Interest Mortgages – Um, haven’t we messed around with mortgages and nationalized the financial market enough? This doozy would raise funds to provide low-interest mortgages to Vets who served before 1977. If there were no other Veteran’s programs, I’d consider this one. But, there are no shortage and why the time boundary? Vote No.

There you have it, a whirlwind tour of the propositions, not a good one in the bunch. Each a defect of the legislative process. Do yourself and the rest of us a favor, vote no on the whole slate. There’s not a single one worthy of our collective support.

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