damnum absque injuria

November 2, 2005

Election Guide – November 2005

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:00 am

The following are my recommendations for the California special election on November 8, 2005. Links to other bloggers’ voter guides are here.

Statewide Measures:

  • Proposition 73 (Abortion Notification) – Yes. Abortion may or may not be the moral equivalent of first-degree infanticide, but it isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, either, and certainly not so lovely that the state should allow teens to get them behind their parents’ backs. The only odd thing about this initiative is that it is a constitutional amendment, which seems a little odd – but necessary given the California Supreme Court’s ruling in American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren, 16 Cal.4th 307 (1997). Unsurprisingly, the L.A. Times disagrees. What is surprising is how sensible the L.A. Times is on most of the other issues on the ballot this year.
  • Proposition 74 (Teacher Tenure) – Yes. If you work in just about any field other than education, chances you don’t have tenure. Neither should K-12 school teachers. Unfortunately, that reform is not on the ballot. Raising the tenure period from 2 to 5 years is a baby step in the right direction, so modest even the L.A. Times supports it. This is a small reform where a bigger one is needed, so let’s take what we can get.
  • Proposition 75 (Paycheck Protection) – Yes. No one has a right to dip into anyone else’s paycheck and coerce them into “contributing” to political campaigns they may not support, and in any event have never consented to have their money spent on. Why is this even controversial? Or does the Times endorsement indicate it is not controversial at all? We’ll see come November 8.
  • Proposition 76 (Spending Limits) – Yes. Opponents cleverly call this a “power grab” by the governor. Well, of course it is. If the buck is going to stop there (and it should), then dontcha think we ought to give the governor enough power to actually do what voters expect of him? Besides, these nefariously “grabbed” powers only kick in when the fiscal year is half over and over budget. If you support balanced budgets, vote yes. If you oppose them and favor runaway entitlements instead, vote no. It’s really that simple – unless you write for the L.A. Times.
  • Proposition 77 (Legislative Redistricting) – Yes. If the California voter initiative process allowed cumulative voting, I’d encourage you to cast all eight votes on this one. As important as the rest of the initiatives are, there’s at least a decent chance that they ought to be left to a democratically elected Legislature accountable to the people, and not by the people directly, by initiative. But that argument only works if you have a democratically elected Legislature, which we don’t. What we have instead is a self-selecting Legislature, which is an insult to the very concept of democratic and republican government. As long as Legislators get to choose their voters rather than vice-versa, the Legislature remains accountable to no one but itself. How bad are the current districts, you ask? This bad. Or, for Times watchers, this bad.
  • Proposition 78 (Prescription Drugs Trojan) – Yes. This is a dumb law, but it’s largely harmless. If Prop 79 weren’t also on the ballot, I’d urge a no vote. Since it is, defeating Prop 79 should be the priority. That can be accomplished either by voting 79 down, or by passing Prop 79 by a larger margin. Play it safe, vote yes on 78. As one who didn’t attend the University of Spoiled Children, I thought I’d never say this, but “Go Trojans!”L.A. Times says no to both intiatives, a tempting alternative.
  • Proposition 79 (Socialized Medicine) – No. This one is bad all around. Even the L.A. Times doesn’t like it. Vote no.
  • Proposition 80 (Ban on Energy Deregulation) – No. The theory behind this initiative seems to be that if Steve Peace, Pete Wilson and Gray Davis were able to find a way to do energy deregulation wrong, no future administration – even one the L.A. Times might approve of – should be allowed to even try to do it right. If that argument makes sense to you, consider moving to Cuba. If it doesn’t, vote no on Prop 80.

The rest relate to local (Orange County) measures. If you live anywhere else, move along people, nothing to see here.

  • Measure D – Money Grab by Fire Dept. No. This would force 100% of Orange County taxpayers to pay taxes to an authority that services only 43% of us (and I’m saying this as part of the 43% that would benefit from it), whether they need it or not, at the expense of police and other public safety agencies that don’t get the same dedicated property tax revenue that the fire authority does. If you are a firefighter who cares only about your own salary, pensions, etc., vote yes. If you are anybody else, vote no.
  • Measures B,- Measure C, Measure E – None of these are really necessary, but any of them would make a decent tactical vote against Measure D, so why not?

Oddly enough, the L.A. Times agrees with me on all of the Orange County measures, all but one of the Ahnold Amendments, Props 79 and 80, and disagrees with me only tactically on Prop 78. In a typical election cycle, the average conservative voter could do worse than to simply take the L.A. Times voter guide with him to the polls, and vote the opposite. Don’t do that this time, or you’ll end up voting right on two initiatives (Props 73 and 76) and wrong on everything else. If you must based your vote on the recommendations of any newspaper, don’t vote anti-Times this time around. Instead, pick up a copy of the Orange County Register and vote their recommendations on everything, except maybe 78 for purely political reasons (i.e., to help ensure 79′s defeat)

20 Responses to “Election Guide – November 2005”

  1. damnum absque injuria » Special Election Update Says:

    [...] I’ve moved my voter guide to a permanent page where it won’t get buried by date. Recent polls indicate that almost all of the initiatives either will pass handily, get clobbered, or something in between. Dafydd ab Hugh sorts it all out. [...]

  2. Cake or Death Says:

    Can Arnold stop the unions blitzkrieg

    If you own a TV in California, half the commercials you see on now are political campaigns for the special election coming up next week. And 90% of those commercials are sponsored by the unions trying to impale Arnold and the plethora of propositions…

  3. steve sturm Says:

    Me disagrees… as for Prop 77.

    Despite claims to the contrary, if the people really wanted to do something about gerrymandered districts, they would. The reason this issue isn’t one of the ‘issues that matter most to voters’ is because the majority of voters like gerrymandered districts. Think about it: most voters are in districts in which they are the majority. Why would they want to change things around so that their power is diminished?

  4. Xrlq Says:

    That doesn’t make sense. District gerrymandering only makes the individual legislators more powerful; it doesn’t do anything to empower individual voters in the district, whether they happen to be members of the same party or not. As a private citizen and registered Republican, I would have a lot more power living in a competitive district, where the Republican candidate would need my support to win, than I do living in a safe district, where my Legislator can afford to ignore me.

    If voters actually liked gerrymandering, anti-77 ads would just come and say that, rather than lie about what the measure does or doesn’t do.

  5. steve sturm Says:

    I can’t speak to what the ads say or don’t say because, frankly, they’re not shown in the DC area.

    An incumbent who makes enough voters mad will lose… maybe in a primary, where they lose to a same-party challenger, and if not then, in the general where enough defections hand the victory to the ‘minority’ party challenger. I know I would rather my GOP representative lose a primary, where it’s likely that the primary winner will go on to win in the general election, than run the risk that I’ll be represented by a Democrat for the next cycle.

    Here’s a question for you pro-77 forces: if you’re upset that voting districts aren’t split down the middle party-wise, then why stop at eliminating intra-state divisions? Why not redraw California’s state borders to bring more Republicans into the mostly Democratic state? After all, aren’t California’s Senate seats pretty much a sure thing for the Democrats? Don’t Feinstein and Boxer ignore you? Where’s the justice in that?

    And thanks for the link… as they say, any link is a good link.

  6. Xrlq Says:

    An incumbent who makes enough voters mad will lose… maybe in a primary, where they lose to a same-party challenger, and if not then, in the general where enough defections hand the victory to the ‘minority’ party challenger.

    Highly unlikely. California’s districts are not just tailored for specific parties, but for specific individuals. To lose one of those seats, you have to be Gary Condit; merely voting against an issue your constitutents support won’t do it. Especially if, as you’ve already conceded, reforming legislative districts is not the voters’ highest priority anyway.

    Here’s a question for you pro-77 forces: if you’re upset that voting districts aren’t split down the middle party-wise…

    I’m not. My objection is to the fact that the districts are intentionally drawn to defeat the purpose of democratic elections. I’m asking for a fair process, not a particular, preordained result. If we had a fair districting process (where “fair” means crossing as few city or county borders as possible, keeping communities together wherever possible, and not engineering districts to reach any particular political result), my southern Orange County district would be just as safely Republican as it is now, at least in the general election. Most districts in the Bay Area wouldn’t be, either, but at least some would, and if the 1990s are any indication, enough would to make it at least a theoretical possibility that if the Democrats piss too many people off, the Republicans might actually gain control of the Legislature (as they did in the Assembly in 1994).

  7. Ted Lawrence Says:

    But one of the problems is that in other states where they have tried commission systems, the commission has gotten completely politicized and in places where they have tried judges as commission members(Retired or not) the Judiciary has gotten more politicized and it’s public trust level has dropped dramatically. Picture Bush versus Gore every ten years but worse. Also the myth that competitive districts would be created is just not borne out by the experiences in other states. Every state that has a commission handling reapportionment has had controversies and accusations of gerrymandering (See Montana this year which had a commission of retired judges draw the lines). The kinds of people willing to serve on a commission like this which takes several months of fulltime work with no pay included in the measure are by and large going to be political hacks and one side or the other will be the beneficiary based on the luck of the draw.

  8. Xrlq Says:

    I don’t think the judiciary is nearly as politicized as the Legislature, but more importantly, the commissioners would not be drawing their own districts, which is the main problem here. We don’t let judges draw up their own elective district boundaries, and we shouldn’t allow legislators to do so, either, any more than we’d expect the suits at any corporation to downsize themselves.

    I don’t know about Montana’s districts, but would be very surprised if any of them were nearly as egregious as this one. Rather than make strained analogies to other states, why not compare today’s districts in California to the districts in California the last time they were drawn up by judges rather than Legislators? I don’t think anyone who knows anything about California politics can argue with a straight face that today’s legislative districts are fairer, more rational or more competive than the ones we had in the 1990s. Do you?

  9. actus Says:

    “Yes. No one has a right to dip into anyone else’s paycheck and force them to “contribute” to political campaigns they may not support, and in any event have never consented to have their money spent on. Why is this even controversial?”

    Because you already have choice. This is about shifting the burden and destroying union’s political power, opening the way for easier business rule. I agree that some people find this prospect uncontroversial.

    “(Socialized Medicine) – No. This one is bad all around. Even the L.A. Times doesn’t like it. Vote no.”

    Whats so socialized about it? It looks like its basically using the state as a vehicle to negotiate lower prices, with the carrot of sales and the stick of being removed from the medi-cal list.

  10. Xrlq Says:

    Because you already have choice.

    Sure, you can quit your job and work in another industry. Some choice!

    Whats so socialized about it? It looks like its basically using the state as a vehicle to negotiate…

    You just answered your own question.

  11. actus Says:

    “Sure, you can quit your job and work in another industry. Some choice!”

    To some people this is a choice. But you can also opt-out of giving to the union money that is not used for collective bargaining.

    I never quite understood the idea of complaining about giving money to the union when the union increases your salary. Maybe it doesn’t work out that its a benefit.

    “You just answered your own question.”

    I thought socialized medicine would be the state spending its money on the meds. Here it doesn’t look like that is happening is it — or happening to a greater degree? Its basically negotiating a group plan with the purchasing power that it already has with cal-m no?

    Or is there more expenditure on health care? If not, it looks like there might be more healthcare for less.

  12. Xrlq Says:

    To some people this is a choice. But you can also opt-out of giving to the union money that is not used for collective bargaining.

    No, you can’t. I know this firsthand because I’ve tried. The only thing you can opt out of is formal membership in the union, the right to vote in the union decisions, and any other fringe benefits that may attach to union membership. You won’t get any of your money back; all you will get is the knowledge that you’ve just paid more for collective bargaining so others, who “consent” to political spending, can pay less for theirs.

  13. actus Says:

    “You won’t get any of your money back”

    That’s not what the LAtimes, or even the anti-union national “right to work” groups reported. Maybe they were talking about public sector unions, and that’s not what you had.

  14. Xrlq Says:

    Sorry to disappoint, but “my” union was the California Teachers Association.

  15. actus Says:

    You must have been working before the settlement agreement from the ‘right to work’ people

  16. Xrlq Says:

    I was. Having resigned from teaching in 1993, I was not aware of the 1997 settlement. Thanks for pointing it out.

  17. FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » California Special Election Watch: Flap’s Voter Guide for November 8 Says:

    [...] Xrlq [...]

  18. PrestoPundit » Blog Archive » If You Live In California Says:

    [...] Scroll below for California Proposition ballot recommendations from Tom McClintock and KFI’s John and Ken. See also ballot recommendations by Prof Bainbridge and Xlrq. [...]

  19. The Jawa Report Says:

    Californians, to the barricades!

    There’s still time to vote for prop 73, a very common sense initiative that begins to restore the proper balance of family authority over the state’s in making moral decisions. And for Prop 74–tenure for public school teachers? Please. Given…

  20. California Conservative » If You Live In California Says:

    [...] Scroll below for California Proposition ballot recommendations from Tom McClintock and KFI’s John and Ken. See also ballot recommendations by Prof Bainbridge and Xlrq. [...]

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